The boy who knew too much: a child prodigy

This is the true story of scientific child prodigy, and former baby genius, Ainan Celeste Cawley, written by his father. It is the true story, too, of his gifted brothers and of all the Cawley family. I write also of child prodigy and genius in general: what it is, and how it is so often neglected in the modern world. As a society, we so often fail those we should most hope to see succeed: our gifted children and the gifted adults they become. Site Copyright: Valentine Cawley, 2006 +

Monday, June 08, 2009

David Carradine's posthumous fame.

It is bizarre. David Carradine is already more famous for dying, than for living. His death, in mysterious circumstances, has ensured that, far from being largely unnoticed, at death (as I suspect he would have been, had he not died in the way he did), more attention is being paid to him now, than he ever received in life.

It is notable that, after David Carradine's Kwai Chang Caine role in "Kung Fu", that he led a rather quiet career, for the most part, from the viewpoint of the public. Yes, it is true that he appeared in around 200 shows...but it is also true that most of these roles went largely unnoted. David Carradine was very much an "under the radar", actor, until he was cast as Bill, in Kill Bill, by Quentin Tarantino. Then, again, for a brief time, David Carradine was noticed by the global public - or at least that part of it which likes Quentin Tarantino films (by no means a majority of people, but certainly a fair proportion).

David Carradine's last scene will be forever remembered. Unfortunately, it is a scene of peculiar death: a still shot, imagined in the minds of most readers, of a naked man, bound and suspended from a closet railing. However, this situation has one effect that, as an actor, David Carradine might have appreciated: his career and work may now gain much more notice than they would have done had he quietly slipped away, from natural causes, as most actors (and most people) do. David Carradine's misfortune has the one redeeming feature that he will now never be forgotten - at least, in the lifetime of anyone now living in the developed world, with access to the media.

Yet, there is a tragedy in this situation, too. For is it not sad that a man can be more noticed for dying bizarrely, than for making a creative effort in 200 televisual and filmic productions, throughout five decades? This speaks for the modern world's appetite for strange news, over their appetite for film. It seems that people are more interested in the oddities of the real world, than in anything film has to offer.

Perhaps it all comes down to the power of gossip. David Carradine has died in an eminently gossip worthy fashion. Now, even if the truth turns out to be a rather simple, if odd, case of auto-erotic asphyxiation, that truth will never be allowed to live alone. Alongside it will be spoken any number of theories of why and how he died. Forevermore, there will be tales of murder, of another, or others, present in the room at his death and discussion of whether it was all accidental or suicidal. No matter what the results of the autopsy are, no matter what the police decide, the conspiracy theorists will yabber on, gossip will continue to circulate and the tale of David Carradine's death will just grow bigger and bigger. Not until everyone on Earth has heard of it and discussed it to, excuse me, death, will the gossiping cease. By then, of course, everyone will know of David Carradine, even if they had never before seen any of his work (which is quite possible, particularly if the people concerned are too young to have seen the first run of Kung Fu from 1972 to 1975).

David Carradine is dead. However, in another sense, David Carradine is immortal. By dying as he has, he has, most probably inadvertently, ensured that he will never be forgotten. David Carradine's posthumous fame, is far greater than David Carradine's fame in life ever was. That, perhaps, is the strangest thing of all - even stranger than to end up hung naked from a closet in a Bangkok hotel two days into filming the appropriately named French film production, "Stretch".

(If you would like to learn more of Ainan Celeste Cawley, a scientific child prodigy, aged eight years and seven months, or his gifted brothers, Fintan, five years exactly, and Tiarnan, twenty-eight months, please go to: I also write of gifted education, IQ, intelligence, the Irish, the Malays, Singapore, College, University, Chemistry, Science, genetics, left-handedness, precocity, child prodigy, child genius, baby genius, adult genius, savant, wunderkind, wonderkind, genio, гений ребенок prodigy, genie, μεγαλοφυία θαύμα παιδιών, bambino, kind.

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posted by Valentine Cawley @ 8:06 AM 


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