The Old Die Rich

Link to today’s strip.

I’m not sure God appreciates being mentioned in Funky Winkerbean, especially in connection with Harry Dinkle, but his “at our age” remark raises a question.

When the organist died in Crankshaft, the immediate substitute was ancient crone Lillian. Here, Batiuk is going to reward the equally ancient (and equally loathsome) Dinkle with the position. Why wouldn’t the church try to find a younger person, one who could be expected to helm the organ for many years to come (before dropping dead)? I don’t think it’s especially rigorous physical work (I’m not an organist), but unless the church only has a single Sunday service, the organist is going to be spending a lot of time there.

Perhaps the job is a voluntary one, and there’s little (or no) pay, and a younger person would need a salary. A retired person wouldn’t have this worry.

But…I’m starting to think Tom Batiuk just hates young people. Whenever they appear, they are invariably shown as worthless idiots completely out of clues. Think of the youngest characters he’s shown us (Skyler, Bernie, the other high schoolers) and tell me I’m wrong.


Filed under Son of Stuck Funky

29 responses to “The Old Die Rich

  1. Epicus Doomus

    Based on that rendering of Dinkle in panel three, there is no god.

  2. Rusty Shackleford

    Yeah, he totally hates young people. They didn’t grow up when everything was done right. It never occurs to him that he could reach out to young people. No, it is easier to just mock everything that they do.

    I dunno. We have co ops at work. Yeah millennials get a bad rap, but there are also a lot of bright millennials too. I prefer to extend a hand and help them out. Things change, and unlike Batty, I’m ok with changes. It isn’t all for the worse.

    • Epicus Doomus

      What makes his distaste for youth even weirder is that when Act III began it was way more “youth-oriented”, with characters like Summer and Cory getting lots and lots of screen time. He had a whole new generation of new WHS students, too, like Keisha and Owen and Cody.

      Then sometime around the early 10s it all flipped-flopped and suddenly every other arc was about people like Dinkle and Cliff and the new kids were pretty much phased out of the strip entirely. In fact, here in 2021 Boy Lisa and Jessica pass for “these kids today” even though they’re both like forty-two or so by now. It’s bizarre.

      • billytheskink

        In each Act, TB has created more generations of high schoolers than he did in the previous Act… and has paid progressively less and less attention to each of them. If we were to look at this strip’s current cast and break them out by high school generation, it would be extremely Act I-heavy, with only Wally, Lefty, Pete, Durwood, and Jess from the two Act II generations and no one from the three Act III generations save for occasional appearances from the ones who are currently in school (Bernie, twins, Logan, Thasnought) and from Summer and Cory because they are children of Act I characters.

    • Who Wants Eggs!!??!!

      Millenials have started turning 40. They are no longer the youngest generation.

  3. Banana Jr. 6000

    Dinkle, if you’re not already in the ninth circle of hell for everything you’ve done in life, I’d say you probably don’t have anything to worry about.

  4. J.J. O'Malley

    Well, clearly there is NO God, because this onslaught of organ-based onanism is apparently poised to go on for at least another week. And again, I must ask…for what ultimate purpose?

    Dinkleberg as the organist at a church featured in the decade-earlier “Crankshaft” is a topic that will come up HOW many times in the course of a year of “Funky” strips? Once? Twice? If he’s not interacting with FW characters (that is, telling Becky how to do her job), who will care? Battyuk is spending half a month, at a minimum, to set up a situation that serves no foreseeable purpose.

  5. spacemanspiff85

    The least believable thing about this strip is that Dinkle doesn’t think he’ himself is God.

    • billytheskink

      That was my thought too, and not, of course, in the theological concept of Dinkle placing himself ahead of God in the conduct of his life. Dinkle has always pretty much full-on considered himself a deity, Raul Julia as M Bison in the Street Fighter movie-style. Julia, of course, portrayed that self-deifying megalomania with an indulgent and scenery-chewing charm. Act III Dinkle, however, is possibly the most charmless megalomaniac in the history of fiction.

  6. Charles

    That smirk in the last panel, based on what Dinkle’s saying, will get him sent straight to hell.

