Wednesday, April 29, 2009

The Tyson-Wilde Comparison

James Toback's new Mike Tyson documentary features the unhinged prizefighter reading an excerpt from Oscar Wilde's Ballad of Reading Gaol:

Yet each man kills the thing he loves
By each let this be heard,
Some do it with a bitter look,
Some with a flattering word,
The coward does it with a kiss,
The brave man with a sword!

Aligning Mike Tyson, a convicted rapist with a fondness for firearms, with Oscar Wilde, an aesthete sent to prison for his homosexuality, deserves the Academy Award for Audacity.

(If you get to Paris, then head to Cimetiere Pere Lachaise and skip Jim Morrison's final resting place. Check out Oscar Wilde's tomb, known as L'Homme-Oiseau. Also worth a look is Victor Noir's, murdered in 1848 and renowned for his power to make women fertile from the afterlife.)