Fast (schaden) Freude

The traveling green shirt lives up to its name in today’s strip, moving from a now unseen black student yesterday to Shermy and his crew cuttiest crew cut today. As an extra bonus, Cayla’s original actress cameos in the front row in panel 3.

So, 4 days into this story and the EMU reps finally get to do what they came to do, talk to students about college… and they open by insulting a good percentage of the class. No only that, they do so with an insult usually used by college grads against grads of a rival school.

Don’t forget about Saturday’s Winter Concert. You could try to, but TB isn’t going to make it easy.

And now for the recurring use of a somewhat related Emo Philips joke:

“I left for college that September.
My dad said ‘I’m going to miss you.’
I said, ‘Well now that I broke that sight off of your rifle…’
Yeah, my parents threw quite a going-away party for me, according to the letter.”
– Emo Philips


Filed under Son of Stuck Funky

25 responses to “Fast (schaden) Freude

  1. Much as we make sport of Tom Batiuk’s artwork, I have to say I find the kids in that last panel just a delightful bit of drawing. They look so panicked, so crushed, so dispirited to be told that working at a food joint is not the highest of aspirations they’d always been told.

  2. SpacemanSpiff85

    Note to TB:
    When people complain about comic strips just being three near-identical panels of talking heads, switching out to a school display board is not the solution.

  3. With all the college graduates out there struggling to find jobs and make ends meet, today’s strip is particularly insulting.

  4. Epicus Doomus

    This one is actually kind of vicious by FW standards. I mean no, it isn’t original or anything (“the world needs ditch-diggers too”) but it IS an actual joke as opposed to more endless re-hashing or some mumbling moron trying to be wry or profound, so there’s that. I likewise enjoyed the stunned look on the student’s faces as they hear it, as it’s probably the first non-pun or wordplay-based gag they’ve ever heard.

    It’s pretty clear that a certain legendary comic strip author/writer really dislikes those huge impersonal state conformity assembly line football factories, eh? “Come to EMU and be a pawn in our cold unfeeling institution!!!”…we get the message. It’s kind of interesting how THIS particular topic gets him all riled up, isn’t it? What a weirdo.

    As far as Owen goes, he’s on the Westviewian fast track to success already. He’s been hanging out at the Korner since forever, it’s one of only two growth opportunities in town, you do the math. It’s probably enough to merit valedictorian status for him when he finally graduates from fifteenth grade, too. And come on, Alex has “future comic book shop owner’s wife” written all over her. Those other anon-o-students though…blech. Nothing but grim scenarios there.

  5. Spacemanspiff85

    I’m kind of shocked the third panel wasn’t her saying “There wouldn’t be anybody to post comments online”.

  6. Gyre

    Things he could have done to actually look at the pressure to college degrees.

    Have Owen talk to his dad about playing some catch football and have his father tell Owen that he got a tip that the plant he works at is closing in a year, so the dad is going to be taking lots of night classes for a degree to switch to a stabler job and can’t be around much.

    Do it over a few days and with a mention that now a lot of jobs require degrees they didn’t not too long ago, ending on him urging Owen to work hard at school so he’s never in a situation like this.

  7. Klee Taurus

    “College isn’t for everyone. You black kids over there… and the retarded kid in the wool hat… You can just let your attention wander, because the next 15 minutes won’t concern you at all.”

  8. As if we needed any further proof that Batiuk isn’t living in the real world. He’s got less than no clue how bad life is for today’s kids or how hard they have to scramble because he’s living in an echo chamber.

  9. The coming winter concert: are you anticipating it?

  10. Saturnino

    “The coming winter concert: are you anticipating it?”

    The Dorkius Chamber Orchestra battles I Solisiti di Omaha.

  11. bad wolf

    @gyre: “his dad”? Gen 2.5 doesn’t have families.

  12. Nathan Obral

    Considering that the Winter Concert is going to be all about Harry Dinkle, it probably is a capital offense in Westview NOT to attend.

  13. billytheskink

    Cody’s mouth has disappeared… why doesn’t that ever happen to Les or Dinkle?


    I personally several people that have college degrees that have had to work at fast food restaurants at some point in their lives. Working at a fast food restaurant to support yourself and your family is not some badge of dishonour or failure!

    I swear this is a strip that has offended me so much that I actually am going to complain to the syndicates and papers about this.

  15. captaincab

    Oh, just look at precious little Snidely Batlash slumming through another syndicate check as he looks down his nose at a large segment of the population with a prehistoric era college-workforce joke. Hey Bathack, a good number of those fast food workers you insulted are PROBABLY ALSO college students struggling to pay their tuition or even grads with degrees who are still struggling to find a job! Or ya know, just people trying their best to pay their bills and provide for their families possibly due to poor job opportunities. Also, the college system in this country is practically broken at this point and is an overratted, money hungry dinosaur tantamount to a fancy debt magnet. Not denying the value of college, but it depends on an individual’s personal situation and something that has to be approached very carefully these days. Also, there’s a lot of value in two year degree courses and techincal/vocational schools as options. Not to mention many noteworthy American success stories and businesses built by people who only had HS diplomas. Even the former hack of late night himself, Jay Leno, used to make light of college grads having to work at McDonald’s in his monologues. So as usual, unlike the people being made fun of by Batiuk today, this strip just doesn’t work.

  16. Cripes, at the way things are going, you’re going to need a B.S. to work at Toxic Taco!

  17. @beckoningchasm: I’d panic, too, if I lived in the Funkyverse.

  18. Smirks 'R Us

    Toxic Taco: fair game as representative of low-life, not college-worthy folk.

    Montoni’s: a bastian of high-paying careers providing economic stability to Westview. Management and staff alike awash in all their Pizza App success.

    Makes. Perfect. Sense.

  19. As has been stated, the standard joke is that the career trajectory of someone like an English major is to end up in the fast food business. A more appropriate comment would be something like “there would be nobody to wash the dishes at Montoni’s”

  20. Jimmy

    You know who else doesn’t traditionally attend college? Electricians, auto mechanics, carpenters, chefs, many small business owners, and *gasp* even comic strip artists. I’m a college professor, but man this is insulting!

    I’m with all of you, especially the last two comments from Westview Oncologist and captaincab.

  21. captaincab


    Thanks for the additional excellent examples. I should show this strip to a family friend of mine back in my hometown who is a professor, he’d no doubt find it as appalling as you did. And since he’s an english professor, I’d wager he’d also find Batiuk’s awful wordplay and terrible puns in his strips equally appalling.

  22. The problem is that even if Batiuk does become aware of the fact that he’s offended people, he tends to make an arch comment about how people take what’s just a comic strip too seriously. It’s like how his whiny comments about how people want to laugh all the time mask his ignorance of the fact that the Cancer-death-misery arc violated Common Sense, slit its throat and left it to rot in Prostitute Alley.

  23. Of course, what really hurts is that it’s very likely that this whole arc is a great big middle finger to Ohio State for not including anything he’s done in their retrospective about the Greats of the comics industry. Simply put, working class people doing their best get defamed because Tommy Boy got a bug in his shorts because a rival school has good taste.

  24. Nathan Obral

    @$$$WESTVIEW ONCOLOGIST$$$: Good luck with that. I know that Batom® will never be dropped from the Elyria Chronicle Telegram or the Cleveland Plain Dealer because he is still seen as a “local boy who done good” by many locals who probably have not read the strip in well over 30 years.

  25. Nathan Orbal: It’s why Canadian papers are veeeeery reluctant to drop For Better Or For Worse. They too haven’t read the damned thing since April killed Farley but since Johnston is a national champion, she stays no matter what.