The Lost Generation.

Link to today’s strip

Pete has totally declared himself forever stuck in the nineties, the only decade when a child might not recognize a box of LPs on sight. “What are these?” There’s a record player on the friggen desk you dunce! With music coming out! Ruby has worked in the same office with you for how long? Pete comes across as a amnesiac toddler pointing to things he has to have seen a million times before and asking, “Wat dat?”

And all to cover the limitations of sloppy artwork. A more natural beginning to the conversation would be. “Hey Ruby, why did you bring your old record player in?”

The strip is nonsensical all across the board. Every panel has something either inane or baffling.

Everyone likes to listen to music while working. Find me a person who enjoys working in complete silence and I’ll have another name to add to my list of suspected pod-people.

And the record player is ON HER DESK, she might not even need to stand to flip that LP over. Does standing register steps on a fitbit? I’m guessing that Batiuk wanted to give an interesting juxtaposition of old and new technology to show that Ruby is hip with the times. But for THIS joke to work the record player would need to be on a separate table a few feet away. Which would have been doable, but Batiuk and Ayers didn’t even bother.

Strap in folks. It’s going to be a bumpy week.


Filed under Son of Stuck Funky

31 responses to “The Lost Generation.

  1. Epicus Doomus

    “What’s that, Ruby?”

    “Oh, those are my ol’ wax cylinders. You put them on the phonograph, turn this crank, put your ear right up against this big horn thing and the music plays.”

    “I see. What’s that you’re drinking?”

    “Oh, that’s just my laudanum. It’s good for most any ailment, like the vapors, biliousness or lady troubles. I stocked up when the traveling medicine show came through Westview back in aught-six.”

    See, it could have been even worse. I sure wish I had one of these phantasmagorical jobs these people all seem to have, where you mainly goof around and have fun all day. Then again, they all always seem miserable so I dunno.

  2. “Huh! I never noticed you had a record player, or that you played music on it! Even though I work in the same office a few feet away from you! No, I never heard a thing!”

    It’s like the Ice Cream Man shows up, and the only flavors he has are shredded hair and corn pulp. There isn’t a good choice.

    • William Thompson

      Aren’t Rubella’s co-workers and boss going to complain that her music is disrupting the work environment? (Not that this is a bad thing, not at Hacktomic Komix).

    • comicbookharriet

      Corn pulp wouldn’t really make a completely inedible ice cream flavor, I imagine. You ever eat frozen corn straight from the bag? S’good stuff.

  3. William Thompson

    If that’s a red laser dot on Rubella’s forehead, I wish the gunman would collimate the laser properly. I’d hate to think he would miss because he can’t maintain his equipment.

  4. William Thompson

    You just know she listens to the sort of Fifties crap that gave payola a bad name.

    • Doghouse Reilly (Philadelphia)

      Given her “Young Pioneers” cap and general history, I think it’s more than likely her record crate is full of ’50s/’60s folk/protest pop (Woody Guthrie, Pete Seeger, Phil Ochs, pre-electric Dylan), with some Russian collective music and maybe a soupcon of Leonard Cohen.

      • justifiable

        Good luck if it’s Phil Ochs’ “Love Me, I’m a Liberal” – that’s hypocritical Todd in a nutshell.

      • William Thompson

        I’d give her some points if she’s got any Vladimir Vysotsky in there, but if she goes in for protest music, it’s going to be generic, safe-for-AM-radio crap. Burl Ives would be my first guess.

  5. Banana Jr. 6000

    Oh, come on, Batiuk, you lazy hack. Vinyl records have been resurgent for 8-15 years now. Mostly among insufferable hipsters, but enough that someone like Pete would know what one is.

    If anything, young people in 2020 wouldn’t recognize a compact disc on sight.

    • justifiable

      And what rabid reader of Golden and Silver Age comics wouldn’t have seen LPs or a record player depicted at least once in their pages?
      What sort of fucking toolbox…oh, wait, I forgot who writes this shit.

    • Count of Tower Grove

      Vinyl has been resurgent since I started buying CDs thirty years ago. They sound soooo much better, you know! Until the second playing.
      And I haven’t bought a CD since 2003.

