Tag Archives: pinned-up sleeve

Chain of Events

DON’T FORGET TO VOTE FOR THE 2021 FUNKY AWARDS!

When I first saw today’s strip, I thought, ‘Isn’t that kind of racy for kids to be playing?’

But that is, of course, because the song ‘Unchained Melody’ has for more than 30 years been chained to a certain famous, and much parodied, pottery making scene in the movie Ghost. To the point that playing the first few notes of the Righteous Brothers cover of the song instantly cues many brains to expect slow motion montages of wet, spinning clay.

But the song was created 35 years before Patrick Swayze ever slid his hands over Demi Moore’s while Bobby Hatfield crooned. American composer Alex North, (most known for scoring Spartacus and the jazz infused soundtrack to A Streetcar Named Desire,) wrote the melody that has no bonds for the movie he was currently scoring. A completely forgotten 1955 prison pic called Unchained. (Which was based on a real experimental reform prison in Chino, California.)

Unchained (1955) - IMDb
EVERY REVELATION THAT CAUSED A SENSATION IN READER’S DIGEST!

North asked lyricist Hy Zaret, (famous for later writing children’s educational songs such as ‘The Sun Is a Mass of Incandescent Gas’) to write the words. The producers had requested that the word ‘unchained’ be used in the lyrics. Zaret refused, so instead the whole song was called ‘Unchained Melody.’

The first singer to record ‘Unchained Melody’ was African American opera singer and actor Todd Duncan, who had a bit part in the movie as an unnamed prisoner singing a shortened version of the song.

Since then “Unchained Melody” has reached number one on the UK four times with four different recordings. It is currently one of the highest grossing royalty earners for it’s copyright holders of any song.

Was that a great musical education? Maybe not. I mean, I stole most of those facts off of the internet and I knew NONE of this before I looked it up today. But I guarantee you it’s a better musical education that Lefty usually provides. And I suspect Batiuk doesn’t care at all about the song, its history, or if it would be appropriate, or even possible, for a high school band to play an arrangement of it. He just heard a song title and thought, ‘Heh, I can make a quick band joke outta this.’

Thanks everyone for the warm reception to the Funky Awards! Tell your family! Tell your friends! Voting will continue through January 16th. VOTE HERE!

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It Was a Thrill, Just Like the Last Two Times

Three things about today’s strip:
1. Batiuk still depicts signs as being on the inside of the door, which is silly.  I’m guessing he’d think people would miss the vitally important detail that this conversation is taking place in the band room, and he can’t think of a way to arrange the layout so you can see the outside of the door.  (Also, there’s no hilariously crappy tape holding the sign up.  Maybe we’ve made a difference!)
2. Based on my ten seconds of Googling, “finale list” isn’t a thing. I’m assuming it’s a play off of “bucket list”, (“he’s a musician, he wouldn’t talk about buckets, he’d talk about finales!”), but just swapping one word for another doesn’t instantly make comedy, despite what the existence of Crankshaft would have you think.
3. But hey, Dinkle is talking about his finale, which can only mean he’s about to die soon. Here’s hoping for a Sunday sideways “Death of Superman” “homage”, which will be extra awkward when it’s Becky cradling Dinkle’s corpse in her arm.

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Thanks for Making Us All March in the Rain

Thanks to BillytheSkink for guiding us through “Wild Mort’s Love Life, Chapter XVIII”. I’m sure I’ve said it before, but seeing Dinkle in a strip on a Monday is the worst thing to me, since you know you’re getting (at least) another week of him. At least with Les there’s more to make fun of, and something might actually happen. With Dinkle all you get now is “isn’t Dinkle awesome?”, basically. And know you have the horror of Mort and Lillian popping up at any moment.
One of the weirdest things with how Dinkle is written is how he’s simultaneously portrayed as a maniac and borderline-fascist band director that everyone hated but also a beloved figured who improved the lives of everyone he touched. It seems like the majority of the actual band directing we see him do involves making people walk in hurricanes and risk their lives, so I’m not really sure why there’s a box of envelopes that’s stacked so high there’s no way anyone could have carried it. (Speaking of carrying, I’m very confused about how exactly Becky was handling that box, based on the arrangement in the first panel).
Oh, and Becky was one of Dinkle’s students and then became a band director. That’s the punchline for today’s strip.

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Always Room For Six More

Link To Today’s Strip

I guess calling Becky the “current band director” would have bruised Dinkle’s ego a tad too much. By the same token, I guess having John putting on a normal shirt would render his character unidentifiable. And I guess Rana is still a Muslim, Billy is still alive and Wally Jr. joined the circus or the army or something. And why didn’t Wally arrive with the rest of the Winkerbeans? Why was he relegated to the B-team? My God, what a slog.

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So, a Needle Pulling Thread

Link to today’s strip.

