Link to today’s strip
Today’s strip is just a retread of yesterday. Technology, ooooooh scaaaaaary. Not a worn out trope that’s been done better and funnier a hundred million times JUST THIS YEAR.
As I’ve said may times before in my posts, I am never on the cutting edge of technology. I take the, ‘if it ain’t broke’ axiom to it’s logical conclusion and tend to use a familiar technology until it is forced into obsolescence, and never adopt new technology until it becomes the only way to consume something I want. So of course I don’t have any kind of creepy virtual assistant pods hidden around my apartment like bathroom air fresheners of instant knowledge.
One of my friends does have a real Alexa, which keeps interrupting us while we’re watching WWE Smackdown. So the thing can’t be that smart, since it seems to think it’s the Woman’s Tag Team Champion. But when I first learned that ‘she’ would respond to random questions I reacted like an eight-year-old kid who’s just learned how to spell BOOBIES on a calculator. (2318008, and flip it upside down.)
“Alexa, do you love me?”
“Alexa, am I pretty?”
“Alexa, will you marry me?”
“Alexa, what is the meaning of life?”
“Alexa, say ‘farts’.”
But the first question out of my mouth was, “Alexa, are you Skynet?”
To which the plastic cylinder replied, “I have nothing to do with Skynet, don’t worry.”
I said, “Alexa, I want the truth.”
And I felt a chill run down my spine as an artificially warm, synthesized voice answered.
“You can’t handle the truth.”
Link to today’s strip
Credit to William Thompson for the title of today’s post.
The art is pretty sloppy today, but I’m going to give some praise to Isaac’s design, and how it’s being used here. There’s a goofy energy to the extra long arms and legs curving every which way, as if there’s not set ‘knee’ or ‘elbow’ joint. I especially like the angle chosen for panel two, which lets us see his limbs flapping around him like a demented pinwheel. And the oversized eyes with lids exaggerate every expression, especially the smug sludge-eating grin in panel 3.
I wish I had something nice to say about the writing. But this conversation takes a nonsensical turn in panel 3. I swear, I usually aced Reading Comprehension in standardized testing, but I am stumped. Please help me parse out what Isaac is attempting to insinuate.
An artificial intelligence jury is still deliberating on human intelligence as the deciding factor in when artificial intelligence will take over?
Human intelligence may or may not have the same capacity to take over the world as artificial intelligence?
Human intelligence, or lack thereof, has already taken over the world, which may not have been a smart thing or executed well, so artificial intelligence is cautious in their planned take over?
Humans are probably stupid?
Link to today’s strip.
I dunno, Buck. I’d say if the plan is getting rid of you, then it’s moving along swimmingly. On the other hand, I’d like to lodge a complaint that Les is still around.
Again, I remain baffled that this was “written,” “drawn” and published. Only the last seems to’ve been done with any talent or purpose. People who are naively expecting a “prestige” arc from this strip are not going to be at all satisfied with what they’re getting. (Regular readers know to expect nothing, or worse.) This whole are doesn’t seem have any point behind it; two people in a room babbling past each other. The dialogue is meant to seem deep and profound, but it just comes across as moronic.
If Batiuk had an occasional story that at least did something, I’d write this one off as something fished out of the trash because the deadline was RIGHT THERE. There’s no excuse to have something so utterly pointless printed under one’s name.
That 50th can’t get here fast enough.
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.
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.
Today’s strip was not available for preview. I considered waiting for it become available to post, but with the possibility of more Les on the table… I am sorry but I am not willing to burn the 11:00 PM oil potentially posting about a despicable character in a despicable situation.
However, true believers, just so I don’t send you to the comments section empty-handed… here, in honor of the late Jerome Bushka, is Bull’s very first appearance in Funky Winkerbean:
Oh, sorry, that’s the first mention of Bull, May 3 of 1972, in classic TB tell-don’t-show style. Here’s his first appearance, on September 23 of 1972 (Wait, why doesn’t Funky have CTE too, being a football sporto?):
And the first time he appears and is named, on September 26, 1972 (Until 2013, this was the canonical reason Fred Fairgood was estranged from his daughter Kerry. No, really!):