Hey, more stuff on Schweig-Engel.
You know, “the credit genies” we showed you on the last post.
If you lived around here, you would know their ads—practically omnipresent on the grungier-reaches of syndicated television as you could count on their appearance, practically every commercial break. However, it was far-better to find oneself mildly-amused than a customer coming to them, “hat-in-hand” as you could never beat “the fine print” of what amounted to a “rent-a-center”.
Just a fact of life if you live here and know St. Louis, like the ghetto and old soul records. And here is a golden moment in muckraking as shiny, say—as a 32 ounce can of Miller High-Life down the rougher streets, like booze and homelessness and having nothing to lose.
Local rabble-rousers of the black community are picketing the major advertiser of a radio-station where a local commentator got fired for “cutting too low to the truth” with radical rhetoric, or maybe “just telling-it like it is” in a way that got the advertisers, itchy.
And like Jacob Marley, here comes a spectral figure all but trailing the chains of usury and decrying the architecture of debt—none other, than “Black Jesus” who looks like he’s been off of his medicine and is high on “zombie-powder”, murmuring through a rough-voice like he’s just stumbled out of hell. Flea-bitten, incorrigible– with some profane gift of comedy and way of bringing attention on to himself and the situation like a public-relations fiasco.
All captured for an interlude on local cable-access television as the camera follows them around, whisking through the building as the announcer speaks into a microphone, dragging-along the cord as the hunched shoulders of Black Jesus course down the hallway, and the staff is decried.
The goofy guys from the commercial are nowhere to be found, who maybe you thought would give you a good deal, coming to them “hat-in-hand” like a working-stiff off of the street. Reality, however—is more brutal, and no matter how much you watched them shake and squeak and convulse on television—this is the mean, low-down business of “quik-cash” and “rent-to-own” furniture.
You see here the street-level nature of a local film-crew, with whatever odd contusion of “local character study” stumbles into the frame, and a bit what Lydia’s show would come across as. Even so, you have “Black Jesus” who looks like some crazed neighbor living down the street from Beetlejuice like another character from “THE NETHERWORLD” like someone who would crash the living-room like an old fishing-buddy, sleazing-up the place and generally coming across “as not much respectable”.
Or on the other hand, see angry townsfolk picketing Beetlejuice, as he’s not exactly as advertiser “on the level”, either. In any case, it’s what you do for a hard-bitten dollar, between leisure and sleaze, and generally making a nuisance of oneself. Disreputable business-practices are the currency, here or anywhere as certain as death, taxes, and fine-print. Why would hell be any different?