Violating the Time Directive

Ah, so today’s strip clarifies that Young Crazy didn’t steal the smartphone, Old Crazy (soon to be called “Crazy Prime”) gave it to him in hopes that he will use it to alter the future reality. This, of course, will lead to an homage to the legendary Family Matters episode “Father Time”, in which Carl and Steve go back in time and give a past Carl stock tips that lead to present Carl becoming fabulously wealthy but childless. Present Carl finds that he was much happier in his original reality and returns to the past with Steve to… Ha, sorry, the thought of there being an alternate reality in which a Westview resident is less happy than the present one is not even theoretically possible.

I was going to remark further on the fact that Old Crazy is willing to alter the present reality in order to enrich himself, but not willing to do so in order to possibly prolong Lisa’s life, but I know we have commenters here who are better suited for that job.

Meanwhile, Cindy and Bull exit stage orchestra pit, and Bull is just done with this time pool business. I think this strip’s readers are with him.


Filed under Son of Stuck Funky

20 responses to “Violating the Time Directive

  1. Epicus Doomus

    Lisa appears to have suddenly forgotten that she doesn’t exist in the future, which seems pretty damned weird to me. And Future Harry isn’t rich, which means the scheme didn’t work and…ooops, there I go again, putting more thought into this story than Author Guy did. My bad.

  2. Gyre

    Challenge Accepted.

    Wow, Crazy, wow. You decided you were willing to risk causing some kind of great collapse of space and time (aren’t you supposed to be an absolute comic book fan who’d be the first to think of stories like that) to make your past self rich, but you couldn’t spare one damned minute to take Lisa aside and tell her that she needs to stay away from Frank and make extra sure to receive regular checkups from a reliable doctor?

    Even if we’re nice and decide that you were aware that roughly 40% of all people develop cancer, which means that Lisa might or might not develop cancer depending on how time travel works, those warnings could have not only spared her de facto date rape but also made sure that she wouldn’t just accept the good news in the event that she did have to have treatment for cancer but go the extra mile to be certain that the cancer was well and truly gone.

    It is entirely possible that this girl could still die a painful, lingering death that would be entirely avoidable if someone had just taken a few minutes to give her advice, and you spent that time working on how to make your past self rich.

    Now I could see that some will call this accentuating the negative or ignoring any positives in how the story is told for an excuse to attack Tom Batiuk through his characters. The reason why I attack those characters over this is for this reason; we are given a plot where people know that a girl might die of cancer and we never once saw them even ask themselves if they should try to do something to stop it. We never even saw them say that because they couldn’t predict what would change and it might remove other people from existence, it would be too dangerous to try.

    And looking at all this you would have some point if you said that if this is so displeasing, why not just walk away? Fair enough. Maybe some of this is the enjoyability of a community picking something apart. But whatever my personal failing might be, that doesn’t mean that the story becomes good.

    Whew, that was a rant.

  3. SpacemanSpiff85

    I guarantee there is nothing on that phone but a list titled “Buy These Comics”.
    And maybe the time travel caused Lisa’s cancer . . .

  4. I’d much rather see something akin to the Doctor Who episode “Father’s Day” where tampering with the timeline causes enormous flying monsters to appear and devour everybody in an attempt to restore stability.

  5. sgtsaunders

    OK, so the future phone causes all sorts of ripples and eddys, Harry goes literally crazy, unable to convince anyone that this …thing is anything other than a sleek but useless industrial model. His madness sends him into a murderous psychotic fit in which he runs down Frankie with a car and kills him. Lisa is never impregnated by Frankie and is insufficiently humiliated to respond to Les’s clumsy advances. Nevertheless, years later, due to Les’ overwhelming persistence, Lisa and Les wed.Les has known all along he must fulfill the book, but Lisa fails to contract cancer. Les remains confident – where there was death, there will always be death. The sudden appearance of Young Crazy, by now a seasoned time traveler who appears in what we see as current Westview every six to eight weeks, outside Stately Moore Manor one January causes Lisa, outside to get away from Les for “one goddam minute”, to faint in the snow and thereby freeze to death. Les then writes the book and life in Westview is back on the rails. That is, until the next class reunion.

  6. HAnzMFG

    Crazy, whoever that was, he’s clearly fucking with you.

  7. Guest Page Turner Author

    That iPhone will be completely worthless in a couple of hours.

    Much like this strip always.

