The Baffled King Composing Hallelujah

Link to today’s strip.

Okay…I’m going to take a wild stab here and guess that the “state of the ark” thing is supposed to be a joke about…Noah?  (Oooo, too bad last year’s film wasn’t a huge blockbuster–that would’ve helped, right?  Oooo, those year-long waits.)   As, I’m guessing again, the prior DJ’s equipment was commonly used in Biblical times–not at all conducive to repainting those  funky (oops) seventies vibes.  And all those lyrics about cubits!  No wonder the Reunion Committee ladies want something more contemporary (it’s a well known fact that, before building the ark, Noah was well known for hosting some serious raves, but that was, like, aeons ago.  You can read all about it in your Bibles.)

–Uh…huh.   Even I can’t find that premise easy to sustain, and I find it hard to believe anyone, Tom Batiuk included, would write that down and say There.  There’s the next strip.  Granted, he has given us many, many inexplicable punchlines over the years, but I seem to recall they kind of related to the subject at hand.  This one, not so much.  Unless the last DJ decided to forgo the turntables in favor of pottery shards, this is rather dim.

One thing, though–the fervor with which poor Barry is assailed makes me think that, yes, the high school does hold a reunion every year–and it’s the only thing going on in these folks’ lives.  They just go through their sad days, waiting for the magical date to show up, the reminder of when they were happy and the future was rosy.  And all they want is a decent DJ to help the illusion along.  And suddenly…I don’t think these reunion enthusiasts are idiots any longer.  I find them kind of sad, now, people longing after a happiness they’ll never have, fluttering along like a butterfly at the end of its lifespan, desperate not to die for a while longer.

Have I bummed you out?  If so, it’s good practice.  I’ve seen tomorrow, and tomorrow isn’t pretty.



Filed under Son of Stuck Funky

26 responses to “The Baffled King Composing Hallelujah

  1. SpacemanSpiff85

    It seemed kind of funny that they’d care so much about the music at a reunion (that’s kind of not the point of a reunion), but given that all the people there are going to be from Westview, they’re definitely going to want a distraction.

  2. Nathan Obral

    Have I bummed you out? If so, it’s good practice. I’ve seen tomorrow, and tomorrow isn’t pretty.

    If it is as bad as I think it is, my “becomingchasm” Freudian slip a few weeks ago will make more sense than ever before.

  3. I somehow doubt this group is concerned about equipment being state-of-the-anything. In fact, they probably have a hard time finding someone who can play their old Chicago 8-tracks.

  4. Guest Page Turner Author

    He just keeps making up stuff – State of the Ark? To reference something that may be old, or not up to current standards? !??

    Someone needs to give an education to this author /avatar about how people really speak.

  5. Epicus Doomus

    “State of the ark”…another witticism dreamed up over a warm greasy slice and a whimsically named craft beer as the pizzeria TV droned away in the background, no doubt. If puns required licenses, BanTom’s would be on the revoked list. And why is Barry suddenly the scapegoat (so to speak) here? At least HE wants to be there, unlike the dick with ears.

    BC: Re: tomorrow….(sigh)…yep.

  6. JerrytheMacGuy

    “State of the ark”? What the blond Mrs. Malaprop said is a good example of an “Eggcorn”. Batiuk is fond of the verbal gaffes and he has Crankshaft spout them all the time.

    Over the weekend, NPR did a story on Eggcorns and also asked listeners to submit their own favorites. Alas, “state of the ark” did not make the cut.

  7. SpacemanSpiff85

    If it’s not “state of the ark”, then wouldn’t that mean it’s not old? Batiuk really seems to thing that swapping one word with another similar word automatically makes for comic gold. It does not.

  8. We seem to be at the cocooning phase of his decline. At some point, cartoonists get so convinced of their own brilliance, they wall themselves off from reality because they think they’re so smart, they don’t need to get out into the real world any longer.

  9. mrboynton

    My most common reactions to each day’s last panel —

    1) “Eeeeeeuuuuwwwwwwww!”
    2) “This is a *joke*?”
    3) (Nonplussed silence, followed by slight nausea)
    4) “But that doesn’t even make *sense*!”
    5) (Wordless guttural noises of withering disgust)
    6) “I guess he’s channeling Edward D. Wood Jr. again.”
    7) (Vertigo)

    Today’s last panel merited responses 1, 2, and 4.

  10. Rusty Shackleford

    I wonder what their class song was? “Rainy days and Monday’s” by The Carpenters? For Les, it is probably “I’d really like to see you tonight”, by John Ford Coley.

  11. Howard and Nester

    Do you even have to ask what the FW Adults’ graduation song should’ve been? It’s Little Bitch from The Specials. It fits this class of passive, entitled whiners so perfectly.

    And you think it’s about time that you died, and I agree, so you decide on suicide
    You tried but you never quite carried it off
    You only wanted to die in order to show off
    And if you think you’re gonna bleed all over me, you’re even wronger than you’d normally be
    And the only things you want to see are kitsch
    The only thing you want to be is rich
    Your little pink up-pointed nose begins to twitch
    I know, you know, you’re just a little bitch

  12. “Students in the Brunswick BEAT program spend countless hours learning about journalism and producing news stories. Now, a local cartoonist is taking inspiration from the program for his syndicated comic strip.”

