Link to today’s strip
Wow. Ruby is listening to some GOLDEN oldies. When I first saw the label, I wondered if it was a Batiuk pastiche of some kind of folksy Byrds rip off. But sure enough, panel 3 is a loving detailed recreation of an actual record label.
Kids, that there is no LP. That is a 78 RPM record. If Ruby had this on her turntable she’d be clocking lots of steps on her fitbit, because each side of has a single song, less than three minutes long. According to 45worlds the 10″ record was pressed in 1941. As in, the record is older than than the 73-year-old man who put it in this strip.
Which begs the question, how old is Ruby supposed to be? Her flashbacks looked to me like they could have been from any time from the 40’s to the early 60’s. Is this her parents’ record? I have my mom’s old Michael Jackson’s Off The Wall album in a box somewhere. Maybe she just kept her parents stuff. Or decided she really liked music from the same year as Pearl Harbor. Or she is literally in her nineties, and Tom continues salving his fear of aging with an ever expanding cast of limber and active nonagenarians.
If any of you want to hear the charming song ‘Ev’ry Little Thing’, sung by Don Lawrence with The Ramblers on instrumentals, I found it on the internet archive. It’s a cute lounge band type number that really took me back to watching Lawrence Welk with my grandma on Saturday night.
The song on the other side…um… Always Too Tired. Which is a joke song full of double entendre. Really. REALLY. If you’re only going to listen to one dirty song from the 40’s, you owe it to yourself to click that link and listen to the whole glorious thing. And then imagine it playing loudly in the office.
From one temporal non-sequitur to another. Because if Ruby is inexplicably stuck in the 40’s, then Pete is definitely stuck in the Aughts. An I-Pod? In 2020? MP3 players have been around for nearly 20 years. They peaked 12 years ago and have been on the way down ever since. Why don’t you just suggest she get 8-tracks of her favorite records?
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?
Today’s strip, when it drops.
Well, it’s been a real teeter-totter of a shift. One week of super-depressing Lesplotation misery porn, and another week of weightless recycled turkey gags. But you how the old song goes: When you’re up, you’re up. And when you’re down, you’re down. And when you’re only halfway up, it’s Sunday and the strip isn’t available for preview.
Our glorious leader TFHackett, is assuming his place on the podium tomorrow. Please treat him with the respect due a founding father of our blogiverse. He’s chopped down Lisa trees, and crossed the mighty Cuyahoga, and seen our troops through the frigid winters of Ohio. He stood up to the rotten king who tried to silence our freedoms through C&D, and brought us to this promised land.
Was not expecting today’s strip to be a standalone gag, but I guess we should be grateful for some respite from Bull’s swan song. And it’s been a while since my high school band days, but we didn’t start practicing Christmas music until football season was almost over. Speaking of football, we’ll get back to Bull’s plight on Monday; the good news is that your guide will be Epicus Doomus!
“This here is called a com-pew-ter, see?” Having introduced her new pet to the rest of the staff, Mindy shows Ruby her workstation, where she “does her coloring” on what appears to be a circa-early-oughts Apple Display, painted battleship gray. “The colors never dry out,” explains the woman who nine months ago didn’t know what Dr. Martin’s was.
Welcome to the Baldo crossover you never asked for. Behold the Fairgoods’ thought-provoking and sensitive solution to the contemporary issue of being separated by work: why should Jessica work remotely on Cindy’s documentary, living with her husband and her preschooler, when she can parent remotely, thanks to a telepresence robot? Oh, those wacky fortysomething millennials!
So I can’t really tell what’s going on here. It seems like an attempted retcon, since Funky’s talking about all the stuff they used to pretend the computer would do, which high schoolers pretending this kind of stuff about a computer seems weird. But then you just have Funky mentioning the computer making claims about his existence. So was it sentient, or not? If it ever was then it’s basically a slave, which is troubling.
If Holtron was a sentient computer in the seventies, how is reprogramming it to respond to voice commands any kind of improvement. I can picture Batiuk asking his wife “Wouldn’t it be funny if Holtron was an Echo?”, his wife responding “Who or what is Holtron?” and him calling her a macaque and storming off to the garage.
What is Harry expecting to happen? You can’t really ask Echo or Siri to find a living person for you. The best part about this strip is that you could’ve changed the last panel so it heard him perfectly clear, and it would work even better.
“There’s nothing on the web about Funky Winkerbean.” Basically true.
Um, is Atomik Komix publishing a comic book about Funky? That seems insane for a lot of reasons. And really like something that should’ve come up in the strip. But it’s just Batiuk pushing his own products again, so whatever.
Coming up tomorrow-Billytheskink!
Link to today’s strip.
Boy, the folks running the OMEA are damned efficient! Compare the background of yesterday’s strip to today’s. They’ve managed to put up a huge number of booths and banners in a matter of seconds! Yesterday’s box of crap at the far right has been expanded into a nicely arranged table. Talk about can-do! Imagine how many band mattresses those guys could sell. Probably hundreds in just an hour. Oh, wait–they’d have to sell them in Westview, wouldn’t they. Well, they could probably sell at least one, right? And maybe come back alive, most of them? Sorry for sending you guys into that city–and I already knew it was infested with zombies, too. My bad, guys. Oops. Won’t happen again, you have my word.
On the other hand, this conference has been going on for several days, and they’re only just now getting around to setting up these booths. (Perhaps one of these booths was the one that had pizza! Mystery solved.) Okay, so…they’re very efficient once they start, but also lazy and unmotivated to start on their own. Well, no one will ever fault this strip for being too consistent.
As for this stupid app, weren’t they championing something similar a few years ago that could keep track of trombone sections? Yesterday they were dismissive of this thing, but throw in candy sales and their eyes goggle. Becky even gets to shove her pinned sleeve into frame, she’s so excited.
*Shrug.* As mentioned, no one will ever fault this strip for being too consistent. “Hey, Batiuk, loosen up! You don’t have to remember all the details, like things that have already happened, last names, and stuff like that. It makes you look like a beady-eyed nitpicker. You don’t want to look like a beady-eyed nitpicker, do you? No one gives awards for that.”
Link to today’s strip.
As February dawns, the first strip of the month is not available for preview, but let’s be honest–Batiuk’s not going to cut away to something different, not when he’s got Dinkle to shove in people’s faces. Those seemingly endless weeks where he craps out those terrible, terrible Claude Barlow witlessisms should be proof of that.
Yesterday, he wailed and moaned that he couldn’t find free food. What could it be today? Perhaps…his ass, with both hands?
I wonder if Beck will get any lines…so far, she’s only spoken on Sunday, and it was, of course, nothing but praise for Dinkle. So, she’s really already played her part. All that’s left is a praise reprise.
(GAH, sorry folks, that was almost Batiukian…surprising how easily one slips back into this stuff…)