No Conflict of Interest.

Link to today’s strip

What is going on with Les’ face in panel two today? I can only guess that Ayers saw the word vomit in the speech bubble and decided to give Les an expression to match. It’s a pretty apt depiction since Les is just regurgitating yesterday’s substance.

And good old principal Nate today, distilling into one word the thing most perniciously wrong with Funky Winkerbean. Les presents him with something potentially contentious, and Nate agrees.

No argument about the students’ obligation to be in school, the potential debasing of non-violent rule breaking as a tool of last resort, or the use of the school’s own vehicle of propaganda to take a position on a divisive issue where the student body is likely not unified in viewpoint. Nate agrees. All ‘good’ people agree. Everyone seen is in agreement. The potential opponents are an unseen undefined ‘badness’ that must not be personified.

This is worse storytelling than the Big Gay Prom arc, because at least in that we had a strawwoman in opposition. She was about as nuanced as a shrieking harpy ruining everyone’s lunch, but she was there. Opposition leads to drama. It resists the goal of the protagonists, making them work for what they want. And, most importantly to Batiuk’s goals, it gives what they’re fighting for weight. Debate lets the characters themselves tell the audience why: Why is a walkout the best way for these students to protest school shootings? Does anyone think there is a better way? Is there any specific legislation or legislators these kids are targeting? We’ll probably never know, because so far no one asked.

If Les and Bernie had to convince the Principal to allow the editorial, if they had to explain themselves to parents or disagreeing students, or if they had to potentially sacrifice something to stage this protest, then the ‘protest’ might seem like something more than what it is: hollow, passionless, consequence free virtue-signaling.

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17 Comments

Filed under Son of Stuck Funky

17 responses to “No Conflict of Interest.

  1. Panel two Les: Oh, and I let a bunch of students decide to walk out of class on some day or another. I don’t care, because, as you may know, my wife died of cancer. And that’s the only important thing ever.

    Panel two Nate: You are so right.

  2. billytheskink

    “National walkout urging action to prevent gun violence” is the new “my father, John Darling”, isn’t it?

    • Cabbage Jack

      Yeah, that dialogue. Yeesh. There should be a walkout to protest the writing in panel two.

  3. Gerard Plourde

    So Nate is ok with letting the kids he is responsible for just walk out of the building? No question whether he has to clear it with the superintendent? No concerns how this is going to be organized or what kind of adult supervision might be required? Heck, he may as well go on and tell them they can all just walk down to Montoni’s or the Komix Korner for the rest of the day.

  4. spacemanspiff85

    Next week: “I gave my Bleat students the okay to run an editorial urging the students to walk out on the anniversary of that car wreck a year ago.”
    The next week: “I gave my Bleat students the okay to run an editorial urging the students to walk out on the anniversary of one of the days Lisa had cancer.”
    The next week: “I gave my Bleat students the okay to run an editorial urging the students to walk out to protest walkouts.”
    The next week: “I gave my Bleat students the okay to run an editorial urging the students to walk out to protest Vietnam, the war you fought in, so suck it, Nate.”

    • Max Power

      January, 2020: “I gave my Bleat students permission to run an editorial to encourage a walk out in honor of the first anniversary of the Jussie Smollett attack.”
      February, 2020: “I gave my Bleat students permission to run an editorial to encourage a walk out in honor of the first anniversary of the exposure of the Jussie Smollett hoax.”

  5. spacemanspiff85

    And if this week doesn’t conclude with a photo album panel of Les with his machine gun in the school, with Les rambling about how when he brought a gun to school, it was for comedy, I’ll be very disappointed.

  6. Epicus Doomus

    Nate exposed his inner wishy-washiness via his ultra-lame and incredibly non-committal gay prom ruling, a sad moment the character will never, ever live down. Note how Dick Facey, practically bursting with journalistic integrity, just tells his boss what’s what, with no hesitation or fear at all. They should have installed Becky’s mother as principal when they had the chance, that woman brooked no foolishness, bearded or otherwise. Nate is a putz.

    As usual he’s not “telling a story” at all. It reads like something a fifth grader wrote on the bus to school in the morning. The characters are just repeating a topic, not “addressing” it in any way. It could literally be anything and the template would be exactly the same. “The students will be protesting the Blankets For Babies charity tomorrow”…the topic is irrelevant. Yet when BatYak gloats about it he’ll make it sound like some deeply thought-provoking genre-bending piece of art, not something he threw together and stuffed in the prepaid CK envelope. Jerk.

    And f*ck Les Moore too. For 90% of the school year he’s openly disgusted by his students and avoids showing up for work whenever possible, but today he’s leading the big integrity parade down Delicate Genius Blvd. F*ck him and his courageous stands, I’d like to “stand” on his torso and drop cinder blocks on his face. Jerk.

    • Rusty Shackleford

      A fifth grader would do a better job. A one panel strip with a simple drawing, and the words “gun violence is bad”

  7. Paul Jones

    In the hands of a better artist, Nate would be depicted as a giant rubber stamp that floats in the air. The man would have said “Good” if Les had just declared that he had just had sex with his wife.

  8. Rusty Shackleford

    Batty inadvertently shows us the attitude of the typical educator. From snow days, in-service days, walkouts, anything to get out of the classroom.

  9. Buckeye Feculence

    Way to look the other way. There’s nothing like teaching kids that civil disobedience has no consequences.

  10. ian'sdrunkenbeard

    “Good. Go ahead. But when Superintendent Chalmers comes down on us, this conversation never happened.”
    “But what…”
    “You’re on your own, Goatee Boy.”