Link To Today’s Strip
Just a few short years ago, Pa Bean was suffering from dementia so severe he could do little more than mutter incoherently. But now, just completely out of nowhere, he’s a lovable wisecracking old coot who can suddenly read music, play the trombone AND smoke cigarettes (and possibly the funniest character in the strip as well). Once again Batiuk uses “tragedy” to wring out a few dollops of cheap easy pathos, then reverts to his wordplay and pun-filled natural state while ignoring the character history he himself established. He basks in the attention he gets for the subject matter then he abandons it after it’s served its purpose (talking points for boring interviews). What a hack.
We also see another one of his diabolical little “writing” tricks on display as well. Instead of telling one of his inane little stories from start to finish like a normal person, he inexplicably hopscotches around from story to story in a random way (as you’ll also see next week when you’re saying to yourself “oh yeah, THAT thing again”). IMO he does it deliberately for the purpose of confusing and alienating potential readers so they’ll avoid the strip thus making it easier to churn out this idiotic drivel while exerting as little effort as is humanly possible. It’s all part of the scam. It has to be.
And this f*cking Dinkle asshole. Remember when he used him to wring a little more of that aforementioned pathos out of him by causing him to go deaf? Now, of course, he’s an “adorable” old coot, beloved by all despite being a real jerk most of the time. And he apparently hears just fine now. Now THAT’S Batiukian. It’s a certain indefinable quality that separates FW from things that makes sense and entertain.
So lesson one is: if you’re suffering from Alzheimer’s or profound hearing loss, head on over to Westview where miracles await (not applicable with cancer, that’s a crap shoot). Lesson two is: if you’re looking to find out just how little momentum a “story” can have, welcome to paradise. Likewise if you’re looking for poorly-realized (and very stupid) characters, godawful “writing” and/or truly terrible jokes, puns and gags that center around idiotic bits of dumb wordplay. It’s also terrific if you’re the sort of person who enjoys the beginning of stories but not so much the middles and the endings.
Yikes, that was a lot of complaining over a relatively inoffensive piece of FW claptrap, eh? Oh well. Stay tuned, as the Original SoSF Guest Snarker DavidO makes his triumphant return.