Tag Archives: CTE

Same Brain, Different Damage

Link to today’s strip.

The expressions in today’s strip are really something.  Panel one’s Les looks like he’s ready to burst into a whine.  “I’ve been listening to you talk forehhhhhhhver.  It’s miiiiiiiiiiii turn!”

Panel two’s Linda counters with “Gad.  Why am I talking to this excrement stain.  I could be watching TV, or eating toast.”

I’ve no opinion on the NFL-as-monster issue, though it’s pretty clear Batiuk is saying they have blood on their hands because they won’t fund Linda’s post-marriage lifestyle.  “It’s not fair.”  Well, Linda, I’d say that if Bull never played in a game, his brain damage can’t be ascribed to the NFL.  Some players have a career in the NFL that lasts years, and I’m sure their brain damage would be far worse that someone who (apparently) got his CTE while in high school or college.   The NFL can reasonably say “We don’t know who this guy is.”

Fair?  Maybe not, but life isn’t fair.  Never has been, never will be.  The NFL is not, repeat not in the business of providing health care for its players.  It exists to make money through entertainment.  That’s an argument that ought to be applied to comic strips, but somehow never is.

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1962 Called….

Link to today’s strip.

“And I mean I literally made sure to preserve his brain for study.  If you look inside this closet, you can see that I severed Bull’s head and put it in this photo-developer tray.  I attached some tubes to his head so it would look cool, but they’re just for show.  Oh, and you can see he’s got plumber’s tape over his mouth; that’s because he kept yelling at the big mutant in the other closet to break out and smash the place up, and I’d just vacuumed.”

So, is Linda’s dialogue (in panel two, blimp one) supposition, or did she find a note explaining Bull’s plan?  Because he could have been wearing his helmet because dementia.  Or because he forgot he had it on, or simply wanted to wear it.  The longer this arc goes on, the more apparent it is that there was no plan at all here, just another pathetic stab at getting attention.  A phishing attempt that somehow managed to snare the New York Times.

And if Linda did find a note, how many weeks will it take her to read it?  At one word per day….gee, are you sure ten weeks are enough?

Special Movie Bonus:  has anyone here seen…this?

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Disabled Airbags

Link to today’s strip.

Yeah, I see a couple of airbags here that would benefit from being disabled.

Another example of how Batiuk’s method of drawing a year ahead of time (including the word blimps), but waiting until the last minute to write the dialogue results in a clunky product.  Why bother mentioning that the cop was a former player?  What does that have to do with anything–unless Linda is implying that this officer’s loyalty to Bull made him fudge the police report, so that A) Linda could be spared the “embarrassment” of her husband being a suicide or B) to help her with some insurance fraud.  Neither one sounds terribly noble.  In fact, they sound kind of criminal.  It also means there’s a possibility this could become interesting–RED ALERT, TAMP DOWN ALL EXPECTATIONS.

If it’s just there to take up blimp space, well, that’s okay then.  Another example, as if another was needed, that the author just doesn’t give a damn about any of this, puff pieces in the New York Times notwithstanding.

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The Bland Leading the Blind

Link to today’s strip.

Yeah, yeah, cue the dramatic chord for panel three.  Whatever.

What I’d like to point out is panel one.  Les says he could “see what was coming.”  He’s implying that Linda couldn’t.

But Linda should have.  Like Lisa, Bull had an incurable condition that could not be paused or reversed.  He was going to die, after deteriorating mentally {“a pretty short trip”–Les Moore).  There was no other possible ending.  That he might decide to end it all before wasting away was a definite possibility.

So why couldn’t she see what was going on?  Why did she think working on the car was “therapeutic” and to be encouraged?   Why did she have no idea where he was on the night he died?

I think there’s only one good answer:  because she couldn’t be bothered.  Many here have a visceral hatred of Linda, and it’s easy to see why–she’s basically the distaff Les Moore.  Check out how I’m smirking through my woes.  Oh, I am so beset by the fates, each day a stay in torment.  Oh, and also my spouse has this terrible condition, which has caused me to suffer so.   The entire CTE arc has been nothing but her complaining, first to Les, then to Buck, about all the problems she was going through.  There may have been one or two occasions when she actually sympathized with Bull, but they were so few and far-between that I’m not sure I can say they existed.

Everyone in this strip is a terrible, terrible person.

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Coffin Corner Kick-ed The Bucket

Fortunately, today’s strip stays in one time line. It also quotes one of Bob Dylan’s best-reviewed songs. Well, that’s two positives to the… end-ish? of this very maudlin special story arc. FYI: A donation has been made to the Boston University CTE center, presumably so readers will remember what this story arc was about last month.

So was Bull a member of the local Dylanist congregation or is that the only house of worship in Westview anymore? Both?

And with that, I am relieved… both to be done with my posting stint and, come tomorrow, by the incomparable Spacemanspiff85.

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Deafinitely Dumb

Hey, remember when this story arc was about Bull?
Today’s strip sure doesn’t.

Look, I’m just going to gloss over the fact that Dinkle was actually introduced well over a year into this strip’s existence and just give TB credit for remembering that Funky Winkerbean itself is 47 (and a half) years old… And with that out of the way I’ll go right into wondering what the heck this has to do with Bull, his condition, his life, or anything. I guess if you twist your neck 117 degrees and squint until you experience sharp pain in your temples it appears the notoriously egotistical Dinkle (or is that Buck?) is paying Bull a compliment by saying they were equals despite his long and incessant history of considering all things inferior to himself and his marching band. But really this is just TB repackaging his biggest hit.

Dinkle is the only thing about this strip that has ever moved merchandise. His “football fields are for band practice!” bit covers books and t-shirts, and even serves as his character’s introductory line in the stage play Funky Winkerbean’s Homecoming. Dinkle’s shtick has sold band posters (“Dinkle wants your horn to twinkle”) and shoes, and no less than 9 Dinkle-specific collections of FW strips have been published! No, seriously, there have been 4 Lisa books and 9 Dinkle books.

Football Fields are for Band Practice!
Sunday Concert
Harry L. Dinkle Live at Carnegie Hall
I Never Promised You a Rose Parade
Gone with The Woodwinds
Would the Ushers Please Lock the Doors!
Attack of the Band Moms
The Grass is Always Greener on the Other Side of the Football Field
Music is Worth it… Music is Worth it… Music is…

This is nothing more than TB pushing his most-recognized character/cash cow into a story the New York Times inexplicably gave him ink for. Ugh!

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Tempo Of Doom

Today’s strip… or July 11th’s strip? YOU make the call!

This time warping stuff is getting really really old, especially when it makes negative amounts of sense. At least with Tuesday’s “five years ago” mishap you could chalk it up to the strip’s time simply not matching real time even while matching real time’s seasons (not an uncommon thing at all in comic strips). This strip has long done that, though not in a consistent way – Summer’s generation was in high school for 5 years, Pete and Durwood’s for almost a decade, and the Act I gang was there for 20 of course.

Today, though, we’re at “three months ago”. That places this flashback in early July, and yet both Buck and Bull are wearing coats? I mean, this is presumably still an October funeral, right, what with the falling leaves colored a bright orange hue? Heck, this doesn’t even line up with Buck’s mid-September visit, where he and Bull stroll out to Jerome T. Bushka A&L Automotive Stadium, as neither man is wearing a coat then.

Is this beady-eyed nitpickiness? Maybe, but when there are little errors like this in nearly every strip it starts to add up to genuine distraction. This is especially true when the story hops all over the calendar, which *gasp* makes invested readers hop through the calendar with it in an attempt to understand what is going on.

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