I think Batiuk uses “So…” as a way of saying “It has been established in the previous strip, and agreed upon that…” He’s trying to bring his readers up to speed on what’s going on. The fact that nothing is usually going on (other than endless talk) doesn’t seem to be a factor. I know it bothers a lot of folks; it doesn’t really affect me either way.

It reminds me of the old intro narration on Lost In Space to set the scene for the episode: “Last week, as you recall, Will, Dr. Smith and The Robot…” etc. (You just have to add “unaware,” “incredible,” and “alien” and there you go.)

As for the content of today’s strip, I ask, “What content?” One could cut out every strip this week except Wednesday and Thursday, and you’d have the complete story.

You could cut out all of them and improve the comics page greatly. Especially since this seems to be little more than an ad for a real-world event that just happens to highlight one of his characters. Which begs the question…I wonder who reached out to who?

Another question: now that Batiuk has tied himself to this “salute to band directors,” and, in his eyes, gained a whole new slew of new readers…how long do you think it will be before he pivots to “Lisa’s Story”?

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The Silent Generation

Link To Today’s Strip

That is a massive piece of paper for Dinkle to overlooking. He should have seen it in panel one, where the back on his coat is exposed to us. The only explanation I can come up with for Dinkle allowing this sixteen-inch, unmissable sign to be posted on his back is that he was flattered to be mistaken for a Boomer. Because, unless Funkyverse’s murky comic-book-time has gotten really murky, there is no way that Dinkle was born after 1945. Never forget that Dinkle was Funky, Holly, and Cindy’s band teacher so he has to be, at minimum seven or eight years older than them, IF they were in one of the first years he taught.

If you’re curious, in most areas dialing that number along with a local area code will send you to the directory assistance.

So, I’ve been playing a fun little indie video game with my galpals for the last few months. It’s called Phasmophobia. It’s a ghost hunting game, where you search various haunted locations: farmhouses, asylums, prisons, apartments, with tech to identify and gather evidence on ghosts.

A month ago, we were searching the old abandoned high school.

Looking for a very special ghost.

Needless to say, when I saw what the randomly generated ghost name was, I laughed hysterically for five minutes and then spent half an hour trying to explain why it was funny.

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Why Are Students at an Educators’ Conference?

Link To Today’s Strip

It’s a very good thing the side of the room on Becky’s right wasn’t already crowded. It would have been very awkward for her to have to point in the other direction.

I had to think about this for several seconds before I realized there wasn’t anymore of a joke to this then the “young people are morons” beat that Batiuk’s been hitting over and over for years now. Although it really is Becky’s fault, since she’s telling them to wait “here” and pointing right in front of the door, apparently.

Also, why is the welcome sign on the inside, so people will only see it when they leave? It’s amazing how often Batiuk does that kind of thing, like having classroom numbers taped to the insides of doors.

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My Dinkle-ing, My Dinkle-ing…

Twenty Twenty One may be just getting blessedly underway, but Our Winter Band Banquet is drawing to a close. I’m praying for Covid to finally reach Westview, Ohio soon, so that all those dopey, knowing smirks will be obscured by masks. Continue reading

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And Then Deprussian Set In

Link To Today’s Strip

So John decided to just stop by WHS to see if Becky, his wife, needed a ride home? How does she usually get home? Couldn’t he have just called her first?

Heh heh, that’s a good one, as everyone knows how regimented that Prussian army used to be. See, this is an example of our pal BatDerp trying too hard not to inadvertently offend someone. The German army, the Russian army, the US army…someone somewhere might take offense, but the Prussian army?

“Dear Akron Daily Bugle,

The “Funky Winkerbean” comic strip that ran on December 22nd was very offensive to all Prussian army veterans, as it implied that the Prussian military was very tightly-wound and regimented. My experience in the Prussian army was quite the opposite, as our commanders always promoted a relaxed and genial atmosphere. I demand a retraction and must insist that you stop publishing this blatant anti-Prussian propaganda at once.”

Not bloody likely. Anyhow, it’s pretty pathetic to see Becky STILL having to point out the differences between herself and the guy she replaced as band director a hundred years ago. “I do things differently than Harry did”…well good for you, Becky.

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Becky The Heretic

Link To Today’s Strip

Becky prefers CONCERT band over MARCHING band??? Burn her at the stake! Crucify her! Wait…scratch that second suggestion. I mean you’d need to hire someone to build a special cross and surely the Americans With Disabilities Act would come into play and with the WHS budget being what it is and all…

But anyway, yeah, winter in Ohio is cold. The thing that really stands out here is Dinkle’s out of character reaction. He’s just standing there with that moronic grin on his face as his prized one-armed protege essentially spits in the face of everything he’s ever stood for. If he’s going to react like that what’s the point of this “gag” at all? And what the f*ck does this have to do with Christmas?

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