So good to know that both Centerville twins are alive and well, after a rare solo appearance of Emily or Amelia in Tuesday’s comic. Over in the Crankiverse, these two are still interchangeable, not-too-bright tween girls. But by the time they transferred to Westview High, they had developed distinct persona: Emily, the goody-goody flautist, and Amelia, the shredder of guitars.
Tag Archives: The Bleat
ICYMI: So yesterday Logan was summoned to the office, only to return today to The Bleat’s studio with the rest of her peers (the “freshmen” we met in 2016 and hence should have graduated last June), and they’re all just back from a field trip? Th’ hell? Is this happening like five minutes later, or have days passed? Les is still wearing the yellow shirt, but that’s not a clue, since he wears a yellow shirt at least 85% of the time. Logan’s wearing a jacket that she didn’t have on yesterday, but then again, yesterday her top went from a crew neck to a turtleneck in the space of one panel. And today she wears the same color top but now it’s a v-neck. Logan: “Yeah, I almost would rather have been here!” Girl, you were here! Maybe that’s not Logan Church, but rather her heretofore unseen identical twin? Les, of course, is unaffected by any of this, as long as he can take as a “compliment” that being in his class is almost–almost–preferable to some shitty, five minute field trip to the principal’s office.
Welcome back from what I hope for you was a wonderful, long holiday weekend. Also back at work this Monday is Les Moore, after a weekend in Hollywood that started back in June. Les’ harrowing experience during the wildfires there have left him a little bit on edge: so triggered is he by the loud PA announcement that the sheaf of blank paper he was holding flies from his tiny hands. Easy to see why Mason wants to make a movie about this hero. Even Logan, the one being summoned by this booming voice, is more calm. Harder to gauge the reaction of the anono-kid in the red shirt, who is likely high AF and whose stage direction for this scene is “(looks on).” Tuesday: Logan pauses in the doorway and, without even getting Les’ Spinal Tap reference, blankly inquires of Mr. Moore, “Why don’t you just make ten louder and make ten be the top number and make that a little louder?”
As usual, Sunday’s strip wasn’t available for preview. Which is just as well since I was getting tired of making lemonade out of absolutely nothing.
I will admit. I had a private, personal, chuckle at yesterday’s strip. Not because it was good AT ALL. But because I was a percussionist in high school. And at the time there were waaaay too many percussionists at our school. During marching season we had enough drums and cymbals and pit instruments to go around, but once concert season rolled in there would only be three or four musicians needed for every song. So the rest of the percussion section was left sitting on the floor in the back of the band room chatting quietly, texting on our primitive stupid phones, doing homework for other classes, or flat out taking a nap.
Our director, while very good in almost every other way, just let us decide who got what part, and the few who were passionate about percussion would by mutual agreement take the difficult stuff like timpani or bells every time. It got to the point where the scrubs were drawing straws and playing rock paper scissors to see who didn’t have to get up and count rests for half a song to ring a triangle or smack a wood block. The rest of us would just rather lay around doing algebra homework.
So yeah. If anyone wasn’t going to sprout into a mighty musical oak tree, it was CBH on her tiptoes trying to play one of the four chime notes in the entire 20 minute medley of music from Lord of the Rings, and missing.
Beckoning Chasm takes over on Monday, and I’m looking forward to it! I’m sure his deep thoughts and penetrating insights will entice us to dig ever deeper into this bland yet somehow fascinating universe built from the existential dread of a white bread Ohio septuagenarian scraping for meaning as he nears the end of his career and life.
Stay Funky Everyone!
Link to today’s strip (eventually).
As usual, Sunday’s exertion was not available for preview. Perhaps it’ll be another semi-pleasant interlude with Funky and Holly, though since they got their own…”story” last week, Batiuk might feel we’re sick of them. And he’d be right! Of course, we’re sick of all of his characters, but no matter.
Maybe it will be a bunch of pictures of houses or trees or something, with no characters. That would be the best Sunday strip ever!
Link to today’s strip (eventually).
