Well, Cindy’s discovering all kinds of new information about Cliff, isn’t she? But let’s stop and take a look at this for a moment, just so we can see how utterly stupid it is.
If you’re anyone other than Tom Batiuk, you might recall that Cindy did a documentary about Cliff, which was considered worthy of an Emmy nomination. In the interview, she and Cliff sat and talked about his life, his blacklisting, his rediscovery, all that stuff. The fact that it was shot with a single hand-held camera…well, the contents must have been pretty damn good to garner an award nomination.
And, apparently, she asked him nothing about his career. You know, the reason you would interview a performer. Apparently, this whole bit about Cliff working with some “movie-serial comedian” (a thing I doubt existed anyway–serials tended to be action-adventure stories) is completely new to her. I mean…*gasp* I need a moment here to process this.
She’s coming across as so dense, I would not be shocked to find her surprised that Cliff played Starbuck Jones. The entire reason for her interview. “Really? That was you? Wow!” But no, after the interview, she’s still unaware. Was she born stupid, or did she study?
I can easily imagine Cindy making a documentary about (grabbing random celebrity) Paul McCartney and asking about how he met Linda Eastman, that time he was arrested in Japan, Linda dying (from cancer!!) and his bitter divorce from Heather Mills. Then, she meets him at a party and says, “Say, I understood you knew John Lennon! How the heck did that come about? Also, someone told me you write songs! Any I would have heard?”*
Today’s episode is amazing. I suppose one could put this down to Batiuk’s general in-strip contempt for women, but wow, it’s pretty cold. It’s ice cold.
Now, it would make sense for Cayla to be asking these questions, because Cayla hasn’t met Cliff before. Cayla could have seen Cindy’s documentary and asked some follow-up questions. But Cayla married Les, so she can’t be shown as flawed. And Les would have told her all this stuff, and she would have listened intently. And Les would be in the scene, to correct Cayla (and Cliff) about how things actually happened.
Cindy, on the other hand is consistently a target in the Funkyverse; Tom Batiuk loves to lob potshots at her, so sure–she’s stupid and bad at her job. Ha ha ha, stupid! You’re a dumb gurl and everything! “Remember high school? I do!”
*Granted, Paul McCartney’s story is pretty well known, so an interviewer might try to go in another angle to get a different perspective on him. But the whole point of Cindy’s documentary was to re-introduce Cliff to a public that had largely forgotten him. One of the things you would do in a documentary like that is tell people what he had done, and why he should be remembered. And all of that would come from his career, not his personal life.
Yeah, I’m back to using italics like a madman.