The death of David Carradine is unfortunate, of course—reminds of why my short-lived plan to to do an "Artists Who Killed Themselves" audio round was idiotic—but I can't pretend that I was ever a fan. I've never seen Kung Fu (for shame, I know), and I have to confess that I often confused him with his half brother Robert Carradine, star of one of my favorite movies in my callow youth.
And really, I have a bone to pick with Mr. Carradine, or at least one of his characters. In Kill Bill Vol. 2, he gives the following speech:
Interesting, but there's a problem with this that rankles my geeky soul. Yes, true, Superman didn't become Superman, he was born that way, Clark Kent is his commentary on us pitiful earthlings. But the comparison (however brief, or merely implied) with Batman is false. Batman is the same way: The costumed hero is who he really is, "Bruce Wayne"—or at least the rich dingbat that the public believes Bruce Wayne to be—is the disguise. (This point was slammed over our heads in Batman Begins.) When his parents were murdered, he essentially became Batman, even if he'd yet to concoct that specific identity; he constructed the Wayne facade to throw people off the trail. (At least, according to most continuity; you know how it is with comics.)
Silly, of course, to blame this in any way on Mr. Carradine; he didn't write that speech, and his performance was spot-on. But really, isn't flinging arrows at Quentin Tarantino just way too '90s at this point?