Jacob and the Angel (the one-armed man) or The Wrestler

detail of Jacob and the Angel (the one armed man) ~2008

detail of Jacob and the Angel (the one-armed man) or The Wrestler ~2008

It’s funny how the weak can suddenly become powerful when the strong try to wield their power against them.

I remember when I was a kid, staying up late on Sunday night to watch Tom Baker as Dr. Who on the Chicago public television station, channel 11 WTTW. I remember a theme to the Tom Baker Dr. Who, he represented civilization incarnate. He met crises armed by the loyalty of his friends won by his selflessness, his conviction and unerring sense of right and wrong–he was a natural leader. Even his scarf communicated something of the man’s character. It was the type of thing one knits by hand as a gift for another. This one was extravagant in it’s length, and The Dr. wore it prized, though loosely, round his neck. It was from the Tom Baker Dr. Who I first heard the maxim: ‘Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent.’ I would come across the source of this quote a few years later when I read Isaac Asimov’s, The Foundation Series. Like The Foundation, an enterprise begun in the wake of the collapse of the Galactic Empire to preserve the accumulated sum of all human knowledge, Dr. Who found other ways of contesting the agendas of the senselessly brutal… knowledge and wisdom. And like any real Paladin, he was destined to meet the greatest threats to civilization. He did so with the capability of deciphering the most petty heart and brutal mind; he looked wickedness right in the eye and epitomized the sentiment, “No further.” He was The Lord of Time. Those bent on the vain, wanton pursuit of power, were merely flashes in the pan, but the Dr. was immortal.


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