Sunday, June 07, 2009

...And then, David Carradine

I am horrified to find myself fascinated by the strange situation left in the wake of David Carradine's passing. I need a "breaking news" feature installed in my toolbar or something, to keep track of developments; I am at the mercy of Wikipedia editors. Everyone first seemed to assume suicide; then autoerotic asphyxia; and now there is this odd detail that his hands were bound - that his throat, hands, and penis were connected in some way.

This does not immediately suggest a case of autoerotic asphyxia; men usually do not masturbate with their hands tied, be it above their head or behind their backs (both scenarios have been reported). If Carradine was into shibari or had some sort of extreme attraction to edgeplay, maybe it would be conceivable, but... that's a pretty significant level of kinkiness we're talking about. In fact, an ex-wife has come forward with stories that may support such theories. Meanwhile, Thai newspapers are catering to the desire to gawk by running pictures of his body. (The newspaper in question has a site, here, but I have yet to find a picture on it).

Perhaps even worse than the desire to gawk: there is a strong tendency to tease in such circumstances, even in the face of death - a very interesting article by Matt Mills, reprinted in the current Xtra West, about teasing, prudery, and sex (actually focusing more on the criminalization of relatively harmless sexual activity, but it's still apropos).

I really do want to know what happened. I hope there is a thorough investigation. I half-suspect that someone may have been involved in the transaction - it may still prove an accidental death, but there was talk of a mysterious footprint, at one point. (And now, I discover, rumours of secret kung fu societies that the actor was investigating. Seems like image-spin to me...).

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