Wednesday, May 31, 2006

South Beach dyin'...

Little known fact: During what the unenlightened still refer to as the “Dark Ages,” our [cough] venerable académie was run by a staff of but six lowly functionaries – the only to survive the ravages of the Black Death. Imagine: Piles of berobed and buboed corporate corpulence, rotting outside DonKay’s walls while six decidedly lucky and unstiff underlings sat inside, manning the inkwells, taking submissions. They are, as you can imagine, an inspiration to us here at 1430 -- and to anonymous archivists everywhere -- but no more so than those blessed souls who took the time to submit at such a hellish time. Like Deborah Blackwood, late summer, 1348.

I know they all survived at Eame cause of their hairy cattl’, that looks so daft the devil chooses ‘em for death and lets the peoplefolk live, but ‘ere in Sussex we got ‘it ‘ard. I lost me brother and me aunt, plus me cousin. ‘Ow’d I make it then? Let me share this valuable information with you honorables at the académie, see if it ‘elps. Now I was right sick, laid up in me bunk, I had the scratchies, the bumpies, the cough, I was in bad let me tell you. I was so bad that me brother Francis left me for dead one night and went to the pub to knock off his melancholie an weepin’. Like a good boy he made him some bacon for he left. Well in the willies of the night I got out of me death bed, completely out of my buzzle-bum, blind mad, I hardly remember. But apparently I stumbled into the kitchen and tossed back the ‘ole pitcher of fat. Thought it was milk, I reckon. I hardly knows, it was that way that Francis found me, passed out front the hearth and with waxy white dribbles down me little chin. Next day I was betta’ and poor Francis died before Michaelmas was over. Who knew? But ever since, I’ve been a big fan o’ the piggies. Maybe the devil can’t do nuffink about those who’ll eat everything on god’s good green earth.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Passive, tense...

Many remember one of the famousist reality tv couples of 2001, Franz and Fran, German/Boricua couple whose amazing race ended when she disqualified them by refusing to descend a zip line between two bell towers in Prague. They broke up right then and there but were featured in subsequent reunion competitions giving each other dirty yet longing glances. Fritz is in the academie (inherited). He often submits on this subject, wanting to give the ‘real story’ of what happened to the academie for eternal storage. Us putting it back out on the streets where it can once again be undercut might be questionable ethics on 1430’s part, but ethics are always in question.

We thought that speaking Spanish would be a way to protect ourselves from the world. Even though a camera was in our face while we made split-
second decisions, we could be safe in our little bubble of language. But we should have known that giving the TV people one more layer of interpretation in the form of subtitles would just let them exploit us further. Of course they always made things between Fran and I worse than they really were. But the time I can’t forgive is the big one, up at the zip line. Of course I was pissed off —- it was right then that I decided that in life as a total, her tenacious stubbornness couldn’t make up for her lack of logical thinking -- but I never got violent.

What I said in that moment was “da ganas de empujarte,” which means “The situation gives one the desire to push you.” It’s passive. But of course they translated it to,‘I wanna push you off,’ which made me look like the total bad guy. Now when I run into Latinos at bars I always ask them to back me up on the matter, and usually they do, but not by adressing the structure of the sentence, but by saying that they would have pushed her too. And when I say that I didn’t push her, they say “claro que no,” which means not ‘clearly not’ which sounds harsh, but actually just ‘of course not.’