I am Salieri. And Carlo Garganese of Goal.com? He is Mozart.
Why hasn't someone told me before about this wonderful, wonderful writer?
Here's his comedy persona: he's a Serie A follower, who, despite suffering from the "Memento" disorder of being unable to remember before fifteen minutes ago, is nevertheless traditionalist to the point of puritanism.
Here's a work of his that drew 419 spittle-flecked comments: Juventus - Pride of Italy? Sample quote:
"But, Carlo...Nedved. Trezeguet. Thuram. Zidane. Deschamps. Platini. John Charles. Edgar Davids. Michael Laudrup. Emerson. Luis freaking Monti, the original oriundi (or whatever the Italian singular form is). I mean, Carlo...the entire history of the club."
That's what I said to myself. And then I thought, meh, he's just trolling for hits. If you can't get Goal.com commenters to go berserk, why bother. This is the equivalent of a pro wrestler wearing a rival team's sports jersey into an arena to get cheap heel heat. So I failed to appreciate his genius.
That was back in August. This week, Garganese released his masterpiece, his Mona Lisa, his Sergeant Pepper, his Snakes On A Plane.
That's just the title.
Goal.com did an admirable job setting this up, by the way. Under their "Comedy" tag, Garganese wrote a post about AC Milan moving to Brazil. By itself, it wasn't funny. I didn't realize it was a set-up to a masterful punchline.
The Kaka article, by the way, is not given the "Comedy" tag, which shows Goal.com's dedication to guerrilla humor.
Kaka is not, as of the writing of this sentence, transferring to Manchester City - but that literally does not matter. The Apostles probably didn't all sit on one side of the table, either, but does that diminish the drama and beauty of "The Last Supper"?
That was the first paragraph. Isn't it beautifully vein-throbbing? The shameless baiting of Real Madrid, Liverpool, Manchester United, Boca Juniors. The confidence of Evel Knievel jumping Snake River Canyon, or the Church correcting the errors of Galileo.
I hesitate to provide more of this - it's too rich, to layered, to take in large doses. Lesser writers would hoard such jewels of insanity. Not Garganese. To think that a writer would give an audience this:
...and have it not even be the seventh craziest paragraph in a fourteen paragraph article?
This is trolling to be savored. You and I read something like this and say, "Wait...so it's weird that a famous footballer would go to Manchester?"
Or, "Um, when was Manchester City ever implicated in a match-fixing scandal?"
Or "Dude, TWO DAYS AGO you sneered at the idea of Milan relying on Brazilian players, and now Kaka in a Milan shirt represents the soul of the game? What the hell, man? What the hell?"
But the joke is on us. Garganese, in the tradition of the great absurdists like Ionesco or Phil Hendrie, wants our brains to break free of our constricting, bourgeois preconceptions. This is clowning on a majestic scale.
I wish I could compete, and I'm not ashamed to admit it. But I'm still trapped in the "Hey, I'm making a joke" mode, afraid to dedicate myself to the new frontiers of soccer comedy that Garganese is exploring.
And, like Salieri, there is nothing left for me to do. Except curse God.
But I'm a Galaxy fan, so I was doing that already.