Monday, July 18, 2011

Dickbrains & Big Brains

My friend Laura sent me a link to the best hostile parking notes left on cars. I liked a lot of them. But I liked this one best. There's a certain brevity and crudeness that just strikes the right chord. I like that the author felt the need to label the machine in which we are viewing the parking offender. Had it not been an X-ray machine, I'm not sure how we would have seen the phallus lodged in the man's cranium.

I also suspect some of my admiration stems from jealousy.

You see, I can't draw. Never could. Had I even the slightest ability to craft shapes and figures, my career might have taken a different path. I would have pursued a life as a cartoonist. And no doubt secured a staff position with the New Yorker.

In fact this cartoon reminds me of so many of my own limitations. I've come to realize that I have but one style of writing. It's a silly, inconsequential smart ass voice that I have spent years honing. But it wreaks of immaturity and will never produce anything of literary substance. I've tried my hand at short stories and other long form composition but have never been happy with the results.

Perhaps that's why I'm also jealous of musicians. They can seamlessly jump from one genre to the next. They're all the same notes, musicians just have to play them at different tempos with different rhythms  in different styles. If I were a musician I'd entertain myself night and day playing everything from Bach to Bachman Turner Overdrive.

Lately I've become a regular reader of George Tannenbaum's blog. George and I have never met, but we share a similar background. We're both Jews from NY, both employed in the ad business for quite some time and we're both willing to vent our frustrations with advertising, and life, into the blogosphere on a daily basis. Only George is much more prodigious than me, and sometimes writes two to three entries a DAY.

NYC will do that to you.

I like reading his columns for another reason. And again, this points to my own limitations. He uses words that I won't. More accurately, that I can't. A few weeks ago, he non-chalantly dropped the word miasma into a sentence. That's a great word. I know that word and I know what it means, but as I'm clacking away at the keyboard, that word would never trip across my fingertips. It's just not in my writing repertoire. He also used the word lacuna. That one went sent me straight to the dictionary. I know what it means now, but I can say with 99% certainty that I'll never use it.

I'm not sure George has the same appreciation for the Dickbrain cartoon as I do. I think it appeals more to simpletons like myself. And that's OK, because there's plenty of room in the blogosphere for National Lampoon-fed writers like me, and smart ones like George, who is clearly more erudite.

I just had to run back to the dictionary to make sure I wasn't calling him some kind of cave ornament.


geo said...

Aw, shucks.

You, however, are not a dickbrain. In fact, you're one of the funniest people I "know."

geo said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Berk said...

Nice. Jumping from genre to genre can be an entertaining distraction but, taken to far, would only detract from the pursuit of the mastery you had sought since god knows when. I too think your one of the funniest guys I know. So, by all means, please keep on doing what you do best and let the other guys do the same.