Tuesday, June 9, 2009


Upon reflection I find that I've written a surprising number of obituaries slash biographies for FP. George Carlin, Norman Mailer, Gerry Ford, Bing Crosby, GB Shaw, Seung-Hui Cho, Saddam Hussein (and here), Tisqantum, Thomas Paine, Richard Jewel -- probably more. Looks like I don't have many heroes. Over the weekend, David Carradine was found dead, hanging in a Bangkok hotel room closet. Well that's strange. First reports implied suicide, but it seems to have been accidental.

The man is dead, and can't defend himself against lies and rumors. So there's that. And usually I would just shrug something like this off. But I did go to school with Grasshopper, the child actor who played young Caine in the show Kung Fu. So I have payed attention to Carradine over the years. Always seemed like a very creepy guy. How he died is surprising, but then again, no, it's not.

Autoerotic asphyxiation, it seems. Accidental death, then. He had some sort of knots around his genitals. Radio says he had flames tattooed on his penis, and the yin-yang mandala tattooed on his scrotum, which also was pierced, with a gold chain somehow attached. It's surprising, and it's not. To me it would be a shameful thing, to be so discovered. But to do such things one must be shameless.

I've been sort of silly, here, recently. Either you get it or you don't. This is not more of that. That Carradine died in his early 70s in such a way is a profoundly sobering meditation on the depravity to which we may fall prey. That's my point. How twisted does a soul become, to find strangling oneself to be erotic?

I've given only passing thought to such practices as bondage and sadism and that subculture. It just seems pathetic to me, actually pathetic. To me sex is not a game, not play -- I don't need or want fantasy. Perhaps it's just my hormone levels -- I don't need such things. If rollplaying is necessary or exciting or any of that, all right then, have fun. But to me, sex is about intimacy. As I recall.

But that's not the case, with these paraphilias. Ideas of power and dominance and degradation and humiliation -- they have been sexualized, somehow. I understand it, as I understand many things, intellectually. It's just so sad, so lonely, so autoerotic, so asphyxiated.

My interest, insofar as something like this holds any interest, is in how one comes to such a state. A pierced scrotum, for crumb's sake. My instant, easy answer is that he was ruined as a child. I tend to think that adult perversions come from childhood molestations. A simplistic and we would hope probably mostly wrong answer, but it serves as a starting point. Alas, the radio, with several professional gossip mongers, says there were serious and substantiated intimations of incest against Carradine with a young female relative. Something about information in divorce papers, for what that's worth. Maybe nothing. After all, he cannot defend himself. Nor could the minor child, if it's true. Point is, if it's true, if, if, then there is no depravity of which he was not capable, and there is powerful expectation that this perversion, like a genetic mutation, was inherited. Vampires breed.

A more likely answer, from a comprehensibility standpoint -- I mean, is incest actually even possible? -- is the abuse of neglect. Self-esteem doesn't just happen. It is nurtured, by finding what is good in a child, and helping it become excellence. They are after all seedlings, that need watering.

Let's be magnanimous then in our gossip mongering. The neglect form of abuse manifests as sexual twistedness because sex is the most intimacy-directed of our instincts. We all want intimacy, but those of us who have been neglected were not shown how to ask for it, and the instinct that is associated with it is likewise skewed away from a healthy expression. So we may end up alone hanging naked in a closet with a rope around our genitals. Or we may just end up alone.

Yes, I understand it. Even if I'm not right, it's easy to understand.



Will C. said...

"Upon reflection I find that I've written a surprising number of obituaries slash biographies for FP."

One of the more shocking ones was the obit you wrote about The Joker, Heath Ledger. Burned into my head...his tattoo on his back that said F-the-World. That little fact you included went missing on Entertainment Tonight.

I saw the movie not long ago. He was phenominal as Joker. The embodyment of chaos and anarchy. I think he must have been playing himself, a little or alot. Either way the children always suffer.

Jack H said...

Got that factoid from Michael Medved. Looked all over to find some other source, but it seems impossible. A conspiracy of silence.

The Norman Mailer one stays with me. And Saddam