R: Clerks, Possibly

Sure you know Clerks (1994).
You might think that it is an absurd and rude piece of rubbish.
So I wrote this article.

Rational age and Mysticism

World of Clerks is driven by reason. Rational thinking, even a kind of sophism becomes the ultimate value and each character’s individual Bible.

Whatever kind of creeps they are, whatever dirtiness they want to undertake Dante, Randal or any of their friends or customers will justify it by some brilliant argument.

To be a bit more precise, their logic helps them to evade the moral and institutional obligations and do whatever they want. Consequently, the purpose of all their actions is their own pleasure and profit.

This leads to a fight for one’s personal space. Randal’s mantra is: ‘do not let customers to annoy you’. And if you feel down, rip into one a bit, they get mad but they will ‘never come to this shop again’, that means no consequences and no punishment.

Even the conversation on the way to the funeral could be an example of a fight for the position of the dominant and smarter one. Randal completely twists his argument just to make Dante admit that he tried to ‘suck his own dick’ and to humiliate him right after.

The egocentrism relativist thinking and lack of any stabile values lead to a marginalization of an individual and a CRISIS OF A SELF. ‘Who needs us here?’ Randal asks by his last monolog. Apparently no-one does.

Dante and Randal represent the ways how to react to the crisis. Dante’s way is that of the hypocrite. Although he protests against Randal’s open misbehaviour, he has his own ‘obligations’ as the roller-skate hockey or attending the funeral, which make him swiftly forget about his shop and customers.

Randal is more honest as to what he is doing and what he means to others, but he does not offer a way out of the situation either.

The film presents one in the Veronica-Dante relationship. And it takes the Silent Bob speaking the words of wisdom for Dante to understand it.

But there is one more undercurrent to this interpretation. Randal says that Jay is the one who does not have any delusions about his life. In a way he praises him as the ultimate realist. However, Jay is a junkie and his speeches are all NONSENSE. How could it be then, that he seems to understand the life?

I think that the answer appears in the scene of Jay and Silent Bob dancing. The energy of IRRATIONAL comes out in the electronic beat and physical response to it. With Jay, the overcomplicated rationality confronts the simplistic appreciation of the material. No-thinking seems to be the way out for the solitaires.

Clerks don't dance

Clerks don’t dance


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