Video Doesn’t Lie.

Link to Today’s Strip.

At this point Lillian is a popular mystery author, with a writing career 110% more successful, meaningful, and productive than Les Moore’s. Due the self-promoting nature of her job, she is probably more tech savvy and better equipped to navigate a crowdfunding site, than say…literally anyone I know over the age of 75.

But I don’t know if I would trust her cinematography and video editing skills.

I’m picturing a blurry image, in portrait mode. Seven elderly women in a poorly lit choir loft. The video begins halfway through the first words of the song. The audio is muffled by Lillian’s finger over the mic, as the whitebread midwestern ladies mumble their way through ‘Swing Low Sweet Chariot’.

The phone is obviously trembling in Lillian’s weak hands, jarring the autofocus every few seconds. Blurry, then sharp, then blurry; background then foreground. She awkwardly zooms in and out from each choir member, and when the camera zooms, the shaking is magnified, so each woman looks like she’s having her own personal earthquake. Lillian’s arms dip in exhaustion, abruptly cutting the entire choir off at the head, before she corrects herself.

Before the song even ends, she tries to shut the phone off, but fails. The last minute of the video, (Which Lillian uploads in its entirety, unsure of how to edit.) is the interior of her purse in the dark. You can distantly hear the muffled voices of the choir members gossiping viciously about the parson’s granddaughter. Six months along they say. With twins. She’s even moved in with the cad, and you know that he smokes in the house. And they say the divorce from her first husband isn’t even finalized.

“It makes you wonder…” Minty Pete says, “I mean, I’ve seen it on Maury once.”

“What’s that?” Poodle Headed Lisa Reborn asks.

“Heteropaternal superfecundation”


Filed under Son of Stuck Funky

28 responses to “Video Doesn’t Lie.

  1. William Thompson

    The money was, of course, donated by someone who said “I’ll pay you to stop singing!”

    • Mr. A

      Dinkle looks shocked that online fundraising is sometimes ineffective, despite his marked lack of enthusiasm for the concept yesterday. “That’s a dumb idea! Why didn’t it work?”

  2. Epicus Doomus

    Church choir videos…yeah, that could be a pretty tough sell, I suppose. I mean if you’re really having a serious jones for some choir music you could just go to church, at least hypothetically. Then again, I’m sure there’s some sort of vibrant church choir underground scene where avid fans trade bootleg recordings and such, because there has to be. So I dunno. It would appear that things are about to “come together” in the dumbest possible fashion, though.

    • Epicus Doomus

      Seven Elderly Women In A Poorly Lit Choir Loft…that was a Pearl Jam B-side, wasn’t it?

      • batgirl

        Is it related to the classic “Oh dear, what can the matter be? / Seven old ladies were trapped in the lavatory. / They were there from Sunday to Saturday, / Nobody knew they were there.”

  3. Sourbelly

    It would help the non-joke if that wizened crone had mentioned how long ago she posted the video. But whether it was a week ago or 2 minutes ago, just STFU, Harry. You offer nothing to this, or any other, endeavor. You’re as relevant as Bingo, who apparently only existed so that Tombat could spit out that “B-9” pun.

    • gleeb

      Nah, it’s videos of Bingo that are going to save the choir from buying their own robes.

  4. billytheskink

    Lillian is such a tech wizard that the Pineapple logo sprouted two more fronds between panels!

    Does TB realize that folks generally don’t browse through crowdfunding sites looking to be convinced to donate money to various causes? People soliciting donations over the internet still have to make sure folks hear about their cause and their donations page, and they often actually have to do that in-person.

  5. I find it weird that this videography was apparently done recently, yet there’s no reference to it anywhere previous to this, and certainly no instance of Dinkle saying “Who’s that with the camera/iphone?”

    I mean, I think that would be a) noticeable and b) something they’d try to present properly. But I used the word “think” so I’m disqualified, and have to sit next to Jay Bauman.

    • Epicus Doomus

      If they filmed it before Dinkle came cackling on to the scene, why didn’t they mention that fund raising effort before he made them sell band candy? And if they filmed it recently, how was Dinkle unaware of it? Either way it makes no sense. And as always, Dinkle serves no real purpose, he’s just there because “music”, which we never see him perform or direct.

    • ComicBookHarriet

  6. J.J. O'Malley

    Gosh all hemlock, whatever could the reason be that all those Internet watchers aren’t rattling off their Paypal info to fund the great St. Spires Church Choir Robe Call? Could it possibly be that…oh, I dunno, that everyone figures YOU’RE A FRACKIN’ CHURCH CHOIR!!! WHY CAN’T YOUR FRACKIN’ CHURCH PAY FOR IT!?!?!?

    Meanwhile, BIngo is somewhere in the loft eating a dead mouse, and I so fervently wish I was watching that instead.

