And continues…

Today’s strip continues Nate and Linda’s inane conversation about Tank Wedgeman. It’s illuminating that these two administrators (one of Linda’s myriad responsibilities makes her an administrator, right? She’s got a hand in literally everything in this school) can’t imagine stopping the bullying, instead simply waiting it out until the kid graduates. Who cares about all the kids he victimizes in the meantime.

These strips remind me of something I mentioned way back in the Gay Prom storyline. (can we believe it’s been nearly six years?) In that strip  Nate spoke of “the intolerant” rather than “intolerance”. The issue I had was that Batiuk seemed to be framing homophobia in the context of people rather than ideas. Good people would think the way Batiuk did, and bad people would think differently. It wasn’t a matter of examining different perspectives and/or how a person might end up with problematic attitudes or behaviors. It was just an issue of The Bad People, or “the intolerant” in that strip. There isn’t any point in trying to deal with Tank’s bullying. It’s just who he is, and it won’t stop until he’s gone. They don’t engage bullying any more than Nate engaged Roberta’s issue (that we can only suppose is homophobia because Batiuk never allowed her to voice her specific objections).

It’s pretty disgusting ordinarily, but it’s especially so coming from two characters who are supposed to be educators. Hell, I think of all of Batiuk’s characters, he thinks Linda and Nate are the two most admirable teachers at the school. Unlike Les, they seem to approach their jobs in education with some form of enthusiasm, so it’s remarkable that they don’t seem to recognize teachable moments. If I’m reading Batiuk’s timeline correctly, these two have at least thirty years’ experience each, and yet bullying appears to be something they have no response to, nor think they need to deal with.



Filed under Son of Stuck Funky

24 responses to “And continues…

  1. DOlz

    A few years ago my nephew who is a music teacher at a HS told what he thought was a funny thing that happened in his class. One of his students had been out sick for a couple of weeks and he never noticed. He thought that it was hilarious that he never noticed. I got mad and told him that when ever one of students on my bus runs was out for a couple of days I always welcomed them back and asked them if they felt better. His response was that it wasn’t his job to care about his students. I exploded and told him it was his job to care about his students and when he kept saying it wasn’t I kept saying it was. He left the gathering in a huff and we haven’t spoken since.

    This is my long way of saying this kind of callous attitude from educators just pisses me off to no end. This week wasn’t funny, cute, or mildly amusing. TB this in one of the worst things you’ve written and that is a very low bar to get under.

    • Rusty Shackleford

      I know a lot of educators and the one thing that I always noticed is that they are always crying the blues with regards to money. They didn’t like it when I pointed out that if you divide pay by days worked, teachers do better than most. This is not counting their benefits package, which is better than what most get in the private sector.

      They of course flipped out and said they deserve it…I never said they didn’t, I just think their pay isn’t bad. Heck, the local football coach makes six figures.

      This is my long way of saying Bull raked in some nice dough, and that probably angered Les. So there is some justice in the world.

  2. billytheskink

    Nate: I’ve been getting complaints about Tank Wedgeman bullying kids.
    Linda: Whelp… what can we do?
    Nate: Nothing but wait ’til he graduates.

    4 days to cover this?! You could have fit it in a single panel. And the message is somehow 100 times worse than the method…

    Just when you think it hits bottom, this strip gets a newfangled excavator.

  3. Epicus Doomus

    Yep, just hang in there guys. In just a few more years those troubled students from that troubled family will be out of your hair for good so you can get back to spending your days making wry cracks about how miserable and awful everything is. Hooray for you. What a pair of detestable assholes.

    • Charles

      But that’s the thing that’s perverse about it. Tank isn’t a troubled student from a troubled family to them. He just is. Confronting him over his bullying would be like confronting water over being wet.

      • Rusty Shackleford

        Tank is just a jerk it seems.

        Ah, another rich character created by Batty. How does he do it.

      • Double Sided Scooby Snack

        To them, it’s just “football fullbacks — amirite??”

      • Epicus Doomus

        Good ol’ BatKnob, still carrying that ancient grudge against high school jocks (and cafeteria food) into his seventies. I mean let it go already, man. Even his old “boy our football team sure does blow” gags were a step up from this claptrap.

  4. spacemanspiff85

    Has anyone considered that maybe the Wedgemans are just pretending to be bullies? Like the guy that Linda is married to?

  5. Jimmy

    I’m getting a very “friendly” vibe between these two.

  6. This is why Kingpin says that people want a great big cookie for doing as little as possible and that they want someone like him to hand it to them. People like Nate or Linda don’t want to be brave or confront an evil, they just want to get through each day with encountering as little trouble as possible.

  7. louder

    Because I’m sure the Accreditation Team for Crapview High does not require bullying workshops, or anything of that nature. No, they just get so overwhelmed meeting superstar Less, that they’ve given a blanket accreditation as long as Less is on the staff. Crapview High, destroying America’s future, one student at a time!

  8. bobanero

    When the highlight of your week is a joke about mandarin oranges, it’s time to hang it up.

  9. Double Sided Scooby Snack

    Tomorrow, one of Wedgieman the Fifth’s most persistent victims brings an AR to school and makes Westview Wedgeman-Free a couple years ahead of schedule.

    Princ’pal Nate and Poodle Head sit sadly in the teacho loungeo drinking coffee. “If only we knew that bullying was a problem at this school!”

  10. Don

    Wait a minute…I’ve figured it out now; just by reading and posting to SOSF, WE are the Wedgemans!
    Also, I stand corrected from yesterday – apparently Tank is a junior, not a freshman.
    So what happens in two years – a Wedgeman cousin, or a Wedgeman sister they didn’t talk about before now?

  11. It sure seems that for Batiuk, simply mentioning an issue is the same thing as dealing with an issue. “World hunger is a problem.” There. I just solved world hunger.

  12. Their resignation to helplessness reminds me of the old Kids in the Hall sketch: “We cannot change! To change would mean…to make an effort.”

  13. Double Sided Scooby Snack

    Expecting to see this in Batty’s blog:

    Bullying. It’s a big problem in schools. I’d know. Nobody has gotten a closer view of industrial porcelain and the workings of commode plumbing than I have. I know the inside of a locker door like the back of my own hand. And nobody had more stretched out BVDs in his dresser drawer than I did. Bullying needs to stop. I’m going to make that happen.

    My mom and my three imaginary friends say, “Whoa, Tom. Taking on bullying – That takes a lot of courage. There are risks. Are you sure you know just what you’re getting into?” But I’m not afraid to say what needs to be said. To face the issue head on. To say things people don’t want to hear, or don’t want to deal with.

    I do this only because it’s the right thing to do. I don’t expect any recognition or awards. Those kinds of things aren’t important to me. But just in the event someone does need to recognize or award me, my number is Klondike 5-2368. If I don’t pick up, just talk to the answering machine. I might be in the bathroom, and it would take me a minute to get to the phone. But if I’m not there, please leave a message with your phone number and when I can call back. Maybe even leave a second number where I could reach you, and when you’ll be at that number. I’ll call you back the minute I get the message. Thanks.

    • DOlz

      I’m sorry to hear about this. “Beetle Bailey” and “Hi and Lois” were never great strips nor did they aspire to greatness. They were meant to bring a little laughter into their readers lives and usually did. Mort Walker earned his Golden T-square.

      I still want to find a copy of this book.

      • timbuys

        Thanks for sharing. Just knowing that’s out there is pretty great. When I was a kid I unironically liked both Beetle Bailey and Hi and Lois. When I found out that Beetle and Lois were related, I thought that was the coolest thing. What can I say I was easily impressed as a child.