    • Banana Jr. 6000

      He really acts like he’s outwitting God, doesn’t he? Lots of characters in fiction make the observation he’s making. But Dinkle smirks like he’s discovered an actual flaw that nobody in the history of theology has ever noticed before. I really want to hear his inner monologue. “Huh, how about that? They teach you all this stuff, say you have to be a good person all your life, and it turns out all I had to do was an hour of organ playing once a week just before death. Damn, I am a GEN-I-US.”

      Note also that there’s no afterlife insurance policy for Harriet. He says “at our age”, but she’s not doing anything to get on God’s good side in this scenario. Unless her path is to support Harry in whatever he wants to do at all times. Which seems exactly like what he would think. There’s a lot of implied patriarchy in the dynamics of the Dinkle family.

      • billytheskink

        Harriet does demonstrate extreme patience in her long-suffering… as do all of us who read this strip daily and refrain from committing violent acts against life or property…

  7. The Dreamer

    Could Dinkle even play the organ at long church services? He’s in his 90s I mean Funky and Holly are in their sixties and he was their high school band teacher! I would imagine it would aggravate his arthritis to play for very long

  8. William Thompson

    What you need to do, Dinkle, is present your backside to the Son of God’s frontside, then sing that classic football song “Drop-Kick Me, Jesus, Through The Goal Posts Of Life.”

  9. Lucifer “Smith”

    Are church organists still around in 2021? No wonder I’ve gained so much ground.

  10. erdmann

    Maybe Dinkle will get the job and the storyline will end with the revelation that he’s been dead in his car at the bottom of the river the whole time.

    Nah, we aren’t that lucky.

    • batgirl

      I got that reference!
      May I congratulate you also on making a reference the correct way, which is not, whatever TB thinks, just naming the actual character or work, but rather alluding to some identifiable facet of them.

      That did really annoy me in the recent Les arc. If Les names Dick Tracy, there’s nothing to “get”, just “Oh, I’ve heard of Dick Tracy.” If he’d said “I immediately donned my yellow trenchcoat and fedora”, then there would have been something to “get”. “Hey, that’s what Dick Tracy wore! He must mean he decided to blow that cancer full of bullet holes!”.

    • batgirl

      I am inspired to check youtube for the works of Herk Hervey now. Somewhere I have a videotape with some of his industrial film shorts – wonder if those are on youtube.

  11. Gerard Plourde

    So we’re to believe that Dinkle’s qualified to be a church organist? We’ve never seen him play that instrument, which requires an amazing amount of coordination and uses both the hands and feet. Admittedly, it appears that the St. Spires instrument seems rudimentary, showing only two hand manuals (keyboards), but since it’s a pipe organ, it should also have a foot manual for playing the deep base notes and pedals to control swell and crescendo. Of course, TomBa hasn’t thought of any of this since he’s probably never seen anyone actually play the instrument, or if he has, he’s never paid attention to the mechanics involved.

    • Banana Jr. 6000

      Band director. Music teacher. Organ player. What’s the difference? Music isn’t a real skill, like writing comic books is.

  12. Of course the real elephant in the room here is that Dinkle was forced into retirement (20 years ago?) when he went deaf, and while this deafness prevented him from leading the high school band, it did not prevent him from doing anything else that required a fine sense of hearing. TB frequently paints himself into a corner with his tragic story lines. Dinkle is one of his franchise characters, and he couldn’t leave him as a deaf guy in the corner. Similarly, even though he killed Lisa (an act he can’t reverse), she still gets more appearances in the strip than most living characters. It wouldn’t surprise me to see Bull Bushka back coaching the football team this fall.

  13. sgtsaunders

    Everyone in the Funkyverse that is liable to drop dead at any moment, for any number of reasons. Choosing a young person won’t ensure that the organist will finish even one hymn before expiring.

  14. batgirl

    Dinkle took up (and, I guess, abandoned) piano lessons for children a few months back without any ground prep or blog posts at all. But I guess being a church organist requires building a whole damn church first?

  15. robertodobbs

    Hate to bring in theology but TB opened the door… Christianity is a “saviorist” religion like Mahayana Buddhism, not a “karma” religion like Vedanta Hinduism. You can’t get on God’s good side. That makes absolutely no theological sense at all. You just get saved.