Go Forth and Be All The Failure You Can Be!

Link to today’s strip.

I was actually reading an article recently that was a bit critical of having celebrities delivering commencement addresses instead of weightier, more scholarly people.  The idea was that the scholars could give wise council and practical advice, but all you’d get from celebrities would be jokes and vapid pronouncements.  I don’t care one way or the other, but in this case, Principal Nate’s request surprises me.

What’s Mason done that would make him an attractive candidate?  He’s an actor who is apparently frightened of speaking before a group of high school kids–and I’m thinking he’s frightened for a damned good reason.  His only known credit in the strip (and the one he himself immediately names) is Dino Deer, which sounds like something the SyFy channel would reject without hesitation.   True, he is in the new Starbuck Jones movie (I knew we were getting back to that) but that hasn’t even wrapped yet so there’s no telling if it will add to his luster (ie, Guardians of the Galaxy) or become a millstone (ie, Green Lantern).

His one inexplicable accomplishment is that everyone in Westview is infatuated with him–for no real discernible reason, other than he’s better looking than any other male in town.   All the women at Les’ house were practically fainting when he was staying there–this for a guy who was in Dino Deer.  I’m trying to think of a real-life actor who is similarly beloved at large, despite having only mediocre films under his belt.

But this is apparently just what Principal Nate is looking for–a handsome man who has some mad money, but is otherwise unaccomplished.   (I’m starting to be convinced that Mason was born into wealth, and his acting is more of a hobby than a profession.)  I guess this will prepare the students for the life of mediocrity that awaits them in Westview (without the “handsome” part of course, and with the “mad money” being unlikely) but it seems pretty uninspiring.  I guess Nate’s idea is to get someone who can lie to them convincingly on this one day, when hope is still reachable, before their lives crash to earth the next morning.

Of course, using another, less random speaker would mean that Tom Batiuk would have to introduce a new character, and build that character until he (or she) seemed a good choice for commencement speaker.   But that seems like a lot of work, so I guess Mason will do.  I’m sure he would have loved using Les Moore, but not to worry, I’m sure Mason’s speech will be eerily Les-like.


Filed under Son of Stuck Funky

24 responses to “Go Forth and Be All The Failure You Can Be!

  1. spacemanspiff85

    I mean, it’s not like there’s an alum of that very high school who used to be on network news and is now working on that newfangled Internet, or anything. Or, for that matter, another alum who actually used to write for the most famous superhero ever. Or another alum who’s somehow kept open a business in Westview. Or another alum who is a legitimate war hero. Or another alum who probably filmed a tape labeled “Lisa’s Commencement Speech” the week before she died of cancer.

  2. billytheskink

    See, if I was Nate, this is where I’d scoff “Frightening? You know Les gave a graduation speech here, right?” Of course, if I was Nate I also would not have referred to Mason Jarr in the third person when he was sitting right across from me. Easy to say, I guess, but Westview does things to a man…

  3. Come on, Mason Jarr the Actor, it’ll be easy. “Comic books comic books comic books cancer pizza comic books comic books bad wordplay smirk.” Works every time.

  4. Epicus Doomus

    “As you stride confidently toward your future, no matter how many obstacles life throws at you, you’re from Westview. So no matter where you are or what you’re doing, pizza and comic books! There is no other happiness!”

    (Tremendous cheers, standing ovation)

    I read that article too BC. I was hoping WHS would choose that guy who fixed Montoni’s band box, as he’s a true cog of the community. Or maybe Fitness Girl, given everything she goes through. As far as Mason goes, he’s just like Starbuck Jones. Batiuk can’t decide if he’s a young up & comer or an established icon, just like how sometimes SJ is an obscure cult classic and sometimes it’s the most popular thing that’s ever been. But yep, Westviewians really seem to adore the guy. The actual Dick Tracy walks in one day and they have him lugging boxes around but the star of “Dino Deer” pops by and they’re all a-swoon. The worst part is that Les knew him first and you know he’s always bragging about it. Ugh, I hate that guy.

