The Les You Know-Part 4

Link to today’s strip.

I’m not sure about the obscurity level of “above the fold.”  I’ve heard the phrase for decades, but I’ve heard a lot of things for decades so I can’t judge about whether it’s commonly known.  Thus, I am uncertain if the twins are supposed to be stupid or not.

Oh, who am I kidding, they’re Kids Today so of course they’re stupid…in myriad ways, too.

Les’ dialogue in the last panel is really odd, with all those ellipses, and the fact that it just peters out.  More evidence that Tom Batiuk just can’t be bothered with thinking how something should be constructed to convey meaning in the best way.  “Okay, back in the old days, a story appearing above the fold would signify importance.  Just like your stories will!”  I mean, that took maybe ten seconds of thought.

Think what it could have been if I’d had a whole year to refine it.

If you’ve ever watched a kitten playing with a toy, it’s a mad rush of whirling and pouncing, followed by batting to start the whole thing over again.  Tom Batiuk and his writing remind me of that same toy and cat, now at least a decade from kittenhood.  The cat takes a couple of desultory slaps at that once beloved toy before adjudging the playing process “complete” and returning to its nap.

28 Comments

Filed under Son of Stuck Funky

28 responses to “The Les You Know-Part 4

  1. Or how about explaining that the newspaper is folded when it is on display at a newsstand, and that the stories above the fold are more visible, and that’s why you want to put the important ones there. He could even bring his copy of the Westview Gazette (you DO subscribe to the paper, right Les?) and demonstrate.

    And I guess the Westview Gazette is relying on a bunch of incompetent High School students to write their front page stories because they’ve laid off all their professional journalists.

    • Saturnino

      “And I guess the Westview Gazette is relying on a bunch of incompetent High School students to write their front page stories because they’ve laid off all their professional journalists.”
      The Gazzette is probably a local rag put out by the Plain Dealer.

      And when Gannett buys the Plain Dealer (if they already haven’t), like all other Gazettes, the Westview Gazette will be reduced to about 5 pages of crap with huge advertising inserts.

  2. Epicus Doomus

    “What’s a comic strip?”

    “Well, it used to be a relevant American pop culture art form but now it’s a place for tired old hacks to run out the string and receive meaningless awards…”

  3. Gerard Plourde

    As if we needed confirmation that the Westview Gazette is not a daily and does not print breaking news, the county fair story written by the high school students is their lead story. It’s also a sure thing that it doesn’t have a comics page.

  4. spacemanspiff85

    You know what absolutely does not signify that you’re writing something important? When you just ramble off and leave a sentence and “joke” totally incomplete.

  5. billytheskink

    These kids have nearly as much experience with newspapers as Les does. I think this Act I strip sums up Les’ journalism experience well:

  6. bayoustu

    I’ll bet a story about a talking chimpanzee would be above the fold!!

  7. Banana Jr. 6000

    Christ, four days in a row of “journalism students don’t know a journalism thing.” I bet they all have an encyclopedic knowledge of “Lisa’s Story”, though.

    • Max Power

      It is something else: four days of slack jaws, google eyes, and continuous shock and confusion over what Les is trying to explain to them about their stupid “assignment”. Coming tomorrow: Les tries to explain what a “headline” is to his stupefied and incredulous students.

    • spacemanspiff85

      I mean, if journalism students don’t know a thing about journalism, wouldn’t the journalism teacher be to blame for that, at least to some degree?

      • Rusty Shackleford

        Exactly. What a terrible teacher he is. Instead of the constant eye rolling, why don’t you teach them something.

        Hopefully those crankshaft twins are stealing from Les similar to how they would scam the old bookseller lady.

  8. Jimmy

    Les is the worst teacher in history.

  9. Paul Jones

    Just think. Two more “teenagers are useless and bad and stupid and no, I’m not a FAILED teacher who is too arrogant and self-absorbed to relate to people” strips left. Next week, being purposefully vague about a bus driver.

  10. To my eye, it looks like he is talking to the entire staff. So does that mean that everyone’s stories will be appearing above the fold? Also, how would the twins not know what a fold is? I mean, I assume the Westview Gazette isn’t only online, right? Unless they’re counting on clickbait to fund the school programs. “What This Dolt of an English Teacher Told His Students Next Was Incredible.” “Avoid These 5 Places in Westview if You Don’t Want Cancer, Say Doctors.”

  11. You guys! I think I’ve found the real-life Les Moore!

    • Rusty Shackleford

      Yeah, he is a reporter for the Medina Gazette.

      Of course he has to show everybody that he has read these comics properly by posting cut outs from a real newspaper.

    • Banana Jr. 6000

      Northeast Ohio is oddly proud of FW. Supposedly there’s a restaurant that bills itself the “real life Montoni’s”, as if this were something to aspire to. This guy apparently works for the real-life Westview Gazette. I get that it’s fun to see your little town referenced in a national media property. But come on, Cleveland, Drew Carey exists.

      • Rusty Shackleford

        Not sure about NE Ohio being proud of him. A lot of the exposure he gets is because (to his credit) he is very charitable towards many local places. He uses KSU’s printing house, does artwork on campus, supports local events, etc.

        He was popular back in the day with Music Educators and in fact at my high school, the Band Director’s office door had a painting of Dinkle on it. I doubt any schools have paintings of Lefty in their band rooms. Medina High School May have one?

        Luigi’s Pizza in Akron is Montoni’s. Back in my college days it was a popular hangout. Today, it is like FW, tired, worn out, and way past it’s prime. I doubt many young people who go to KSU, or go to Montoni’s know or care about FW.

        • Rusty Shackleford

          By the way, Bill Watterson also did some artwork for University Hospitals in Cleveland.

          https://www.cleveland.com/metro/2016/10/cartoon_collage_at_university.html

        • Banana Jr. 6000

          Oh, I know the strip used to be a lot better. I grew up in the 80s, and remember seeing strips taped up all around school. Especially band. The Harry Dinkle character really captured the monomania of all band directors. Being a nerd, I related to Les and his struggles. So I’m with you on all that.

          Maybe that’s why the strip irritates people so much – we know it’s capable of better.

  12. Rusty Shackleford

    Very true. Once he got all serious and started writing for awards committees he lost a lot of followers. This just made him dig his heels in and put more crap in the strip.

  13. Charles

    I think Les uses marginally obscure jargon like this just to trigger this sort of reaction, so he has the opportunity to show disdain for his students and feel superior. He does it so often that he must expect it by now. He’s doing it on purpose.