  8. bad wolf

    @Gyre: Let me just add that those parts that are especially horrible–the cancer is entirely preventable; Frankie was so coercive–are things Batiuk 1) added entirely for ironic effect, and 2) retconned. This is the corner that TB painted himself into.

    I literally can’t believe that this story is continuing any further, let alone going down this weird path that admittedly many (here, CC, and CK) comments have been about–using something from the future to enrich themselves (and forgetting/avoiding to do anything for Lisa). Just unbelievable.

    @TheDiva: i would rather see that too for what are probably obvious reasons.

  9. billytheskink

    I wonder if alternate reality Owen will wear a chullo that looks like Act I Lisa’s hair.

  10. ComicTrek

    @Epicus Doomus: I don’t think Lisa even put two-and-two together about her future non existence. 😦 I honestly do not like where this is storyline is going. And what decade are these kids supposed to be in, anyway? The 80’s? The 70’s?
    I totally agree with you, @Gyre.

  11. The problem that I see is that we’re supposed to be so focused on the wacky misadventures young Crazy has trying to patent the smartphone that we forget that Les is going to keep every damned thing he learned under his hat. In the ‘glorious’ past, Batiuk stood a chance of succeeding distracting people by saying “Hey, look. That awful Steve Jobs took credit for Harry’s idea so that evil outsiders can deny us the success we don’t really deserve.” Nowadays….not so much.

  12. Nathan Obral

    And yet, this still makes 500% more sense than anything that involved Mopey Pete Rudolph and the Amazing Mister Sponge.

    Not that Batiuk would listen to a plebeian like me, but in order to avoid further writing himself into a corner, he would be best running dialogue-free clipart every day until March 2022.

    Unless he really wants to scrap everything and do a reboot. Which would shock the hell out of me if that came to pass.

  13. Doggone it, TB. You didn’t listen. Last month I said have Crazy BUY Apple stock – not bring back an Apple phone. The stock is the way to wealth. The phone by itself without a charger, without a cell phone tower, in about 8 hours will be a brick.

  14. captaincab

    I’ve seen time travel story lines that were lazily written but lazy AND cowardly? Past Les was too much of a coward to face an ugly truth about past Lisa and try to HELP his girlfriend and future wife while current Les was apparently too much of a coward to speak up both his past self AND past Lisa. 95% of this arc was showing how Cindy is still vain and that Holly, Donna and Harry are still ugly, unfunny and stupid.

    Now, you’ll excuse me while I leave the disgusting malaise of FW behind and go treat myself to another glorious, new Bloom County strip.


    “…and it’ll probably give Lisa a jump start on her cancer once we place it next to her head!! We’ll kill two birds with one phone!!”

  16. Saturnino

    “Doggone it, TB. You didn’t listen. Last month I said have Crazy BUY Apple stock – not bring back an Apple phone. The stock is the way to wealth. The phone by itself without a charger, without a cell phone tower, in about 8 hours will be a brick.”

    But IF there is a charger………

    Will that phone be a conduit into the future????

  17. Professor Fate

    well not really shocked that the Author ducked the whole ‘do we tell Lisa she’s now dead’ problem. His Avatar always ducks the hard choices as does he his time jump right coming right after Lisa died was his wanting to duck the fallout from the death the nameless gay duo go to the prom story arc was another example. It is the most infuriating aspects of his storytelling: his bailing out when it gets difficult.

  18. @Epicus – I think ComicTrek has it right, Lisa heard all those lame excuses and probably thought “They’re too ashamed to tell me that I outgrew them and moved away to success in another city.”

  19. Epicus Doomus

    Professor Fate: Absolutely. Lisa dies, he skips ahead to avoid the messy aftermath. Gay prom, he makes it about Summer, Becky’s mom and the WHS handbook. “Lisa’s Story-The Movie” becomes a stupid dream sequence. Dick Tracy visits Westview and it’s a comic book auction. And he didn’t even bother to end the “SJ” collection arc at all. He always takes the lamest possible path…always. Which is why is self-congratulatory puff interviews are so maddening.

  20. The Dreamer

    Batiuk seems to be stealing the storyline from Back the Future Part II, where they are in the future, and old Biff steals the time machine and goes back to 1955 to give young Biff a sports book with all the future results in it. Biff gets rich and time is altered. As in the movie, perhaps old Crazy– seeing how bad his giving the phone to his younger self has made the world– has to time travel back and take back the phone.