And I Lost Interest, Again

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Ha! That f*cking internet sure does suck balls, amirite? Boy, society sure has gone to hell in a handbasket, I’ll tell you what. Even a humongous Hollywood mega-star can’t get reliable internet service, shows you just how useless and limited it really is. I can’t wait til this fad dies down and we go back to landlines and good ol’ AM radio again.

“Oh for pity’s sake”…and it’s official. Marianne is the least cool twenty-something Hollywood actress of all-time. No one could possibly be this twee in real life, you wouldn’t even be able to breathe. The hair, the hapless naivete, the wholesome homespun exclamations…it just gets worse and worse with every panel. Just look at her today, all dreary and disheveled, she’s pitiful to the point where it’s tough to not feel sorry for her. At first glance I really did think it said “lost interest again” and really, who could blame him? No wonder she’s not in a relationship and has no friends, she’s a total drip.

42 Comments

Filed under Son of Stuck Funky

42 responses to “And I Lost Interest, Again

  1. You know, cleaning out my newly adopted cat’s litterbox is far more compelling than anything Tom Batiuk has managed in decades. At least there’s the possibility of a surprise.

  2. Lord Flatulence

    Excuse me while I rearrange my sock drawer.

  3. William Thompson

    “How does anyone so rich have such crappy internet?” Only her hairdresser knows for sure!

    • Anonymous Sparrow

      Why does a woman who says “crappy” make it “pity’s” sake, rather than “”God’s” or at least “heaven’s”?

  4. J.J. O'Malley

    “Lost internet again”? “LOST INTERNET AGAIN’? Are you frackin’ kidding me? What American under the age of 70 or outside of Pennsylvania Dutch country would use such a phrase? And what exactly happened to their online conversation where the image would be wavy like that? Does Batiuk want us to think that Masonne misadjusted his “internet antenna”?

    This is…just pathetic. I know, i repeat myself. I contain multitudes of contempt for this strip, after all.

    • Epicus Doomus

      “Pennsylvania Dutch country”…LOL! She’d be impossibly humble and homespun if she was just a regular schmuck, but Marianne is supposed to be a hot Hollywood superstar. It’s totally ludicrous.

  5. none

    Isn’t it quaint how Internet issues cause screen warping here? It’s as if the data was on an analog signal, like television. That’s how the Internet works, right?

    • robertodobbs

      I thought the same think. Digital failure causes a frozen screen or a blank screen. The image doesn’t get snowy or distorted. That’s what channel 7 did on my tube TV in 1987.

      • robertodobbs

        I guess you can have some pixel freezing but it doesn’t get wavy.

      • Depending on just what the net glitch was it might scramble the video, although that’s typically more of a problem if the image is changing a lot.

        I’m willing to give Batiuk a pass under dramatic license, though. There’s not a comic strip artist alive who could depict the difference between a frozen video and a working video in a single panel.

        The mystery is what narrative purpose could be served by Masone’s Internet going out. It’s got the placement of a cliffhanger or a punch line, but there’s no suspense and no joke. I’m not being dismissive here. It’s just, they’re one or two sentences away from where the conversation would naturally end and there’s no hint that anyone is ready to surprise the other with some news, and it’s not like Masone’s flaky Internet is a running gag that doesn’t need a setup. It’s got me wanting to peek ahead to see what nothing this is a bridge to.

        • none

          “There’s not a comic strip artist alive who could depict the difference between a frozen video and a working video in a single panel. ”

          Oh come on. Showing the stream as working in P1 and then glitching in P2 is all that he needed to do and was trying to do.

          Show the screen as a pixelated rainbow mess. Even have some fun with the word balloon and make it get all pixelly and distorted at the end of it. He’s talking about the Internet – he can use the Internet to see what streaming errors look like. Done. Intended message conveyed.

          I won’t allow any justification for this specific kind of laziness here.

        • I think the “narrative purpose” in today’s strip is the fact that he’s already dragged this week’s narrative out too long and just needed some filler for Saturday. The entire message of this week’s arc – Lisa’s Story got picked up by Netbusters and Marianne was nominated for an Oscar – could be communicated in one strip, which leaves five more strips in which to fill space with reiterating the message and including pointless “jokes”.

