Sunday Sept. 19

Link To Today’s Strip

Sorry about that.


Filed under Son of Stuck Funky

28 responses to “Sunday Sept. 19

  1. Gerard Plourde

    So today he’s misquoting Cole Porter. The verse actually goes:

    I get no kick from champagne
    Mere alcohol doesn’t thrill me at all
    So tell me why should it be true
    That I get a kick out of you.

    But following last week’s storyline, I’m seriously wondering whether The Author’s stories about Holly’s and Jff’s childhoods do reflect aspects of his experience and whether as a result he has some personal experience of a Twelve-Step program.

    • Rusty Shackleford

      All I know is that if I were at that meeting, I’d be saying to myself: “This is sobriety, no thanks, I need a drink!”

      From the masthead I expected Funky to play a childish prank on Holly.

    • The Duck of Death

      If he did attend a 12-step program, he got everything wrong. We’ve already analyzed his completely wrong portrayal of AA meetings — a huge sign, a wide-open door, an hours-long monologue wallowing in “stinkin’ thinkin’.”

      But to me, the really incomprehensible thing here is the idea that “love can save an addict.” Anyone who’s ever loved an addict knows that this is a cruel fiction. It’s bullshit. If anything ever deserved to be called “glurge,” it’s the idea that all an addict needs is someone to love them and it’ll all be okay. (The inverse of this idea, of course, is that if someone you love is an addict, it’s your fault for not loving them enough, or loving them right.)

      I find it hard to believe that this idea would be accepted in AA. Because what if the person who loves you gets sick? Or dies? Or leaves you? Or changes? Then you have no choice to go back to the bottle, right? You will if your sobriety is dependent on your loved one.

      Sorry, I got on my own soapbox there for a bit. But I find these antedeluvian ideas about addiction and treatment one of the most infuriating things about FW. It’s odd, because the Wally/Cindy arc was far more realistic and intelligent about addiction: Love doesn’t cure addiction, and it doesn’t magically make things okay. As with so many of his themes, he is getting further and further away from reality while congratulating himself on getting more and more realistic.

      • Rusty Shackleford

        Yep. My mother was an alcoholic and my father in law died young from the effects of alcoholism.

        Luckily my mom sobered up ( and helped others do so too) and so we made our peace. She apologized for all that she did while drinking and I accepted her apology.

        Just as I knew she didn’t drink to hurt me, I also knew my love couldn’t save her.

        Unlike Funky who lectures people, my mom and my stepdad planned events for Friday and Saturday. They were able to acquire a small storefront for very little rent and created a sobriety club so people had a place to go to be around others in an alcohol free environment.

      • Mr. A

        Love doesn’t cure addiction, and it doesn’t magically make things okay.

        Very insightful and true. Granted, everyone can use a support network, but we don’t see Holly doing anything to support Funky in this strip; she’s busy doing something else, and the emphasis is purely on the warm fuzzy feelings that Funky has for her. (I’ll admit the last three panels are cute, if you take away the AA context.)

        Also, isn’t the AA meeting itself supposed to help “anchor” its participants? If all Funky needs to stay sober is to love his wife, why is he even here?

        • Mela

          She doesn’t necessarily have to be doing anything-the fact that she’s there is enough for Funky. Those last three panels are really sweet. For those of us wanting to see a male character showing genuine appreciation and love to his spouse, we finally got it today. True-love doesn’t cure addiction, but at least Funky is aware of who went through it with him.

          • Banana Jr. 6000

            It is sweet, which is why I hate that the AA part of it is so misguided.

          • The Duck of Death

            It could have been done right, so easily. Funky could have told of how wonderful it is to be sober, and enjoy a true connection with the one you love, which is impossible when you’re an addict.

            Or he could have said that he’s found that the satisfaction of a real human connection has been so much more deeply rewarding, after all, than trying to prop himself up with chemical crutches.

            But Batiuk thought his “anchor that keeps you from drifting” was clever. And he thought he could improve on Cole Porter. And here we are.

