This Week in Milford

June 25, 2018

Are We Sure These Kids Aren’t In Prison?

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Is it just me, or is everything spoken by Barry and Dafne utter nonsense? Am I reading Gil Thorp or Eugene Ionesco?

I get Panel One, sort of (except that they are in school now, but we’ve chewed all the meat off that bone). It’s awkward for Dafne to give Barry a straight answer so she just humors him instead of telling him that Del is a bitter, unrepentant a-hole.

That’s when it goes off the rails. What are you talking about Barry?? I told you he was sorry. Did Dafne’s non-answer indicate any contrition on Del’s part? We can chalk this up to Barry’s own self-delusion, I suppose.

Then the final panel is full of it. Mr. Bader told me to hug Barry for him. Seriously? He said that?

Dafne’s reaction to the request is equally baffling. But I can’t, it would seem dishonest. Dishonest? How about inappropriate? Nauseating? Maybe, at heart, the whole concept of “give so and so a hug for me” or “say hi for me” is kind of insincere, but I don’t know about dishonest.

Judging by how awkwardly the words are strung together, I’m just going to assume Rubin is as bored and fed up with this plot as the rest of us. I know Dafne’s classmates have zero interest in her story. Year round school really wears you out.

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June 21, 2018

Poor Poor Pitiful Del

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Abandoning analysis of the absurdities that let a high school student have a conjugal visit with meet and interview an inmate to whom she is not related, let’s focus on what’s being said instead.  Dafne’s casual side eye can only mean one thing: “Now I know where Barry gets it from.”  Nothing is ever the fault of Bader père et fils.

Del’s prison ‘do reminds me of someone else’s but I’m not sure whose. Anyone?  He started sporting a variation of it while he was in county lockup awaiting sentencing.  Del’s lawyer pretty much sucked there, but did clue Del in that he was most certainly not the victim.  So just what kind of bad publicity has Del been getting?  Has anyone else written about him in the Trumpet, the Milford Star, or the Industrial Solvent Sales Monthly?  Sandra Bader been badmouthing him in her Tinder profile?

Since Thursdays have become Rock ‘n Roll Thursdays here in TWIM land, the commentariat will appreciate the inspiration for today’s post.

June 20, 2018

I Would Have Guessed That, At Some Point, A Permission Slip Of Some Sort Would Need To Have Been Signed

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P1: Whatever Ms. Rizzkk is on probably needs to be dosed a little lower. The way she vacantly smiles while DD and (checks back to May 12th) Jay Bhatia discuss such weighty matters is disconcerting to say the least.

P2: Speaking of disconcerting, in a strip with a long history of poorly depicted high fives (seriously!), this one enters the canon and impels me to create a new category.

P3: Holy Shit! Someone tell Chief Linde to check the Bader family’s crawlspace!

Song that came to mind while writing today’s post:

June 19, 2018

Great Moments In Milford Journalism

Are not depicted in the above. Please stay tuned in for the inimitable T. Drew Hardin’s commentary coming right up!

In the meantime, please feel free to fire away.

Minus points: Since when did Marjie adopt the poking out ear look?

June 14, 2018

Correction: Orange Is the New Dafonte*

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*and how many times have I relied on the “Orange Is the New Black” trope? Don’t ask.

Does anyone know how to lay the bases out at Valley Tech?  The outside edge of the bag goes along the baseline with the rest of the bag in fair territory, not the inside of the bag with the rest in foul territory.  Never mind that: does that field have no foul territory or what?  I wonder how many kids hurt themselves chasing after foul balls and falling over that parapet in front of the dugout.  No matter, visiting players shouldn’t swing from the dugout roof.

Valley Tech’s messed up ball field pales in comparison to today’s big reveal: Dafne Dafonte was the second driver!  How else would she be going to prison and seeing Del?   Oh wait, prisons aren’t co-ed?  Never mind.  My head spins with the crazy schemes Dafne could’ve cooked up to make this happen.  Maybe she secretly lusted after True Standish, wanted Boo Radley killed off and, disguised as Shelly from Selasky’s Supper Club, got Del Bader drunk so he would cause death.  Hey, it’s not that much more far-fetched than the idea of Del agreeing to speak to some nosy kid from his son’s high school’s newspaper in order to somehow clear his name.