      • Banana Jr. 6000

        Yeah, if there’s one trend I never would have predicted, it’s that vinyl would make a comeback. There’s nothing warm, rich, authentic, or anything else good about it. And now, it’s expensive relative to other formats, as Rusty Shackleford points out below. But some people do buy it.

    • batgirl

      My son, who is in his early 30s, buys more vinyl than I do. What is this the freakin’ Ellen show? Next it will be ooh, millennials can’t use a rotary phone, tee-hee.

      • Rusty Shackleford

        I think it is an expensive and cumbersome way to enjoy music, but if that’s your thing, then enjoy. I used to ooh and aah at the fancy hi-fi sets when I was younger. Now I enjoy the convenience of carrying all my music in my pocket.

        I know people who only read real books and hate e-readers. Once again, I think printed books can be beautiful, but I love e-readers. Especially now that I am past age 50. With the e-reader I can adjust the text so that I do not need reading glasses.

        I can see months of Crankshaft comics based on these themes, but Batty just puts out the same crap every year. County Fair, trip to NYC, gardening, raking leaves, bowling, golfing, bookstore crap.

  6. louder

    I was going to make a comment, but then deleted it because this is so damn dumb, words can’t express my disdain for this cheap, unthinking crap.

  7. I’d be fine with Mopey Pete’s question if he was trying to ask what her record collection was, like, what kind of music she had there. Ruby misunderstanding the point of the question would be normal enough, and the confusion would be cleared up if they had a real discussion.

    So, yeah, I know, I keep giving Batiuk the benefit of the doubt even when I know my trust won’t be rewarded.

  8. Doghouse Reilly (Philadelphia)

    I can’t believe that I’m about to play “Battyuk’s Advocate” here, but to me it’s conceivable that Mopey’s reaction to Ruby’s musical set-up is less “What are these strange plastic discs, and what is their purpose?” than an unstated “Wow, you brought your whole record collection into work instead of an iPod or even a radio?” I mean, in the real world people do see something they recognize yet still make a remark along the lines of “What’s all this, then?”

    This may all be humorless twaddle, how many office conversations aren’t?

    • justifiable

      Nah, not buying it. If he actually knew what they were, he’d have stopped her at any point in her two-panel explanation to say “I know that, I meant…” Instead, he just stands there like he’s never heard any of this before. This confirms that Gropey Pete was raised in a cave, had no parents (or at least none that kept even one LP, not even a copy of “Thriller,” which pretty much makes them aliens), and never saw one single film or read one single vintage komik that had a record or record player in it.

      The good news is that Todd is still a fucking idiot.

  9. spacemanspiff85

    I have a feeling the reason Batiuk had Pete ask “What are these?” is because he honestly thinks the young people in his audience doesn’t know what vinyl records are. Which is hilarious for two reasons, since records are popular again with some young people, and young people don’t read his strip.

    • Rusty Shackleford

      True. Ask a kid who Funky Winkerbean is and they would think it’s a candy or slang for some drug.

      • gleeb

        Or just slap your face because they either assume it’s an unnatural act or they actually know what it is.

  10. billytheskink

    Pete walks on a Flash treadmill while working, so I’ll buy that he is utterly baffled by things normal people understand easily: vinyl records, the concept of listening to music while working, asking coworkers about their workplace habits well before they’ve been there 6 months.

  11. Paul Jones

    Since Batiuk has his finger up his rectum instead of on the pulse of teenagers, he’s blind to the sort of audio snob who purchases vinyl releases of Coldplay so he can boast about the warm, organic sound you get with an LP. Furries and Bronies make the grade in things to look down on but to have a kid talk like Frank Barone, the gorge rises at it. They want nothing to do with it.

    • Rusty Shackleford

      Yeah, I know someone at work who is like this. Invests in all this fancy equipment, expensive speaker cables, $1500 scratch filter…crazy.

      • Rusty Shackleford

        I mean, do what you want, but it seems to me to be a cumbersome way to enjoy music. But whatever.

  12. Count of Tower Grove

    BWAWHAWHAWHAWHAW! It’s funny because Rubella is so hip she has a fitbit, but doesn’t have a music app on her phone and plays her “record albums.” It’s a paradox, I tells ya!

  13. Banana Jr. 6000

    Please tell me this isn’t going to be a week of “kids today don’t recognize things we baby boomers grew up with.” That crap is intolerable under the best of circumstances,