Rebel Without a Cause is one of the most iconic films in cinema history. Released in 1955, it starred James Dean as a hollow-cheeked, pallid, reprobate maverick who drives fast cars and frolics his hands through his hair too much. It’s quite legendary, but what isn’t well known is the planned sequel which should have followed it – Rebel Without an Independent Clause.
“Erm… what’s an independent clause?” An independent clause, fool, contains a subject (such as ham) and a predicate (such as Predator, the 1989 film starring Arnold Schwarzenegger). It can stand alone, tall and proud, as a simple sentence, but it can be joined using a comma (,) semicolon (;), or if you’re in a particularly wild mood a mindless collection of ampersands and percentage marks (&%&%&%&%%%%&&&). This must then be followed by a coordinating conjunction, or you could simply leave it there and let your sentence trail off into oblivion.
How in the name of pronouns does one turn this into a thrilling sequel? Those movie executives in Hollywood realised their script didn’t quite feature the moral decay of the first, so they ultimately abandoned the project. The problem, you see, is he really does need an independent clause. It’s a paradox, you see. The rebel can’t rebel if he can’t communicate properly about his rebellious nature. Thusly, he must fall in line and pursue a career of professional rebellion (kind of like being a professional moron, but with a leather jacket and cheap cigarettes) through upright, disciplined, and corporately funded mass education centres.
The film would have begun with an emotional, 30 minute slog as Stark attempts to come to terms with sentence structure. Depicted over the course of months, his teacher (played by Clark Gable) teaches him how to emote through “The cat sat on the mat”. Poor Stark just doesn’t get it, and his independent clauses are left wanting a cause. Here are some of his efforts, which range from hilarious, to poignant, and eventually downright sinister.
- Month 1: An cat sitting on an mat did rebel because an cat we’re an rebel cat and thats what rebellions like me does.
- Month 2: The cat sat on the mat and then decided if sat on the mat was what he was wanting to do because that’s a bit like falling in line with society. Innit.
- Month 3: The cat sat on the mat. This made the cat question whether it was a good idea to be such a predictable individual. Innit, yo yo yo!!!!!*
- Month 4: The cat did not sit on the mat. I will now postulate several notions for this decision: Adhering to societal norms was not part of his extended social or economic gallantry. Social in the sense his natural introversion had him leaning towards a secluded existence, thusly displaying himself on a rug before his human masters held considerable concerns over their perversity and his intrinsic narcissism. Economic in the sense he was aware his fur would clog his owner’s mat and, seeing as they’d discharged fiscal earnings in order to acquire the aforementioned mat, he did not wish to ruin their floor-based product in order to slake his desire for sleep.
Suitably inspired, the rebel heads off into society and, his inner pretentious git awakened, he becomes a Jargon Specialist, supplying hundreds of businesses with incompressible business-spiel in order to confuse the living mayhem out of the consumer world. In a sense, this makes the Rebel Without an Independent Clause the greatest living rebel since Genghis Khan. My word!