Tag Archives: The Bleat

The Power And The Snore-y

Link To Today’s Strip

Lacking anything of actual substance to say, strong female role model Cindy opts to brag about her salary instead, much to Dick Facey’s infernally smirking delight. What a waste of time, ink and paper. Maybe next year the “mass com” class can convert to some sort of pizza and comic books workshop, in which case they’ll have a whole host of interesting guest speakers to choose from.

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The Internet Did It

Link To Today’s Idiocy

Yes, it was The Internet, the very same internet that saved Cindy’s flagging career. Everything used to be sort of almost halfway decent, then These Kids Today came along with their “world wide web” and the gizmos and such and yadda yadda yadda, it’s all mostly bullshit now. Sort of like how FW itself used to be halfway decent, then Lisa got wasted at a party and yadda yadda yadda everyone became a wry cynical asshole…if they managed to survive at all.

Everyone knows why BatBrain hates the internet so much, it’s given his dozens of critics a medium with which they can band together and mock his feeble efforts in unison as opposed to having to sit down and pen a letter to the editor of their local newspaper, a letter no one was ever going to read anyhow. Well I say “hard cheese” to that, my good sir. As long as I have some sort of functional internet access this blog isn’t going anywhere until that final Sunday strip where they FINALLY plop Les’ casket into the cold frozen leaf-strewn earth. Bank on it.

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Fake It Til You Make It

Link To Today’s Thing

“My dad says your comic strip doesn’t really address the issues that young people face today and you just say that in your interviews to give the impression that FW is far more substantive than it actually is.”

“Ummmmmm, uh, yeah.”

Bernie’s dad sounds like he’s quite a character. He must be beaming with pride, what with Bernie just about ready to move up to 13th grade and all. Why is everyone pretending that Cindy is still a news anchor? Her last “big story” involved a ninety year old actor talking about the 1950s and while it may have made for a ripping good yarn, it’s hardly “news”, fake or otherwise.

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We The Sweeple

Link To Today’s Strip

Uh, Cindy works for Buddyblog and there is no “sweeps month” on the interwebs. Thus this gag, aside from being unnecessarily cynical and sort of obnoxious, is also quite dated and stupid too. “And that’s what we try to do…unless our advertisers balk”…there, it still sucks but at least it’s something applicable to THIS decade and not the 1990s. “Sweeps month”…when was the last time you even heard that mentioned in any context?

I hate it when he tries to pretend he’s commenting on “these times we live in” and such. Just get to the f*cking Butter Brickel thing, we all know it’s coming and the sooner it begins the sooner it’ll end, at least in theory. Cindy is by no means his worst female character but she’s undoubtedly one of the more grating ones.

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The Enemy of My Enemy.

Link to today’s strip

Well, this is the most blatantly, problematically sexist strip I have seen Tom Batiuk put out since “What Women’s Lib doesn’t know won’t hurt them”. He has his newest nebbish highschool avatar say that it took him til the tenth grade to have girls for friends, and flat out say that he considers wimmin-folk a separate class from himself.

Bernie has been hanging out with Logan for at least three years now, and he didn’t consider her a friend? Instead he saw her as an ‘other.’ And not only as from a different group, but a group outright opposing his own.

The wording of this has a darker potential double meaning. Because it could indicate that there are in fact two camps on each side of these opposing groups. A male opposing camp and a female opposing camp. And how else is Logan different from Bernie? So we’ve got textual sexism on top of sub-liminal racism. I’m revoking Bernie’s ‘woke’ card.

For years I’ve been defending Tom Batiuk against claims of overt sexism. I honestly believed he just had a hard time writing and relating to women. But this one strip has me rethinking everything.

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Bleat for Security

Link to today’s strip

“Americans used to roar like lions for liberty; now we bleat like sheep for security.”

― Norman Vincent Peale

It’s interesting how the force of this protest has waned over the last three days. On Tuesday we were ‘urging action to stop’, yesterday we were ‘urging action to prevent’ and now we’re not ‘urging action’ at all anymore, just ‘voicing concerns about’ tomorrow we’ll just be ‘drawing attention to guns,’ and the slow march of passivity will continue on.

I wondered if there was ‘much to show for’ school shooting legislation from last year to this year. Because I don’t trust Tom Batiuk one bit to do any real research on what he’s claiming. There has been quite a bit.. At least on the gun control side. Maybe Bernie is one of those who argues a gun control is more a mental health issue. Oh, wait, no, there’s been significant movement on that front too. This article even mentions the students March for Our Lives having an effect.

Of course, you could make the argument that a lot of these proposed laws haven’t been finalized yet, or that all of this isn’t enough. But that isn’t what Bernie here is saying. What he’s really saying is, school shootings are bad enough to protest but not serious enough to research.

I look forward to the senior trip to DC, where the students will protest the lack of a WWII memorial while standing in it’s fountain.

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No Conflict of Interest.

Link to today’s strip

What is going on with Les’ face in panel two today? I can only guess that Ayers saw the word vomit in the speech bubble and decided to give Les an expression to match. It’s a pretty apt depiction since Les is just regurgitating yesterday’s substance.

And good old principal Nate today, distilling into one word the thing most perniciously wrong with Funky Winkerbean. Les presents him with something potentially contentious, and Nate agrees.

No argument about the students’ obligation to be in school, the potential debasing of non-violent rule breaking as a tool of last resort, or the use of the school’s own vehicle of propaganda to take a position on a divisive issue where the student body is likely not unified in viewpoint. Nate agrees. All ‘good’ people agree. Everyone seen is in agreement. The potential opponents are an unseen undefined ‘badness’ that must not be personified.

This is worse storytelling than the Big Gay Prom arc, because at least in that we had a strawwoman in opposition. She was about as nuanced as a shrieking harpy ruining everyone’s lunch, but she was there. Opposition leads to drama. It resists the goal of the protagonists, making them work for what they want. And, most importantly to Batiuk’s goals, it gives what they’re fighting for weight. Debate lets the characters themselves tell the audience why: Why is a walkout the best way for these students to protest school shootings? Does anyone think there is a better way? Is there any specific legislation or legislators these kids are targeting? We’ll probably never know, because so far no one asked.

If Les and Bernie had to convince the Principal to allow the editorial, if they had to explain themselves to parents or disagreeing students, or if they had to potentially sacrifice something to stage this protest, then the ‘protest’ might seem like something more than what it is: hollow, passionless, consequence free virtue-signaling.

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