Evan's post inspired me to write one of my own about the illustrious and prolific Mr. Kevin Smith. Kevin Smith, is in many ways a personal hero of mine. The birth of Loaded Dice Cast can be traced directly to him and his series of podcasts known as Smodcast.
I doubt there's many in my generation that don't hold Clerks, and possibly the other members of the "Jersey Trilogy" somewhere in their pantheon of influential movies. In my mind, those three films have to be considered in any serious accounting of the cultural touchstones of what you might call the millennial generation. It would be nice to stop the conversation there, but we can't. Kevin Smith has directed some stinkers.
As he's transitioned into middle age, he's flirted with abandoning his career as a writer and director in favor of a career as a prolific podcaster. The same pattern has emerged. The hour I spend listening to his flagship podcast, Smodcast, is hands down the most hilarious hour of my week. Fatman on Batman is an engaging study in passion, pot smoking, and an engrossing interview style. However, Smith does other podcasts, that to my mind, are just not in the same universe. Jay and Silent Bob Get Old is a prime example. Born of a desire to keep Mewes (as in Jay) off the drugs by giving him a microphone and an audience, this live show (which, it should be noted, often gets sell out audiences, so take my tastes with a grain of salt) is often a wreck of format. Formulaic, oftentimes awkward, and, for some reason consistently containing large swaths of visual content. I salute Kevin wanting to help out his friend, and I wish him all the best, but it's not worth an hour and a half of my time each week.
So here is why Smith is one of my heroes: He is an average guy from Jersey who consistently overcomes his fear of failure by employing and harnessing a truly singular passion for creative expression. It would be great to lionize him; to say he is unafraid to fail, but I think this is not only untrue, but does him a disservice. The man knows Jersey Girl was a joke and Cop Out was ridiculous, and yet he goes and he makes fresh content every day, and ultimately, makes the world a better place for it.
Will Clerks III be his best movie ever? Sorry, Kev, I doubt it. But that doesn't mean I'm not rooting for you. I pretty much hated Clerks II and Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back, so I hope you get back to your roots. I hope you get back to saying something important, or at least relevant. I hope I don't have to sit through a two hour self referential dick joke fest. Say something new, say something from the heart. I know I'll be rooting for it.