The writing is on THE WALL and trust me kids, I'm betting that it didn't get there using a pen. It most probably got there via a laptop, tablet, phablet or smart phone. And what does that wall scrawl say?
It says, "The pen is dead."
Here's the thing. I don't know about you but I simply don't write anymore. I mean I write all the time, but I never pick up a pen to do it.
And in those extremely rare occasions when I have to sign my name along the Fed Ex line or on the credit card machine, I'm as graceful as a learning disabled monkey while doing it. Why? Because handwriting no longer feels natural to me anymore and to me that is very sad.
I remember LUSTING after pens when I was growing up. Bic was the pen that everyone coveted. There was something sexy about a Bic pen. It had a cap that identified the ink color (Genius!) which had this long stem attached to it that you could chew on until it resembled a withered canary's leg.
And don't get me started about the Bic Click -- the multi-colored pen of the future where you could slide your way to all kinds of colors, including the inexplicable color green. What the hell were they thinking there? Was this for St. Patrick's day where you could potentially draw yourself a really nice green moustache? I mean did you ever once in your life, either have even the urge or the specific instruction to use green ink only? Black and blue I get. Red, a close cousin to green actually. Red was good when you were drawing like Superman emblems and crazy eyes. But green? Good for drawing perhaps, matching money symbols on your eyelids, but that's about it.
God, I just loved loved loved pens. I spent endless boy hours practicing my autograph for when I would inevitably achieve fame as either an actor, an astronaut or as the ticket taking guy at the Hollis Movie theater on Jamaica Avenue. (That I thought, was THE job. You got to dress like you were a '40s movie star, eat all the popcorn you wanted, see all the movies for free and yet you didn't have to leave your block and could be home for supper because you could actually hear your mother bellowing your name from the living room window).
Like most boys, I spent most of my down time drawing enormous breasts. I was, in fact, the Michelangelo of the well-doodled boob. We're talking breasts the size of Star Jones's head. They were not just drawings. Those breasts were my Super friends and I loved them.
There was also the thrill from getting a secret note passed to you without the teacher noticing. Somehow texting? Not as thrilling -- unless you are hanging from a bridge and are madly texting for help.
And what of love letters? Without them, there would be no A.J. Gurney play. Two actors would show up, sit in front of you and have nothing to say. This I believe would make for one very boring night at the theater.
Are you getting the bleak picture here? The hell with global warming. This is a CRISIS.
The near useless pen of today is just one of many school supplies that are sold in bulk like like paper clips and rubber bands in the aisles of Staples.
To me it's like like visiting a pen cemetery and I'm just there to pay my respects because who the hell needs a new pen?
I will tell you this. The high end pen that you always see advertised in the New York Times around graduation time and Father's Day is still the single best investment that you can make. I mean, say you're walking around town with like 10 Montblanc pens in your pants and you suddenly get mugged. Do you really think that the mugger will want your pens? Trust me he cares a lot more about lifting those expensive sneakers that you're rocking.
So my advice to you rich people is: Spend thousands of dollars on pens and feel free to walk around flaunt those little beauties to your heart's delight, like rappers show off their diamond pinky rings and matching teeth or the way Trump shows off his wife, Tribeca, or whatever the hell her name is.
And yes, there are all the crossword puzzle fanatics who still use a pencil or that cocksure pen but you know that sometime in the very near future there will be a clue that reads: "Three letters across, meaning, "the instrument that everyone in the world once used for writing" and no one will get it. Not even Will Shortz.
The pen was once mightier than the sword. It even killed a man in Godfather 3. Hitting the bad guy with a Macbook Air? Not as refreshing.
Writers from Shakespeare to Twain wrote timeless classics with their pad and pens (and I hear in their underpants) and trust me, no one needed spellcheck to write The Declaration of Independence.
The pen was an extension of who we were as human beings. We wrote from heart to hand and back again and there was no electronic middle man required. Hand to brush or hand steeped in sculpting clay was all that was needed to fill every great museum in the world.
We get to re-visit lost ancient civilizations by coming into close, intimate contact with the tools that were once used by it's original practitioners. It's the closest thing, even more than film and recording, that we have to actual time travel.
Sadly, today, the past is treated with both idle derision and callous disrespect. We blithely toss things away the minute that we are seduced by the next must have thing. Our everyday lives are all about the obsession that we have with our obsessions.
As deeply gratifying as immediate gratification and its bitch, Fios are, to this writer guy, nothing will ever take the place of genuine, skill, craftsmanship and the tools, including the pen, that came with it.
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