Sunday, May 30, 2010

Dennis Lee Hopper May 17, 1936 – May 29, 2010

A little light in the world went out last night . . .

"Zap em' with your sirens, man! Zap em' with your sirens! There's mines over there, there's mines over there, and watch out those goddamn monkeys bite, I'll tell ya."

Hey, man, you don't talk to the Colonel. You listen to him. The man's enlarged my mind. He's a poet-warrior in the classic sense. I mean, sometimes he'll, uh, well, you'll say "Hello" to him, right? And he'll just walk right by you, and he won't even notice you. And suddenly he'll grab you, and he'll throw you in a corner, and he'll say "Do you know that 'if' is the middle word in life? 'If you can keep your head when all about you are losing theirs and blaming it on you, if you can trust yourself when all men doubt you'..." – I mean, I'm no, I can't – I'm a little man, I'm a little man, he's, he's a great man. I should have been a pair of ragged claws scuttling across floors of silent seas – I mean . . .

- Dennis Hopper in "Apocalypse Now!"

This is a variation 'If you can keep your head...' a quote from Rudyard Kipling's If


If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you;
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or, being lied about, don't deal in lies,
Or, being hated, don't give way to hating,
And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise;

If you can dream - and not make dreams your master;
If you can think - and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with triumph and disaster
And treat those two imposters just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to broken,
And stoop and build 'em up with wornout tools;

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breath a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: "Hold on";

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with kings - nor lose the common touch;
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you;
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds' worth of distance run -
Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,
And - which is more - you'll be a Man my son!

- Rudyard Kipling


  1. I think the quote you've posted was spoken by Marlon Brando as Colonel Kurtz, not Hopper's photojournalist. Not that it matters either way. Great film. Great actors.

    The world will miss Dennis Hopper.

  2. I suspected this myself, and finding a little more time on my hands, did some searching and came up with a better rant . . . PLUS I managed to get Brother Rudyard in there . . .

    . . . TEAMWORK is a lot of what Blog STORMBRINGER is all about . . . always remember - there is no I in TEAM (but there is a ME) =D

    - S.L.

  3. The one thing about "If", is that it was written about a buffoon: Leander Starr Jameson.

    One of Kipling's few errors of judgment. Sad in itself.

    The other thing, sadder yet, is that Kipling wrote it for his son.

    Lt. Jack Kipling of the Irish Guards walked towards the machine guns at Loos in 1915. His body was never found..."one turn of pitch and toss."