Tag Archives: gun violence

Bleat for Security

Link to today’s strip

“Americans used to roar like lions for liberty; now we bleat like sheep for security.”

― Norman Vincent Peale

It’s interesting how the force of this protest has waned over the last three days. On Tuesday we were ‘urging action to stop’, yesterday we were ‘urging action to prevent’ and now we’re not ‘urging action’ at all anymore, just ‘voicing concerns about’ tomorrow we’ll just be ‘drawing attention to guns,’ and the slow march of passivity will continue on.

I wondered if there was ‘much to show for’ school shooting legislation from last year to this year. Because I don’t trust Tom Batiuk one bit to do any real research on what he’s claiming. There has been quite a bit.. At least on the gun control side. Maybe Bernie is one of those who argues a gun control is more a mental health issue. Oh, wait, no, there’s been significant movement on that front too. This article even mentions the students March for Our Lives having an effect.

Of course, you could make the argument that a lot of these proposed laws haven’t been finalized yet, or that all of this isn’t enough. But that isn’t what Bernie here is saying. What he’s really saying is, school shootings are bad enough to protest but not serious enough to research.

I look forward to the senior trip to DC, where the students will protest the lack of a WWII memorial while standing in it’s fountain.

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No Conflict of Interest.

Link to today’s strip

What is going on with Les’ face in panel two today? I can only guess that Ayers saw the word vomit in the speech bubble and decided to give Les an expression to match. It’s a pretty apt depiction since Les is just regurgitating yesterday’s substance.

And good old principal Nate today, distilling into one word the thing most perniciously wrong with Funky Winkerbean. Les presents him with something potentially contentious, and Nate agrees.

No argument about the students’ obligation to be in school, the potential debasing of non-violent rule breaking as a tool of last resort, or the use of the school’s own vehicle of propaganda to take a position on a divisive issue where the student body is likely not unified in viewpoint. Nate agrees. All ‘good’ people agree. Everyone seen is in agreement. The potential opponents are an unseen undefined ‘badness’ that must not be personified.

This is worse storytelling than the Big Gay Prom arc, because at least in that we had a strawwoman in opposition. She was about as nuanced as a shrieking harpy ruining everyone’s lunch, but she was there. Opposition leads to drama. It resists the goal of the protagonists, making them work for what they want. And, most importantly to Batiuk’s goals, it gives what they’re fighting for weight. Debate lets the characters themselves tell the audience why: Why is a walkout the best way for these students to protest school shootings? Does anyone think there is a better way? Is there any specific legislation or legislators these kids are targeting? We’ll probably never know, because so far no one asked.

If Les and Bernie had to convince the Principal to allow the editorial, if they had to explain themselves to parents or disagreeing students, or if they had to potentially sacrifice something to stage this protest, then the ‘protest’ might seem like something more than what it is: hollow, passionless, consequence free virtue-signaling.

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Marshal Arts

Link to today’s strip

Wow. That is one unwieldy sentence in panel one. Look, I get it, writing is really hard. I always find some real nasty clunkers anytime I go back and reread something I’ve written. But panel one’s sentence is atrocious.

“So you want to marshal our students to walk out of school on the anniversary of last year’s national walkout urging action to stop gun violence?”

The worst part of the sentence is the ‘urging action’ ending, because it adds a new verb into the sentence. It functions as a new ‘clause’ and my brain did a little hiccup trying to tie that verb to any of the previous nouns. Also ‘verb-noun verbing verbtion to verb noun noun-with-implied-action’ has no less than five ‘active’ words in it: (walk, urge, action, stop violence,)yet comes across limp and passive. I am years and years away from the single high school grammar class I took, so I can’t completely diagram this sentence and it’s awfulness. But it does not scan.

I get that the anemic attempt at a ‘joke’ is dependent on Les restating the plan in order to build up the expectation that he will not go along with it, but that doesn’t make the sentence any better. And the ‘joke’ is a trope so tired that Dawn of the Dead 2004 used it.

CJ: Not to s**t on anyone’s riff here, but lemme just see if I grasp this concept, OK? You’re suggesting that we take some f**king parking shuttles, and reinforce them with some aluminum siding, and then just head on over to the gun store and watch our good friend Andy play some cowboy movie jump-on-the-covered-wagon bulls**t. Then, we’re gonna drive across a ruined city, through a welcome committee of a few hundred thousand dead cannibals, all so that we can sail off into the sunset on this f**king a**hole’s boat? And head for some island that for all we know doesn’t even exist?