    “Aliens attacking graduation”…yeah, I could definitely see why intelligent life from a different planet would want to systematically exterminate everyone in that particular building, sure. I mean who wouldn’t? Perhaps they need the charred corpses of complete imbeciles to fuel their advanced alien propulsion systems or something. Or maybe there’s a bizarre race of mega-Batiuk fans out there on some distant exoplanet where it takes nine years for each new FW strip to travel that far across space. They’ve just learned that “Lisa’s Story” didn’t snag the Pulitzer and boy are they pissed.

  5. Rusty

    Oh, the Lord of Language will.be crafting a real ripsnorter of a.commencement speech for the rapidly balding Mason Jarr.

  6. spacemanspiff85

    Here’s what I’m almost certain will be the only line of the speech we actually see, if we see any of it:
    “As Starbuck Jones once said, shoot for the stars!”

  7. spacemanspiff85

    Batiuk’s latest blog entry is pretty ironic. The entire entry is literally just him recounting what happened in a Green Lantern comic fifty years ago and talking about how awesome it is, without any kind of analysis or reflection, and in the midst of it he randomly describes a Republican as “a brainless, uncaring, soulless husk devoid of all humanity”. Because spending all your time obsessed with cheesy fifty year old comics is so much more noble than whatever Republicans do that Batiuk dislikes.

  8. Double Sided Scooby Snack

    Pardon my limited command of Medieval Italian, but are you fucking kidding me? The doofus who needed a bent nail to summon the courage to participate in a FUCKING TABLE READ, for God’s sake, is the choice for graduation speaker??

    It would help if BatWit ever made up his mind whether Masonn Jar The Hollywood Movie Actor is a C-list nobody or a Tom Hanks-level cinema celebrity. Not long ago, he was cast in a made-for-TV (by a schlocky cable company) low-budget movie. Now he’s Starbuck Jones, which doesn’t exist outside of Batty’s pointy little bald head, but seems to be a huge deal in the Funkiverse. We think. We’re not sure. It’s hard to tell. I mean, when he stands up to give his speech, would he be met with wild applause or everyone nudging each other asking “who’s that?”

    And is it really a principal’s call whether or not their graduation ceremony may be turned into a movie set? Or should that call be made at a higher pay code? And who would negotiate the use of this venue? The director and one of the actors?? Really??

    And I guess it would be foolish to ask why a graduation scene in a movie HAS to be a real one, shot live. Presumably in one take. Is it ridiculously out of the question to use a Hollywood sound stage with real actors and extras? Hell, I’m sure there’s also stock footage of graduation ceremonies already available.

    I apologize, but even in the funny papers, something has to make some sense at some level, or it’s just stupid, forced, and contrived. This is stupid, forced and contrived, and makes absolutely no sense. But it’s called “writing,” so just kick back and enjoy what The Author graciously gives us.

  9. Epicus Doomus

    “Exalted Grand Leader, we’ve just received the latest transmission from the secret Westveiwian monitoring satellite. We’ve confirmed that he will be present at the ceremony.”

    “Good, good. Proceed as planned. Full velocity with all space torpedoes.”

    “But…but sir! Hundreds of innocent Earthlings could die and…”


    “(Sigh) As you wish, commander. Set all sights on target code name: Dick With Ears. Fire at will.”

  10. Oh, super. We have to watch some mushhead spout nonsense to kids so a bureaucratic microbe can make himself feel important. Meanwhile, on the other side, we have to watch Jffff spend the next fifty years whining because his EVIL mother willed herself to die in her sleep before he could redeem her and make his family wonderful and so on and so forth.

  11. More industrial strength stupidity: Why would Principal Nate wait till SIX DAYS before graduation to find a graduation speaker?

  12. Jimmy

    The only thing of which I am certain is Starbuck Jones the movie will be a cinematic spectacle that only Ed Wood could love.

  13. Rusty Shackleford


    Yeah, they don’t currently have a speaker booked? Though it would be funny if the speaker was Les and they devoted a week to him sulking and pouting.

    And really, they have to film this at actual graduation, there is just no possible way they could stage such an event…ah, the world according to Batty.

