So maybe you thought that whole Keisha/Maddie/Summer thing might be going somewhere…well, guess again, snarker. Rule Number One: if it seems too involved, complicated and/or interesting for FW, it definitely is.
Obviously he was going for “cute” here, but, as usual, he landed squarely on “icky”, again. We’ve seen nothing in the past that would indicate that Holly is a psychotically overbearing mother, but she is today, because it’s funny, at least to one person. Now, in fairness, someone who doesn’t read the strip every day might (I said “might”) softly chuckle at this hackneyed premise, but when a regular character acts completely insane like this without any warning, it’s mostly just confusing.
And lest we forget, Cory is around twenty-eight years old, he was engaged for like seven years, AND he was a bomb disposal technician in Iraqistan, so I’d be willing to bet he’ll have no problem with navigating his wedding night without his mom’s help. And there’s the icky part, right there. This is yet another one he should have chucked into the “no” pile.
Yeah, I’ve used that title before, but so what? Another single paneler…this thing isn’t just running out of momentum, it’s actually rolling backwards now. As much as it pains me to admit this, Les’ barely-veiled disgust is probably the funniest moment of this arc so far. I’ve always wanted to see Dick Facey go in that direction and become a full-time, no-holds-barred asshole, all the time, instead of just occasionally. But alas, the bearded dick with ears can’t even do that right.
Two things really stand out here. First you have Summer, who’s becoming less and less recognizable by the day. Please, just ship her back to KSU and let her prepare for her triple junior year already. And then there’s Holly’s “muscatel memory” gag, which has to be one of the bottom ten all-time FW gags ever. I mean yikes, man, that’s just awful.
And what a shitty wedding. Awful, awful pop-culture gags, no one taking it seriously at all, Summer lurching around making wisecracks and a pile of shitty pizza…if I was a guest I’d seriously consider stealing my gift back.
Good God, man. While this may seem like a typically stupid and innocuous FW gag, it’s not innocuous at all. It’s actually one of the worst gags ever written by anyone, ever, and BatYam ought to be ashamed of himself for having dreamed it up in the first place.
First, you have the joke itself, which (as far as I can tell) is that the minister the happy couple found online speaks only in technology references, because he’s an “online” minister. But the thing is, he isn’t “online”, he’s right there. You can go online without becoming “online”, which seems like something you shouldn’t have to point out to anyone, regardless of how rooted in the past they are. It’s just a TERRIBLE joke on that level alone.
But then, on top of this already-abysmal gag, he uses “Bill Gates” and “Twitter” as his “online” references, as they both have something to do with “internet” and “computers”. And I mean yeah, they do and all, but it’s REALLY a weak, weak reach. If he said “by the powers vested in me by my local ISP, Megalith Cable” or something like that, it’d be a little closer to being a joke, albeit barely.
Then, the icing on the cake. It’s Summer, the young, with-it child of technology explaining the reference to Cayla, the old, out-of-touch fogey who always struggles with this internet thingie. And then there’s Boy Lisa’s absolutely baffling presence, too. Seriously? HE’S Cory’s best friend? He couldn’t even draw up some random anon-o-army guy to be Cory’s best man?
This one stinks on ice on every possible level. In fact, I’d go as far as to say this one, right here, is one of the one hundred worst FW strips of all time, maybe even bottom fifty. Just look at that terrible post title I resorted to using today, I am NOT a man who shies away from a terrible, lousy, no-good gag every now and again. But this strip is aggressively bad, the kind of bad that just grabs you by the shoulders and screams “LOOK HOW SHITTY I AM!’ right in your face, and in my opinion there’s just no call for that.
“Who cares about my son getting married, I’m hungry!“. Get it, everyone? Funky is fat, and apparently doesn’t give a crap about his family. Did Batiuk just skip right over the actual ceremony, or is everyone just posing for the photos beforehand? If that’s the case, then Funky isn’t eating any time soon.
I really hope Funky is blurting this all out really, really loudly, just stealing all the focus onto himself. I also like that Holly ask to ask for clarification about Funky’s comment, rather than just assuming the wedding is his dream come true, like any rational person would.
Well, I guess Funky’s okay after being caught au naturel by his soon to be daughter-in-law. Apparently something interesting happened this weekend worth taking pictures of, and we missed that, and got to see a lot more of Funky than we wanted instead.
I do love strips like this, where the writer is referencing modern technology but really doesn’t seem to know how it works. Apparently this filter only took effect once the photo was actually posted on Instagram, and Funky never noticed it when he took the picture or when was selecting it to upload. It is more amusing than most gags in this strip, which is a nice change. And I’m very glad we didn’t get a sideways single panel repeat of the shower scene.
I do think it says a lot about this strip that in a storyline about two young people getting married, the focus here is on two old people trying to use technology. Which makes it the second day this week where the focus is on old people and technology.
