Link to today’s post.
I don’t know why, but it still amazes me how Batiuk will spend an entire week on boring, inconsequential stuff like Adeela and Wally sitting in a library, and then just completely skip over what a character who’s been missing for years like Rana has been doing with an “. . . and so”. I mean, what led up to that sentence? “I was disgusted by the decadence of western civilization, and so . . .”. “I’ve been spending a lot of time on ISIS message boards, and so . . .”. “I found out the actor who played Moon Mile Meek was a Muslim, and so . . .”.
I like how casual Batiuk depicts personal religious conversation and completely changing your worldview and lifestyle. He makes it sound like how you choose your sports team. ” . . . And so I became a Patriots fan. After all, it was the team of my family.”. I don’t really think this is how people work, usually. “Well, I was adopted as a baby and don’t really have any memories of my birth family, but I’m assuming they were Muslim, so I’ll become Muslim too.”.
Oh, yeah, and apparently Wally has zero idea what’s going on in his daughter’s life, which is just amazing. Although not at all remarkable.
Link to Today’s Strip
“Yeah, believe it or not, things used to happen in my life, back in the day! Now what passes for excitement in my life is the exciting tale of ‘Sitting a Table Away From A Muslim Woman!’. Also, notice how I emphasized that she’s my adopted daughter, and not my real or ‘bio’ daughter. In case you were wondering how a normal average American like me could have such a foreign looking daughter. But yeah, we adopted her and that was pretty much the end of me taking an interest in her life, obviously.”
Wouldn’t you think this had already come up between Wally and Adeela? Like, at the very least that he’d worked for an NGO in Afghanistan, and not just been there as a soldier? I mean, I think she’d be interested to know that a member of Wally’s family was literally from her country.
You know Wally honestly used to be one of the characters in this strip I halfway liked, if only because he actually grew and developed through dealing with his PTSD and getting back into a normal life. And damn if Batiuk hasn’t made him super unlikeable in a really short time. At this rate I bet the next arc is going to reveal how Buddy (who looks like a totally different dog in this strip) is actually a raging anti-Semite.
Link to today’s strip
Wow, this is shocking. I mean, what’s shocking is that Wally actually remembers Rana’s name. This is one of the many, many reasons why Batiuk is a terrible writer. If he’s trying to create relatable characters, having a father and daughter who apparently still live in the same town not have any clue at all what’s going on in each other’s lives to this point is not the way to do it. I kind of think this is the result of Batiuk explaining this plot to the artist, who, halfway through, reminded him “Wait, doesn’t Wally have a Muslim daughter?”. Batiuk probably laughed it off, of course Wally doesn’t, I’m the writer, shut up and draw. Then the artist pulled up a strip showing Rana, and Batiuk decided to just cram her in at the last minute like this, who cares if it makes both characters look like uncaring morons and realistically should render this whole arc pointless. It’s a whole lot weirder for Wally to react to one Muslim woman wearing a hijab when his own daughter is a Muslim woman wearing a hijab.
Link to today’s strip
Putting aside how it’s at least a little presumptuous for Wally to just decree what he’s going to do all by himself about the “group” project while Adeela sits there silently, I do think it’s kind of funny how Wally says he’s going to just send her the outline, rather than e-mail or use Google Docs. Which, as backwards technologically as this strip is, it would not shock me if he just photocopied her notes, cut them out, pasted them together with his, and then mailed her the results. Because when I was in grad school ten years ago people were using Google Docs for this exact situation, so all group members can collaborate on one single project, without one having to swipe the notebooks of the rest of the group. Which is going to make it pretty hard for her to do any additional work.
This latest entry in “Batiuk Really Doesn’t Understand the Students Today” still make more sense than Rana creeping up on Wally like she’s stumbled upon Elvis or Jimmy Hoffa. Which Wally is basically the FW equivalent of, I guess.
Link to today’s strip
I’m excited to be getting a chance to contribute my bit here. I was honestly dreading that my first strip would be a Les strip, or Dinkle writing a book, and I’d have to come up with something halfway interesting about that.
I do like how this strip somehow managed to shoehorn in bricks. Precious, precious bricks. And “breaking down the barriers between people” translates to two people each saying one sentence and then staring robotically at each other. I mean, look at Adeela in the third panel. She looks like Wally just gave her a diagnosis of Total Body Cancer and she has seconds to live, and her memorial service is going to be at Montoni’s.
I think Wally’s in trouble though. He had enough difficulty with one Muslim in a hijab. When he turns around and sees they have him surrounded, even Buddy might not be enough to keep him on the Montoni’s Manager track.
The folks who bring you SoSF rely on Grandpa Google too: mainly to confirm a suspicion that ol’ TB has once again drawn inspiration from his tiny Ohio Universe. The black squirrel on the poster in panel 5 is another tipoff that we’re at Kent State. But KSU’s “Cultural Café” IRL isn’t a permanent dining facility: it’s a monthly series of events “that seeks to educate and familiarize [students, faculty and staff] about the home countries of our international students.” There’s one this Tuesday. With the exception of Adeela and possibly that swarthy guy with the glasses in panel 1, this “café” doesn’t seem any more or less “cultural” than any other spot on campus. But wait! Who’s the gal with the light blue hijab wrapped around her elongated head? Well, since TB teased it in his blog (and Gerald Plourde reminded us in a comment yesterday) it’s not really spoiling the surprise to tell you it’s Wally and Becky’s adopted daughter Rana, who, like Wally, has been missing in action for years.
Veterans’ Day greetings to our readers, and respect and gratitude to our vets. Tune in tomorrow when newly minted guest author SpacemanSpiff85 takes over the helm!
Someone refresh my memory but have we not already done this joke!? It was either this or a very slight variation of it. I’m reminded with strips like these that we longtime snarkers might be recalling the one-a-day gags as being funnier than they were.
In any case, time, or what we understand to be some rudimentary construct of time, seems to be advancing in a forward, almost coherent movement for once. I couldn’t tell you for the life of me when Summer got her driver’s license (or if she even did) but a mess of students are about to graduate from high school, leaving us with Cody, Owen and a gaggle of nameless, faceless students with pencil wrists and melting faces.
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