One of the more irritating facts of life in the Batiukverse is, as I said, the fact that Batiuk labors under the lunatic misapprehension that people either don’t know or don’t want to know how bad things usually are. As far as he can see, he’s surrounded by grinning sheeple who don’t want to face the crises that plague society but do want to be distracted by goofy jokes and silly people having wacky adventures. Time and again, a character will stand on his or her hind legs and lecture people about the need to have their noses rubbed in the tragic so as to liberate them from living in ignorance. This shows a not-at-all shocking lack of faith on his part as well as his totally refusing to understand what his role is. People have, always have had and always will have a fair idea of how bad things are and have always been; the phrase “vale of tears” to refer to the Human world is based on the knowledge that most of us live lives of quiet desperation; we don’t need some jerk artist telling us that bright shiny hopes are often dashed. What’s more, we really don’t need to hear it from someone as out of it as Batiuk; reading some of the more irritating plotlines makes one think that Cliff Clavin was dabbling in existentialist fiction. Since we have to endure a know-nothing know-it-all blather about his cockeyed view of the World, it’s also a reminder of who the real central character of Funky Winkerbean is: instead of being the history of everyone’s favorite depressed pizza-making addict, it’s the story of his best friend, Les “Too Dumb to Live” Moore. More on that moron tomorrow.