Quoth the unshaven “Anymore”

If today’s strip is to be believed, Crazy Harry is completely unaware of a genre of music that has been a major force in popular music for three-and-a-half decades now, and is arguably well into its second decade as the dominant genre of music in the United States. Where has Crazy been? Living under a rock (booooooooo!) since the Reagan administration?

Funky lives up to his name for once, brimming with mildly more modern musical knowledge than Crazy, the Act I gang’s resident music fan and audiophile dating back even to his early appearances. I guess he’s now not only channeling NASCAR legend Mark Martin’s haircut but also Martin’s unexpected rap music fandom.

54 Comments

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54 responses to “Quoth the unshaven “Anymore”

  1. William Thompson

    Now I want to see how the Bland Box dolls react to hip-hop.

  2. Captain Gladys Stoatpamphlet

    Since there doesn’t appear to be anyone else in the restaurant, are we to conclude that Funky selected this song? Is he to blame for this awful never-ending pun?

  3. Epicus Doomus

    Yeah, I mean come on. Crazy graduated in 1988 or 1992 or whatever, plus he has three kids. There’s no f*cking way he isn’t familiar with “hip-hop”. Once again BatHam takes a perfectly reasonable (yet hackneyed) premise with modest comedic potential, then drives it straight into the ground by turning Crazy into a total imbecile for no reason.

    And Funky’s jukebox has all kinds of modern music on it, Crazy hangs out in Montoni’s all the time. See where I’m going with this? BatYam is trying too hard while not trying at all, as only he can.

    “Anymore”…I’m assuming this is yet another regional colloquialism or whatever, but it just looks jarring and weird to me. Then again, I’m from a place where people call pork roll “Taylor Ham” and “hey, f*ck stick” is used as a traditional motorist’s greeting. So what the hell do I know about clumsy dialog?

    • Sourbelly

      So Qwazy is at least 50 years old. I can still remember back when I was 50 years old. I didn’t give a crap about being hip back then, and I can’t think of anyone my age that did either.

      • Maxine of Arc

        I’m about to turn 50 and I’m sure as hell not hip. I’m pretty sure I’d just look sad if I tried. What would a hip oldster even look like? Christopher Walken?
        As for “anymore,” I have never heard it used at the beginning of a sentence like that. The new “vendo?”

    • Green Luthor

      “A place where people call pork roll ‘Taylor Ham’.” In other words, a place where people are RIGHT. People who call it “pork roll” are uncultured heathens who are WRONG. (Why, yes, I am from North Jersey, how could you tell?)

  4. none

    Bone Thugs N Harmony formed in Cleveland in 1991.
    Machine Gun Kelly went to high school in Cleveland.
    (both of these things I didn’t know until I looked it up just now)

    I’d bet a paycheck that if a gun was put to TB’s head he couldn’t name either of them nor any other hip hop artist beyond Eminem.

    You don’t have to do this, Tom. You don’t. Just go back to wanking over your Silver Age shreds.

    ps: Positive Anymore is improper English, and I don’t care what you cite saying otherwise.

    • Sourbelly

      Agreed. Please enter this usage of “anymore” to the Batiuktionary. I’m pretty sure Batdick has presented this usage once or twice before lately, and it demands mockery.

  5. RudimentaryLathe?

    I’m legitimately curious as to what the song is. Crazy wouldn’t have been far out of high school when artists like Young MC, Run-DMC, and Biz Markie were coming on the scene, so it’s pretty weird he wouldn’t recognize one of them. I find it hard to believe that Batiuk (and by extension Funky) would acknowledge someone like Public Enemy, Onyx, Tupac, or even the Beastie Boys. Guys like Pitbull and Drake being the butt of “this is music?” jokes, well that’s more of a Gen-X thing. I’m at a loss here 🤔

    • Epicus Doomus

      Me too. Lest we forget, Crazy hangs out at Montoni’s all the time, thus he’s probably heard every song on that jukebox multiple times. Yet this tune has him totally flummoxed, not merely over who it is, but over what genre of music it belongs to. So one would think it’d have to be something way out there, like Death Grips or something.

  6. Anymore, it bugs me that Montoni’s Rock-Ola “Bubbler” jukebox is always colored completely solid gold, at least in the weekday strips. A legendary bar in my hometown had this style of jukebox and it was lit up in rainbow colors. I was curious as to whether the IRL Montoni’s (Luigi’s of Akron) might have such a jukebox, but from what I found on the web, looks like they’re rocking an even less visually appealing turn of the century Seeburg.