      • Jeff M

        Precisely. There’s no way TB is in a 12-step program, or a) we’d be hearing about it/them endlessly in the strip in the most ham-fisted Pulitzer-seeking way, and b) he wouldn’t have gotten these meetings so completely wrong, and this is the worst yet. Sorry, nobody in AA would a) refer to what keeps them sober as a “weapon” and b) place that burden on another individual. Cause that never ever works. “Power greater than yourself” can mean a lot of different things but Holly ain’t one of them.

      • Jimmy

        I’ll give a pass on that aspect. It seems to me Holly is capable of loving Funky and forgiving how much damage he did to the family.

        • Jeff M

          I agree with that point – as others have mentioned, they do seem to have a loving relationship, even with the “reno”/”women be shoppin’ amirite?” business. It would be nice to see him express some gratitude for that. There really is a good story to be told here – Holly’s mother dredging up things that, in the Act III reality, should in fact be quite painful. But she ended up married someone who could help out by expressing his support to her directly. Funky comes home to see this mess.Recognizes that these aren’t exactly positive memories for Holly. “I have a great idea for filing all these majorette photos.” Next panel: garbage can. Followed by kiss panel.

    • Anonymous Sparrow

      This comes from the show *Anything Goes.* Also in the score is “You’re the Top,” which is a list song:

      At words poetic, I’m so pathetic
      That I always have found it best
      Instead of getting ’em off my chest
      To let ’em rest unexpressed
      I hate parading my serenading
      As I’ll probably miss a bar
      But if this ditty is not so pretty
      At least it’ll tell you
      How great you are
      You’re the top!
      You’re the Coliseum
      You’re the top!
      You’re the Louver Museum
      You’re a melody from a symphony by Strauss
      You’re a Bendel bonnet
      A Shakespeare’s sonnet
      You’re Mickey Mouse
      You’re the Nile
      You’re the Tower of Pisa
      You’re the smile on the Mona Lisa
      I’m a worthless check, a total wreck, a flop
      But if, baby, I’m the bottom, you’re the top
      You’re the top
      You’re Mahatma Gandhi
      You’re the top
      You’re Napoleon Brandy
      You’re the purple light
      Of a summer night in Spain
      You’re the National Gallery
      You’re Garbo’s salary
      You’re cellophane
      You’re sublime
      You’re a turkey dinner
      You’re the time of a Derby winner
      I’m a toy balloon that’s fated soon to pop
      But if, baby, I’m the bottom
      You’re the top
      You’re the top
      You’re an Arrow collar
      You’re the top
      You’re a Coolidge dollar
      You’re the nimble tread
      Of the feet of Fred Astaire
      You’re an O’Neill drama
      You’re Whistler’s mama
      You’re camembert
      You’re a rose
      You’re Inferno’s Dante
      You’re the nose
      On the great Durante
      I’m just in the way
      As the French would say, “de trop”
      But if, baby, I’m the bottom
      You’re the top
      You’re the top
      You’re a Waldorf salad
      You’re the top
      You’re a Berlin ballad
      You’re the baby grand of a lady and a gent
      You’re an Old Dutch master
      You’re Mrs. Aster
      You’re Pepsodent
      You’re romance
      You’re the steppes of Russia
      You’re the pants on a Roxy usher
      I’m a lazy lout, who’s just about to stop
      But if, baby, I’m the bottom
      You’re the top

      No one will ever sing: “You’re the top! You’re Tom or Todd Batiuk! You’re the top! You’re the light in an attic!”


      “You’re the top! You’re Montoni’s Funky! You’re the top! You’re no longer an alcohol junky!”

      • The Duck of Death

        You’re a flop
        You’re a failed old scribbler
        You’re a flop
        You’re a glurgy dribbler
        You’re a fading shadow of “not so bad” at your best
        You’re an also-ran,
        A DC stan
        On a Pultizer quest.

  2. The Duck of Death

    Jeez, Epicus. You had me worried. Hope everything is okay.