          At least today’s strip reveals the reason that Masone and Marianne’s conversation magically switched from cell phone to Zoom after Monday, though today’s joke(?) would have probably at least as (un)funny if it was about Masone losing his cell signal as it would be about him losing his internet.

        • Charles

          There’s not a comic strip artist alive who could depict the difference between a frozen video and a working video in a single panel.

          I’m not sure. I think a panel having an abrupt, inappropriate break in Mason’s dialogue, followed by the display in the subsequent panel being black with a “Loading” icon would do the trick nicely.

  6. Sourbelly

    So:
    Masonnneee has gained 30 lbs. He doesn’t care that he got no nominations for the massive streaming hit “Lisa’s Thing.” He’s been added to the reviled “Hatchet Face Crew”. And he has a lousy internet connection [GASP!].

    Clearly, something very dramatic, tragic, and above all interesting has happened to this beloved character!

    Just kidding. This is just more pointless filler.

    • Epicus Doomus

      No conflict whatsoever, not even in a light-hearted way. Mason isn’t jealous or bitter at all, he laughs off his sudden weight gain, he’s just an affable, carefree Hollywood megastar with nothing better to do than mentoring his hapless protégé Marianne. He might have gotten a little miffed or felt a little trammeled, she might have taken a playful dig at him or expressed exasperation with his raging ego, and it might have led to a few organic gags and demonstrated that these characters have personalities beyond bland wryness and unbearable humility. They are, after all, supposed to be Hollywood superstars.

      But instead it’s all wry cackling and gee-whiz naïveté. Once again he comes up with a premise, then does absolutely nothing with that premise. It makes you wonder why he even bothered with re-visiting these idiots in the first place, unless it’s all just a plodding, roundabout way to bring up “Lisa’s Story” in time for the big 50th anniversary strip. Which it probably is.

      • Banana Jr. 6000

        And these are supposed to be the Hollywood elitists that Les, in his role as Tom Batiuk’s primary mouthpiece, is so contemptuous of.

      • Gerard Plourde

        “it might have led to a few organic gags and demonstrated that these characters have personalities beyond bland wryness and unbearable humility”

        This sums up the basic problem with all of his characters. They possess no depth. This certainly posed no problem for the plot-driven Silver Age comics he grew up on and which he seems to use as his template, but the stories he’s envisioning can’t be told using that style of characterization.

        • Epicus Doomus

          Why can’t Mason and Marianne exchange a few Oscar related jibes? Why can’t Mason be a little vain and jealous? Why can’t Marianne gloat a little? What would be the harm? Batty is forever reminding us about what a festering shit hole Hollywood is, but his Hollywood characters are unbearably humble and kindly, all the time.

          • Gerard Plourde

            And not even rising to the level of jealousy, a perfectly natural reaction for Mason to have would be disappointment that what he believed was a career-changing performance didn’t get an Oscar nod. Real friends (and Mason and Marianne have a history of working together, so friendship isn’t a stretch) would share that kind of thing with each other.

          • Banana Jr. 6000

            Lisa’s Story turned into Scientology so slowly we didn’t even notice.

          • ComicBookHarriet

            I will pop in to this comment thread to say that, while Masone getting jealous would infuse some much needed tension, and conflict into this bland festival of backpatting, I’m glad that he didn’t.

            We have really never once seen Masone getting jealous over anything. The man is painfully earnest and good natured, and seems to usually let any kind of hardship roll right off his back. In a world of samey wamey characters, it’s a tiny bit of consistent characterization that sets him marginally apart from the nordinc doomposting of the typical Westview inhabitant.

            Consistent characterization is so hard to find in this strip, that I would never ever give it up, even for sweet precious plot and conflict.

      • Hitorque

        Batiuk only needs to transplant Harry Dinkle’s ego into Masone, and Act I Cindye Sommerse’s stuck-up diva bitchiness into Marianne and then we’d have something much closer to authentic Hollywood…

  7. billytheskink

    Can’t be any crappier than whatever internet TB uses to research how Hollywood (or any of his issues du jour) works.

