“Recently Vincent [Di Fate] did the box art for a model kit honoring my dear friend and fellow gorilla man, Bob Burns .( and noted sci-fi collector) The art is brilliant and captures Bob and his gorilla alias beautifully.”
(A fun fact about this video, which you should definitely watch if you have not watched the others: When Gerard falls screaming to the ground, that scream is real. He tore a bunch of ligaments when Frank jumped on him during filming. Bob was also burned quite badly. Also, and perhaps most importantly, that is the Black Parade’s float burning behind and around them. Let that sink in.)
“Famous Last Words” opens growling, snarling, vicious. Now I know that I can make you stay, but where’s your heart? This is another in the vein of “I Don’t Love You,” a vengeful response to being left that is ultimately a triumph. This one is my favorite, though, because this one is born of fire. This one is about bravery.
The most important part of this song, for me at least, is the bridge. I love when Gerard gets quiet. There is never not emotion in his voice, but it’s different when he’s quiet. It’s actually a little difficult for me to talk about this bit, because it was really instrumental in a lot of me climbing out of a very deep dark almost-grave in my life, but it matters enough that I am going to try. Watch the video. Gerard drops the mic here. He looks up, enraptured, peaceful. This weird angelic light shines down on him, he opens his arms. Words I thought I’d never speak - awake and unafraid. Awake and unafraid. For years and years of my life now, awake and unafraid has been the thread with which I have sewn myself together. I found Anne Boyer’s What Resembles the Grave But Isn’t recently, and it felt to me the same way that awake and unafraid feels. You should read it; it is very important.
I consider myself a brave person, but only because I am terrified all the time. I think it is important to do things that scare you, even if (especially if) those things are things like “leaving the house today”. I think that is the way that we keep ourselves alive, moving forward, climbing out of that grave which is not the grave, awake and unafraid in the blinding light of day.
The sun burns you and blinds you and if you let it, it will kill you, but it keeps the ground warm beneath you through the night. Let me make one thing clear: it is not weakness to care. Being comfortable loving and being loved is one of the most subversive things you can do in this life but, but. You can’t be afraid to be alone. When the sun is blinding you, it’s throwing your shadow behind you. Walk forward.