Kenneth: Yeah.

Tucker: Pretty much, yeah.

CJ: OK. …I’m in.

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Gorilla Marketing

Hi all! SosfDavidO here with a pain in my neck from trying to read today’s strip sideways.

Hey, hey, it’s a monkey! A gorilla to be more accurate, drawn by a man who ape-parently only has a basic understanding of what a gorilla looks like.

It’s true, though, gorilla covers on comics sold a lot of issues back in the day. TomBat isn’t the first to notice the phenomenon of course, but I have to wonder, Tom, if you’re going to do a throw-back gorilla cover, why not the simian golden age equivalent of Freebird by revamping the infamous Jimmy Olson marries a gorilla” cover?

olsen_gorilla

This is what Gramps was reading, kids.

 

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Weapon of Mass Deception

SoSfDavidO here! Puns are supposed to make you groan. Is there even a pun in today’s strip?

This is just awful writing. This, what you’re reading, and today’s Winkerbean. How many story arcs are still being juggled and we get a throw-away strip like this? Funky looks bored as hell but he’s probably long-since fused with the couch and couldn’t leave if he wanted to.

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Holy Corpses Batman

Aw, come on, Tombat! You referenced the 1960s Batman in yesterday’s strip, at least bring it home in today’s strip with a cartoony blam.

blam

I joke around about this but it’s really all rather sobering. Darin is either dead or has suffered a life-altering wound. Pete could be charged with his murder as an accomplice if Darin *is* dead, and that’s assuming Captain Boomstick doesn’t plan on unloading on Pete next.

This means Jessica is now likely either a widower who will now have to raise her child on her own or her hubby is now in prison for piracy. Pete, well, does it matter? Their careers are over. It’s done. All for some pens he couldn’t wait 8 hours for.

Was it worth it, Darin?

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Lost In Lingo

Link To Today’s Strip

“The kill fee is a negotiated payment on a magazine or newspaper article that is given to the freelancer if their assigned article is “killed” or cancelled. This is generally expressed as a percentage of the total payment, and is used to give the freelancer confidence in putting their efforts into an assignment which may not make it to the final magazine edition, in the case of, for example, space issues or other change of plans.”

That’s the first definition I found but I assume it could apply to any sort of similar project. Now how can you not love a comic strip that requires you to look stuff up in order to understand what in the hell is going on? At first I assumed that a “kill fee” was a bonus that The Syndicate awarded to Batiuk whenever he rubbed-out a “beloved” character for some easy media attention. But I was wrong, it’s actually PROFESSIONAL WRITER’S lingo, you know, deep “insider” stuff. Fascinating, isn’t it? Les is SO INTELLIGENT that he immediately wakes up and begins thinking about things regular folk have to look up to understand, as tens of said folk will no doubt do upon reading today’s bit of stupid claptrap. Although that estimate does seem a tad high.

Les has a dream about a hot old-timey Hollywood actress trying to seduce him and, of course, he dies. Even his fantasies end with someone dying, it’s uncanny and pretty sick too. Anyhow, I guess Dickface’s sudden and quite stupid realization means he’s found a loophole, with which he’ll be able to escape the drudgery of his five-star hotel suite and the hellish agony of being paid to bitch, sneer, sleep and spin ponderous yarns about opera singers and hardware. AND he’ll still get paid! What a lucky break! It’s high time that the hero of the strip tells these no-good Hollywood phonies where they can stick their patience and generosity, you know? Asking Les to re-write the script so Lisa doesn’t die at the end? That’s the biggest insult you can hurl at Lestom, short of telling him that Lisa was a crappy character who no one liked.

So where do we go from here? Your guess is as good as mine. Is Les going to “throw” the script and “write” something un-useable or will he simply simper back home to Westview and pontificate to the losers about how awful “Hollywood” was for him? It figures that he’d hang around for weeks being a whiny putz, then befriend the cast and crew, THEN dick them all over by quitting out of nowhere thanks to a moronic dream he had. In “real life” someone would have blown his head off years ago. And no jury in the land would convict anyone for that as it’d obviously be totally justifiable, regardless of the circumstances. What. A. Dick.

 

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