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[Tidbits] Gort! Klaatu barada nikto!


I have two films that are my all time favorites. 1-The Day The Earth
Stood Still (with Michael Rennie)… and… 2-The Third Man (with
Orson Welles). Now… I am sure this interests no one. However… I
have a point to make… so bear along. We are talking about film
number 1 only as it relates to the title of this Tidbits. And
alternate title could easily and more accurately have been: A Gold
and Jade Burial Suit.

It’s the time of the Western Han Dynasty. We’ve just trekked into the
Western Han tomb in Mancheng, Hebei Province. This is the final
resting place of Liu Sheng, Prince Jing of the State of Zhongshan. We
find some gold needles and gold thread… and two jade and gold
suits… one for the prince… one for his wife. The jades are linked
together with the gold threads. The suits weigh 1800 grams.
Parenthetically… the state treasury at that time contained 400,000
Jin of gold. Alas… I don’t know if a Jin is a unit of weight or of
money. Is it an ounce… is it a shekel? Is there no end to the
mysteries of life? Still… a gold and jade suit. Ye gads man…
we’re talking conspicuous consumption here.

And now to Gort. Gort was a robot. Klaatu was his master… and the
command of the title was a directive to Gort not to destroy the
earth. And the reason for this oblique connection? Well… as it
happens … at least as I see it… these gold and jade suits
engulfing the bodies of prince and princess bear a striking
resemblance to Gort. Go take a look… for those of you old enough to
not only remember this film… but also memory-capable enough to
remember seeing it. And tell me if you don’t agree that these gold
encased bodies look very much like Gort.

As to thems out there who might say… yeah… gold and jade… jade
and gold… but they’re suits… not jewelry. To you I say…
yeah… gold and jade… jade and gold… and they’re suits… and
they look like Gort… so isn’t that justification enough? Yes? No?

For those of you who are new to this thing called Tidbits…may I
direct you to my home page at where you will
scroll down the left side menu till you get to the area that says
Current Tidbits… and then click on it in order to view a gold and
jade suit encasing a body and hailing back to the Western Han

And there ya have it.
That’s it for this week folks.
Catch you all next week.
Benjamin Mark