It boggles comprehension how far from favor quillmanship has fallen. Once upon a Freer America, skill with the quill was the mark of a refined gentleman, and ‘beautiful prose’ once entailed aesthetics in the writing. Nowadays, in today’s frivolous insta-Frappucappucino, I-Want-It-All (and I want it now!), Heisenberg’s Uncertain Principles world, any meandering dullard can push out a thousand words with a BIC. Gone are the days when a fountain pen’s artisan keystrokes festooned a blog. I – I alone! – fight the terrible and necessary fight against eroding morals, striking each key not with ball-point hedonism but with the measured care of the fountain pen.
Yet my struggle is one not only of means but of ends; namely, I find myself deeply concerned with the lapsus virtus of a certain Johannes Futenball and the printing press of sin known as this same man’s Instant Gram chronicle. Namely:
When Johnny Manziel was drafted, I was under the impression that we had drafted a Lawful Good, immune both to the snares of vice and the snare drums of Rock and Roll bands. You can say I was naïve; you can ask me, “RalpherZ, have you ever even Googled Johnny Manziel?” No, obviously I have not Googled Johnny Manziel. Netscape Navigator is my typewriter’s only internet browser. Classist, is what that question is.
All of which leads to the real issue: the fact that I was Blindsided with Sandra Bullock by the fact that Manziel parties. I had thought we drafted a goodly upright Giles Corey, when in truth we drafted a decadent and depraved John Proctor. Instead of receiving a man whose opposition to wizardry was boundless – not even one bound – we have an adulterer who runs opposite the ways of the Lᴏʀᴅ.
“But Ralph,” you say, “The Crucible is a deeply sexist play despite its entirely reasonable criticism of McCarthyism. Moreover, Ralph,” you continue to my ongoing irritation, “if Manziel were Giles Corey, wouldn’t you be implicating his intelligence and tact? After all, it was Corey’s indiscretion that implicated himself and his wife to begin with.” It’s true: Giles Corey wasn’t particularly bright, and if I say that I want Manziel to imitate him, I in turn imply that I want Manziel to imitate a completely indiscreet persona. And it’s true: this might be a reasonable point if you’re a damn communist. Are you, or are you not?
Flawed parallels aside, I don’t remember signing up for this new Johnny Manziel. When the Cleveland Browns picked Manziel, his reputation was that of a down-to-earth, lead-by-example sort of guy. I don’t remember reading a single report saying that he ever had an off-the-field persona other than a hard-working honors student, and frankly, the fact that he’s taken up a jetsetting lifestyle now is greatly disturbing to me – as a Browns fan, as a citizen, and as a parent. Well, if not ‘parent,’ per se, at least the owner of a lizard. I call him ‘Hall’ (He’s a Monitor; it’s a clever pun). And I don’t want dear Hall looking at Johnny Manziel’s very public, sin-laden lifestyle and ask me, “Ssssssssss?” How do you answer that question? Johnny can do what he wants privately, I guess, but the moment he started bringing his depravity to my television screen was the moment we had a problem.
Disappointed, I suppose, is what I am. My expectations clearly didn’t meet reality. Johnny Manziel likes the parties – I’ve resigned myself to that fact. I don’t like it, but I don’t know what else to express about it is disappointment. It’s his life; I just hope he doesn’t start associating with the Hip-and-Hop artists. I’m not sure my quill would be steady enough to write about that.