(S)enior (h)ighschool L(it)

Link to today’s strip.

Well, Chullo, let me remind you of something.  You may not remember this, because it all happened so long ago, but just a few minutes earlier you were eager and ready to sit in this very class.   You went out of your way to get those seats.  The principal himself stepped in to aid you in your quest.  Now class begins and suddenly, you’re full of regrets.   Apparently you forgot that the Les Moore who teaches this class is the Les Moore.

Well, you’ve made your bed.  Now you have to eat it.

Every time Tom Batiuk does an episode like this one, it just amazes me that he cannot see how utterly loathsome he makes Les Moore.  The worst character of all time, the fist-magnet of one hundred thousand punches, and Mr. Batiuk keeps making him more and more punchable.   The only possible reaction for the students to have to panel two is to close their books and all silently walk out, never to return.   The fact that they stay is sheer fantasy.  The fact that they struggle to get into the class is mind-boggling.

Yes.  The mind boggles.

I was looking over some of the older Act III strips, and there was an interesting dynamic when teen Summer was around.  Les was frequently over-protective and anxious about her to the point of being a pathetic, needy jerk (stalking her on her solo car date, for example).  But he also came across as human, as a parent genuinely concerned about her and obviously unwilling to lose her and mire in loneliness.  In a way, it humanized him, allowing to be an overt jerk, yet also acknowledging that his jerkdom came from his neediness.  In most cases, he was still nauseating, but he hadn’t quite become The Horse’s Ass.

Nowadays, well, I picked this up at the local Goodwill.

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16 Comments

Filed under Son of Stuck Funky

16 responses to “(S)enior (h)ighschool L(it)

  1. SpacemanSpiff85

    Whenever Les is like this, I seriously think Batiuk is just writing down lines he himself used when he was a teacher, that he thinks were educational gems. I also kind of suspect he models Les’s poses after his own, when he’s rambling on about Lisa in interviews with the local press.

  2. Chyron HR

    This looks like a job for, “Christ, what an asshole.”

  3. bad wolf

    Well said. I’m kind of torn here, in that i think the real-time conceit was a huge mistake that helped kill the strip, but wanting it to continue so that at least we get rid of these two also.

    Not sure what these Les moments reveal about TB’s own teaching style, but certainly nothing very positive.

  4. Epicus Doomus

    The single worst character in the entire history of fiction, including cave paintings and ancient fables passed down from long-lost indigenous societies. “Lord of language”…f*ck you, dingus. Has there ever been a strip that depicted Les actually helping a student? And I don’t mean the one where he saved Susan by GETTING HER TO A HOSPITAL either.

    The chullo is really extra annoying today for some reason. BanTom always puts such loving detail into it, you know? I hope Owen washes that thing occasionally, as it has to be pretty gamey by now. And where is Alex?

  5. Rusty

    Anyone recall a particularly pithy phrase uttered by Les, ever? Just groan-worthy puns and trite “word-play.” I would also think that Senior Lit would be more about reading and analyzing literature, not conjugating verbs.

  6. Gyre

    To be honest I actually don’t think this is bad in itself. The reaction makes it clear that the audience is supposed to think that Les is a bit full of himself. The problem isn’t with this, it’s when we’re supposed to think that Les is a passionate genius weighed down by a cruel world.

  7. I have to give Tom Batiuk some recognition for finally depicting bullying rather accurately today.

    Of course it’s not that hard, given that Les is his obvious self-portrait, and Batiuk loves to bully his readership every single day.

  8. If Les is Lord and his students are archangels, suddenly Lucifer’s rebellion against Heaven seems perfectly understandable.

  9. Epicus Doomus

    It’s just that it’s Les, you know? He’s just so annoying, it doesn’t matter what the context is. Even if he was uttering the funniest and cleverest dialog ever written, it’d still be Les doing it and it’d still be annoying. He’s just so viscerally irritating, I can’t enjoy anything about him on any level. He even annoys me when he’s just a background character standing there doing nothing.

  10. Guest Page Turner Author

    You are the Lord of Language?

    You make silly puns, and humerous quips about jogging. Unless you are wallowing in your own narcissism while discussing your late wife (while treating your current wife in a cruel and inhumane brand of self absorption )

    F Scott Fitzgerald. William Shakespeare. Alice Walker. T.S. Eliot. David Sedaris. Epicus Doomis.

    These are people who know how to express the human experience through the written word.

    Les, AKA Tom, you are a hack with a comic syndicate contract.

    I can’t even begin to expound upon the biblical hierarchy reference and it’s completely inappropriate usage here.

  11. JerrytheMacGuy

    Artists often remark how difficult it is to draw hands. Kudos to Mr.Batiuk for Les’ left hand in panel two. It is quite realistic for a comic strip, and the third dimensionality of it being extended out to the audience is impressive.

    The right, on the other hand (pun intended), is “meh”.

  12. Unless Batiuk is starting an arc questioning tenure, I don’t see the point of allowing this ignorant, insular, self-important egomaniac remind us of his own inflated self-concept. The only thing we see here is a man filled with vanity and contempt for his victims….which would probably explain most of the crap we see here.

  13. Rusty Shackleford

    Well, if his goal was to show us what a pompous a$$ Les is, then Batty exceeded expectations.

    Probably one of his better strips. He delivered an important message today.

  14. Mister Miggle

    Just when I was about to declare this week was a modest gain over the month-long class reunion, Les just had to open his goddamn mouth and make a fool out of me.

  15. A HREF

    Its almost as TB is trolling us–I agree with Gyre that this wouldn’t be so bad if TB didn’t always try to depict Les as misunderstood genius instead of Ian Cameron as a high school teacher.

  16. Long senior year? Considering grades 9-11 took a decade, you could be right.