Squid Man III

Episode One Hundred Seventy Seven: Squid Man III.
In which we ray true.

1 comment:

  1. Zazi Dans le Metro (1960), directed by Louis Malle. Watched it for the first time a few weeks ago. Didn't know what to expect, but that sure wasn't it. At first, I thought it was fun crazy, like It's A Mad Mad Mad Mad World (1963), but it ended just upsetting crazy, like a runaway psychosis. I'm guessing the book skews in one direction, and the film in another, and the madcap joviality stands in for something poignant ... but it missed me this time around. I just felt ill at the end.

    At any rate, at one point, I paused the film and incidentally froze on Philippe Noiret (the Uncle) and Catherine Demongeot (Zazi) walking, hand in hand, along the Seine in Paris. Yvonne Clech (Madame Mouaque) is sticking her head under Noiret's arm, admonishing him, and the subtitles on the screen read "Be Understanding."

    This phrase, in essence, had been admonished to me recently when I complained about the frustrations involved in having to retrain an organization full of relatively tech-illiterate coworkers on using new tech in response to the recent pandemic. It's like I suddenly had three more jobs, training, documenting, troubleshooting, etc.

    But no, the response was that I needed to spend *more* time helping everyone out...not ask them to meet me half way. Because everyone (aside from myself, I guess) is overworked and stressed. Well, those who have work, anyway.

    So the coincidental 'Be Understanding' seemed (annoyingly) fortuitous. I edited out Clech in the image for simplicity, and the Squid Man utterance was cemented.

    Also in my admonishment repertoire, lately, was an attempt to impose some control over my diet, and that felt French to me. At first, it was something along the lines of 'manger que des portions prescrites', but that got cut back to the simpler 'Limit Intake'. The German became, essentially, 'Limit Outtake'. 'Practice Continence', although I have no idea if that Google Translate literal translation is accurate to a native speaker.

    The final frame a line from Ladytron's True Mathematics (2002), Bulgarian (written and sung by Mira Aroyo), translates - as far as I know - to "On the sand they draw, shining light." (The sun's rays, mentioned in the previous line.)

    I was listening to the album as I was planning the strip, and that song in particular has always been a favorite. It was the first song I saw them play live.

    The line printed here in Cyrillic - most translations are printed in the Latin Alphabet, in what I assume is a commonly-accepted (commonly-used?) phonetic interpretation of the Bulgarian sounds. I don't know from Bulgarian, or from anything for that matter, so I have no idea if the Cyrillic is a Soviet Imperial legacy, or is more deeply rooted in the Bulgarian history. But it looked good, so I used it.

    It was only afterward that I realized that the font is off, and uncapitalized. Only I wouldn't know how to make caps of the Cyrillic letters ... and, needless to say, the font I use for the SM strip does not accommodate (unless I'm wildly mistaken) Cyrillic lettering. So, I had to go with this traced-over screenshot from some translation site from somewhere. Anyway.

    The Zazi characters are sinking. Perhaps they are descending a staircase, or the escalator to the Paris Metro. I was thinking they were being reduced to nothingness. However, as I look it over, it seems as though SM is reminding them of their 'should's, and they are totally ignoring him.

    In the end, he makes an observation without judgement: "There they go, shining, as living beings do."

    This was unexpected, and maybe it marks some transition in the internal judging character.

    Or maybe not.



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