  7. Jeff M

    I’m sorry; I just can’t get past the idea of a guy who was in high school in the 1970s and graduated in 1980-whatever worried about being “hip.” People in the 1950s wanted to be “hip.” People in the 1970s who wanted to be “hip” were your middle-aged English teacher trying to explain why Jack Kerouac was the voice of his generation and not just a meth-addled hack. I mean, Blossom Dearie was making fun of “hip” in the late 50s, and I believe she has the final word on the matter (Bob Dorough/Dave Frishberg music/lyrics):

    I’m hip, I’m no square
    I’m alert, I’m awake, I’m aware
    I am always on the scene
    Makin’ the rounds, diggin’ the sounds
    I read Playboy magazine ’cause I’m hip
    I dig, I’m in step
    When it was hip to be hep, I was hep
    I don’t blow but I’m a fan
    Look at me swing, ring a ding ding
    I even call my girlfriend ‘Man’, I’m so hip
    Every Saturday night
    With my suit buttoned tight and my suedes on
    I’m gettin’ my kicks
    Watchin’ Arty French flicks with my shades on… (etc.)

    • Banana Jr. 6000

      The original 1990s Animaniacs had minor characters called The Hip Hippos. That is the most recent, non-ironic usage of “hip” I remember, and it’s 30 years old. And even there it was pretty tongue-in-cheek, because the characters were middle-aged, wine cooler-sipping yuppies. Yet in 2022, Tom Batiuk is playing this word absolutely straight. This comic strip makes Family Circus look “with it.”

  8. ComicBookHarriet

    Crazy doesn’t know what hip-hop is?

    Lucky guy.

    It infected my country music in the last decade and I had to stop listening. Putting hip-hop in country is like dipping a Hawaiian Pizza in Marmite.

    • billytheskink

      On the plus side, though, country hip-hop produced the best pun album title since the 77s lead singer Michael Roe released a solo record called The Boat Ashore

    • be ware of eve hill

      A few years ago some jackass attacked me in the ‘Biographic’ comic discussion for posting “Who?” in a panel featuring Li’l Nas X’s Ol’ Country Road. They asked me who I liked. I told her I liked Springsteen, Michael Jackson and U2. They proceeded to call me an out-of-date dinosaur. I called her a Billboard Top 40 front running poser. I told her Springsteen, Michael Jackson and U2 will be Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Famers forever whereas Li’l Nas X will end up being a bar trivia night question.

      I live in the American Southwest and almost all of our radio stations are Country and Western. I can listen to it all day long. We never hear a rap song. Not even an alleged Billboard top 40 one like Ol’ Country Road
      #AttentionSeekingGarbage

      • Suicide Squirrel

        The title of the song is ‘Old Town Road.’

        I can’t wait to hear Lil Nas X try a death metal tune.

        • be ware of eve hill

          Sorry, Squirrel. I stand corrected.

          Rapping in a death metal tune? Okay. 😕

      • ComicBookHarriet

        ‘Country Roads’ by John Denver is more more country music in a single silent rest than the entirety of Jason Aldean’s discography.

        ChangeMyMind.

        • be ware of eve hill

          I can’t do it. If it wasn’t for that dreadful music festival shooting in Las Vegas, I wouldn’t even know who the hell Jason Aldean is.

  9. be ware of eve hill

    Just for the record, even though I was N.E. Ohio raised and educated, I’ve never started a sentence with “anymore” in my life. It must have been something Batty learned in the boonies of Lorain county.

    Crazy Harry has never heard of Hip-hop? C’mon, even this late-middle-aged white grandmother heard of Run-DMC back in 1986 (‘Walk This Way’ with Aerosmith).

    • Banana Jr. 6000

      Hell, I went to a Run-D.M.C. concert once. And I just turned 50. Not normally my style of style, but I still have fond memories of Raising Hell and other stuff they did. It was more what my best friend was into, but Run-D.M.C. were cool as hell and annoyed my parents, so they did their job well. Especially considering the musical hellscape that existed in the late 1980s.

      • be ware of eve hill

        If I remember correctly, the Run-D.M.C. version of Walk This Way reignited Aerosmith’s popularity. They were at the point of breaking up.

        • Banana Jr. 6000

          I still remember the music video, which Aerosmith also collaborated in. There’s a concert shot where the Run-DMC sign came crashing down on the Aerosmith sign, as Steven Tyler faux-shrieked at it. Even 14-year-old me recognized a new age announcing itself. Rock was out and rap was in. I didn’t think this would still be the case in 2022, but life goes in surprising directions sometimes. It was pretty insightful of Aerosmith to get on board with that, especially since the joke was kind of at their expense, and their career was going nowhere at the time.

          Speaking of other things where Aerosmith came down on the right side of history: they were also one of the first guest voices on The Simpsons. In a classic episode too, the “Flaming Moe’s” one.

