It’s time for Jose Melendez’s KEYS TO THE COMMENTS.
During Jose’s time working for the Massachusetts State Legislature, he learned that there is an old saying about constituents and issues. "One constituent calling on an issue is a crank, five are a movement, 10 are a crisis." Well, Jose’s comments on Pride and Prejudice yesterday garnered three critical comments, moving them closer to movement then they are to crank. Thus, Jose, in keeping with U.S. foreign policy, has decided to launch a preemptive strike. In the tradition of lazy sports writers everywhere he will answer his readers when he has no ideas for a post/column. Jose brings you the first ever KEYS TO THE COMMENTS.
1. "Nooo Jose! This is my favorite website other than SoSH to check everyday, but you don't like Pride and Prejudice? Please explain in a further key!" Anonymous
"Ditto the first comment, Jose...". Anonymous
"How can Jose not like Pride and Prejudice? Does Jose not see the sarcasm and wit of this timeless satire on social positions?" Anonymous
Now that Jose notices that all three of these posts are anonymous, he realizes that perhaps Jose just has one fan who really, really likes Pride and Prejudice. Hmm…Ockham’s Razor would say that that is more likely than the theory that three of Jose’s readers loved that book. After all, can the crossover between fans of a baseball blog and Jane Austen really be that big? (Note: Unless the Melendezette and Jose’s mother, both of whom love that book are writing in.)
So on to Jose’s issues with Pride and Prejudice, a.k.a. the most boring book Jose has ever read cover to cover. (Note: Not necessarily the most boring book in history, though it probably is, just the most boring book Jose has ever read cover-to-cover. This is jut like how game three of the ALCS may not be the worst game in baseball history, but it is the worst Jose has ever watched all nine innings of.)
Jose’s first issue is that this book has a fundamentally deceptive title. When Jose picked up this book, he naturally assumed that it was about former Red Sox outfielder Curtis Pride and his struggle against discrimination from those who hate the deaf. Wrong! As it became clear that the 4-A outfielder was not the subject of this book, Jose began to expect that it would be about PRIDE fighting and the bigotry PRIDE promoter and legendary Japanese professional wrestler Antonio Inoki faced as a member of the Japanese Diet because of his wrestling background. Apparently, they thought that he was only going to pretend to legislate. Wrong again!! Finally, Jose assumed that if neither of his first two guesses were true, the book must at least be about a misfit young lion struggling to find his place in the pride and in the world, sort of like Shell Silversteins’s epic Lafcadio: The Lion Who Shot Back. Three times wrong!!! (Note: And maybe four times wrong, as Jose’s friend Mait has informed him that only female lions associate in prides.)
As it turns out, the book is about some Englishwoman and her prejudiced and foolish dismissal of one man in order to be courted by another. Jose defies anyone to say that he wouldn’t rather read about Curtis Pride. (Note: Observe Jose’s use of "he" in the previous sentence. Jose does not defy anyone to say that "she" wouldn’t rather read about the Englishwoman.)
Jose read this book as the summer reading for his 12th grade British Literature class along with the modestly less boring A Passage to India. That is the only way he ever would have read it. And as bad as it was, at least when he finished it, he knew he would never have to sit through it again. Of course, he was wrong yet again, and this brings him to his second complaint – that this book insidiously sneaks into other media. Jose knew when he went to see Bridget Jones’ Diary, it would be a chick flick that he probably wouldn’t like. But how could he possibly have know that it would have been nothing more than a vehicle to foist Pride and Prejudice upon an unsuspecting public.
Jose’s third objection is Austen’s ridiculous use of alliteration in the title of what is ostensibly a piece of high literature. Alliteration is fine for blogs, newspapers and Harlequin Romances, but for serious literature? Did Dostoyevsky call Crime and Punishment "Perpetrators and Punishment?" Did Melvillie call Moby Dick "Of Water and Whales?" Did God call the Bible "Sinners and Saviors?" Nope. Because they know alliteration is just a little trashy. Yo, Austen, you want to use a literary device in your title? Why not sack up and lay down some enjambent.
Finally, Jose hated Pride and Prejudice because it was simply boring. Boring like an Andy Reid press conference. Boring like a Pirates-Twins preseason game. If it was any more boring, it would be a power drill.
So the next time Jose read anything by an author named Austen, you can be sure it will be by Stone Cold Steve Austin, or possibly Austin Croshere’s biography. (Note: Speaking of boring.)
2. "Your discourse on the Eagle is appreciated, how about some "Keys to the BC Eagles 20-0 season"?" Xavier Hall
This item is a little bit dated, as the BC Eagles are now decidedly not undefeated, but Jose still thinks it deserves a response.
