And just like that, the question I asked about Thursday’s strip has been answered in the worst possible way.
Folks, prepare yourself for another heavy-handed, preachy, insultingly inaccurate trip through Tom Batiuk’s Outrage-a-Thon. Sorry, tickets are non-refundable.
“Boss! BOSS! I think we found that woman on the hot list–the one who was looking at fabric on sale! *Shudder* I get chills just thinking about that! Anyway, lucky for us she applied for a driver’s license using her real name, address, and everything! Otherwise we’d never catch someone so wily!”
40 responses to “ICE ICE Baby”
Oh, for the love of…
How terrible to live in a police state where ICE has access to department store security cameras.
ICE interviewer: Thanks for coming in. So what interested you most about this position?
Specs: Well, I felt I wanted to serve my country and I’ve long been fascinated by the national security element of immigration policy. I thought this position would allow me to serve the nation with what I consider my strengths.
ICE Interviewer: Well, you’ll spend most of your time poring over JCPenney security camera footage looking for matches in our database of
ICE Interviewer: You know, you get three monitors at your workstation. All HDMI…
Specs: No kidding? Sweet!
One monitor, permanent minecraft tab.
I play WGT on my second monitor
Oh Lord, this is worse than I expected. Worse than date night at Montoni’s!
“Okay, Hodgkins, what makes you suspicious?”
“Could you be a little more specific?”
“There is almost no information on this woman, and what there is makes no sense! It’s like her identity was created by an utter incompetent! That can’t be an accident!”
“She–oh, come on, she’s from Westview, Ohio! Incompetence Central!”
“Yes, and remember, the Great Los Angeles Firestorm got out of control when several people from Westview flew into LAX! Coincidence? I THINK NOT!”
“The hidden camera at Montoni’s has yielded nothing so far, sir.”
“No, I mean literally nothing. A few slack-jawed locals standing around reminiscing about some old bus driver but no Adeela.”
“Dammit. I knew we should have bugged the architect’s suite!”
Oh yeah, this should be a lot of fun. Naturally her problem has to center around being a Muslim, as giving her a plain old universal problem would mean she’s just like the rest of them which clearly she is not. The big question now is will this major prestige arc finish before the OTHER major prestige arc which was summarily abandoned a month ago? I say definitely.
Can someone fill me in on Adeela’s situation? I assumed she was a permanent resident.
We’ll fill you in as soon as Batiuk makes up his mind. The glaciers will probably come back first.
“This just in from our Hades correspondent! We’ve started to see some snowfall down here, with an average accumulation of two to four inches.”
“Fucking reject me for the Pulitzer now, assholes!”
How did I not see this coming? Rather than a Crankshaft visit we’re going to have some ill-conceived plot line that manages to do to completely screw up the controversy over facial recognition technology. I guess TomBa was reading USA Today last year.
The “lesson” of the story will ultimately be “we need to be slightly more careful about who we perceive as threats”. No one will be angry or bitter at all and there will be no lasting impact for anyone. Everything will be exactly like it was before and when we see Wally and Adeela again two years from now she will still be applying for citizenship AND working at Montoni’s. I guarantee this.
Oh right I seem to remember this being an issue pre-covid.
So what is the deal? Her visa expired? She sneaked into the country? Incompetent government agent makes a mistake?
As my old school bus driver used to say: I’m already groaning at the thought of this.
You’ve all got this.
Wow. Date night REALLY went into the toilet.
So she’s applying for citizenship AND is a refugee with a H1 Visa for skilled workers whose job at Montoni’s saved her visa AND is a “hot list” illegal immigrant
I just hate how lazy AND stupid Batty is.
This strip can be counted on for giving textbook examples of the Dunning-Kruger Effect.
Dun dun DUNNNNNNNNNNN
No, that’s not a musical sting. It’s what we all wish this story arc was.
In homage to Quinn Martin’s The Invaders TV series, in which the narrator referred to the main character as “Architect David Vincent”, I am going to refer to this character as “Architect Adeela Aheminebadj”.
Do you know the easiest way to identify a terrorist in Westview? It’s the least-scary person around. Suicide bombers? They’ve got suicide drivers and office-workers! You want to be around when Holly does her fire-baton routine? How would you like to be Les Moore’s proof-reader?
I knew it. It was Adeela that blew up the post office, not right wing talk radio listeners. USA!
Adeela sold Creepy Les that hall-monitor machine gun.
Oh no that never happened. Batty had to retcon that out and toss it down the memory hole.
Batty’s crap factory is running extra shifts. Bleh.
BWAWHAWHAWHAW! It’s funny because it made me laugh!
And just across town, a more sinister organization has Adeela in its crosshairs.
It’s called SLICE.
And it vows to vanquish all pizzerias that stand its quest to dominate the market.
CAYLA: What’s wrong (now!!!!), Les?
LES: I don’t know quite yet. But you can bet someone else’s pain and suffering is going to ruin my day!