And today we’re back with another installment in Tom Batiuk’s “modern technology stinks” series. I really would like more details about what’s going on here. Did the five of them just record a podcast right there, while they were standing around? Why did Cory and Rocky wait until they were with their parents to do these things, which they didn’t need their parents for and they clearly had no input in?
I’m always amused by how petty Batiuk’s gripes with technology are. This is basically exactly what hashtags are meant for, and it’s a great use for them. To react “oh no, people uploading pictures of one of the best days in your life in a way that you can easily find them, Skynet has won, why couldn’t we have stopped with dial-up and Netscape” is a really weird take. (Not sure if it’s as weird as a week long rant against song suggestions, but it’s close).
This does not seem like a great hashtag, apart from just being way too long and using up most of your characters. I’m sure we can come up with better ideas. Mine is #mrandmrsrhodessincethereisnowayiambecomingrockywinkerbean.
Oh yay, we finally get to meet Rocky’s mom, Carla! I’m sure she’ll quickly become a beloved recurring character, and surely doesn’t exist entirely for this “sin-in-law” joke. Holly’s face is looking especially rough in the second panel. I don’t know if it’s because she’s weary at the prospect of at least another week of bad sitcom level wedding tropes, like I am.
Where exactly do Cory and Rocky live? I assume they still live in Westview; if not I’m surprised we didn’t get a “Cory moves away” arc. If they do still live in Westview, I’m confused at why they’re spending the night at the Winkerbeans. It’s allowing the same “you can call me Mom” material I’ve seen any time someone meets their future in-laws on a sitcom, which is something.
At first I thought Rocky calling Holly “ma’am” had to do with her army background, but if that’s the case I feel like the strip should make that a little more obvious.
These kind of storylines always make me a little sad, because it sure seems set up to be the kind of thing where the fans are happy to see their favorite couple finally tying the knot, but I have the feeling 90% of the people reading this don’t remember who Cory is, and 99%+ don’t know who Rocky is.
Yup. Batiuk doesn’t even have the decency to end this on a Sunday Strip. And has instead given us six panels of pointless nonsense. It’s like ending a contentious divorce arbitration with a pie in the face.
So let’s ignore it, and move on down memory lane.
Just a reminder, as we continue the saga of Jefferson Jacks.
I already have a retraction to print!
Cuban League professional baseball was definitely a thing. Up through the abolition of professional sports in Cuba in 1961. Since it was played in the winter, American players, black and white, often participated. It was one of the first baseball leagues to be completely integrated. There were usually four or five teams, including, Almendares Alacranes ‘Scorpions’, Petroleros de Cienfuegos ‘Oilers’, Habana Leones ‘Red Lions‘, Tigres de Marianao ‘Tigers‘, and the Havana Sugar Kings.
I wasn’t able to find any evidence that Fidel Castro and Che Guevara paid the Havana Reds to play against them in a sugar cane field in the early 50’s though. Maybe I was searching the wrong sources.
Following the Jefferson vs the communists story, we next see Jefferson Jacks in June 2010. Crankshaft and various other former Toledo Mud Hens are invited to play an exhibition game at a Mud Hens reunion.
Cute right? Or Schmaltzy? Depends on how jaded you’re feeling or how manipulative vs genuine you feel the writer’s intentions were. While it seems Jacks decided to help Bushka around the bases after seeing how frail his old tormenter had become, a few months later, in August 2010, we’re given a little more depth into their détente.
I’ll just re-repeat my comment from the last two threads: “Cayla’s whole presence in this arc seems to be adding up to, ‘Yeah kids, but whaddaya gonna do, right?’” (This time with better punctuation.)
Cayla says, earlier this week, “Frankly, I don’t know how we’re going to change things.” She says this to two young kids who had baited a confrontation with a woman they didn’t know because they didn’t like how they were treated different for looking different.
And I just want to slap Cayla.
Because there are dozens of avenues to change. Some less contentious than others.
And one of those roads is the road of forgiveness. Not silent forgiveness, but an open hand presented. Offering a human connection to someone on ‘the other side’ and hoping that the relationship can be the key that releases them from their cage of prejudice.
It’s a more contentious road than you’d think. There are so many who see the weight of ignorance and hate as a burden that people deserve to be crushed by, because they willingly chose to carry that hate. They want to shut those spiteful people away in the dark prison of their own malice, and throw away the key. Because hateful people have not earned our efforts. Because they have not yet received back the pain they’ve inflicted.
And to withhold forgiveness is their right. No one should force the wronged to reach out.
But I feel that pure, healing change comes from batting away the fingers that pry into scars and want to hold open wounds. The past is prologue, but it is also a mirage we can’t visit, and revenge is an illusion because it destroys to pay for something already gone. What matters is now, and the future, and what will make things better there, whether it be punishment or mercy.
Sometimes change can’t be so kind. But when we can, isn’t better to convince people that the change we want makes things better for everyone? To convince people that the world you’d like to see has a place for them too?
And someone at their back to protect them, who will help push them home.