Hard Sell

Episode One Hundred Seventy Three: Hard Sell. In which we do not remember.

1 comment:

  1. Yes. This one is satisfying to look at. Just like that, a strong turnout. I honestly can never tell what kind of week I will have.

    Stolen frame by frame from one scene in the 1960 Sellers film “Never Let Go” (dir. John Guillermin). Early in the film, this establishing shot shows a busy street by a department store, with double-deckers. Then we go inside, as the protagonist approaches the store manager in an attempt to pitch a sale, and is rebuffed.

    The manager is played by character actor John Le Mesurier. I recognized his face & voice, but wouldn’t have been able to place him by name. I gather he is known to the British public for his part in Dad’s Army, but I’ve never seen the show, recognizing his name from repeated listenings of the BBC productions of Hitchhiker’s Guide (1980, The Wise Old Bird) and The Lord of the Rings (1981, Bilbo Baggins).

    I was happy to see that I was correct in hoping these frames would translate to pen and ink, and saw these profundities being passed back and forth in a somewhat comedic disparity between the simplicity of the original. The miscommunication, however, is consistent, and true to my experience. Although they may be trading in pith, it’s nonetheless still utterly pointless.

    I saw the observations being pitched akin to those of the Angels in Wim Wenders’ Wings of Desire (1987): observations of simple banality that are themselves transcendent. These in the comic were two moments that had occurred that week: An expansive feeling that came with walking, as night fell, in a quietly quarantined city along a newly-made sidewalk, clean and level, by a -now unused- ballpark. And then the curious nakedness of role-reversal that came with meeting with my children over teleconference, learning to play their video games, and their noting my alternating expressions of eureka and subsequent sleeve-rolling-up concentration.

    The ‘you do not remember’ retort is so left-field that it would rebuff even the most ardent salesperson. It was a line that jumped out from the Welcome to Night Vale podcast, episode 148, “The Broadcaster”, released on May 14, 2019. (I listened to it during a long walk at the end of March, the week this cartoon was written.)



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