Tag Archives: bullying

Lespicable

I don’t have words right now for today’s strip, so here is a list of synonyms for “Les Moore” that I found in the thesaurus:

cheap, contemptible, cruddy, deplorable, dirty, grubby, lame, lousy, mean, nasty, paltry, pitiable, pitiful, ratty, scabby, scummy, scurvy, sneaking, sorry, wretched, abhorrent, abominable, condemnable, detestable, execrable, hateful, loathsome, odious, disgusting, reptilian, repugnant, repulsive, revolting, revulsive, discreditable, disgraceful, dishonorable, disreputable, ignominious, shameful, base, ignoble, low, shabby, sordid, squalid, vile, blamable, censurable, reprehensible, reproachable, cowardly, craven, dastardly, unethical, unprincipled, unscrupulous, base, currish, detestable, execrable, low-down, low-minded, snide, sordid, , evil, foul, immoral, iniquitous, wicked, cruel, vicious, debased, degenerate, depraved, atrocious, villainous, monstrous, horrible, appalling, pathetic, egomaniacal, jerky, are-you-still-in-high-school-?-good-grief-get-over-it-man-!-don’t-you-have-a-life-now-?

Please feel free to add any that I and Merriam-Webster may have missed. Thanks.

Also, just to remind anyone who wasn’t reading back in 2011, or those who have had the good fortune to forget, Bull’s bullying of Les in high school was an act to protect Les from real bullies. It’s like Les doesn’t even read this strip…

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Clock Him NOW!

Some of the possible signs and symptoms of CTE may include…cognitive impairment…

from The Mayo Clinic page on CTE

Not only may Batiuk have finally succeeded in making me feel empathy for Bull…I think I’m experiencing a little “cognitive impairment” myself. Or maybe TB is the one who’s losing it. Back in 2011 he spent a week crafting a retcon in which Bull had only been pretending to physically abuse Les so that the other bullies would leave him alone. I think Les may have done Bull’s homework for him, or tutored him, or some shit, in return…I really don’t remember or care. Neither can I remember (help me out here, billytheskink) if Linda was part of the gang in Act I, or did she not show up until they all were adults in Act II. She didn’t know Bull and Les in high school? All the confusion even has Les scratching his head.

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With a capital “T” and that rhymes with “P”

Today’s strip will long be remembered as the one where Holly’s mother gives her daughter a wet willy. Also, pools are nice to have or something.

Look, there’s not much to this. I guess I could point out that a trip from Florida to Northern Ohio with three elderly folks would reasonably involve an overnight stay in a motel or some other type of lodging and yet, all three of these characters are wearing the same clothes they have been wearing since the trip began. I could point that out, but I won’t. I don’t want to be a beady-eyed nitpicker.

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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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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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Hallmark Monitor

Today we’re finally treated to the Sunday strip whose pencilled preview Batiuk teased us with a year in advance. Make that a 53 weeks in advance: this strip would have served as the coda to the “Owen Learns He’s Not Good at Bullying” arc from the week before last, but Batiuk decided we needed to have a week of Les moping about life. I hope that in addition to Senior Lit with Mr. Moore, Owen is taking remedial math: he’s waited three years, not four, to become a senior (he’s entering his fourth year).

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