    • be ware of eve hill

      I’ve just been reminded that my son listened to the Beastie Boys. You Gotta Fight for Your Right To Party!

  10. J.J. O'Malley

    Abe Simpson, 1996: “I used to be with it, but then they changed what ‘it’ was. Now what I’m with isn’t ‘it,’ and what’s ‘it’ seems weird and scary to me. It’ll happen to you…”

    Once again, “The Simpsons” (which I believe is no longer considered “hip” to watch) summed up in a 15-second clip what Batiuk is trying to do and failing over a week-long (one assumes) series of comic strips. To repeat: “Crazy” Harry got his nickname because his behavior was strange and peculiar, not because it was avant garde and trendsetting. No one called him “Hip” Harry.

    Also, why is the Montoni’s jukebox playing hip-hop songs that neither the store’s owner or its sole customer selected? Is the spirit of a dead rapper possessing the machine, the way Abe’s ghost got stuck in Moe’s Love Tester game in a 1997 episode of–you guessed it–“The Simpsons”?

    • A lot of jukeboxes (not the ones that play 45s, but the ones that play CDs or digital media) have a feature where if nobody plays a song for a prescribed period of time, it will wake up and choose a song at random to play, in order to call attention to itself.

      • robertodobbs

        You made me think of something I haven’t thought of in 30 years. I used to go to a cafe where there was a jukebox that did that. But this one wasn’t random; it always played “The Magnificent Seven” by the Clash when it hadn’t been used in a while. Not a bad song but I heard it so much that I stopped going to that cafe.

  11. billytheskink

    Three bonus points for Funky if the hip-hop artist playing on the jukebox is former Hollywood Hills resident Hershey Barr…

    • Banana Jr. 6000

      Your stock is up, Cindy? You haven’t even had a job in years.

    • be ware of eve hill

      Hoo-boy, that goddamn strip. I got into a real dustup with another commenter over that one. We made up, though. 👍

      • The Duck of Death

        Ah yes, I remember it well.

        My opinion on whether this moniker for a rapper is racist can be summarized with Hanlon’s Razor: “Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity.”

        I’d also add that there is only one rapper I can think of who is named after a chocolate candy, and he is white. So perhaps Hershey Barr is as well.

        The real offense is that it’s so unfunny and unoriginal.

        My comment at the time on CK was:

        “And the stuntman Rayson Carr. And before that, the Masters Tournament winner Onder Parr. And the knife fighter Faisal Scarr. Oh, and before him, a Chinese fella in the construction business, name of Ru-Fing Tarr.

        These doin’ anything for ya? I notice you’re not convulsing with laughter. I guess some people just don’t have a sense of humor.”

        • be ware of eve hill

          Batty was trying to be cute with “Hershey Barr.” Why would he be trying to provoke anyone? An obvious play-off of Eminem (M&Ms).

          He’s not a rapper, but I did find a white guy with a candy-sounding name. Jason Williams was an NBA basketball player who was given the nickname “White Chocolate” due to his style of play.

          I often enjoyed Justifiable’s comments. We could have used his expertise in pointing out all of Batty’s errors during the Lisa’s Story movie story arcs. It’s possible Justifiable flamed too many people and got banned.

  12. Y. Knott

    Q: Anymore, is it hip to start sentences with “anymore”?

    A: Never was, order random word boy talker.

  13. Banana Jr. 6000

    Yeah. that Harry sure doesn’t know what’s hip any more. He’s definitely not feeling hip. Did Harry mention he’s concerned about his lack of hipness?

    Tom Batiuk’s favorite trope: pick a premise and just restate it over and over for a week,. And word it as awkwardly as possible.

    Also, Harry just went back in time and met his younger self. Wouldn’t that have been a more appropriate time confront one’s lack of coolness in old age?

  14. Gerard Plourde

    How many more days will we be subjected to Harry’s newly-acquired angst? Why is it important to him that he has to pinpoint a song’s genre in order to enjoy it? He’s not claiming unfamiliarity with the song being played, but an inability to classify it. And somehow not being able to do this task makes him feel like a failure.

    • Banana Jr. 6000

      Even if people aren’t familiar with the nuances of modern music, most people have a vague idea of what “rap” sounds like. Not Harry, apparently. And now he’s getting lessons from a guy who this time last week was name-checking Bob Dylan.

  15. The Duck of Death

    Today’s Vintage Funky on CK, a 1976 strip, features a wry glance at the reader, breaking the fourth wall.

    This was not uncommon in FW Act 1. In fact, it was not uncommon in Peanuts, Bloom County, Calvin & Hobbes, and many superior comics. It’s been part of comic vernacular since the beginning.