Saturday’s strip was unavailable for preview, but we all know we’re going to get another Kids Today Are Terrible lesson.
It’s funny (in a peculiar way) how Les has spent an entire week telling the kids what a newspaper is, and this hasn’t dissuaded him at all from his plan of having them write for one. Of course, has he really gone into any details of what the kids should be writing about–their experience at the fair, the stories of the folks running it, an overview of events…no, apparently “You’ll write for the paper” is all the instruction he intends to give.
Now, I haven’t seen the strip, so it’s possible that Batiuk’s baiting us, and that Saturday’s egg will be jam packed with informative and insightful content. But, you know, trolling people for five days sounds stupid, not to mention “informative and insightful content” takes actual work–something Batiuk seems loathe to do.
I guess we’ll all find out together!
I suppose it’s natural for Tom Batiuk to resent the decline of newspapers–they are, after all, his bread and butter. And I can’t really argue with Les’ dismissal of Logan’s question–this crew has proven itself remarkably cretinous. (How much of this can be laid at Les’ feet is a question studiously avoided.) It still seems rather nasty-minded, though.
Plus, if they spend all their time on their smartphones and their Nintendos, being internuts and twitter tots, how are they going to know what a “gas station” is?
A high point is Bernie’s expression in panel two: Whoah–you’re actually wanting to do extra work? What’s wrong with you?
I’m not sure about the obscurity level of “above the fold.” I’ve heard the phrase for decades, but I’ve heard a lot of things for decades so I can’t judge about whether it’s commonly known. Thus, I am uncertain if the twins are supposed to be stupid or not.
Oh, who am I kidding, they’re Kids Today so of course they’re stupid…in myriad ways, too.
Les’ dialogue in the last panel is really odd, with all those ellipses, and the fact that it just peters out. More evidence that Tom Batiuk just can’t be bothered with thinking how something should be constructed to convey meaning in the best way. “Okay, back in the old days, a story appearing above the fold would signify importance. Just like your stories will!” I mean, that took maybe ten seconds of thought.
Think what it could have been if I’d had a whole year to refine it.
If you’ve ever watched a kitten playing with a toy, it’s a mad rush of whirling and pouncing, followed by batting to start the whole thing over again. Tom Batiuk and his writing remind me of that same toy and cat, now at least a decade from kittenhood. The cat takes a couple of desultory slaps at that once beloved toy before adjudging the playing process “complete” and returning to its nap.
Okay, perhaps Les’ students do know what a newspaper is, they’ve just never heard of the Westview Gazette. Some communities will have a main newspaper, with local and national news, weather, ads, and so forth; they might also have a smaller, more-locally focused paper that’s a sort of “goings-on around town” thing. They’ll have articles like “8 Signs You Should Replace Your Lawn Sprinkler” and “New Fish-Themed Restaurant Hopes to ‘Hook’ Diners.” That could be what we’re talking about here, but leave it to Batiuk to absolutely refuse to be clear.
As for the joke…well, I can’t find one.
Update: Well, I was wrong–the Westview Gazette is the town’s main paper. And it has been for some time. So, my attempt to excuse those darn kids’ ignorance was equally ignorant!
Okay, so the “joke” today is that kids are stupid and don’t know what a newspaper is. Pretty typical of the “jokes” he makes when the setting is high school. What I don’t get is that the Bleat crew, who make in-school videos, are also going to be writing copy for the local paper? Can they do this? Do they have any training? It should be obvious that writing for a newspaper is not the same as writing for broadcast; I guess Batiuk feels that some of the crew wear headphones, so that’s like a hat with a “PRESS” card in it, so they can do both. Right?
A podcast is probably more the Bleat crew’s speed, though I question the value of putting it on the county fair’s website. County fairs do their best to be colorful and eye-catching, so a video would probably be much better. (I’m assuming the Bleat crew could make a competent one.) My understanding is that a podcast is an audio file of people chatting. Would visitor’s to a fair’s website, upon seeing “Westview High Podcast,” click so they could hear “Look at the lights on that Ferris wheel!” “And these hot dogs are great, I’ve already had forty!”?