So most people know that I love the Clerks movies, so I wanted to try and see what types of signs I could find in there, to exercise the reading for Thursday’s class. This is from the sequel to the movie, and, of course, has some epic R-rated language, but it makes me laugh, and we’re adults, so I hope this is OK for posting. So here we go…

The first thing that struck me was a sign of the title of this video. I thought this was where Jay rapped his signature rap, as it was referenced in the his own movie (Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back), but this version of the rap is different, and is indicative of the time he has spent in jail and cleaning his life around. It’s also not as loaded with as many epithets as his usual mouth, but it’s a sign that the rehab program he was in has started to change his thinking. It’s even more interesting to see Silent Bob’s expression as Jay is rapping, as he sort of shies away – it’s not Jay’s best, and it doesn’t sound really good. This might be a sign of how he really feels for Jay – either concerned for him, or embarrassed that he still hangs out with Jay.

Where Jay and Silent Bob are standing is also very interesting – they are standing in front of a Mooby’s fast food restaurant in Leonardo, New Jersey (a place that has been established to be a “waste pit” in other movies). The Mooby’s is also a reference to McDonald’s, because it’s everywhere in the View Askew universe (the set of movies Kevin Smith has directed with these characters), a sign of its omnipresence and hold over the lives of people who can’t get a “real job” (aka Dante and Randal, and Jay and Silent Bob usually end up wherever Dante and Randal go, maybe a sign of fate?). The bricks behind them are quite apparent, even though the Mooby’s logo is perfectly written on there and the paint looks really good. It’s an interesting sign because the stereotype of New Jersey is that it is a dump and that large buildings like this usually receive a lot of graffiti (which ends up happening later). It’s an interesting sign at the possibility of hope of life for Dante, Randal, Jay, and Silent Bob. Now that’s something I didn’t see when I saw the movie the first time around.

I also appreciated the fact that not only did this scene point to and reference other movies (the Buddy Christ shirt is from Dogma), but it also pointed to what our commonsense notion of what a drug dealer and a reborn Christian talks and acts like. Even though Jay and Silent Bob have gone through jail, they both still have the same posture and the same types of conversations of when they were drug dealers (could be signifying that rehab doesn’t work fully?), but that the experience was worthwhile for them, as they now found the Bible, and Jay wants to do something with his life now. It’s even more of a sign of how the experience of jail worked on them, because their language is still roughly the same as when they were standing in front of the Quick Stop. Another “cue”/sign here is that Silent Bob is in the scene, as he’s the director and the character, but he holds up the Bible to the camera when Jay references it, potentially showing us a view they may/may not have in terms of faith and religion in modern day society (could be parodying this type of people, which I could see).

I couldn’t really find too many more signs of the change of Jay and Silent Bob (other than than the lack of music going on – since it is silent – Jay usually raps with non-diegetic music – it seems to signify something has changed about his lifeworld), but their costumes are a little bit cleaner and worn on them as well, signifying their use in jail, along with the hard lives they have been leading until this point. The costumes of the people who want to buy drugs from them also were done well enough (including their posture), to signal that they were also down on their luck and they think that weed will help them, but the audience ends up being surprised that the main reason they choose this dealer is that he makes them laugh – a sign for the audience to laugh, as it is unexpected.

Please feel free to add on – I would like to see what other signs I take for granted in this scene, as I know these characters pretty well (or at least I would like to think so).