If she’s on ICE’s radar, then how did she get her permit? According to the Ohio BMV website:
“Applicants must provide proof of:
Full legal name
Date of birth
Social Security number (if assigned)
Citizenship or legal presence”
(Yes, I am assuming that the guy who once had a costumed mascot play in a high school football game is actually going to pay attention to things like laws.)
Then again, why do I have the feeling that she isn’t ICE’s real target, but she just “knows something”?
It’s that stupid security camera shot that ruins the whole thing. Adeela just got a driver’s license, and previously graduated from college, but ICE couldn’t find her until she stopped in front of a security camera at JoAnn Fabrics. As if that’s how ICE finds people. Ugh, this is dumb.
Right? Adeela’s not hiding in any shape, form, or fashion here. Why wouldn’t the BMV have noticed something off?
I was going to ask “When will Batiuk run out of ideas for this arc,” but I realized the answer is already somewhere in today’s strip.
Maybe she’ll be accused as responsible for the post office explosion? Time jumps, logic, “writing”, Batiuk, why not?
Would be a legit good twist, even though that attack was blamed on talk radio.
Which touches on another angle this story will completely overlook: the Montoni’s crew having to face the possibility that they were harboring someone evil. This happened with cases like the Boston Marathon bomber: they went to school, made friends, lived ordinary lives, and didn’t come off as violent or extreme. People who knew the perpetrators were shocked.
In the Aldo Kelrast story, Mary Worth and her friends were very introspective about how much of a role they played in his death, since it happened right after they staged an intervention to get him to leave Mary alone. But no one in Westview can ever be wrong about anything ever, because that would generate conflict and Funky Winkerbean absolutely cannot have any conflict. Or ambiguity.
This really makes me sad. A story about deportation has so much potential. Here’s a real story I found:
Bakhodir Madjitov was born in 1981 into a family of musicians in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, which was then part of the Soviet Union. As a young man in 2005, Madjitov joined thousands of others in a mass protest of the brutal regime of Uzbek President Islam Karimov. Government forces opened fire on the crowds, killing hundreds, and they arrested scores of others, including Madjitov. After being released from prison weeks later, Madjitov resolved to leave Uzbekistan. A music festival in Austin several months later provided the ticket out. Madjitov and a dozen other folk musicians landed there in 2006, on P-3 temporary visas for entertainers.
Now, imagine Adeela told us that story. Wouldn’t you be a lot more invested at today’s plot twist? Instead, Funky Winkerbean gave us Rachel’s missed pizza date, gawking at a driver’s license, and stupid shit Crankshaft says.
He traveled from the festival to live with friends — other Uzbek immigrants — in Kissimmee, Fla. He found a job working at a Disney hotel and applied for asylum. His application was rejected. His case [bumped] along through the dense bureaucracy with hundreds of thousands of others. Madjitov received a final order of removal in 2011. Madjitov was taken into custody in 2017.
And there’s part two of the arc, already written for you. Adeela overstayed her visa, got the only low-end job she could, ignored orders to leave the country, and was just now found out. This is an extremely common situation, and it would have provided all the drama the story needs. And it fits perfectly with Adeela’s backstory of being unable to get an architectural job.
“We chose to stay in this country, because of the freedom.” Madjitov said in a phone interview from the a detention center in Alabama.
This is the same thing Adeela said. But here it has irony and emotional weight, because we know more about the people involved. Actual storytelling is going on.
On a cold December morning, ICE showed up and arrested Madjitov because he had a final order of removal. [His wife] said [he] was still in his pajamas when ICE asked her to go retrieve his identification documents from the bedroom. ‘When I came back, he was handcuffed,’ said Mamadjonova, who was 39 weeks pregnant with the couple’s third child at the time. ‘He was crying.’
No further comment necessary.
He is being held a thousand miles from his family in Connecticut. It has been nearly 700 days since Madjitov was taken to prison in the United States. He has never been charged with a crime.
Which we all know this isn’t going to happen to Adeela. She’s going to be held locally and immediately released because Les convinced them they made a mistake, or some pig-ignorant shit. All while spending way too much time on irrelevant parts of the story, in a phony attempt to manufacture drama and irony that shouldn’t need to be manufactured.
Which is why Funky Winkerbean gets the abuse it does. It so desperately wants to be relevant, but it’s lazy, shallow, poorly researched, and won’t put its characters through any real difficulty. Batiuk went out of his way to halt production of Lisa’s Story before he burned down all of Los Angeles.
I typed “ICE deportation” into Google and found a better story than Mr. Pulitzer Nominee is going to give us. In a straightforward Washington Post article.
A common ICE tactic is to raid a workplace, often food-service places where undocumented people are likely to take low-profile low-paid temp positions. Wouldn’t it be hecka more dramatic if they just targetted Montoni’s? And everybody had to do what they could to distract while Adeela ran for it? Maybe everybody gets arrested – lots could happen. But it won’t.
Is it me or does everyone who actually accomplishes something in this strip get punished?