Meanwhile, another Trumpet staffer, having picked up one of Holly Dobbs’ left-behind wigs, amuses herself with some newfound gadgetry.  Photography/videography buffs, help me out please: isn’t she wearing a steadicam harness?  Are those designed to work with 1960s-era film cameras like the one she’s holding?

metapost: Ned, Tim and the rest of the TWIM community have taken this blog to another level this week.  Here’s hoping I can keep it up.  Thanks to all for keeping this a going concern.

 

June 12, 2018

Holding a Finger in The Wind

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Not to get all meta on y’all, but lemme just say that following up on posts such as those Ned penned yesterday can be a bit daunting. That said, let’s get to it.

It seems we’ve come some way in the realm of finger repair and thumb reattachment, such that it’s not preclusive of rehabilitation and return. Unfortunately for Gil’s powers of recollection, as described below, Joe made it to the bigs prior to his injury and may possibly have enjoyed success as a pitcher a la Three Finger Brown. Then again, this was forty years ago so Gil may be forgiven for being a little shaky on the details. Heck, forty years ago I was… Well, let’s just leave it at that it was a real, real long time ago.

Want to know what would make panels two and three a lot more interesting? Context.

Instead of wasting time dragging the Bader characters through the mud for no discernible reason, we could have some sense of how many games have been played, how many remain, what efforts Gil may or may not have made on Kevin’s behalf to get him to the next level, etc.

Heck, we could even have explored an arc where his teammates, annoyed with his obsession for personal stats, go to the coach for help with their well meaning but misguided star. Maybe have Kevin go down swinging when he should have just been trying to advance the runner and the Mudlarks lose a crucial game to a hated rival to miss the playdowns.  The point is: There were a lot of missed opportunities for Lessons To Be Learned.

Instead, we wasted more panels than I am prepared to count on an inane interview of BB by DD that I can scarcely recall as, practically speaking, it had no plot. Which might not be the end of the world, except that it’s the middle of June and I have to imagine the football arc starts in August.

Minus points:

P1: Re: Gil’s up the nostril shot, as my toddler son used to say, “No TANK You!”

P2: Please tell me that is some kind of miniature clipboard.

P3: It’s been my lifelong quest, which I embarked upon eight weeks ago, to break his all-time record, with which I am only vaguely familiar.

metapost: FYI to the team, I have created and applied The Legend of Joe Sharkey category.

June 6, 2018

Frost/Nixon This Isn’t

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Barry probably should’ve taken one of his mom’s Ativans before this interview.

Speaking of, did Ma Bader ever even come back with DD’s diet soda, er, ice water? The depictions of single moms in this strip, with the possible exception of Judge Hiatt,* are almost uniformly negative. What gives I wonder?

That said, I question why DD is leaning in in panel two and then throws BB a lifeline.

Bonus points:

P1: Rare double exploding eyeballs.

P2: Do the kids these days still use notebooks? Do the reporters?

P3: “Everyone thinks you’re a jerk. Do you think you’ve become more of a jerk?”

* As Billy points out Judge Hiatt is not actually single, which I think bolsters my point.

June 5, 2018

Guilty

Filed under: freak hands, Pissy Faced Barry Bader — nedryerson @ 5:56 am

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Clearly, we are going to spend the bulk of this plot on Dafne’s journalistic escapades, which are problematic. (What isn’t problematic these days, amirite?) Wasting additional time to establish Barry Bader’s jerkiness is what caused the silicon chip inside my head to switch to overload!

So we pick up with Dafne Dafonte asking what we all want to know. What the heck are you talking about, Barry? Your dad entered a guilty plea and he’s serving his sentence.

Barry’s answer totally reframes the discussion, and this is where it gets (relatively) interesting. Barry wants the world to treat his dad with empathy. But this wasn’t Dafne’s angle in pursuing the story. She wanted to know what makes Barry tick, or more specifically, what Barry is personally going through as the son of a drunk driver who killed one of his classmates.

So what will Dafne’s story be? Will Barry open up to her about his own troubles? Can he do so without resorting to the usual jerkiness. Also, to ask again for the millionth time, is this actually an appropriate line of inquiry for a student journalist to follow with another student?

Maybe Dafne should actually pursue the story that Barry is suggesting, get inside Del Bader’s head and tell his story. (Is that an appropriate assignment?) That’s assuming that Del wants to cooperate. He’s a bit of a dick. Like father, like son.

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