Saturday, 1 October 2005

Get Sad

If 60s and early 70s TV was a formative part of my childhood - and it was - and if this has somehow affected my poetry - and it has - then no single show was a greater influence than Get Smart.

I loved Max(well) Smart, and his eventual wife, 99 in the way one does when one yearns to become the object of desire. Beyond the comedy of their relationship, I saw the erotic humours that made it work - he bumbling, but good, she sexy but competent - and I think this has shaped my onw private life to this day.

It is therefore with much sadness that I learn of the recent death of Don Adams, who portrayed Max.

Adams himself never amounted to much after this one great role, somehow unable to escape the watertight chamber of his own curious blend of daily suavity and screwball voice - as if KAOS itself had designed some far-fetched trap his life and career could never extricate themselves from - a giant magnet holding him back.

Those who collect my early chapbooks will know that my second pamphlet, The Cone of Silence, was named after a running gag on the show - the start of my many buried homages to popular film, TV and music in my poems. Now Max has gone to a cone that will be forever silent, unless the Chief lifts it on resurrection day.
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