This Week in Milford

June 15, 2017

Truly, Madly, Reluctantly, Unfortunately

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Good thing I went with the color version of the strip today. These fair-haired women with prop glasses are all starting to look alike. Today it’s Ms. Rizk, not Dr. Pearl; we know this as Gil is the summoner, not the summoned. (Not that it’s clear Dr. Pearl summoned Gil but, you know, pecking order and all.)

Ever since the Central game the strip has been playing a huge game of connect-the-dots. Great leaps ever forward – from Kaz’s near telepathic understanding of what Gil wants to Gil’s visit to the Van Aukens to Gil’s chat with Dr. Pearl to today – with a lot of gaps to fill. Is it clear that Gil spoke with Ryan at his home? (The “genuinely remorseful” comment to Dr. Pearl might lead us to believe he did.) Whether he did or didn’t, what prompted Gil to speak with Dr. Pearl next? (To get the green light from the Doctor to lean on Ms. Rizk to quash Daftpunk’s article?)

And now, what leads Ms. Rizk to add the “unfortunately” tag to her statement implying that Dafunk’s article has already been quashed? Is it meant for us to deduce that, even though she’s been against Daffy’s hit piece on the ‘Cane from the get-go, she secretly wants to run the article? As our astute readers commented yesterday, this spring arc has turned into another of Rubin’s classic Bechdel Test fails. Girls’ sports have taken a back seat not only to boys’ sports but also to high school journalism which, by maintaining its integrity, may end up protecting a male athlete at the expense of his female victim and accusers. Ms. Rizk’s “unfortunately” may be her subtle form of protest against the Milford jockocracy.

Gil won’t give that a moment’s thought, ’cause sarcastically, he’s in charge.

June 10, 2017

Maybe, But Does Ryan Have a Super Bowl Ring?

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Today’s big highlight is getting to watch Papa Van Auken morph from Dabney Coleman into Carl Brutananadilewski. Holy crap where did his eyelids go? Between Pop’s chest slap and summoned rage and Mom’s agitated temple rubbing, the Van Aukens are starting to pile it on in defense of their son. Granted the Valley is full of gossips with nothing better to do than play telephone and potentially ruin some kid’s life, but dad’s overreacting a bit himself. It’s not like Alyssa and Ryan got married or anything.

is Gil gonna buy their version of the “Ryan hit Alyssa” story? Will he wait to get straight from the ‘Cane’s mouth? Or is a road trip to Central City to meet Alyssa in order? Those don’t often work out well for Milfordians…

June 8, 2017

Alyssa? Explains It All

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Many years ago I lived inside the Beltway, and a running joke at that time was that when people moved to Great Falls, Virginia, they were automatically issued a Range Rover. My initial observation of Mother Van Auken led me to believe that when women move to Milford, they are issued the same huge earrings and chunky bracelets that native Milfordian girls are issued at birth. (The Van Auken digs wouldn’t look out of place in Great Falls, either; I’m guessing on the opposite side of town from McShanes Hardware.) Then I noticed the chunky bracelet on the wrist of one of the Fun Girls from Central and realized that this is the way of the Valley.

A week ago I questioned how Dafunk reached the conclusion that the girl Ryan hit was his girlfriend, since that had yet to be explicitly stated. Well now it has. The next exposition should be how the Central girls learned about what happened between two Kingsbrook students and made it their business to let one of them not forget about it.

May 29, 2017

We’re Not Supposed To Talk About This

Filed under: Chunky Bracelets, huge earrings — nedryerson @ 3:43 am

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There’s really only one thing to talk about. Those earrings. There’s just that one kind of earring and Dafne, her BFF and the sign maker are all wearing it. Once I noticed it, I can’t look at anything else.

There are other things, but they are all being cycled through for the third or fourth time. There’s Dafne’s reporting on Ryan’s past. We get it. Dafne, emboldened by her breaking the Heenan story, thinks she’s got another huge scoop on her hands with the rumors about Ryan. Ms. Rizk has advised her to back off because there is no hard evidence and because Ryan is sixteen. It seems like Dafne still needs some help in learning a lesson.

Maybe it’s just me, but I think this situation should have been resolved weeks ago. There’s no place in a school paper to write about anything like this.  A student may or may not have committed a crime. Another student wants to dig into the incident and potentially publish it for other students (or anybody accessing the Trumpet website) to read. No. Just no. Like the dumb reality show in the classroom plot, this is another one that should be a cut and dried “No, we can’t do that here.” Milford is clearly in a heightened reality. I guess that’s for dramatic purposes, even though you’d never know because all the drama leaches out while the plot gets boiled and boiled and boiled….