    Local cartoonist gets backstage look at Brunswick student journalism program via the Medina Gazette

  13. Nathan Obral

    @Rusty Shackleford:

    I wonder what their class song was? “Rainy days and Monday’s” by The Carpenters? For Les, it is probably “I’d really like to see you tonight”, by John Ford Coley.

    I’m fairly certain that it was this little ditty:

  14. So what he’s doing is hanging out with teenagers so he can write a plot that allows Bull to live out a previously-unexpressed fantasy of being a sportscaster. What bothers me is how plausible that sounded when I wrote it.

  15. billytheskink

    Judging by her melting hatchet face in panel 2, I’d guess the blonde is referencing the Indiana Jones interpretation of the Ark of the Covenant.

    Is this an attempted call back to the terrible planning skills Barry “Balderdash” displayed in Funky Winkerbean’s Homecoming, where he was unable to secure a band for the homecoming dance and wound up giving the gig to Crazy Harry’s air-guitar band “The Great Pretenders”? That subplot in the musical was based on an actual strip, I believe. 30 year gaps don’t make for good running gags.
    To be fair to Barry, though, in some versions of the musical, it’s Mary Sue who hires Crazy…

    The Westview High School fight song in Funky Winkerbean’s Homecoming, by the way, is “Nobody Knows The Trouble I’ve Seen”.


    If this was an Andy Kauffman sketch, I might consider this ant-humor. But Andy Kauffman had a lot of wit, intelligence and artistic capabilities. This is just pure goddamn laziness!!

  17. Professor Fate

    This is pure Dada – where you expect a punch line there is gibberish. it looks and sounds like a joke but it isn’t forcing you to examine the nature of popular art and the expectations you bring to reading a comic strip. It’s not as brilliant as ‘this is not a pipe” but it’s nice try.

  18. bayoustu

    “State of the ark”…?! Hey, everybody- it’s Crankshaft disguised as a blonde Muppet®!

  19. Hold the phone. Here we’re seeing that there is an actual committee dedicated to the planning of the reunion, and this committee has already planned at least one previous reunion? So why the fuck does Cindy need to put Les in charge? Couldn’t she just hand over the reigns to Barry Balderdash or Mary Sue Walmartshopper and be done with it? This is simply a very contrived way of doing several weeks of exceedingly lame high school reunion jokes.

  20. For the Westview High class song, I’d suggest the seventh song (or side two, track two if you prefer) on Joe Jackson’s “Night and Day” album.

  21. captaincab

    Uh….wow. Funny, I thought of the Ark of the Covenant when reading this, not Noah’s ark, so I guess….you win this time, Batiuk…kinda? Because at least you made me…think of an ancient ark of some kind? Anyways, I think it’s more appropriate than Noah’s Ark because most days when I’m about to read the strip I hear this in my head:

    “Shut your eyes, Marion! Don’t look at it, no matter what happens!”

    “Students in the Brunswick BEAT program spend countless hours learning about journalism and producing news stories. Now, a local cartoonist is taking inspiration from the program for his syndicated comic strip.”

    “It was time to move on from the school newspaper to this,” Batiuk told student journalist Alexis Gemelas. “Thanks for letting me hang around and make my strip real.”

    I’ll bet the students would be so excited to see that his visit “inspired” Batiuk to have some students arriving to haul some old TV equipment to the school. Anyways, get ready for some horribly unfunny school news program spoof strips with Cody and whoever his dumb buddy with the glasses is.

  22. captaincab

    Wait, or is his name Owen? Whatever, I’ll just refer to him as “Beany Freak” and the other two pods as “Dark Haired Kid With Glasses Nobody Cares About Who Looks Like Young DSH” and “Bloated Middle Aged Looking Margaret Cho’esque Goth Girl.”

  23. John

    Les: “Okay, we’re going to need some music at the reunion. Is the Band Box finished yet?”

    Barry: “Hey look! My mouth makes me look like Pac-Man!”

    Mary Sue: “….that’s really gross, Barry.”

    Ms. Pac-Man: “Hey, I can do that with the corners of my mouth turned down! Wild!”

  24. Nathan Obral

    It should be noted that the Medina Gazette is co-owned with the Elyria Chronicle-Telegram, the flagship paper for Funky Winkerbean. The Gazette has an office in Medina, but is otherwise operated out of, and printed at, the Chronicle’s facility in downtown Elyria.

    So yeah… it’s yet another embarrassing puff piece softball interview with a media outlet that blindly carries Batom®’s crap and doesn’t give two poops about it.

  25. The Dreamer

    I’m thinking this reunion could be the occasion to re-introduce Susan the psycho ex-student turned teacher who lost Les to Cayla and left town. Sooner or later she has to come back and try again for Les.

  26. Rusty Shackleford

    @nathan, howard and the rest.

    You are all much more creative than I am! Great song recommendations.

    I was thinking about holding a fake Westview Reunion over at Luigi’s in Akron, but I know Batom’s army of lawyers will serve us with papers telling us to cease and desist.

    As for Brunswick schools, the article mentions that a high school freshman teaches the class?? Those teachers there are lazier than Les!