The News at TIM – Mid Week Musings (No: 30)

Welocme to this weeks Musings!

My Hero

I’d forgotten how long ago it was that I published my first hero post so the next one is well overdue!  Next up is …

Bruce Lee (1940 – 1973)

As I mentioned in my original post some time ago my hero’s come in all shapes and sizes and with no obvious logical link, well not to me at any rate.

Why Bruce?

To answer that question I need to firstly go back and reflect on life in the 70s and how I remember things.

When I was a teenager in the 70s screen hero’s, be it at the cinema or on TV, followed a pattern. They were lean, mean, tall (e.g. Clint Eastwood as Dirty Harry) and sometimes suave and sophisticated (e.g. Shaun Connery as James Bond 007). What they weren’t was small and Chinese. Martial Arts wasn’t a familiar term and although I’d heard of Judo and Karate nobody really participated in these sports. Even if there had been sufficient clubs, which there were not, it simply wasn’t the done thing.

Then along came an Cowboy Western TV series called “Kung Fu” which starred David Carradine as a western looking Chinaman who possessed a few basic but cool skills for dealing with thrown punches and flying arrows which few of us had ever seen. It was tame but different and served as a small taster of far better things to come.

Word had arrived of a guy called Bruce Lee who could take on a small army with nothing but his bare hands. It was possible in some cinemas to see this with your own eyes providing you were willing to suffer dreadful dubbed dialogue and equally dreadful story lines. Bruce’s first films – Fist of Fury, The Big Boss – were in limited box office circulation but the fight sequences were awesome in there day. “The Way of the Dragon” was a significant notch up and featured Chuck Norris and Bruce Lee in an epic fight sequence set in the Coliseum, Rome which is still held in high regard to this day. You can find it on YouTube and it’s well worth a watch in my opinion. However, it took Hollywood to set Bruce on the path to super stardom and to catapult Martial Arts into the minds of every young adult male of that era. The film of course was “Enter the Dragon”.

With a decent budget Hollywood produced what I believe was the first English speaking Martial Arts film of the day.  Today the film looks dated and the story line is pretty poor too but the fight sequences which at the end of the day was what it was all about are as good today as they were back then. Choreographed for real by Bruce himself they have stood the test of time. The film was a major box office hit and I can remember having to join a very long queue in order to get in to see the film. When I did get to see it I was blown away. Hard to imagine in this day and age that something was so original and so different to anything which had gone before and so exciting too. I saw the film four times when it came out and have seen it numerous times since on DVD.

We now had a hero who didn’t conform to the cultural norm and for a while every boy at school wanted to be Bruce and wanted to learn how to fight. I can’t recall any other film of my generation having such an incredible impact. I was completely absorbed by Bruce, had posters on my bedroom wall, subscribed to magazines, collected cards and read what ever I could find. My favorite book was “Bruce Lee King of Kung Fu” by Felix Dennis, a biography which I still have a copy of to this day.

For me though Bruce wasn’t just a screen hero. His real life fascinated me just as much. He was born in San Francisco, ironically in the Chinese year of the dragon but raised in Hong Kong from the age of 3 months.  He was bullied as a small boy, didn’t like the experience and wanted to do something about it. He was taken in hand and saved from a wayward life. He learnt not one martial art form but studied them all to the point where he created his own form, a collective mix which he called, Jeet Kune Do. Not content to be good he wanted to be the best and that is what he became. He moved to America, married an American and became a teacher of his art to many including James Coburn and Steve McQueen.  His party trick was to pick on the largest guy he could find and floor him with a one inch punch!

Sadly his life was cut short at the age of 32, the result it is alleged of a fatal reaction to taking an aspirin tablet. James Coburn was one of his pull bearers. He was buried in Hong Kong and his funeral parade was witnessed by thousands who lined the streets.

At the time of his death he was filming his fifth film called “Game of Death”. The fight sequences had been completed and Hollywood was eventually able to bring the film to the big screen. An OK film but not a patch on “Enter the Dragon”.

From a modelling perspective there are a few which are clearly based on Bruce Lee. As things currently stand my favorite is a Reaper figure.  I thought I’d get it done for this post.  I thought the mirror added a nice “Enter The Dragon” touch but with hindsight I should have taken photos before I added it.  Bloody difficult taking photos with mirrors in!  I need to take some better ones, these were done in a bit of a rush for this post so I might up date them in due course.

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This week TIM has been listening to …

The Beatles and “Hey Jude”.  This video is of the fab four and their live performance on the David Frost show.  I remember seeing it live on TV with my brother.  Not sure either of us appreciated what an iconic performance this was at the time.  With 124,438,271 hits on YouTube at the time I was watching it’s obvious their popularity has not waned any.  Then again it could have been just my brother watching it over and over and …

I have also been listening to The Hollies and “A Long Cool Women in a Black Dress”.  Now I’m no Hollies fan, if anything they were one of my least favourite bands back in the day but I do like this track.  Made all the better with the lyrics to follow.

This week TIM has been watching…

Terminator.  It’s been a while since I watched the original film and I’d forgotten how dark it was.  Arnie only had to be himself which made the film all the more realistic!

Classic lines – “Fuck you, asshole” and “I’ll be back” spring to mind.

—000—

Until next time.

TIM

 

24 thoughts on “The News at TIM – Mid Week Musings (No: 30)

  1. A fellow Bruce Lee fan! I didn’t really get into Martial arts until the 80s. Ninja films were a big thing around that time. I can’t remember the first time I saw a Bruce Lee film, but it would have been on TV. I’ve seen all his movies, and find them all entertaining in their own way. Bruce of course, steals the show on all of them with his lightning quick moves and movie presence.