  8. Rusty Shackleford

    I see Masone is back to using a laptop, but he holds it like a tablet. Geeze, I live in suburban Ohio and we have fiber internet. Batty has the same in Medina…but not those Hollywood stars, crappy generic fruit devices and dial up.

  9. Banana Jr. 6000

    “Now that I’ve given you all this pointless, unnecessary backstory you’d already know if you were paying any attention to your own life, let’s meet for lunch so I can spend another week telling it to you again.”

  10. Dood

    You can’t be a good chemo-sabe with lost internet.

    • none

      ..che… mo…
      Oh! Hey! Chemo sounds like Kemo! Kemosabe! Sounds like it could be written as Chemo Sabe! Ha! Ha ha! I got the reference!

  11. Hitorque

    I like how Marianne automatically assumes the problem is on Masone’s end when she’s probably using an fashioned phone line to connect to basic service from PacBell.net…

    And then she goes further by insinuating Masone Jarre is too much of a cheapskate to purchase to purchase Verizon FIOS or whatever…

    Hey Marianne: Say what you will about your boy Masone, but at least he got out of fucking bed this morning and took a shower and put on fresh clothes and combed his hair and brushed his teeth… There might be a shoddy online connection, but try straightening out your own house first…?

    • Gerard Plourde

      Also, Marianne is supposed to be a successful established actress who has now starred in two blockbusters. I think she would also qualify as rich.

      How is it that TomBa manages to forget the backstory he crafts for his characters? To answer my own question I should say that he doesn’t forget but that he ignores it when the backstory is inconvenient for the story he’s currently pushing.

  12. Serious question here; How does she know that the problem isn’t on HER end?

  13. Hitorque

    Am I the only one who remembers this character? Can we please bring her back?

  14. be ware of eve hill

    The “Musso and…” Mason mentioned is most likely the ‘Musso & Frank Grill’ on Hollywood Blvd.

    Unlike the original Hollywood Brown Derby Batty featured in Funky Winkerbean a few years ago, Musso & Frank still exists. The restaurant features fine dining and has been featured in several TV shows and movies. Pricey, as you’d expect. Two people can easily spend over $100 on dinner.

    The only reason I’m bringing this up is that I’ve been to the ‘Musso & Frank Grill’ and highly recommend it. This has been a public service.

  15. Chester the Dog

    Holy Lisa! That place is expensive! Maybe they have some free wifi that Masone can use.

  16. be ware of eve hill

    I remember playing a round of golf with my husband and a couple of buddies of his. One of his buddies was a former marine. Every time my husband short-putted, this guy called him “Marianne.” It was meant as an insult to indicate his effort was effeminate.

    I’ve always been kind of curious why the name “Marianne” was used. The former marine said he didn’t know. He picked the habit while in the service. Any former marines out there who know why the name ‘Marianne’ is used?

    Kind of a fitting insult, taking into account the mousy Marianne Winters featured in this strip lately.

  17. The inconsistencies of character are very easy to explain. There are three main tenets of this comic strip.

    1. Les is a genius, too sensitive for this fallen world.
    2. Dinkle is the greatest at whatever he puts his hand to.
    3. Funky is a put-upon, fat dope who will never see the sunshine.

    ALL other characters, and I do mean ALL, are only there to illustrate these three things. (Not all at once, fortunately).

  18. Charles

    The hair, the hapless naivete, the wholesome homespun exclamations…it just gets worse and worse with every panel. Just look at her today, all dreary and disheveled, she’s pitiful to the point where it’s tough to not feel sorry for her.

    This reminds me of a comment someone on a different forum made about those old ’50s advice for women short films, which would ultimately suggest that you dull your star and look like a fucking idiot because that’ll make the man you’re interested in feel all brilliant and powerful and virile as he explains to you how to do things like flush the toilet, turn on the television, or plug in the food processor.

    “THIS is the genetic material men want for their sons?”