    I mention it because the joke is actually amusing, and unexpected, and (I think) original, unlike virtually all Act 3 jokes. And also because in one of his introductions to his Act 3 collections, as reprinted on his blog, Tom proudly says he had thrown aside the childish convention of the sidelong glance at the reader (or words to that effect; can’t be arsed to look it up). He was so very proud of this. It meant he was a Serious Author tackling Serious Subjects.

    But today we get another retread of the execrable, tired, unoriginal, unfunny, and depressing “hip/hip” wordplay. It would actually be improved by a sidelong glance, if anything.

    So congrats,Tommy. You may still have trivial and boring wordplay, but at least you got rid of the wry glance at the audience. Golf clap for you.

    //s.imgur.com/min/embed.js

    • Banana Jr. 6000

      Batiuk said was inserting himself into the strip too much when he used aside glances.

      Seriously. He said that. As if inserting himself into the comic strip were something he felt he should avoid. That is just stunning.

    • The Duck of Death

      I might as well enroll in the Lillian McKenzie School for Hopeless Techno-Illiterates and sign up for Intro to Computers (“That foot pedal — it’s really a ‘mouse’!”) It’s taught, of course, by the Shining Twins.

      Anyway, apologies. I thought I was being clever cutting and pasting the image into imgur, and copying their embed code. Maybe if I just post a link.

      And I know most of you know how to get to CK, but CK (and I say this as a longtime subscriber) both sucks and blows, and it’s not really worth it just to read one comic. So once more, with feeling:

      • Banana Jr. 6000

        Imgur lets you use the “copy image address” feature in your browser, and then post that link directly here. That will display the image without the imgur box. Like so:

        i.imgur.com/BuNcH0fLEtT3r5 . jpg

        becomes:

      • be ware of eve hill

        What the heck is CK doing? From what I read in the comments, CK is trying to strong-arm the readers into subscribing. That’s bad business, and they’re driving readers away. I noticed the comment counts were down in almost all the comics strips today.

        CK is being cheap about the trial period, too. My trial earlier this year was for an entire month. Now they’re offering just one measly week.

  16. The Duck of Death

    Second day of “hip” wordplay.

    As the jazzmen used to say, “You can be too hip — and two hips make an ass.”

  17. Suicide Squirrel

    People used to like Funky until Batyuk started those incredibly tedious A.A. meeting story arcs last year. This year Batyuk wants us to start hating Crazy Harry too.

    Quoth the Batiuk ‘Anymore.’
    Count me as yet another Ohioan who never starts my sentences with “Anymore”. For the record, I wasn’t born in Ohio.

    • The Duck of Death

      Seriously. It’s a fundamental storytelling maxim. People root for the plucky underdog who fights adversity at every step. People identify with the hero who keeps his dignity no matter what life tosses at him.

      Nobody identifies with the whiny old man who bitches about everything.

      • Banana Jr. 6000

        People root for the plucky underdog who fights adversity at every step. People identify with the hero who keeps his dignity no matter what life tosses at him.

        This is why no one rooted for identified with Lisa.

  18. Charles

    So when Crazy’s feeling all depressed because he doesn’t feel “with it” anymore, he goes to his fat geezer friend on Social Security to contemplate how he can be more hip – the friend who owns and works at a place that purposefully hasn’t changed since they were teenagers. He doesn’t go to his vaguely college-aged daughter to ask what’s going on. He doesn’t ask the kids who inexplicably hang around where he works. Following the same impulse that everyone else in this strip follows, he just goes to his usual place to whine about his trivial problems.

    And to compound Batiuk’s screwup with this sequence, what was the impetus for Crazy to realize and lament that he’s unhip?

    But admittedly, that’s when I realize that Batiuk can’t show what caused this, because his default response to “young people do something that his stable of geezers don’t understand” is to conclude that young people are insipid and stupid. There’s nothing that he could show Crazy reacting to in an out of touch manner without insulting and dismissing whatever it is that made Crazy feel that way.

  19. KMD

    And this is why I loathe Act III so much. The Gen Xers act like Boomers who have no idea what hip hop is but can tell you about comics of the late 50s and early 60s. The Boomers are obsessed with serial movies from the 1930s. Most of the women range from bland to nagging and the men all come off as 30 years older than they actually are. I’m sure the kids now in high school in Westview are really into Toad the Wet Sprocket and Chris Claremont’s run on the X-Men as they hope that Bernie Kosar leads the Browns to the Super Bowl. But even all of that might be too current for TB. Writers should reflect the world as they see it. TB only reflects himself. All of the characters–from Les to Crazy Harry to all the comics writers and artists–simply hold up mirrors so TB can impose his reflection on the world.