Thursday, March 08, 2007

A Slapstick Death

Gilles Villeneuve's crash is also worth a mention. It's an extravagant, absolutely ludicrously violent, cartoonish accident. His Ferrari seems to modestly, even coyly, tap the rear wheel of Jochen Mass's car ahead of it. Immediately it shoots up off the track like an airplane, flips backwards, pounds itself top-first into the ground, bounces, flips, flips, bounces, flips again, pouring parts off with every gyration. It flies through the air – it ain't over! – and flips and bounces and flips, and finally it smacks down to the ground again, the chassis half-denuded now, with a – dare I say – comically emphatic thud.

Ta-daa!

It's a slapstick death, frankly. Resolutely spectacular and over the top. Clownish in the best way. In the way a clown will offer body and soul on the altar of our childish and kingly wants. It's the sort of death that Buster Keaton would've envied. And to tell you the truth, the way Gilles drove, it was absolutely fitting and he oughta be proud of it to.

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