    According to Batiuk, Lisa was a great woman, a titan among us. She was brilliant and wise and funny. She’d be suffering from cancer and yet would always have some quick wit retort to zing the people managing her treatments. She was a powerful attorney who bravely defended Gross John’s First Amendment right to sell pornographic comic books to children, and argued in front of an Appeals Court in defense of a man convicted of a capital crime. She was sagacious and down-to-earth, able to puncture Les’s feelings of worthlessness with a bon mot and a smile. She went before Congress and faced down those skeptical, dismissive and hostile Congressmen with dynamite testimony about cancer research, all while dying of cancer. She was so wise that her wisdom could not be contained in her own lifetime. No, she and her wisdom and her humor were so great and worthy of remembrance that Batiuk came up with the ludicrous video tape scheme in order to keep them in the strip. She was a powerful, beautiful extraordinary woman worthy of a best-selling trilogy of books documenting each stage of her life, and worthy of Oscar-winning films derived from them.

    And this is the idiotic loser that he has play her in the film. From all appearances she’s incapable of taking care of herself, and of expending even a modicum of effort to follow the development of her own career. And not only that, but she somehow turns in an Oscar-worthy performance for it. The Marianne that Batiuk has presented wouldn’t be able to understand or appreciate the significance of the Lisa as Batiuk intends her. There wouldn’t be one poignant or moving scene in the movie that Marianne would understand, because if she could, she wouldn’t need Mason to break the news he has this week to her. She’d be competent enough that she’d already know all of this.

    So again: Tom Batiuk – THIS is the person you want playing your Superwoman Among Us? You’ve considered Marianne, as you’ve presented her, as being worthy of this honor, of being capable of holding it?

    • Banana Jr. 6000

      To be fair, an actress doesn’t have to have the same personality as the person she’s playing to do it well. I can think of a few: Charlize Theron (Monster), Natalie Portman (Black Swan), Katharine Keener (Being John Malkovich), Alison Janney (I Tonya). I think those four of those were all up for Best Actress. And all four of them said the character was a challenge, because it very much wasn’t who they were.

      I can’t judge if Marianne is a good choice to be in Lisa’s Story, because they’re both complete ciphers. The FW story never cared about anything past Marianne’s ability to look like Lisa, even though “telling Lisa’s story correctly” was the entire point of the exercise. The only thing we ever see them filming is the wheelchair-and-fountain scene, and the “playground is closed for repairs” scene. And those STUPID video tapes. What was even in those that was so important? I guess we’ll not find out when the strip doesn’t tell us why Marianne is thanking Les in her Oscar acceptance speech.

      • Charles

        But that wasn’t the point I was making. Marianne wouldn’t have to be like Lisa to play Lisa, but she’d have to have the world experience, the empathy and the emotional intelligence to put herself in another human being’s position such that she could play her in a movie effectively enough to win an Academy Award.

        And that’s not Marianne. She has the emotional maturity of a 4 year old. She has no evident real world experience due to the fact that everything seems to be new and unfamiliar to her, such that she needs Mason to explain everything to her. And without those two things she certainly doesn’t have empathy.

        As for the other stuff, that’s why I highlighted that it’s Batiuk perception of the character he made, rather than what he actually created with her. He certainly doesn’t think Lisa was a shallow shell of a character, hardly worthy of devoting 25 years of strip time deifying her. He thinks Lisa was a great woman, and so he creates a grown woman with all the worldly experience and intellect of a 4 year old to play her in a movie, and then presumes that said performance would be worthy of an Oscar. He doesn’t even bother to make her glamourous. She simply a vacant idiot, and a childish slob, and it’s a testament to Batiuk’s opinion of women that he thinks this is adequate.

  19. Mr. A

    “Now that we’re both fully vaxed”? In February 2022? If I didn’t know that Batiuk wrote this strip a year ahead of time, I’d think this was a weird way of referring to the booster shot. As it is, it’s another instance of him trying and failing to predict the future, which is a dumb way to handle current events.

    This also implies that they weren’t fully vaxed at the wrap party back in August…

  20. Captain Gladys Stoatpamphlet

    Should have known this was coming. Otherwise, why set it up as a video call instead of a simple phone call?