Apprentice
Store Wars

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Jacob Clifton: C+ | Grade It Now!
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Lesson Eight: If There Is No "Try," You're All Screwed

Now it's 10:30, half past ten, a quarter past the meeting, and Rebecca pushes Brian to call Jim and Gary again and apologize. Brian, bummed, calls them again, talking about how "traffic is really bad right now," and there's a very different tone in Jim/Gary's voice than before: "Well. Get here as soon as you can. [Click.]" Randal interviews sadly about what it is like to show up a half-hour late for a meeting, and then those fools walk in at 10:45, quarter of eleven, half an hour late. So ugly. They're incredibly friendly and nice and apologetic, and the executives...pack up their PowerPoint and projector and sniff, "We appreciate you coming, but we have to go to another meeting." OUCH! Rebecca lowballs it in an interview that this is "not a good sign" and that things like totally fucking up the most important part of the task can leave "a bad taste" in people's mouths. Such as the taste of failure? The taste...of the Cobra? Brian, demoralized yet again, yelps, "We're screwed!"

Oh, that reminds me, I don't know for 100% certain where the verb "to cobra" came from, if I made it up or osmosisized it from somewhere long ago, so I'm not going to claim it necessarily (although I do take full and worldwide credit for "A-Fed"), but I was heartened to see Markus use it in one of his post-Boardroom interviews. Markus, if you're reading this, please email me, because I think I owe you a root beer or something. I promise I won't actually slap you upside your sun-kissed, floppy head.

We see Darth Vader's helmet, then the Capital Edge sign, and then an old-school left-to-right screen wipe, and then Clay's head, and that's like three awesome jokes at once. Clay is asking Alla for her insights about the meeting, and she notes how the execs kept stressing over and over that the central concept, the central question is: "How did he become Darth Vader?" "Darth Vader is our biggest star." "All of your questions will be answered." And the big lie here is that the movie will actually answer the question, which it really doesn't, except in a Markus kind of way where they throw a bunch of confused bullshit at you and hope some of it sticks, and then laugh that you paid for the privilege, and you can't even get mad, because you are the one who paid to have bullshit thrown at you.

There's a whole lot of confused editing here, such that I actually went to the Extra Bonus Footage to clarify, but basically, Felisha -- having been involved with the print stuff on every task (remember? "I love print!") -- wants to contribute by being in on the still photography part of the task, and Alla agrees, because that's Felisha's one skill, but Clay's not having it, because he wants to do this one-on-one with Alla. For the somewhat-stated reason of keeping his main enemy close and cutting her off from her soldiers, but also because he has this complicated projected-anima relationship to Alla of which she is unaware, where basically he needs her approval at least as much as he despises her, and not to do a whole thing about it, but at least four careers have been made due to this dynamic, off the top of my head: Marie Louise von Franz, Walt Disney, Joan Crawford, and Hans Christian Andersen. And yeah, like, if you ever want to read my thesis, let me know, but the point is that Felisha feels crapped on. But not as much as Adam, after Clay says, "I would love it if the three of us were at the photo shoot, but I think that I'm going to leave y'all two here." I wish his "don't talk to me" thing with Adam meant not addressing him directly the entire task. That would be fucking hilarious. "Did you hear something? I didn't hear anything. I guess it was the tight-ass wind. Go on with what you were saying?"

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Apprentice

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