Tag Archives: technology

Zoom and Gloom

A few things strike me as funny about this strip. I think it’s funny that a year or so ago, when Batiuk wrote this, he thought everyone would go straight from social isolation to meeting back like normal, with nobody wearing masks in between. And in all that time never thought maybe that he should have the artist go back and draw masks on the characters.
The second thing is that the CDC this week specifically mentioned singing in a choir indoors as something you should still wear a mask while doing, even if you’re vaccinated.
Oh, yeah, the “old person doesn’t know how to use technology” “gag” didn’t strike me as funny much at all. CBH takes over tomorrow. I wonder how many weeks of Funky monologuing at AA she’ll have to endure . . .

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Her Father, Moving Treadmill, Who Was Moving Treadmilled

Wow, using the phrase “moving treadmill” three times in three consecutive panels seems like bad writing to me. If you have to signal the setup for a joke so obviously, it’s probably not a very good one, and you probably don’t have too much faith in the intelligence of your readers.  Like, if he’d referred to it as just “the treadmill” once or twice his readers would have been too confused and not understood that Funky hurt himself.
I always wonder about the genesis of these storylines. I assume this is something that happened to Batiuk in real life. I do wonder if he replaced “Flash action figure he placed on the treadmill to pretend it was a Cosmic Treadmill” with “Discman”.

Oh, and telling a story at AA about how you had to interrupt your exercise because you needed “a drink” so bad that you ended up injuring yourself and (presumably) a prized possession seems problematic.

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R.I.P., Funkman’s Discman

I love that third panel. Funky used to be one of the few characters in this strip I could tolerate. Lately I’ve just gotten sick of how Batiuk constantly has to dump on him and portray him as just a pathetic fat loser every time he appeared. But now he’s just rambling on about yet another nostalgic obsession like everyone else in this strip. I doubt he reacted as much to Wally getting kidnapped or Cindy leaving him as he does to that Discman “floating” to the ground.
Oh, I don’t think an AA meeting is really the best place to talk about how you stepped off a moving treadmill and did something clumsy because you needed a “drink” so bad. Has Batiuk forgotten where Funky is? It would’ve been so much better just to say “water” instead of “a drink”.

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I Wish Funky Was Stashed Away

Oh, yay, Backwards Cap Young Alcoholic gets another line today. Today’s strip is really funny, because apparently Holly had no idea that Funky still had a Discman, despite the fact that they’re husband and wife. Had he never used it before, despite the fact that he somehow still has two? Or did she just not pay any attention to him, ever. Which is understandable.
The worst thing about these strips, to me, at least, is the smugness. In the third panel, Funky is acting like having a Discman still in the package is the greatest accomplishment of his life. Which, it might be.

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Ding Dongle

Oh yay, more obsolete technology for Batiuk to fetishize through one of his characters. Was Funky’s record player or eight track player broken? Crazy Harry will be so sad. And this seems like one of the silliest possible times to be using a Discman. The whole point of the things is that they’re portable. Listening to one when you’re by yourself in a room in your own house seems to defeat the whole purpose. Does Funky somehow own a Discman but not a stereo that can play CDs? This strip is mind-boggling sometimes.

Oh, and apparently there are still several companies that make portable CD players you can buy, at least on Amazon.  They’re not Sony Discmans, but still.  I also have a strong feeling that when Discmans debuted, Batiuk probably loudly proclaimed that his portable tape player was way better.  And knowing him he probably did comic strips about it.

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Write What You (Ren-)Know

All good things must come to an end; so too must all excruciatingly dull things like this week’s reno convo. As Funky Winkerbean has pivoted from “depicting contemporary issues affecting young adults” etc. etc., we see more situations that are likely drawn from what’s been happening in Batiuk’s life the last couple years. Having one’s home renovated actually does hold some comic potential, and this arc got off to a promising start Sunday, where we saw Funky and Holly interacting with the contractor at their house. It might have been kinda fun to see the job actually being done, and maybe have Holly finding ways to continually and inadvertently drive up the price tag, adding to her husband’s consterenation. Instead, the rest of the week’s been taken up with these two commiserating.

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The Marble-ous Mrs. Klinghorn

Holly Winkerbean’s not the only Westview wife who’s been watching HGTV. According to Crazy Harry, Donna “seems plugged in and aware” of kitchen design trends. Too bad she’s married to a man who squanders his postal service pension checks on rare Tarzan comics.

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Reno 411

Crazy Harry: "I think I basically get the nesting urge..."I’m pretty sure that Crazy doesn’t get the nesting urge; if he did, it would mean he was pregnant. Crazy’s just saying he “gets” it. I didn’t: I had to look up “nesting urge”. Anyway, what’s not to get about the desire to “reno the nest” (and hoo boy, there’s another turn of phrase that you will hear nowhere in real life)?

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February 21, 2021 at 11:00 pm
Every time a strip features Funky being nervously anxious about the cost of something I will be motivated to write here to say, yet again, as I did yesterday and before, that FUNKY LIVES IN A GOD DAMNED MANSION OF A HOUSE THAT WOULD HAVE A VALUE OF AT LEAST ONE FUCKING MILLION DOLLARS IF IT EXISTED IN THE REAL WORLD…

Exactly. The Winkerbeans live in a spacious home (that I suspect closely resembles Batiuk’s “Cartoon Castle). Funky clearly should have the wherewithal to spruce it up just a bit. He’s just bent out of shape because Holly’s taken charge of things. But she spends at least as much time running the family business as does Funky. Doesn’t Holly deserve the kitchen (and bathroom) of her dreams?

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The Dirty Jobs

Such a weird joke today. I’m thinking that this “momentary lapse” Funky mentions was in November ’19, when he mused aloud about installing a shower in the guest bathroom for Holly’s mom. But that conversation took place face to face, and not over the phone. Does Holly surreptitiously record all their conversations, for use as leverage to get her way? Apparently there are third-party apps that allow you to record phone calls, but it’s not a feature of iOS. At any rate, Funky knows he’s been hornswoggled, and is none too happy about it. Even though profanity standards have become pretty lax, “damn” is still kinda salty language for any newspaper comic strip not named Doonesbury. And does Funky/Batty realize that Steve Jobs has been dead nearly ten years?

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I Wish He’d DisAPPear

I’m going to ignore the “haha, apps are confusing mystical objects that nobody can understand” “humor” here and just focus on Becky. What in the world is her expression about? The raised eyebrows and smirk look more seductive/romantic than anything else (although in the second panel she looks eerily like Pete and Summer, because for some reason only three or four face types exist in this strip). And honestly, if it was revealed that Dinkle and Becky were actually having an affair, it would vastly improve the logic of this strip.  Because “deaf band director who retired decades ago is constantly shadowing the current band director for no real reason” is stupid. It was the same thing with Linda and Buck. I think it’s a sign of bad writing when totally unintended subtexts actually make more sense than the actual plot.

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