Christ, what a bunch of assholes. BatYam’s pandemic garbage dump arc limps toward the finish line today, as we get a rare glimpse inside the WHS teacher’s lounge, aka The Den Of Perpetual Ennui. The always-insufferable Linda is (surprise) once again bitching about her job in that low-key annoyingly wry way of hers, as Klabichnik delivers the “punch line” (as it were) while the useless Dick Facey sits there stupidly. What a piece of garbage. Strips like this actually make a mockery out of making a mockery of FW, which is the only “anomaly” here.
A Brief History Of Wry
Filed under Son of Stuck Funky
28 responses to “A Brief History Of Wry”
Les is drinking the strongest coffee in history, if it can keep him awake through this scene.
Conversely, Battyuk had enough high school-related jokes for about 20 years of a somewhat amusing comic strip, yet he’s attempted to stretch it out for nearly half a century. Waddya call that?
On the plus side, no dialogue from Lester today.
Back in the day he had to write a gag every day, which is way harder than dreaming up some dumb “1/4 inch from reality”-type premise and packing it full of filler dialog with “jokes” that only make sense within the premise, if that. The jokes don’t need to be funny on a standalone basis, in fact they don’t even have to be jokes at all. Most of the time they’re just dumb puns, weak observations and stupid reaction shots.
So in short (or long), he forgot how to write real gags. For example, the old strip billytheskink posted yesterday re: the water bottle. You didn’t need to be a regular daily reader to understand the joke. “Nerdy kid wipes off water bottle dumb jocks drank from”…not exactly side-splitting, but it is one, self-contained gag.
Now look at what you need to know to “get” today’s gag. You need to know that a) these are WHS faculty members, b) they’ve been discussing the impact the pandemic has had on WHS and c) Klabichnik is the resident science nerd. On top of that, it isn’t even a gag at all, it’s really more of a stupid complaint/observation from someone who quite frankly sounds like a really shitty teacher, followed by some dumb wordplay masquerading as a punch line.
And if you want to get really nitpicky about it, you could point out that Klabinchik’s reaction seems to imply that this is a common problem for teachers, something that the strip never even tried to quantify. This arc wasn’t about the struggles teachers face re: virtual classes, it was about Les’ whiny insecurity followed by a few days of moronic buffoonery. It COULD have been that and BatYam might even pretend it was at some point, but it was something else entirely. And that something is hackery.
Funky Winkerbean‘s “talk about, don’t tell” approach delivers again. We never saw any remote teaching happen in the past year and a half. But we got two weeks of Funky boring an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting about how his irreplaceable Walkman got broken.
Also, how did any of these idiots survive the last round of teacher layoffs? Linda is incompetent, Les is never there because he’s too busy protecting Lisa, and Kablichnik is an alcoholic.
Washington D.C. trip, 2012:
In fairness, we can’t blame Jim for choosing drinking alone vs. dinner with these drips.
Most of the members of Funky’s AA group have to be Westview High alumni, after all.
But we can still hope he has a killer hangover in the morning.
Well, the In-Situ Resource Utilization bit fits with Kabloobie’s role as the “science” teacher. But the joke only works if you’re so interested in space exploration that you know ISRU means things like “when you return to the moon, exploit the ice at the bottom of the craters at the lunar poles so you don’t have to bring all your own water and fuel from earth.” Which is probably not something most comic-strip readers would know about. And it’s only funny if you see how Kabobblehead takes advantage of the mini-bar, by finding some stupid and shameful way to get free booze out of the room’s supply. Which is definitely too much to expect from Batiuk. So, um, a typical clever FW joke, right?
So the math teacher knows what “in situ” means but the English teacher/professional writer doesn’t. That checks out.
Why is Cayla the school receptionist allowed to come on some official trip to Washington?
Linda is retired. Incompetent and afraid of new technology, sure, but also retired. She retired to care for her late husband Jerry Bushka. Did a real bang-up job of it, too.
She always was an edgy character.
Having taught for more than twenty years, the last two on-line, the reality is this: if you can’t hold ’em for more than 10 minutes on-line, you weren’t holding them for more than 10 minutes in the classroom either. No matter how you’re delivering the material, you’ve been competing with phones, computer screens, and other distractions for YEARS now….
Linda’s weary “what’s the use?” outlook is pretty much her entire shtick, the gag always being that she’s totally hopeless in a resigned defeatist kind of way. Nothing ever goes Linda’s way and the best you’re going to get out of her is a weak wry remark, if that. To Linda, teaching is a thankless chore, just another ultimately futile way of paying the bills and nothing more. She’s a real beam of sunshine and is always missed during the two-year gaps in her appearances.
My wife taught online through the pandemic. Running out of material after 10 minutes was not even remotely (so to speak) a problem for her or her fellow teachers. Competent teachers know how to pace their classes.. The problem was getting kids to pay attention from home for more than a few minutes at a time. But Batdick blithely comes up with “jokes” based on no knowledge or thought whatsoever. All in the service of a punchline that I guess sounds scientific to idiots but actually makes no sense, delivered by a cipher named Klablotchnik or something.
Also, why does Voldemoore’s traditional coffee pubic steam have a little marshmallow at the end of it? Does that indicate that it’s the hot chocolate normally reserve for comics readin’ time?
My little sister taught kindergarten and first grade online for a few months during the pandemic, and she would come over to my place to do it because my internet was better. It was like herding cats remotely using a Wal-Mart drone
Community college students, many of them middle-aged people, can be a handful. I can’t imagine 6-year-olds. Incidentally, 6-year-olds or younger are often the reason community college students are distracted. I gotta lot of respect for people who walk that road.
I’m going to guess Linda ran out of material because even she isn’t sure what she teaches these days.
I thought Linda was retiring? Guess Bull nobottomed out his life so she could max out her pension.
Credit where it’s due: when Batiuk decides to be boring, he goes all out.
The only time anomaly is the billions of hours wasted by the collective of sufferers whose eyes and brains have been damaged by this shit strip.
We demand temporal REFUNDS.
“Linda is incompetent.”
This is an excellent point. Linda has been teaching for years. How is it possible that she failed to learn the first lesson taught in the practicum semester – always over-prepare?
The consistent failure of Westview to pass the school levy bears fruit in the form of terrible teachers and unprepared students who remain in town after graduation.
We can tell the levy didn’t pass as they cannot even afford real signs on the doors. I guess they cannot call it a lounge anymore.
They have the sign, but they can’t afford the tape to put it up.
Still no mention of Bull. Thanks Linda.
It’s amazing how Westview High School runs on the principles of “we suck at everything” and “nothing is ever our fault” at the same time.
Dead people who aren’t dead is horseshit.