    On to today’s abomination. After having snarked on Sammy Cahn’s lyrics, Batiuk proceeds to butcher Cole Porter’s. The correct lyric is

    I get no kick from champagne
    Mere alcohol doesn’t thrill me at all
    So tell me why should it be true
    That I get a kick out of you

    The lack of self-awareness that leads Tom to believe he can “improve” on one of the greatest lyricists who ever lived is … breathtaking. Also, as usual, he fails to credit the songwriter. He credited Hoagy Carmichael, who wrote “Stardust,” but failed to credit Mitchell Parish, the lyricist. This dismissal of lyricists seems to be a pattern with him. Is “lyricist” another failed aspiration of his?

    • Banana Jr. 6000

      Batiuk mentioned Hoagy Carmichael only because it was necessary to his oh-so-funny joke. The one where Pete takes all the credit for something Mindy and Ruby created, and would rather share his windfall from it with a long-dead crooner than either of them.

      Tom Batiuk dismisses anyone whose intellectual property he can appropriate and put his own copyright on. It makes me wonder how many friends in the industry this guy has, other than Tony Isabella and the rest of the other Ohio hacks.

  3. Perfect Tommy

    Hey! Where is everyone? It’s 10:30 EST and I want my snark darn it!
    CK is down and I don’t like AZ Central’s new format. Now this. Sigh. I’ll check back later.

  4. William Thompson

    This burnt offering would have made a better cap for the preceding six days if Funky had sung Elvis Presley’s “Hunk of Burning Love.”

    • Anonymous Sparrow

      Oh, but that would be bad luck! “Burning Love” was Elvis Presley’s last Top 10 hit.

      The composer and lyricist was Dennis Linde

  5. Banana Jr. 6000

    One of the few things I like in Funky Winkerbean is Funky and Holly’s relationship. They’re the only couple in town who seems to have any real affection for each other.

    But the ham-handed AA tie-in just ruins today’s strip, as Duck of Death explains well above.

  6. gleeb

    Did Funky just suggest to a roomful of people that they should go and sleep with his wife?

    • Banana Jr. 6000

      Funky never suggests anything. He’s written by Tom Batiuk, so everything he says is empty gibberish trying to act profound. Here he’s mixing three metaphors: “anchor”, “weapon”, and love as a coping mechanism, while also butchering the lyrics to a classic song. It’s amazing how much this comic strip can get wrong in so little space, without even being unintentionally funny.

  7. RudimentaryLathe?

    What sucks about today’s entry is it COULD have been a really nice moment; if Funky noticed how sorting photos/reminiscing with her toxic mother was making Holly stressed so he puts on Cole Porter (or Sinatra or Rod Stewart) & shows her some appreciation.
    But instead it’s Funky bloviating in AA ( why is he the only one there that gets to talk?) that his marriage is the crutch keeping him sober. Duck already explained why that’s a bad idea for an addict; and once again Batty is defining a female character as “Support System for Male Character.” AND he fucked with the lyrics to a famous song.
    I’d swear he has trolling but then surely it would be funny or at least surprising once in a while.

    • Banana Jr. 6000

      once again Batty is defining a female character as “Support System for Male Character.”

      …even though we’ve just seen that Holly is the one who needs support right now.

    • William Thompson

      Funky is the only one who talks because this isn’t an AA meeting. That sign is a typo for SS: Scared Sober. Who’d ever drink again if they knew it meant ending up like him?

  8. Professor Fate

    Oh lord – even when he tries to be heart warming he ends up being irritating.
    And considering his or the syndicate’s hissy fit over this site having the strips posted on it – that he didn’t give credit or at the very least apologize for butchering the lyric (and missing the point as well) is just maddening.
    And others have pointed out this is not the way 12 step programs work.
    God what a self impressed hack.

  9. robertodobbs

    Didn’t he have his wife during the years of alcoholism? Why is she a lifesaver now but not before? As others have noted, one doesn’t conquer substance abuse by making a single person your raison d’etre, for many, many reasons. Oh well!

  10. J.J. O'Malley

    “For me…my personal secret weapon is…making out with someone who looks like me in drag!”

    So the world’s longest AA meeting is going into its seventh month, and Funky still isn’t letting anyone else talk? And his big “secret weapon” is his spouse? Boy, it’s a sure bet no one ever thought of their loved ones as a way to combat the feelings of loneliness and despair that could lead them to fall off the wagon, I’m sure!