As a keen philatelist, as a vegan and as a male who claims to experience menstruation-sympathy cramps, I could identify strongly with Woody Harrelson’s character, Graham, in Rampart. In this film, Harrelson plays that rarest of creatures: a cop who is also a quiet man of conscience and a radical thinker. Graham enjoys nut roasts and can put forward convincing arguments for and against polyamorousness. He never lets his work responsibilities get in the way of his duties as a dweller of mother earth. In one taut scene, for example, Graham’s corrupt boss instructs him to beat up a suspect and steal his drugs. Graham, like a bearded vicar in jeans, replies that he would love to, but that he has to go and help some disadvantaged children sew turnip seeds on an inner-city allotment.
Graham once wrote a song about a cricket called ‘Mr Noisy Knees’.
His teacher said it showed real promise.
Harrelson is chiefly famous for his turn as ‘Dr Koulikas’ in Cheers. Before Harrelson joined Cheers, most episodes consisted of a pickled fatsack called Norm flirting with an uncomely postman, called Stan or Chief or something like that. It was pretty grim stuff, even by the standards of the alcoholic self-haters who constituted its target demographic. But as Koulikas, a barman living a secret life as a disgraced Greek doctor, doling out backstreet abortions like peanuts or pork scratchings in the tap room of the pub, Harrelson brought a tingling intensity to an otherwise insipid sitcom.
Now Harrelson can put Cheers behind him. His performance in Rampart will go down in cinematic history. Harrelson, as Graham, is an example to males everywhere. He shows us that we don’t have to punch women in their reproductive organs in order to earn the respect of our fellow men. We don’t have to eat meat or spread our seed far and wide like a defective piece of farming machinery. We can be sensitive and thoughtful. We can eschew the flesh of fowl and beast, and live instead on a hearty selection of lentil dishes and non-dairy quiche. At least I assume that’s what Rampart is all about. I wouldn’t know, of course. I haven’t seen it.