Sunday, October 10, 2010

"Pull de strink!...

... a story must be told."
Well, not a story, really.

Today is Woodmas, so here's just a bit of a toast to one of my heroes.

Happy Would've-Been-86th Birthday, 
Edward D. Wood, Jr.!

I know. "Heroes"?


I'm not about to spend the rest of my life drinking 24 hours a day, living in penniless squalor writing pornographic fiction while wearing women's clothing, dreaming of past glories and regretting past mistakes.
No more than I already do, I should say.

No, no... I am no fan of the sad, self-destructive, self-pitying alcoholic he became.

But ya gotta love the bright-eyed, eager, multi-tasking optimist he was before all the darkness fell in upon him (and there are plenty of talented, successful actors, writers and directors in Hollywood who can sympathize with the force and pull of that darkness).

This guy was a soldier turned entertainer turned writer, actor, director and producer. And cross-dresser, sure. Whatever. Just liking Hallowe'en puts me in the freako category to some people.

He did what he did in Hollywood when a million other hopefuls had come seeking their own fortunes, and while he never made a dime, he still made real movies and we're still talking about him after 50 plus years. 

True, he's remembered mostly because his singular visions were bizarre, ineptly executed, his writing style at once Biblical and pedestrian ("Modern man is a hard-working human."?!?), his cast of regulars bordering on fringe 'Day of the Locust' creeps, etc., etc. (and of course... etc.!).

But his brilliance was in his tolerant worldview and his love for life. Before the madness took him, he did exactly what he wanted, tried for the brass ring, walked with gusto and without fear into his dreams to wrest what glory he could from his own unique visions.

I think it's pretty safe to say he never succeeded at any of that, not really. Not while he was alive anyway. But he did, for a time, live a life that has inspired many people to dream big, to be true to themselves, and make their own crazy visions become reality.

And that part of the man is heroic, because anyone can enter the system, blend in and be a 'success' if they simply abandon all of their originality, vision and passion.

For all the good and ill it did him, he never abandoned his passion, and that is why he's more famous today than he ever was in his lifetime.

Our angora sweaters off to you, Edward D. Wood Jr!

More Hallowe'en to come. Keep enjoying your October!


1 comment:

  1. I have to totally agree! He was one guy who I admire for chasing his dreams no matter what.

    BTW, love the post! I laughed out loud (oh, sorry, I was supposed to say LOL!) when you said, "No more than I already do, I should say."