TOM THE DANCING BUG: The Education of Louis - Spectator Sport

Tom the Dancing Bug, IN WHICH Louis wrestles with the concept of tribal surrogate ritualized warfare. And suffers through a baseball game. BE THE FIRST ON YOUR BLOCK to see Tom the Dancing Bug, by @RubenBolling, every week! Members of the elite and prestigious INNER HIVE get the comic emailed to their inboxes at least a day before publication -- and much, much more!

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  1. Don’t know why I even bother. Keep hoping, one day, this strip will provoke even a chuckle.

    Not today.

    1. And in the past year one out of every five of your comments has been used to tell us this…

      1. Don’t know where you get your information. That’s not what I see when I look at my history.

        And even five eye-rolls would have been holding back.

      2. He has to do it for the team. Otherwise the colorist might pick the wrong shade of peach.

    2.  Aw, Jeez, really? I got a kick out of it, and have really liked some of this fellow’s previous work. I’m sorry it’s not working for you.

  2. Faaantastic . . . Louis is A-OK with me.  You keep living and dying with those 90-loss Mets, kid.

    Signed, a fan of the 100-loss Astros

  3. I find this strip interesting in that it shows how dedicated some people are in pretending that they have some sort of connection to athletic competitions.  I have met many people who “believe” that their watching and actions have some impact on the games.

    I have never been able to understand why people watch sports at all.  I don’t find sports interesting… though I do sort of pay attention when someone horrifically breaks their leg (who can miss that with the internet). 

    I wish I cared even a little about sports.  If I did, then I could join in with all the people at work who seem to have lives that ultimately revolve around sports, talking about sports, playing fantasy sports, buying sports stuff… etc. basically everything except actually playing sports.

    1. I have never been able to understand why people watch sports at all. I don’t find sports interesting.

      Us Happy Mutants who enjoy certain sports in a reasonable way, as well as many other wonderful things and pursuits have been wondering when you’d finally weigh in with your opinion.

      I wish I cared even a little about sports.  If I did, then I could join in with all the people at work who seem to have lives that ultimately revolve around sports, talking about sports, playing fantasy sports, buying sports stuff… etc. basically everything except actually playing sports.

      Looks like you’ve created a nice blanket, exaggerated stereotype to feel superior to.

      1.  I dunno.  I’m OK with sports, enjoy them when I’m at a friend’s house and a game is on, but I also have the experience of being frozen out of conversations for hours at a time because everyone else around is talking about sports and I’m just not interested or informed enough to join in.

        Maybe you just don’t notice because you know enough about sports not to get frozen out of conversations like that?

        1. I personally wouldn’t hang out with people who’s “lives ultimately revolve around sports”. Then again I wouldn’t probably hang out with people who made a complete lifestyle around any particular “thing”. I don’t know anybody like that with baseball. I have a few friends who like it, and many more who don’t care, or like some other sport, or building motorcycles, or cycling, or whatever. I have some friends who are really into college sports which I don’t care for, but I never feel froze out or anything even though I don’t know about any of the games or people they’re talking about. I just brush it off or change the subject, just as I would if they were talking too much about a tv series I haven’t seen (and they do) or anything else.

          Most important thing: I don’t go out of my way to shit all over it just “because”…

          1.  I don’t see CBSD as “shitting all over it”.  I see CBSD as saying something roughly like I was saying, which I apparently didn’t explain very clearly.

            I personally wouldn’t hang out with people who’s “lives ultimately revolve around sports”.

            I’m not claiming anyone’s lives revolve around sports, here, but it’s certainly true that if you get together a diverse group of people with diverse interests that frequently sports will end up being a broadly common interest where even fans of rival teams will find plenty to discuss while people who aren’t really fans of any teams won’t.  I’m thinking about going out with a group of people from work — people I’m friendly with but don’t (voluntarily) hang out with all the time.  I’d still like to be able to socialize with them normally and not feel like an outcast because I really don’t have any opinion on the NFL draft.

            I also had a group of housemates who were very into sports.  Any one of them alone I could find plenty of non-sports stuff to talk to them about — they were all interesting dudes in their own right.  But when we were hanging out in the common space there was always a game on TV, on three different laptops, and most of the conversation revolved around sports.

            Again, if you’re already fluent in the language of sports fandom then there’s a good chance you just don’t realize how socially isolating it can be not to be particularly interested in them.  I read CBSD as lamenting that fact, not shitting on sports or fandom in general.

      2.  He wished he cared for sports so he could have a better social life.
        Many ‘sports watchers’ are like you are here.

        1. Thank you, that is exactly what I was saying.  I work at a hospital (medical research).  Everyone is obsessed with sports… it matters not what they do for a living from secretary up to MD, they all talk about sports.

          1. Give me a break.

            “I wish I cared what all of you (anecdotal) losers are so obsessed with, but I find it so beneath me and completely uninteresting. Oh and none of you even play sports either!?” 

            Yes, very nice, and not smug at all.

            I like SciFi too, but I don’t create it or act in it for a living, or dress like it for fun. Although I respect that it’s fun for those that do.