To be honest, the odds that Jose will ever write on the BC Eagles are not so good. Jose’s basically doesn’t like BC all that much. Why is an interesting question. After all, Jose, at the age of eight, was as swept up in Flutiemania as anyone. He went to see BC play Alabama at Foxboro in driving hail storm with a relative who had gone to Alabama. (Note: As Jose recalls, this relative, who was a Jew from Worcester, got to Alabama by a curious route. He had only gotten in to two colleges Holy Cross, right there in Worcester, and Alabama. His Jewish mother from some part of what was then the Soviet Union was not going to let her son go to Holy Cross, so Alabama it was. So the only question his mother had was "Zis A-la-ba-ma…Ees in Yoonited Stayts?")
Heck Granny Melendez even knitted Jose a sweater in gold and maroon with a football player bearing Flutie’s 22 on the back. Jose loved that sweater. Of course, the first time he wore it to school, some yokel ripped him for wearing an uncouth homemade garment and he stopped wearing it. (Note: Sorry about that Granny Melendez. That sweater was fantastic. If Jose still weighed 85 pounds, he would so be wearing that sweater.)
But the Flutie era ended, and so did Jose’s interest in BC. In fact, Jose started to downright dislike BC. Why is sort of unclear. Was it the legacy of his great-grandmother who grew up in the Bavarian town of Rothenburg ob der Tauber, where they still fight the 30 years war? Was rooting for a Catholic university, even for in his own home town, simply not in his blood? Was Jose desperately looking for a Japanese-German-Jewish University to root for? Or maybe just maybe…did Jose know even then , in his heart of hearts, that he would go to Boston University?
But Jose is a Boston guy, and he likes college sports okay, so he has pangs. Rooting for BU Football is not exactly compelling. (Note: When Ken Walter got the Patriots punting job, he beat out former BU punter Brad Costello. Jose was so disappointed. He desperately wanted the last BU player in the NFL to be a punter. Costello could have been there for 15 years after the program folded.) Every time BC starts to get some momentum in basketball or football (Note: Never Hockey…not ever hockey), Jose begins to feel the attraction of the local college story. Yes, deep down hidden away, Jose may even root for BC. But will he root enough to write about them? Not unless he wants to lose his 10 percent alumni discount at the BU Bookstore.
3. "It is well documented that Jose only refers to himself in the third person, with that one exception at the end of every KEYS. But what is the proper protocol for others to address Jose -- in the third person or the second person singular? Should I have been using "you" rather than "Jose" throughout this comment? And is the protocol the same or different for written and in-person communications? For example, if the Melendezette wishes to get Jose to turn off the damn WWF 2004 Highlights DVD already, does she say "Jose, you really need to go to bed" or "Jose, Jose really needs to go to bed"??? Thank you." Anonymous
This is a fascinating question. Actually, Jose doesn’t like to be addressed by others in the third person or the second person singular. No, he prefers the second person plural pronoun, which by a tremendous coincidence is the same as the second person singular in English. Of course, he likes the accompanying verbs to be in the second person singular. Jose only has hang ups about pronouns, not verbs.
SPECIAL BONUS: Jose is loathe to add a bonus, but he could not let today pass without mentioning one story of note from the Boston Globe. Apparently, a fellow named Mitch Kates is running the Boston mayoral campaign of city councilor at-large Maura Hennigan. Kates appears to be a middling political talent well-suited to a middling mayoral candidate, but he is not without a certain distinction. Once upon a time, Kates wrestled as Jason the Terrible, a goalie masked, ax wielding professional wrestler who in no way infringed upon the copyright of the Friday the 13th horror film franchise.
As you may have noticed, Jose is a bit of a pro-wrestling buff, and with that background, Jose offers some advice to the many influential Boston politicos who read and enjoy the KEYS. First, Jason the Terrible, as Jose recalls, claimed to wear the hockey mask to cover up a face that was horribly scarred in a fire that he started. It may have even bee a fire at an orphanage or foster home. Yet, in today’s Globe, Kates appears to be porcelain skinned. Where are the scars? Is he an arsonist, a liar or both? Either way, should he be running a mayoral campaign? Can the Globe editorialize on this? Second, Jose also recalls Jason the Terrible wrestling in Stampede wrestling in Calgary, Alberta Canada. Stampede, which may now be defunct, was long dominated by the famed Hart family, the most famous of whom are Brett "The Hitman" Heart and the late Owen Hart. Jose suggests that the Menino campaign hire a member of this family as an advisor to help him counter Jason. Jose suggests lesser known wrestler Jack Hart, who when last Jose heard, was representing South Boston in the state Senate…or does he just pretend to be a state Senator as his in ring gimmick. Sometimes it is so hard to tell.
I’m Jose Melendez, and those are my KEYS TO THE COMMENTS.