Edarem’s Partial Bridge and Emotional Shift In Fiction

Randomly searching Wiki for musical titles from 1940, I found Frenesi, a hit by Artie Shaw that reached number one on the Billboard pop chart on December 21, 1940. It’s an odd song title, Spanish for frenzy. The Italian is frenesia.

Searching Frenesi, I ended up at You Tube, and Partial Bridge, by Edarem from March 2009: “Take care of your teeth. There’s no third chance!” It drew me in. It’s like he’s acting out a Kelman or a Carver short story while talking over Artie Shaw’s hit.

His Wiki entry has all the facts about Edward Robert Muscare (September 27, 1932 – January 8, 2012),

“Also known by his pseudonyms of Edarem and Uncle Ed, [he] was an American television presenter and internet celebrity. He gained success in the latter field through his eccentric and comedic posts on the website YouTube, uploaded from 2006 through to 2009. Born into a working-class Sicilian immigrant family in Queens, New York, Muscare moved to Hialeah, Miami, as a teenager, before joining the army. He became a presenter for local programming in Kansas City, but his career ended following a conviction for sexual battery in 1987. In 2006, he began posting videos of himself to YouTube, where he achieved widespread popularity. However, probation requirements relating to his 1987 conviction stipulated that he was forbidden to own a computer, and by doing so, he was put on trial in 2010, and sentenced to five years in prison. A campaign was organized by his friends and supporters claiming that his imprisonment was unjust, but he died prior to being released.”

On the surface, Partial Bridge is an old guy having a blast on YouTube at the end of his life, but it also achieves what’s known as an emotional shift, ie it changes the way you feel about the world. Emotional shift is in the eye of the beholder. Not everyone gets it or likes it, but for those of us who do, Partial Bridge conveys what it feels like to be that person in a way I’ve only ever seen achieved by authors who write in the vernacular: Kelman, Kafka, Carver, Munro, Dostoevsky, and Gogol. In other words, Partial Bridge is very skilled work, and no accident. Warning: It could change the way people feel about the world, which maybe no bad thing.