    2. You know how a butterfly flapping its wings in the Amazon rainforest can cause a Canadian train to derail?

      Sports fans are acutely aware of chaos theory and often attempt to use it to our team’s advantage. 

      1.  Of course!

        I’ve been a Steelers fan since childhood, but can’t even walk into a room where the game is playing on TV. If I do, they choke by the end of the season.

        Believe me, it’s harder that it seems, especially when you don’t have TV Guide around to check listings before turning the set on.

        1. Watching the women’s World Cup soccer final, in which the U.S. was playing Japan, while the U.S. was ahead I said to my mother, “All they need to do now is just hold onto that lead.”

          Still kicking myself over that.

      2. Mets fans flapping their wings.  Trains going off tracks.  Yes, I see the connection.

        Maybe Mets fans should stop doing whatever it is they’re doing.

    3. Just remember, if you think obsessively about a sports team, remember every obscure detail, and imagine you have some particular connection to them, you’re cool!

      Do it with a fictional character, and you’re an uncool fanboy/girl!  And if they’re science fictional, it’s even worse! 

      1. What you two are doing is essentially the same as commenters going into a steampunk, “Makers”, Comic-Con, video game, scifi show, or whatever related Boing Boing post and trying insult fans there for being too into it, or enjoying it all. Bravo……..

        I also love the notion that having a nerdy interest in baseball makes you “cool” in society eyes at large……THAT is funny..

        Not only that, but it’s the opening of the season, so this comic was probably only written with that once a year, special occasion in mind.

        1. I think you’re reading a bit too much into at least my message.

          I’m saying “they’re the same”.  I don’t look down on them… I don’t GET it, mind you, it’s not my thing, but I don’t have a problem with others enjoying it.  I do have a problem when society approves of one and mocks the other.

          Perhaps ‘cool’ is a little much, but “socially acceptable and, at low levels, almost expected” seems pretty accurate.  Maybe it’s just my area, but living in Toronto having absolutely no interest in hockey has gotten me some weird looks.  I’ve had complete strangers suggesting that I join them in rooting for the Leafs and look at me with derision when I don’t give a damn who wins. I’ve never had a complete stranger make sure I was pumped and ready for the premiere of Game of Thrones.

          1.  That’s funny, because for me social media and real life interaction is entirely awash with GoT, Walking Dead, Downton Abbey, etc. etc. “OMG!!!” discussions while about 5 of us (out of hundreds friends/acquaintances) make subtle wink wink messages about baseball to each other…

            I can’t imagine the insanity of hockey culture in Canada so I’ll grant you that. Fair enough. Seems comparable to Southern U.S. and college football.

          2. I can’t imagine the insanity of hockey culture in Canada so I’ll grant you that.

            Canada? Try New England. Canadian fanatics are at least polite.

          3. But social networks are people already in your social group, aren’t they?  Sure, maybe your group isn’t particularly into sports and talk freely about fannish things because they know it’s acceptable among their group.  And similarly among friends.  But I rarely see people discussing them with strangers and just assuming you’re with them.

            The demographics are shifting, and geeky stuff gets more respect than it did in the past, but I think being a sports fan is way more respected in our culture. 

            Talk to me how put-upon sports fans are compared to other fandoms when every news broadcast has a regular section devoted to recapping the events of whatever hot SF show was on the night before, or even a weekly “what’s new in comics” segment!  :)

          4. I think you guys need to get new friends or stop hanging out in bro sports bars if it’s really that tough for you. I don’t find baseball fandom so threatening that I feel the need to attack it in a pretty lighthearted comic about a kid being superstitious…….

    4. I’m pretty uninterested in the tribalistic jingoism of team sports and the Olympics myself, but I definitely get a kick out of cycling, motorsports, skiing… anything that involves speed, skill and danger.

      You might want to check out the Isle of Man TT one of these days; this motorbike event held on public roads is pretty much the pinnacle of testosterone on the ragged edge. It has exceptional coverage, featuring high-speed cameras dissecting hair-raising cornering over bumpy, undulating roads… it’s pure awesome.

  4. The strange thing about this particular comic is that in order to have kinetic body referents, the subject must have actively participated in the sport in question.  If we take Louis’ mother at her word, which I see no reason to not, then he never goes outside, so cannot have played baseball.  I’m sorry to conclude that Mr. Bolling’s psycho-motor consultant has steered him wrong.

    1.  Monkey see, monkey do.  I’ve never played baseball (literally never played baseball) but I can pantomime pitching, batting, catching, fielding, and running bases.  It’s really not as hard as you make it out to be.

  5. I’m like this when I read, yelling at the characters, throwing the book on the floor and stomping around the house.

      1. There, I yell at the librarians.  Why is the book listed in your online catalog if it’s been missing since 1991?  What do you mean you haven’t done an inventory since the 1950s?

  6. Well I usually enjoy Tom the dancing bug but……I really don’t get this.  Maybe you have to be a fan of sports?  I just don’t understand where the humor is.  Or even what the point of the strip was. 

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