    His grave is actually in Seattle, and we visited it a few years ago. I think it would have been interesting to meet him in real life, even though we seem to be quite different personalities.

    And I’ll leave you with another tidbit. My Wife’s last name is “Li”. She likes to brag that she is daughter to Bruce and Jet is her brother, so you better not mess with her! I could see it, as she’s quite the little spitfire!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yep, that makes two of us then, must be an age thing! Didn’t know his grave was in the US, I know he had a big “funeral” type event in Hong Kong but it’s a long time since I read the book I have. Think I may well get it out and have another read very soon. As for your wife, not sure it’s me that has to be careful not to mess with her but you!😉

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Haha, that should have been reworded and quoted I guess “So you better not mess with me!”.

        Yes, I’m pretty sure Bruce had a funeral event in Hong Kong and then his body was brought back to the states. I don’t remember all the details on that one. I guess since his Wife and kids are in the States, that’s why he is buried here.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. I suspect age comes into it a bit. Bruce pretty much got the Western world introduced to the martial arts genre big time, the likes of Jackie Chan followed on a few few years later as I recall. These days they do even more byt of course how much is real and how much is CGI these days is questionable.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Great post mate. I’ve only ever seen “Enter the Dragon” but that was when I was a little boy. I think I’ll revisit it tonight. For some reason I thought Bruce I’d died due to an accident on the film set. I know his son did. I watched something recently where the owner of Bruce’s house before he was famous was featured. Even though it was a very basic almost shanty type home people come from all over the world to see it. At one time it was made into a brothel and then a B and B type thing. Love the mode mate. I think the mirror works well. At least we didn’t see your head reflecting in it. From memory you’ve got an ok head but it’d spoil the illusion a bit haha. I’ve been listening to a band called SNOT who I guarantee you wouldn’t like but the drumming is amazing. Coincidentally my Dad and I love Terminator. The first one and have watched it together many times. Such an iconic and classic movie. Did you know Lance Hendrickson was originally going to be the Terminator. He’s the fella that was Bishop (android) in Aliens. The dude that had milk for blood. Also one of the punks at the start who challenges Arnie is the fella in Twister and Aliens and Titanic. His name escapes me at the moment. I’ve only had one coffee dammit. He died a couple of years ago. Terminator is the best but number 2 and 4 were good too. The others can piss off in my opinion. I recently watched Die Hard with my daughter. Another great movie. Arnie was going to play Bruce Willis’s part. So there you go. My comment was full of Bruce’s and Arnies. Now where’s my Mocha?!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. It was his son Brandon Lee who died while on the film set of making the film “The Crow”. A prop back fired or something like that in a tragic accident. If you get the chance check out the fight scene when Lee takes on Chuck Norris in The Way of The Dragon, you’ll find it on YouTube. Can’t imagine anyone other than Arnie as The Terminator nor could I see anyone else in the Bruce Willis role. Interesting the other bits you mention. Not sure about SNOT though!

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Music is personal Pete so no apology necessary. With you al the way on Terminator sequels although I didn’t think the second one was too bad. The annoying thing about sequels is they can often devalue the original. Jaws in my opinion was a fantastic film but the rest were dreadful. Just the Hollywood machine milking the franchise.

        Liked by 2 people

  3. Two things. 1. I just found your other website. No not the Porn Hub one but the one where you’re trying to sell models. The eBay link didn’t work though? 2. Have you ever considered doing Wall Hanging Dioramas? It’d be good if you’re running out of places to put your dioramas or for like a story board diorama set. Food for thought mate

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yes I’ve got a few figures on eBay at the moment, not sure why the link didn’t work but you should be able to see them on Ebay.com? I only put single figures up, albeit sometimes in groups of two or three. I don’t plan to sell my dioramas, they are very much one offs and I couldn’t make them the same again even if I tried. Single figures though are different, I can always paint another one for myself if needs be. Managed to sell 11 recently to a guy so my “stock” needs building up. Can’t say they fly off the shelf. I think the gamers do their own mostly so there is a limited audience and then there are those that don’t want to pay that much. Trouble is if I ask for less there would be no point bothering. Still it a side line which I enjoy and I get a thrill when I sell one. It’s not the money, I’m comfortable in that regard fortunately but knowing someone likes your stuff enough to buy is great. The wall hanging idea is well worth considering and would be ideal for the little figures. You can find my porn site by searching under “old ginger nob”. 😉

      Liked by 2 people

  4. Not had choclate in years as it happen 😛 (health reasons- I need to shift quite abit of weight)

    Never been a fan of sequels or franchises or popular films much to my friend’s consternation.

    As for my musical tastes I know I’m very niche. Odd thing was my parents were both big beatles fans it just never rubbed off on to me.

    Cheers,

    Pete.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Very cool. As a kid I watched him on “The Green Hornet” which only lasted one season. Always heard he died at the hands of the Chinese Mafia? Anyways, the mirror effect is so cool. Btw, what is your eBay seller name, love to check out your stuff?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I never got to see The Green Hornet although I knew he was in it, might check out YouTube to see what they have. As to his death I have to say it did all seem a bit odd but then again people love a good myth and mystery. Heaven only knows what the truth is. On eBay I go by the name “Carrot1808”, don’t ask! If you search “Wild West 28mm Artizan Miniatures you should find one and then you should be able to find the rest. I only recently started selling and only sell single or multiples of single figures. I can easily paint them again for my own collection whereas dioramas and vignettes are very much one of a kind so I find it much harder to part with. I don’t have much up at the moment and some you will recognise, including the Kelly’s Heroes figures. I will almost certainly do them again. Pricing is something I’m still working on but I must be getting there as I’ve managed to sell about 20 figures so far. Helps fund the hobby!

      Liked by 1 person

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