Tag Archives: that stupid decoder ring

Manos: The Hands Of Grate

Today’s strip finally gets to the point. Whatever.

All I see is a kid in a Davy Crockett coon-skin cap…
FWSmif

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Bored of the Rings

Today’s strip is about that dadgum decoder ring. Your mileage won’t vary, it WILL be low.

Jeff, quit teasing your wife and son with this appallingly uninteresting Starbuck Jones nostalgia trip and just tell your family what all of us readers already know the message on your phone says. You told two very interested parties that The Valentine may have gotten the miracle it needed to keep its doors open, and follow that up by leering creepily gazing at 60 year old toy that you got for free from a chocolate milk mix company.

Max, you gotta do better than this, man. If your dad knew the gibberish on his phone was the Starbuck Jones Junior Spaceman’s code then he’s a big enough nerd to know how to decipher it. He’s been waiting decades to show this stupid ring off and you are the one who had to go and give him the satisfaction.

Pam, you’re an enabler. Can’t really blame you for that, since every other woman in this universe apparently is as well.

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Hai-Code

Today’s strip contains
A couple of near-haiku
Shall we take a look?

“This text may be the
Answer you are looking for
It’s just gibberish”

“That is because it’s
Written in the Starbuck Jones
Junior Spaceman’s code”
_________________________

Jeff has just put on
That stupid decoder ring
Why does he have it?

Came from his pocket?
Does he carry it around
Annoying others?

He just got a text?
But it was a Tweet he sent
To Director Guy

I guess that Durwood
Has uncle Jeff’s phone number
As if he’s used it

Nice car on the curb
Puts Batiukmobile® to shame
Who would park it here?

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Decoder? I barely know her…

Tough luck, SOSFers. Not just because you’ve read today’s strip, but also because today’s strip is particularly rant-worthy and I may well be the weakest ranter on this site. I am sorry, I just cannot do it justice. I’ll lean on our commenters to give this strip what it deserves.

I do have an editorial comment, though, and it doesn’t involve Funky in a coma this time. Among the few printable things that have been said about this whole unending Starbuck Jones movie arc is that it is “wish fulfillment”. It is an apt description, of course, as nearly everything about Starbuck Jones comes across as what TB wishes would have happened to his own creations. However, there is no reason that wish fulfillment can’t be entertaining.

Sally Forth just spent a whole month at a (very) fictional Japanese movie monster theme park, something I’m sure unabashedly nerdy SF writer Francesco Marciuliano very much wishes was real. However, Marciuliano uses his fantasy to tell a story and crack jokes that are relatable to readers whether they are kaiju-obsessed or not. You may not know what a Gamera is, but you probably get jokes about taking family vacations and waiting in line at theme parks.

TB’s Starbuck Jones business, meanwhile, requires a tome of Batiuk blog posts and a glossary of Hollywood terms to understand, and a miracle to find entertaining. It seems to be perpetually patting itself on the back for being such a big deal in its own allegedly realistic universe, thrusting long-standing characters into Hollywood’s orbit for seemingly no reason other than to show that they are great enough to be involved in Starbuck Jones things.

I would say that my wish would be that we could leave Starbuck Jones, Hollywood, and the Valentine Theater behind… but that undoubtedly means more of Les. I can’t win. None of us can.

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And Spending Her Time So Foolishly Too, No Doubt

Link To Today’s Demoralizing Developments

Working that goddamned f*cking decoder ring in there was like dropping a cherry-shaped wad of maggots onto a garbage sundae, it’s the kind of sickening overkill BanTom does better than any other sub-mediocre comic strip author in the business. It’s finally official, after five days of absolutely painful dilly-dallying these two horrible old snores are engaged (as are Cindy and Mason…(shudder)) and a more pathetic spectacle I cannot recall.

“Waiting a lifetime”, yeah, sixty years is indeed nearly a “lifetime” but not necessarily in the Funkyverse, where middle-aged men creak, groan and collapse regularly and couples in their nineties eat solid foods and get frisky in restaurants. Still though, it seems kind of incredible that they just completely lost touch for sixty years. No phone calls, no letters, no emails, no Classmates or HotBot or Google searches, just nothing at all until two comic book-obsessed weirdos took it upon themselves to do everything for them.

In fact when you look at them that way you realize that there’s nothing “happy” about these two imbeciles getting back together, as they’re both awful, stupid, lazy people who literally wasted their entire lives for no reason whatsoever aside from sheer sloth. They’re only together now because of outside meddling, completely happenstance impulsive meddling, by the way. What kind of human being wouldn’t be utterly destroyed by the realization that the great lost love of your life who you feebly pined over for sixty freaking years was likewise just sitting there like an idiot wondering and waiting to hear from you while you sat there doing literally nothing? It’s the most depressing thing I’ve ever heard, yet in the Funkyverse it passes for lite, cute and breezy.

Hopefully this is the last of these two until Frankie crashes the big Starbuck Jones-themed double wedding ceremony and forces Marianne to attempt suicide again. You know that when he finally gets around to re-visiting this in August or whatever he’ll spend five full days on the characters talking about that f*cking decoder ring, just to refresh everyone’s decoder ring memory.

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Oyb Hsit Omcic Pstri Wsblo

Link To Today’s Dismal Experience

I’ll take a stab at decoding Cliff’s “secret message” using nothing but my extensive knowledge of the Funkyverse and nothing more. OK, here goes nothing…

THIS STORY IS GARBAGE AUTHORED BY AN UNIMAGINATIVE AND POSSIBLY DELUSIONAL HACK WITH NO DESIRE TO ENTERTAIN ANYONE BUT HIMSELF AND NO ABILITY TO DO SO EVEN IF HE WANTED TO

That’s what I came up with. I’m estimating it’s at least 125% accurate, more or less. How many times will he go back to THIS well? It was a movie prop, Tom. The guy is ninety f*cking years old, that goddamned f*cking decoder ring isn’t his whole…oh, wait. My bad, I forgot who and what I’m dealing with here. Of course that f*cking stupid decoder ring is Cliff’s whole life, as he’s a woefully one-dimensional and contrived character with all the depth of a pizza box who was conceived by a lazy shameless hack who must have been absent when they covered “plausibility” in vocabulary class. It’s only natural that Cliff’s entire life centers around some moronic old toy. Like they say, write what you know.

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With This Ring I Thee Dread

Link To Today’s Atrocity

And now my disgust, rage and nausea gives way to resigned acceptance and a sad admission of defeat, as my worst fears are seemingly about to be realized. Cliff is going to ask Vera to marry him and he’s going to use that goddamned f*cking old decoder ring to do it. Not that long ago Cliff was hawking the thing on Ebay, today it’s an enduring symbol of the eternal love he feels for the woman he apparently forgot about for sixty years. Perhaps digging it out from under the bed in his sordid hovel of an apartment jogged his memory or something.

I have to admit it, while I dreaded the possibility of an unholy union between these two I never saw the f*cking decoder ring angle coming. The bastard out-hacked me yet again. Just when you thought it’d be impossible for this trash heap of a story to become any more sickening and repugnant bam, the f*cking SJ decoder ring hits you right in the face. I suppose I should have expected this but for some reason I always underestimate his ability to plumb the depths.

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