Grammar, capes, and me

9 Nov

from January 3, 2007

It is very interesting to me, and I’m the one who counts, that I can carry on epic email conversations with people that I see every day. If I’m not doing anything else and I’m on the computer, which is always, I can send umpteen bamillion emails, and I never let anything end because, let’s face it, I’m fascinating on the email, in person not so much. The real interesting part is that these massive electronic communiqués (HA! Take that!) are not, at all, ever referred to in any real, verbal, conversations that I may have in person, face to face, with the person to whom (proper use of “whom”- 5 points!) I am speaking. [And this is where I take a 90-degree turn and shift topic. Sit back and enjoy.] Go back and reread that last sentence. I’ll wait..………… Done? OK. I don’t talk like that. Yet I write like that.  I’m writing this more or less on the fly, composed in my head as I type, unedited. I wonder what an editor would do to this? First, the parenthetical asides (See? I am a writer. “Parenthetical asides” indeed. Sometimes I make myself sick with my smug intelligence.) would go. (Don’t you hate it when the aforementioned “parenthetical asides” are longer than the sentences they are interrupting? Here is the same sentence sans parentheses: First, (and should that be “firstly”? Ah crap, now I have to start over.) First, the parenthetical asides would go. Second(ly?) there are six(!) commas and about a thousand or so clauses in there. (Yet not one sanity clause. (“You can’t fool me. There’s no such thing as Santy Claus,” My first Chico Marx reference!)) Go back and check- that double parentheses is not a typo, though technically I should have used brackets inside the parenthesis. But who gives a fuck? Oh- I need to close the original parentheses here.) Done. This is like the second time I’ve had fun with parentheses in a blog. Go back and check. And yes, this is fun to me. And no, I refuse to break paragraphs here. This is a stream-of-consciousness deal here, so live with it. You only read this, but this ACTUALLY GOES ON IN MY HEAD. [And this is where I return to the original topic. You may need to reread the first few lines. It is all very confusing.] As I was saying, my conversations at work with real people are totally separate from the email conversations I have with the same people. Frankly, this is all I have to say about that. Let’s change topics again. Let’s talk about the death of James Brown. This was a very sad event. It was the end of an era. James Brown was, you see, perhaps the last man who could legitimately wear a cape. No one wears capes anymore. I don’t mean like superheroes. I mean real people. The fat Elvis wore capes; silly sequined ones, but capes nonetheless. Old British nannies wore capes, as did old British cops. Frank Costanza’s lawyer wore one. (And there I go violating the “real people rule,” but I love that episode and it was Larry David in the cape, and it ended with the line “Who are you?” “I’m Frank Costanza’s lawyer” so I’ll break the damn rule.) The movie star to whom all others are compared, and all others fall short, Bela Lugosi, wore a cape. He was buried in a cape! Tell me that’s not cool. So when James Brown died a certain era, a certain way of life, died with him. Like Frank Sinatra (Senior, not Junior- and who else laughed at my “Frank Sinatras Junior and Senior” joke in my last bulletin? Oh, only me.) Like Frank Sinatra before him (ignore the sentence fragment) Like Frank Sinatra before him, James Brown was the epitome of a certain, not just style, but way of living. Sinatra had that tough guy, macho, beat-up-the-commies swagger of the 1950’s and James Brown had something similar I’m sure but he had a cape too, damn it. Who else today can wear a cape? (I would have said Gerald Ford, had he not died. And now I’m using him as a mediocre joke in a James Brown gag. How sad. For me, not him.) Think about it. Would Tom Hanks wear a cape? Would Sir Ian McKellan wear a cape? Would Ludacris wear a cape? I think not, sir. (Say that in an offended upper class British accent for the full effect. Perhaps something out of Python.) So with James Brown goes the end of the cape era. But one question remains- what the hell should I do with all my capes? I have like a closet full of them and I don’t want to look like an idiot. I’m not going to wear them in public. People will think I’m mocking James Brown.


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