TB went to see Zack and Miri Make a Porno this week. It’s damn funny. I wasn’t clued in to Kevin Smith’s View Askew universe until a few years ago. But I think he’s freakin hilarious. I even like Dogma and Jay and Silent Bob. Anyway, Randal from Clerks plays the camera man in Zack and Miri. According to something I just read online he’s called “Deacon” in this movie, but as far as I’m concerned, it was Randal. I wanted to post something funny and light for weekend reading after the intensity and deep thought we all engaged in here over the election and our Thursday Picks. I’ve been thinking like Randal all week, one of my favorite characters of all time. I don’t know Randal’s real name, but I do know he’s never been in a damn thing other than Kevin Smith’s movies. I looked it up. I gotta go back and check out Dogma again because I never noticed he was the gun shop clerk in it. I also looked up the script for Clerks, and a great scene is today’s Quote of the Day, below. I didn’t bother finding out Randal’s real name. Who the f*&% cares anyway? Oh, by the way, Jay was in Zack and Miri too.
RANDAL Which did you like better: Jedi or The Empire Strikes Back. DANTE (exasperated) Empire. RANDAL Blasphemy. DANTE Empire had the better ending: Luke gets his hand cut off, and finds out Vader's his father; Han gets frozen and taken away by Boba Fett. It ends on such a down note. And that's life-a series of down endings. All Jedi had was a bunch of Muppets. RANDAL There was something else going on in Jedi. I never noticed it until today. RANDAL follows DANTE as he cleans up around the store. DANTE What's that? RANDAL All right, Vader's boss... DANTE The Emperor. RANDAL Right, the Emperor. Now the Emperor is kind of a spiritual figure, yes? DANTE How do you mean? RANDAL Well, he's like the pope for the dark side of the Force. He's a holy man; a shaman, kind of, albeit an evil one. 47. DANTE I guess. RANDAL Now, he's in charge of the Empire. The Imperial government is under his control. And the entire galaxy is under Imperial rule. DANTE Yeah. RANDAL Then wouldn't that logically mean that it's a theocracy? If the head of the Empire is a priest of some sort, then it stands to reason that the government is therefore one based on religion. DANTE It would stand to reason, yes. RANDAL Hence, the Empire was a fascist theocracy, and the rebel forces were therefore battling religious persecution. DANTE More or less. RANDAL The only problem is that at no point in the series did I ever hear Leia or any of the rebels declare a particular religious belief. DANTE I think they were Catholics. A BLUE-COLLAR MAN half enters the door. BLUE-COLLAR MAN Are you open? DANTE Yeah. Come in. He goes to the coffee machine and makes a cup of joe. RANDAL You know what else I noticed in Jedi? 48. DANTE There's more? RANDAL So they build another Death Star, right? DANTE Yeah. RANDAL Now the first one they built was completed and fully operational before the Rebels destroyed it. DANTE Luke blew it up. Give credit where it's due. RANDAL And the second one was still being built when they blew it up. DANTE Compliments of Lando Calrissian. RANDAL Something just never sat right with me the second time they destroyed it. I could never put my finger on it-something just wasn't right. DANTE And you figured it out? RANDAL Well, the thing is, the first Death Star was manned by the Imperial army-storm troopers, dignitaries- the only people onboard were Imperials. DANTE Basically. RANDAL So when they blew it up, no prob. Evil is punished. DANTE And the second time around...? 49. RANDAL The second time around, it wasn't even finished yet. They were still under construction. DANTE So? RANDAL A construction job of that magnitude would require a helluva lot more manpower than the Imperial army had to offer. I'll bet there were independent contractors working on that thing: plumbers, aluminum siders, roofers. DANTE Not just Imperials, is what you're getting at. RANDAL Exactly. In order to get it built quickly and quietly they'd hire anybody who could do the job. Do you think the average storm trooper knows how to install a toilet main? All they know is killing and white uniforms. DANTE All right, so even if independent contractors are working on the Death Star, why are you uneasy with its destruction? RANDAL All those innocent contractors hired to do a job were killed- casualties of a war they had nothing to do with. (notices Dante's confusion) All right, look-you're a roofer, and some juicy government contract comes your way; you got the wife and kids and the two-story in suburbia-this is a government contract, which means all sorts of benefits. All of a sudden these left-wing militants blast you with lasers and wipe out everyone within a three-mile radius. (MORE) 50. RANDAL (CONT'D) You didn't ask for that. You have no personal politics. You're just trying to scrape out a living. The BLUE-COLLAR MAN joins them. BLUE-COLLAR MAN Excuse me. I don't mean to interrupt, but what were you talking about? RANDAL The ending of Return of the Jedi. DANTE My friend is trying to convince me that any contractors working on the uncompleted Death Star were innocent victims when the space station was destroyed by the rebels. BLUE-COLLAR MAN Well, I'm a contractor myself. I'm a roofer... (digs into pocket and produces business card) Dunn and Reddy Home Improvements. And speaking as a roofer, I can say that a roofer's personal politics come heavily into play when choosing jobs. RANDAL Like when? BLUE-COLLAR MAN Three months ago I was offered a job up in the hills. A beautiful house with tons of property. It was a simple reshingling job, but I was told that if it was finished within a day, my price would be doubled. Then I realized whose house it was. DANTE Whose house was it? BLUE-COLLAR MAN Dominick Bambino's. RANDAL "Babyface" Bambino? The gangster? 51. BLUE-COLLAR MAN The same. The money was right, but the risk was too big. I knew who he was, and based on that, I passed the job on to a friend of mine. DANTE Based on personal politics. BLUE-COLLAR MAN Right. And that week, the Foresci family put a hit on Babyface's house. My friend was shot and killed. He wasn't even finished shingling. RANDAL No way! BLUE-COLLAR MAN (paying for coffee) I'm alive because I knew there were risks involved taking on that particular client. My friend wasn't so lucky. (pauses to reflect) You know, any contractor willing to work on that Death Star knew the risks. If they were killed, it was their own fault. A roofer listens to this... (taps his heart) not his wallet. The BLUE-COLLAR MAN exits. DANTE and RANDAL remain respectfully quiet for a moment. An angry WOMAN opens the door and pokes her head in.