Author Archives: Charles

Damnation of Dumbness

Today’s strip remarkably shows Pete getting a visit from the Lord of the Late, which I think is the first time we’ve seen this particular eldritch dipshit since Pete became screenwriter for Starbuck Jones. I don’t know if we should be displeased that Batiuk has decided to bring this character back or pleased that this wasn’t the start of a “I wonder what things were like back in the ’50s” sequence.



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And continues…

Today’s strip continues Nate and Linda’s inane conversation about Tank Wedgeman. It’s illuminating that these two administrators (one of Linda’s myriad responsibilities makes her an administrator, right? She’s got a hand in literally everything in this school) can’t imagine stopping the bullying, instead simply waiting it out until the kid graduates. Who cares about all the kids he victimizes in the meantime.

These strips remind me of something I mentioned way back in the Gay Prom storyline. (can we believe it’s been nearly six years?) In that strip  Nate spoke of “the intolerant” rather than “intolerance”. The issue I had was that Batiuk seemed to be framing homophobia in the context of people rather than ideas. Good people would think the way Batiuk did, and bad people would think differently. It wasn’t a matter of examining different perspectives and/or how a person might end up with problematic attitudes or behaviors. It was just an issue of The Bad People, or “the intolerant” in that strip. There isn’t any point in trying to deal with Tank’s bullying. It’s just who he is, and it won’t stop until he’s gone. They don’t engage bullying any more than Nate engaged Roberta’s issue (that we can only suppose is homophobia because Batiuk never allowed her to voice her specific objections).

It’s pretty disgusting ordinarily, but it’s especially so coming from two characters who are supposed to be educators. Hell, I think of all of Batiuk’s characters, he thinks Linda and Nate are the two most admirable teachers at the school. Unlike Les, they seem to approach their jobs in education with some form of enthusiasm, so it’s remarkable that they don’t seem to recognize teachable moments. If I’m reading Batiuk’s timeline correctly, these two have at least thirty years’ experience each, and yet bullying appears to be something they have no response to, nor think they need to deal with.


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The Wedgeman Obsession continues

Today’s strip shows that Linda and Nate are still talking about this kid Tank Wedgeman, such that they ought to charge him rent for taking up inordinate space in their minds. Linda’s still hugging that odd blue book until panel three, which amazingly is the first time she hasn’t been hugging it all week. I’m not sure what the cage-thing is that’s on the wall behind them. I’d say it’s a shelf but you can see clear through it around the corner.

So Nate indicates that there are five Wedgeman brothers who are evenly separated by four years each, so the family had one child every four years for sixteen years to ensure that Westview High would have a Wedgeman at fullback for twenty years. That sounds… deranged, even for Westview. It’s also pretty remarkable that from the sounds of it no trouble came about from Bull throwing Nameless Wedgeman off the team for bullying “someone”. If his family really did plan the births of their children around such a lunatic scheme, one would think that they would raise a fuss over Bull thwarting it in such a casual, informal fashion.

Anyway, the most slipshod strip of the week. Have at it.


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January 25th, 2018

So Nate today continues talking about the school’s latest bully and it’s a doozy. Since Batiuk has no idea what bullying on social media entails and has no desire to learn, he instead has Tank Wedgeman kick it old school with physical bullying more in line with what he was used to decades ago. Of course. He also doesn’t show bullying itself or show Nate doing anything about it, instead just showing Nate talking about it.

And Nate gets worse when he describes the types of abuse Wedgeman visits on his victims and, from all appearances, seems to be not the least bit troubled. Jesus man, a swirly involves Wedgeman jamming a kid’s head in a fucking toilet, and yet Nate’s acting as if this is no big deal. It just comes with the territory. What a guy.

Meanwhile, Linda acts as nothing more than a filibuster-enabler by prompting Nate’s jabbering whenever he needs it. By the way, notice how she hugs that lone blue book to her chest in every panel this entire week. What could that book possibly be?


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Nate and Linda, useless as ever.

Today’s strip shows Nate and the ubiquitous Linda walking along a corridor in the high school. Batiuk apparently decided he needed another bully, and since he had to graduate Wedgeman with the dopesy twins Owen and Cody, he came up with a new one. To no one’s surprise, it’s the brother of his previous bully, and would you look at that, he’s a football player as well. Let no one suggest that Batiuk ever exhausts the possibilities he has before him.

The severely parted Linda isn’t actually concerned about what happened to the victims of Tank’s bullying, because they’re not important. What’s important is to indicate that there’s a new bully in town and have Nate make a completely nonsensical reference to a cliche as wordplay. It’s actually in insult to wordplay. It should be called wordloitering instead.


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Jelloponically Blown

Today’s strip continues this week’s dumb one-off jokefest by having Logan Church join Progressively-Lumpier Black Guy and Preschooler Bernie Silver. Batiuk shows his lack of range by putting Logan in the now Westview woman uniform colors of magenta and black. Make her vest a cardigan and she’s stolen the elderly Holly’s wardrobe.

Anyway, dumb joke about mandarin oranges and Jello, which, for the record, I have only seen together sparingly in my many years on this planet, and none of those times in a school cafeteria. That Lumpy finishes Bernie’s punchline only underscores how labored this joke is.

And one wonders why Logan, who was introduced as savvy enough to have a business blog “picked up by ABC News”, would be hanging out with these two goobers. Perhaps her status nosedived when she switched her ethnicity.


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Brown bag it, dumbasses

Today’s strip shows Batiuk at his most daring – a strip about how cafeteria food is terrible! Who else but Batiuk would have the fortitude to take on this controversial, multitudinous topic?

Anyway, he blows it by having the cafeteria lady herself refer to the slop in front of Bernie and the random lumpy black guy who hangs around with Bernie as “Mystery Meat”, “Cafeteria Cod” and “Leftover Drum Rolls”. That kind of defeats the whole purpose of Bernie and Lumpy commenting on it, doesn’t it?

“What are you serving for lunch?”

“Something terrible.”

“Wow, you’re serving something terrible for lunch.”


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