  7. Hitorque

    1. This is the part when I’m reminded that Cindye Sommers-Jarre is literally working for something analogous to BuzzFeed or Vice’s YouTube channel on a 100% crowdfunded salary…

    2. As I said a week ago, Dinkle could *easily* just pay for this shit out of pocket and write it off for charity, but that makes too much sense.

    2a. For fuck’s sake I forgot this is the Funkyverse located in the middle of God’s Country, Ohio — Which means these little old ladies could have broke out their sewing machines and made some new robes ages ago…

    3. I’m sure the fact that St. Spires is a large, historic, well-maintained church with a healthy congregation size has nothing to do with the lack of interest in the public subsidizing their vanity…

    • batgirl

      #2a has been my question for a while. When I was in choir (junior and senior choir because my mother was the junior choir mistress) we bought fabric and sewed our own – though I expect there was some swapping around and exchanging of favours involved in who sewed each one. The robes were deep green satin and really nice compared to the faded navy blue cotton previously. This was Anglican, with High Church leanings, in the 1970s. I don’t remember how it was funded, but most likely straight from the church or the diocese. There were no bake sales or similar – those were saved for the annual church bazaar, when there would be a crowed of people, many from outside the church.

  8. Gerard Plourde

    Somehow this is going to morph into a campaign to fund the choir’s trip to Pasadena to March in the Tournament of Roses. I wonder how TomBa is going get them invited. I guess the “moneyfornothing” video will inexplicably come to the parade committee’s attention.

    • Banana Jr. 6000

      Yeah, that’s probably where this is going. This strip is about due for another round of Tom Batiuk’s favorite arc: the one where his characters are given publishing contracts, mass media success, interviews, book signings, and awards. Why, it’s unbelievable how much talent exists in this small Ohio town! Per capita, it must be the cultural center of America!

      Of course, this is all just insufferable wish fulfillment for Batiuk. He thinks the world should fawn over his greatness the same way they fawn over Les, Lillian, Dinkle, Atomix Komix, the Bedside Manorisms, the Starbuck Jones movie, Jessica the national news anchor, and probably others I can’t think of right now.

      • Gerard Plourde

        Thanks for the catalogue of “Money for Nothing” that TomBa has bestowed on his beloved characters. We could add Phil Holt’s original artwork which he bequeathed to Darin after a single meeting at a kid’s birthday party.

        TomBa has no credibility criticizing online funding appeals. The people to make them put forth more effort than any of his characters have exhibited in the last decade.

      • Cindy won an Emmy for her Cliff Anger interview, shot with a single hand-held camera.

        • Hitorque

          It’s funny because if Cliffe’s life story was really that compelling (and it wasn’t) you’d think instead of moping around in squalor he’d shop his biography to a major publisher for six figures…

      • Hitorque

        This was why I stopped reading Rex Morgan… Literally every storyline started with some random stranger giving some valuable once in a lifetime object or service or opportunity to a member of the Morgan family for free or at least a 99% discount…

  9. Maxine of Arc

    The only people who would donate to this fundraiser are their own parishioners, WHO WERE THE PEOPLE THEY SHOULD HAVE ASKED TO START WITH. This pastor, if one exists, is terrible at their job.

  10. Banana Jr. 6000

    I see Batiuk’s research is up to its usual standard. I don’t know where to begin with how wrong today’s strip is:

    First, posting one video of anything to the internet is not going to earn significant income, except in the most extreme scenarios.

    Second, it would likely result in zero donations, not a tiny amount. Because if anyone did feel compelled to donate, they would donate enough to justify the effort. When was the last time you used a credit card to donate less than the cost of one candy bar to something? (Someone could donate a small bit of cryptocurrency, but these people would have no clue how to receive it.)

    Third is the “local” problem. If I want to hear and support a church choir, I can go to any of the twelve Christian churches within 1 mile of my house. Cultural entities like church choirs, theaters, rock bands, and minor sports teams exist in almost every town. If people want to get interested in one, it’s more satisfying to do so where they live. Such an entity would have to be exceptionally talented, compelling, or unique to attract out-of-town support.

    Ironically, the door-to-door candy sale was a better idea.

  11. batgirl

    I wonder if TB remembers the 2003 film Calendar Girls, starring Helen Mirren? It’s about a group of older ladies in a small English town who pose for a nude calendar (like those hunky fireman calendars that were a thing at the time) to raise money for leukemia research?
    Because that seems like an obvious way for this story to to go – they need new robes so they pose (tastefully, no actual naughty bits visible) nude and sell the calendar with the photographs. There’s a lot of comic potential, and the added benefit of being able to crib much of the plot from the film.
    However, TB clearly despises these women and would never allow them the agency to even come up with the plan, and there’s no ability to show how the rest of St. Spires reacts, ecause this church apparently has no congregation, no minister, no deacons or altarboys or Sunday school or volunteers who bring in flowers or ….
    Sorry for any typos – invisible text again.