Tag Archives: Westview High School

Food Poisoning

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As usual, the Sunday strip wasn’t available for preview. Normally I would try to tough it out till midnight, just to make sure whatever horrors Sunday brings are properly commented on. However, the strain of trying to find amusement in drying paint has finally broken me, and I’ve come down with the Westview flu. Not as deadly as the Spanish flu, maybe, but virulent in it’s ability to sap me of energy, leaving me with a headache, and slightly nauseous. So pretty much what you would expect after spending two weeks with Les Moore.

Here’s hoping that it’s not able to be transmitted through the interwebs, because Beckoning Chasm is taking over for me tomorrow, and I’d hate to think I had contaminated the controls.

Goodnight, and Good Luck.

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Drain Damage.

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Now I am really really disappointed we didn’t get to see any of this water balloon competition. Because it sounds like it was a no-holds-barred water war waged both inside and outside the school. Can you imagine the water damage? Even if they were barred from classrooms and computer labs, all those corkboards and vaguely inspirational posters on the walls are toast. And those tile floors would have gotten dangerously slippery, I imagine everyone who participated has bruised tailbones and skinned knees.

But I’m guessing there isn’t anything in the student handbook preventing the teachers from running through the halls with firehoses, water pistols, and, balloons. Nate’s hands were tied.

Why is Les still grilling hotdogs? We see food in front of these people, so they’ve mostly all gotten all they were going to eat already. Unless there’s going to be a hotdog eating contest later. Billytheskink was joking at the beginning of the week about Dinkle being able to eat a banana sideways. Now I’m picturing him shoving hotdog after hotdog into his mouth sideways like a machine, lips closing over his entire fist down to the wrist every time and sucking the digits clean.

But more likely Les just doesn’t want to listen to anyone elses’ speechifying.

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ALT vs STEM, SS6 wins.

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They had a water balloon competition this morning, and instead we’ve been saddled with a week of bland speechifying?! I would LOVE to see the faculty of Westview in a no-holds-barred water balloon fight. My church growing up used to have a water fight every summer, and one year it ended with our pastor on the roof of a van with a super-soaker screaming “TASTE AND SEE THAT THE LORD IS GOOD!” and hosing down the first-grade Sunday School class.

Water Balloon competition sounds so much more banal though. I’m guessing it was a series of water balloon egg-tosses. Followed by bland science-type experiments involving water balloons with parachutes being dropped from the second floor windows. Of course STEM would win over the arts. The arts probably tried to protect their balloons with committee designated ‘safe-spaces.’

The ‘Super Soaker Six’ is either a reference to DC’s The Secret Six so obscure only I got it, or I’m too much of a basement dwelling nerd to figure it out. Please let me know in the comment what this is referencing.

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The Right to Hug Arms

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The internet has been a wonderful breeding ground for all kinds of new dialectical terminology. Whereas before we had things like Ockham’s Razor or Pascal’s Wager. Now we’ve got Godwin’s Law, “As an online discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches 1.” The Bechdel Test, “Whether a work features at least two women who talk to each other about something other than a man.” And Poe’s Law, “Without a clear indicator of the author’s intent, it is impossible to create a parody of extreme views so obviously exaggerated that it cannot be mistaken by some readers for a sincere expression of the parodied views.”

Here we have an inverse Poe’s Law. A sincere expression of a view so obviously exaggerated it is indistinguishable from parody.

Also. Is this all of the students who walked out? That must have been some editorial.

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Did someone break the windows?

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No Les, for either one of them to be jokes, they would have to be funny. And kudos to all the commenters who wondered if Batiuk would remember far enough back to reference the machine gun. Turns out it was cardboard. What is funny is that bringing a fake gun to school these days is likely good enough to get you suspended. Ah, the good old days, when Batiuk still had the balls to use guns for humor.

There is something funny in this strip though. That kid carrying the ‘We’re Still Here” sign looks like an immigrant from another strip entirely. I’m guessing Archie. He’s either got freckles, acne, stubble, or a tiny tattoo of a flock of migrating geese on his cheek. That coat looks like he murdered Chewbacca to wear his pelt, and the orange scarf isn’t so much a fashion accessory as some terrible noose he’s broken free. He’s got a nose high and sharp enough to use as a can opener, pointy ears. And all of this with a receding hairline hiding under cowlick reminiscent of the infamous scene in “There’s Something About Mary.”

Forget everyone else in this strip. We should make it all about Cowlick from now on.

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Bleat for Security

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“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.

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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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