F.U. Frankly Unbearable.

Link to today’s strip

No Cayla. Just no. She’s not going to graduate totally unemployable. Totally unemployable is the 45 year old grandmother who comes into the gas station sometimes, dentures out, in the same shirt as yesterday, still tweaking, and complaining about getting fired from her part time waitress gig at the local greasy spoon because of her nasal fistula.

Summer is going to graduate having wasted either a ton of money, or a scholarship, on a price-inflated liberal arts degree, in a field already supersaturated with competent degree holders. In her most likely job prospects, some kind of office drone, her degree will entitle her to marginally better starting pay and position that in no way recoups the time and money spent teaching her how to read Finnegan’s Wake.

Basically her new degree choice marks her forever as a dreamer, taking what seems like the most obvious, immediate path to satisfying self-actualization. But in reality making her pay through the nose for the kind of deductive reasoning and knowledge she could just as easily pick up from You-Tube videos and $5 Amazon used books. All so she can write navel-gazing, passionless, modern novels filled with listless protagonists with SJW-edgelord identity labels going through a pointless bildungsroman only to reach some kind of epiphany of vaguely positive, yet nihilistic, existentialism. No one but other literary intelligentsia will ever read her books. She’ll be forever outsold by hacks like Stephanie Meyers, and hacks of hacks like E.L. James; people who make up for terrible writing and characters with things like escapism, wish-fulfillment, simple conflicts and emotional arcs, and palpable passion for their creation. You know. The things the masses want and like to read.

I told my best friend Creative Writing English Major about what was happening in Funky Winkerbean yesterday. The second I mentioned Creative Writing English Major she shouted through the phone, “No, it’s a trap!”

But Les sits there smirking, because his daughter is about to fall into the trap he’s in. Finally company. A little LisaLes Jr., both himself and his favorite emotional prop combined. They’ll be able to commiserate and complain about frustrated artistic ambition for the rest of his life.


Filed under Son of Stuck Funky

17 responses to “F.U. Frankly Unbearable.

  1. It sounds as though Summer has no idea what she’s doing in college in the first place. I suppose it’s possible that she’ll be picked up by some professional basketball team–she’s the hero’s daughter, after all–so her major is irrelevant. But it sounds as if nothing interests her at all, which, given that she’s the hero’s daughter and has had her childhood relentlessly torn away from her in the service of weak puns, is too sadly plausible. Hey, I can write just as badly as Tom Batiuk, see?

  2. spacemanspiff85

    Les isn’t worried because he knows Funky won’t care what kind of degree Summer has when he hires her on as assistant manager in two years, after Wally is totally forgotten about.

    • Tom

      Degrees in Westview are unusual. One needs a business degree to be 2nd shift manager of the pizza shop. An architect’s degree qualifies you to design and hang track lighting. Only the “educators” truly benefit from college. We all know why.

  3. Epicus Doomus

    “Les’ Story, Or How I Learned To Stop Grieving And Cash In On My Mother’s Death Like Dad Did”…the first novel from acclaimed college basketball star Summer Moore. If I (God help me) was Cayla, I’d be more concerned about Summer still being in college seven years after she graduated from high school. I’d probably wonder why Keisha was still in school too, now that I think of it.

    I said it yesterday, but it’s like he suddenly realized he’d forgotten all about Summer and threw together a cheesy college cliche arc to atone for it and get us all “up to speed” on the character. I’m likewise assuming that trying to draw an adult Summer was way too daunting for the current FW “creative team”, so the arc is “about” her without actually showing her. If I recall correctly she was always one of the less consistently rendered characters back in the day, he never got the nose right from day to day. But what else is new? It’s kind of a blessing anyhow, as Summer was always annoying beyond words, unless you were into really twee grittiness, which no one is.

    • Comic Book Harriet

      Twee grittiness sounds like putting that canary from Looney Tunes through a rock chipper.

      • Epicus Doomus

        Squealing with girlish glee one minute, staring down social injustice and/or basketball foes the next. It was excruciating, just beyond unbearable. I mean when you combine Les and (ugh) Lisa (who lest we forget was nearly as irritating as Les) you get a real mess. Full of grit, yet sickeningly twee in order to tone down the tomboy-ness. Blech. Summer is definitely not missed.

    • Charles

      I’m likewise assuming that trying to draw an adult Summer was way too daunting for the current FW “creative team”, so the arc is “about” her without actually showing her.

      I doubt it. She’s just Lisa with Les’s hair color.

  4. Paul Jones

    Aimless children like that are usually the fault of inept, uninvolved parenting. Boomers never seem to understand this truth.

  5. Charles

    The problem Summer’s going to run into for future employment isn’t that she changed majors or that she majored in the “wrong” discipline. It’s that she went to Kent State and it took her nine years to graduate.

    Seriously, go to the top grad schools in the country, in any discipline, and you won’t find a Kent State grad in any of them. It’s not a mediocre school. It’s genuinely bad.

  6. gleeb

    Your best friend Creative Writing Major, huh?

  7. As if Sociology majors are in high demand and make big bucks

  8. This isn’t a comment on the strip, it’s on the post. Well done, CBH. Well done. Beautifully executed critique of higher ed, of humanities majors, of overpriced and inflated tuition, and of the true definition of “unemployable.” And I say this all as a recovering English major.

  9. billytheskink

    “Totally unemployable” says the woman who turned a softball scholarship and (presumably) a degree from the University of Toldeo into a decades-long career as a high school secretary.

  10. Professor Fate

    As a side note this arc did make me think that despite Les being portrayed as a sensitive writer artist, you have no idea who is favorite writer is other than himself. And for someone who is supposed to be the lord of language he never even quotes anybody. I mean Shakespeare and Dickens are well in the public domain but nope not a syllable. Another example if anymore was needed of the Author’s shortcomings.
    To borrow from another Strip it would be as if Schroder was described as liking ‘music’ rather than being obsessed with Beethoven. Being specific helps Coleridge’s ‘willing suspension of disbelief’ which as Stephen King pointed out is very heavy and the least little thing will cause it to come crashing down. Again it’s a mark of the Author’s shortcomings that you can hear the sound of crashing disbeliefs in abundance as you read this strip.
    Yes I was an English Major why do you ask?

  11. Charles

    I do feel that I need to push back on the notion that your choice of major determines your career destiny and thus your major significantly limits whatever you may choose to do with your life. If you choose to be a Creative Writing major, that doesn’t mean that you have to be a novelist, or even work in fiction publishing or you’re gonna end up working in McDonald’s. Christ, you can be an English major and still go to med school.

    My college girlfriend was an art major who’s now a CPA. I have a close friend who was a French/Spanish double major who now runs a large retirement community outside a major city. I went to grad school with a philosophy major who’s now Chief of Staff of a hospital. Yes, she was able to go to med school AND law school despite selecting a major that only preps her for… what exactly are we saying philosophy majors are limited to? I can give you plenty more examples.

    So technically Summer would still have plenty of employment options available to her no matter what her major was. Her main impediments are, as I noted before, that she went to Kent State and diddled around a lot while she was there, and that she’s written by Tom Batiuk who believes the same fiction that your major restricts what you’re going to do with the rest of your life.