I’m somewhat familiar with Richard Strauss’ work, but not so I can point to something he wrote for the holiday. Perhaps he did, or perhaps Tom Batiuk thought of this bit (reminiscent of the late Norm Crosby) and just couldn’t find another way to present it.
He couldn’t use Johann Strauss (either of them) because “Viennese” is too close to “Vietnamese” and thus might be a simple mistake in pronunciation. No, the students must be presented as dunderheads beyond measure or redemption. I mean, just look how Becky’s face has fallen in that last panel. So, Richard Strauss it is. Even though the students might think Johann Strauss was “Australian,” and that’s surely a malapropism good enough for Funky Winkerbean.
Strauss Waltzes are often used in holiday programs because they’re light and fun. But “Light and Fun” have no place in the Funkyverse. Maybe Becky should choose some Nick Cave songs for the holiday program–that would go over well.
(NB: I like Mr. Cave’s music a great deal, but it’s not the sort of thing one plays in celebration. Some songs are quite lovely, but his work is typically rather dark and gloomy. And before you say it, even at his worst his work has too much quality to appear in this strip.)
27 responses to “Strauss Test”
It’s December 12, Becky, I think it’s a little late to be introducing entirely new songs to the winter concert.
Is that Summer or Lefty? Oh I get it today’s kids are clueless & dumb. Wait, pinned up sleeve. It’s Lefty Dead Skunhead .
Ugh. I wish I could say I can’t believe he wasted an entire Sunday strip on a gag this terrible but I can’t do that, as it’s totally in character. One thing I genuinely can’t believe is that newspapers are perfectly willing to waste valuable space on this lazy unfunny trash and that someone actually pays the guy for shit like this. This “joke” should have been a mid-week gag stuffed into a boring marching band arc, not an entire Sunday strip. Just shameful.
Well Batty wrote this well before the world knew anything about covid, and he was expecting this year’s OMEA convention to be held up north this year. So, he had to have some fresh band strips ready for the event.
Another typical Batty trope: Teacher asks question about material to be presented, but is surprised to get a stupid answer back from the students who are unfamiliar with said topic. Cute gag. I guess he earned a second trip to the breakfast bar at the convention. Oh right, it’s virtual this year.
Richard Strauss composed “Also Sprach Zarathustra,” best-known as the monolith theme from “2001: A Space Odyssey.” The surprising thing is that Batiuk didn’t find some way to mangle it into “He wrote two thousand and one space oddities!”
I thought about mentioning Mr. Strauss’ most-heard work, but as always with this strip the energy just drains out of you.
Wonderful. So now Mopey Pete-Looking Female #2’s bandstand of disappointments are trying to one up “Crankshaft” unfunny punchlines.
Personally, I was hoping one of the musical miscreants would have referenced “Also Sprach…” and said that Strauss wrote Ric Flair’s ring entrance music.
2001 is on my list to re-watch this winter. I first saw it on a transatlantic flight at night. It made an uncomfortable flight pleasant!
I bet the Pan Am stuff made whatever flight you were on seem shabby.
Batty would have loved the flight. It was back in early nineties on a Continental Airlines wide body. Back in those days you watched whatever film they decided to play on the big screen in front. You plugged in your uncomfortable airline issued headphones. Again, Batty would have loved all of these low tech inconveniences.
But I have to say, a darkened cabin with just the light of this movie made for a great viewing experience.
If these strips prove anything, it’s that Westview teachers are abject failures. No wonder Summer and Keisha are still in college; they had to take four years of remedial courses at KSU.
Haha, it’s funny because Kids Today Are So Fucking Stupid, Episode #1928375230967.
I think I found where TomBa got this. In 2000 The Three Tenors (Pavarotti, Domingo and Carreras) issued a Christmas album (called The Three Tenors Christmas). On it they recorded a lullaby by Strauss (Wiegnelied Op. 41). It’s not strictly a Christmas song, having no Christmas reference in the lyrics. And it’s a vocal piece. But it would fit TomBa’s method of research to latch onto this and run the bases figuring he discovered something others missed.
Hmm, that band director guy looks like the guy from the gift wrapping kiosk at the mall. Weird.
This follows the same basic pattern as two of the Halle Dinkle strips, albeit with more narrative padding and significantly older students.
I’m surprised Batty has never done an arc about Tuba Christmas at The University of Akron. (Canceled this year.)
All band people in NE Ohio know about this.
I bet her name is Suzie John Phillips ahahahahhhahahahahaaaaaaa
If BatYam ever compiled all the Sunday strips into one book it’d be one of the most incoherent and impossible to follow things ever. Sometimes the Sunday strips are a continuation of the current arc (but almost never the blow-off strip), sometimes they’re sub-moronic gags like this one, sometimes they’re bizarre fictional comic book covers, sometimes they’re none of these. There’s never any rhyme or reason to it, it appears to be totally random.
My point being that if you just read the Sunday strips and never the daily ones you’d be seriously confused and have no idea what FW was even supposed to be. One-armed women setting up bad punchlines, stupid cowboys, Muslim women being deported…it’s a big hodgepodge. I almost wish I never started reading FW at all just so I could read only the Sunday strips, just so I could see how deeply weird that would be.
Or, if you group them, it would show how repetitive it all is. Here’s the same joke four more times:
Eeesh, that first strip. If you need a footnote to explain how your joke is pronounced, you’ve already lost.
We just got more musical education in one post than Becky has provided in a lifetime.
Teacher, teach me something…..anything. That’s why I’m here.
We don’t need no education….we don’t need no thought control.
No dark sarcasm in the classroom….Teachers leave those kids alone
“Isn’t he the guy who ate those Viennese sausages?”
I really hate Becky because she is just another force fit character in Batty’s quest for awards and recognition. Look at me, I proudly feature handicapped people! And she is a conductor! Isn’t that clever?
It’s just so patronizing.
Once again, Bloom County did it much better with Cutter John.
Apparently, in a self-deprecating look back on his body of work, Richard Strauss said a few years before his death, “I may not be a first-rate composer, but I am a first-class second-rate composer.”
One has to wonder how Battyuk would sum up his own oeuvre as a cartoonist.
“I, Tom Batiuk, am beyond first-rate! I am zero-rate!” After the laughter died down he would explain that it’s just like the way stellar magnitudes work. Even Jim Kablichnik would be snoring by then.