This is a good example of what I mentioned yesterday–the majority of “stories” in this strip are people complaining about something without being specific in their complaints. “X stinks, man.” “Yeah, X sure stinks.” “Good, we agree that X stinks. See you tomorrow.” “Not if I’m lucky, you won’t!” (smirk) (smirk)
If you look at the dialogue in this strip (sorry to make you read it again) you could replace the word “hazing” with anything, and nothing would change. Smoking. Drinking. Farting. Reading comic books. Reading Funky Winkerbean. Try it; it actually makes the strip enjoyable. Is Tom Batiuk crediting his readers with already knowing what “hazing” is, or does he just not care?
Well, let’s see, here’s a strip with Becky and Dinkle chatting. I left it blank what they’re chatting about…time to turn on the news! Say, this story about hazing sounds good!
Today, Dinkle throws out “Stockholm Syndrome” with no clarification and again, it could be that Tom Batiuk credits his readers with enough intelligence to know what Stockholm Syndrome is…or it could just be the case that he threw it in, knowing it would make him sound smart.
It doesn’t really seem appropriate for a
story vague chat about “hazing” though–while there have been some recent horrible stories about hazing, in those cases the hazee didn’t immediately turn around and defend those who had wronged him. Nope, in the case I heard about, police and the courts got involved and the ending was not pretty.
I would say that particular incident might have started as hazing, but quickly turned into abuse, and abuse is another matter entirely that I don’t think anyone would find defensible (or funny). I should note that I’ve never experienced hazing from either end, but from what I understand it’s supposed to be a good-natured trial by fire endured to enter some club or another. You would never know what hazing is if you relied on this strip. Or Stockholm Syndrome for that matter.
We could see the effects of this hazing on a student (in a conversation with Becky), or actually see the hazing in question. But I’m going to put my money on “No, we won’t.” The rest of the week will be like today:
Two people having a nothing conversation. Has Tom Batiuk been held prisoner by the forces of mediocrity so long that he now believes them to be his only friends, his guiding lights?
Art-wise, it’s eerie how Becky almost morphs into the gal in the second panel. Same height, nearly same expression, just further left in the pane. It’s such an odd thing to look at that it has to be deliberate. I assume that he just doesn’t scribble stuff down and be done for the day, but I may be mistaken!