  14. Saturnino

    “Yeah, they don’t currently have a speaker booked? Though it would be funny if the speaker was Les and they devoted a week to him sulking and pouting.”

    They actually had an accomplished speaker booked, but the kids revolted and wanted an oncologist who could talk about his worst failures so they could prepare for their mortality epiphanies as they set out in life. No lawyer would let his oncologist client do that, so the Nabob of the bent nail is the best they could do.

  15. Sorry… Normally I’d be happy to jump in on this, but after the Penguins loss last night, FW is the last kind of bullshit I’m in the mood to analyze right now…

  16. @hitorque. I feel your pain. I wanted the Pens to win, too. Because…PENGUINS!


    I love how it’s Mason Jarr giving the orders and not you know..the friggin director. I’m starting to think this guy must be having his “Apocalypse Now” moment. I’m sure Marianne Winters will be showing up 30 pounds heavy.

  18. billytheskink

    and in the midst of it he randomly describes a Republican as “a brainless, uncaring, soulless husk devoid of all humanity”.

    I guess that means there are a lot of Republicans in this strip.

    Not to dwell on the slog that is Crankshaft, but today’s off-panel appearance of Jff’s sister Jan (Murdoch) Darling did make me think about something I hadn’t thought of before. Poor Jan worked for years with an insufferable idiot, got married to said insufferable idiot, saw that insufferable idiot murdered and waited 10 (maybe 20?) years to find out who did it and receive some semblance of closure, and also raised her daughter from infancy as a single working parent. On top of all that, she grew up with the same bitter and abusive mother that Jff did. I mean, dang…

  19. ComicBookHarriet

    You know, I’ve loved hating on the Funkyverse for some time now. Ever since we were getting Funkywatch on Comics Alliance. But Crankshaft today finally pushed me over the edge into genuine hate and rage. Two weeks of a slow lingering death, meandering back and forth, full of exhaustion, despair, and trauma, juxtaposed with horrible wry observations, constantly changing in time and setting for no real reason. Each day was a short, repetitive statement, never furthering an idea or building on what came before. Like a Trump speech about hated old hags dying.

  20. Professor Fate

    I think it will be a short speech – “pizza! Comic Books! Bent Nails! Failure! Cancer! Death!”
    And why aliens would attack a high school is puzzling – unless they have completely run out of targets – “it’s this or a mime school” (joke borrowed from Hot Shots)

  21. bad wolf

    I’m still trying to think of a film that comes close to this weird acceleration in the strip, flying past things that could have been stretched out for weeks and focusing on developments so unrealistic as to be semi-hallucinatory.

    2001: A Space Odyssey? Mulholland Drive? Vanilla Sky? Synechdoche, NY?

  22. Gerard Plourde


    Great insight on your part regarding the mess that is on display in Crankshaft (rapidly becoming as bleak as FW). Sadly, for The Author each character is fungible part, with no history beyond the story line he’s trying to develop. Jan’s sole purpose today was to deny Jeff an opportunity for closure. Before today where was Jan during Rose’s last illness? She’s not in any of the scenes during the hospitalization, diagnosis or decline. Why is she calling and not a member of the hospital staff? (I assume that Jeff is listed as primary contact since Rose lived with him.) Was Jan at the hospital outside of visiting hours? If so, was she called because the staff knew that Rose was dying and, if that’s the case, why didin’t Jeff get a similar phone call?

    Once more we have gaping plot holes larger than the Grand Canyon. “It’s called ‘writing'”.

  23. The Dreamer

    Okay…take bets! What are the odds that Owen and Cody, who have been at Westview for like 8 years now, are finally graduating?

    Maybe so since Batiuk just introduced the Doublemint Twins to replace them.

    But that would mean Owen actually *passed* a class!



    You know. Characters die. It happens in a strip. And occasionally we see funerals, grieving, psychological effects of said death. I don’t think I have ever seen a death dragged out to this fucking degree! I literally feel like I the reader am being forced to attend a funeral of a very terrible human being.