Meanwhile… *stupid cloud bubble panel border that TB inexplicably thinks should indicate an in-strip shift from one place to another*
Everyone’s 5th favorite Stooge, “Curly-Joe” DeRita, and Darth Vader himself are hanging out at Ye Olde Comic Shoppe. What’s that all about? Spacemanspiff85 is going to be our guide as we find out (provided we do in the next two weeks). Thoughts and prayers, man, thoughts and prayers.
This ICE supervisor has got to be quaking in his Johnston & Murphy’s, Amicus Breef is finally breaking out the lawyering talk in today’s strip! And he’s doing it with righteous indignation too! What a lawyer this guy, keeping supervisor Ed O’Neill off of his Facebook feed for 4… maybe even 5 minutes by threatening to do something that would have been more useful had he done it before he showed up at the detention facility.
Writing facial recognition software in the Batiukverse has got to be the ultimate fool’s errand. While I was not able to find any source for Amicus’ 20% of the time figure here in real life internetland, in Westview I would think the figure would be well above that. WAY well above that.
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.
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?
Les just continues to mock Batton in today’s strip. Sheesh, whadda jerk! Apparently newspaper cartoonists were the original social distancing champions, which you probably would be seeing memes about if you were Facebook friends with one. Unfortunately, gags this terrible are not a rare sight in Funky Winkerbean…
Emily or, uh Amelia… whichever one wears pink and doesn’t act like what TB imagines a Hot Topic shopper to be, asks a perfectly reasonable question for a “kids these days” kid. Seriously, it is a good question and it demonstrates a knowledge of what a comic strip is, how it is distributed, and its primary measure of success. Batton, of course spins this perfectly fine question into a self-pitying humblebrag so deftly that even Les seems impressed. Newspapers may be dying, but his comic strip is in EVERY SINGLE ONE of the ones that remain! What’re you gonna accomplish in your life, Blondie?
We can only hope today’s strip is the awful coda to this awful story arc about these awful people.
This is why you turned down Buck’s advances, Linda? Not because he was being incredibly creepy and distasteful? Not because you are still mourning your husband who committed suicide not even 6 months ago and don’t feel like jumping into any relationship? Not because you know absolutely nothing about him beyond his high school football career? Not because the only thing you two demonstratively have in common is your late husband?
I agree with Linda on one thing, though. I can’t go through this again, either.
Today’s strip seems almost tame after yesterday’s turn of events, but still… Yes! To think, we all called Pete the creepy one.
Everything about this continues to be bizarre and off-putting. Why is Linda apparently conflicted about backing away from Buck’s advance? Heck, why is Buck making these advances to begin with? I mean, sure, he talked to Linda a bit when he came to visit Bull but… that’s just it, he came to visit BULL. Prior to Bull’s death, he spent 95% of his time at the Bushka house with Bull. Even when he was talking to Linda, they talked about Bull!
We know nothing about Buck other than that he played high school football and that he was miraculously diagnosed with CTE. Did he have a career? Prior relationships? Family? Friends? We have no context for this behavior, which means TB has painted himself into a corner without a way to make Buck come across as anything but gross and way out of line.