I was cheered to hear that the war-torn Bosnian city of Mostar has just announced that it is to erect a statue to remind people of Bruce Lee’s “loyalty, friendship, skill and justice”.
The man who came up with the idea, writer Veselin Gatalo said: “Lee is a true international hero and is a hero to all ethnicities in Bosnia and that’s why we picked him.”
Mr Gatalo is to be applauded not just for his intention of finding common bonds but also in his choice of Bruce Lee for that purpose.
Much nonsense has been written about the martial arts legend, and I do not want to add to it here! For what is important is the general principle. Bruce Lee, ‘a fighter’ who in films is seen regularly punching and kicking his way through his opposition represents peace and harmony.
Those who choose to lazily and superficially look at an artist’s work, whether it be an actor like Lee or a musician like Eminem through a prejudiced prism and shout about the danger of their films and lyrics should come to realise that artistic representation does not always imply advocacy and that history through its longer lens will inevitably come to its own more objective and valuable assessment.
That assertion is not there to condone any lyric or any film – it is there merely to say: Look at the evidence before you make your judgement.
As Bruce Lee’s wife, Linda Lee Caldwell said on the 30th anniversary of his death: “Everyone can relate to having limitations in life,” she said, “and Bruce is an icon to them in overcoming those limitations.
Maybe it’s time for some critics to take note of that fine message.