Also, we’ve got our fun girls. They are still planning their stunt. This is their whole spring. They will probably need to go to summer school as they forgot to go to any classes while they hung out and planned this sign.

 

 

May 27, 2017

Ne c’est pas la raison d’etre

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As Ethics in Journalism Week draws to a close, we learn that it’s been the Teachers Lounge, not the Journalism Office, where Daffy and Ms. Rizk have been having their convo (and where Ms. Rizk’s earrings have fluctuated in size from typically Milford large to ear buds to visible from space). So much for that juicy story about MHS providing coffee for the Trumpet staff. Ms. Rizk makes the dual mistake of taking that convo outside into the hallway and ending it with enough of a thread of plausibility that Daffodil will run with it like a kid with the good scissors.

Now let’s sit back and watch Dafunk ruin her hard-earned rep as a hard-nosed journalist (not to mention what she’ll do to Van Auken’s) by turning into just another gossipy teen playing telephone and spreading rumors. Between the small-town gossips and the Coaches Thorp’s reps for not developing talent, it’ll be a cold day in hell before any out-of-towner with a promising athlete for a child willingly moves to Milford.

Musical inspiration for today’s post title:

May 25, 2017

Van Auken? More Like MacGuffin

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For the record:

Last time the strip featured a player in uniform: May 16 (well, practice uniforms)

Last time the strip featured a player in uniform in action: May 13

Last time the strip featured a player in uniform in action that was not celebrating something that already happened but was not depicted: May 6

Ms. Rizk’s hair going from blonde to light auburn (in the same Seattle PI version of the strip) is the most action we’ve seen since.

I’ve sat here for the last half hour trying to suss out whether Dafuq’s pursuit of the “Van Auken hit a girl” lead is a MacGuffin or a red herring (if the latter, today’s post title would have been Red Ruffing? More Like Red Herring”) or neither, or if it’s Ms. Rizk that’s trying to turn it into one . Suffice it to say that, despite Rizk’s efforts to nip it in the bud Dafunk will still pursue the lead until a Coach Thorp (Mimi most likely this time) nips it for good.

I’ve put too much thought into this post for it to make as little sense as it does. Off to work…

May 20, 2017

Change my pitch up

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The big question on all of our minds today: Can the names of juvenile offenders be published in a newspaper? The big answer: Typically, yes, but it depends.

The Supreme Court of the United States has held that reporters’ First and Fourteenth Amendment rights outweigh a state’s interests in protections relating to the rehabilitation of juveniles. This means that if a reporter lawfully obtains the names of juveniles involved in crimes, the reporter may publish the names of the juveniles.

In many states, juveniles involved in juvenile proceedings are protected by laws modeled after the Model Juvenile Court Act. If the person in question falls within the definition of a juvenile, court records and law enforcement records involving the juvenile will not be made available to reporters, with some exceptions. If the juvenile is tried as an adult, certain items can be printed and disclosed to the public. Additionally, information collected by newspapers and individuals that includes information released by the courts or the police is not considered criminal history record information and is not treated as protected information. On the other hand, reporters are not allowed access to juvenile court records, or law enforcement records, with narrow exceptions.

Okay, enough of that; I’m not here to turn TWIM into some kind of law journal.  I’m not sure if Rubin’s dark change-up (and we’ve seen a series of them over the past year or so) is a feint to throw us snarkers off the scent, a Batiuk-style ploy to land a Reuben Award, or a veiled cry for help.  Young men hitting young women is certainly nothing to snark about.  Thank goodness we can still snark about close talkers, bizarre perspective, giant earrings, and tiny hotel pens held in giant freak hands.

May 13, 2017

The Dreaded Call to the ‘Pen

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Today we get another one of those frequent time dilation events that tend to happen in the Thorpiverse.  Sometimes this isn’t such a bad thing: when several days are spent on a single play or sequence of events in a single game, the pacing of a typical high school sports season gets thrown off.  Other times, it feels really forced, especially when the events of the stretched out game could have an impact on the events of the speeded up games.

That’s what’s happening here. It feels like Ryan Van Auken’s lost cool that led him to getting yanked from his first start is being completely glossed over. We can only assume everything went Ryan’s way and that his dumpster fire of a temper has been left smoldering, only to be touched off again by, perhaps…

… a mysterious phone call, such as the one a young Stephen King is fielding in the Milford High Journalism Office(!).  On the basis of one exposé, Dafne Dafoe Dafonte Dafunk has gained a reputation as a hard-hitting reporter, one who’s ready to blow the roof off a subject once given a hot lead.  Wanna bet this call’s from the Fun Girls from Mount Pilot* – er, Central City – with the juicy backstory as to why Van Auken’s now plying his wares in Milford?

*One of The Fun Girls was named Daphne. Coincidence?

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