The Daily Rambling Artist: Forget About It!: Unmasking the Modern Wise-Guy

The Daily Rambling Artist: Forget About It!: Unmasking the Modern Wise-Guy

The year was 1997, a time of college budget constraints and youthful enthusiasm. It was during those days that the film 'Donnie Brasco' graced the silver screen of the humble one-dollar cinema, a champion among my broke college kind. As I settled into the dimly lit, empty theater, the iconic Mandalay Pictures tiger emerged before me, a symbol of cinematic enchantment that never failed to work its magic.

I must have tested the patience of those around me, ceaselessly quoting lines from this cinematic masterpiece. Beyond the incredible cast of actors, it was the film's intricate dance with language that captivated me the most. One scene, in particular, featuring Paul Giamatti, remains etched in my consciousness. In it, the undercover Donnie Brasco, portrayed by Johnny Depp, is questioned about the meaning of the ubiquitous phrase "forget about it.”

Depp's character embarks on a linguistic exploration of the phrase, unraveling the myriad nuances and applications of those seemingly simple words. Like a tapestry of meanings woven together, "forget about it" transcends the literal, much like the way modern communication can lose its subtleties through the medium of text, emails, and social media. I find myself on edge some days, deciphering daily messages on various formats, and when the frustration seems unbearable, I hear the echo of those words in my mind: "forget about it."

My favorite unraveling of linguistic play in the film occurs when Lefty, portrayed by Al Pacino, insists that he has been "sent for." His conviction paints a vivid image – he is certain that his time has come, that his fate is sealed. Donnie, however, questions the assumption, suggesting an alternate interpretation. The tension simmers as Lefty grapples with his impending doom. “I got sent for,” he keeps repeating.

The climax of Lefty’s call reveals that Donnie was right all along. Lefty, summoned with an air of foreboding, is met with good news and an unexpected gift: a lion – a literal lionThe scene seamlessly transitions to Lefty and Donnie, housing the lion inside the confines of their car. Outside, they engage in the surreal act of feeding the lion steaks.

Donnie laughs at the situation and says: "And you thought you were gonna get wacked." Lefty's response is laden with powerful self-denial, "Did I say I was gonna get wacked?” Donnie failed to recall a particular gem of wisdom that Lefty had bestowed upon him earlier in the film: "A wise-guy is always right. Even when he’s wrong, he’s right.”

The internet is a strange place. With my daily posting and engagement across various social media platforms, I find myself exposed to an array of individual comments, video responses, quips, and sarcasm, whether I desire it or not. I know I'm not alone in experiencing this phenomenon. It all leads me to ponder: are these social media warriors the contemporary equivalent of modern-day wise-guys? Forget about it!

-Sergio Santos