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Heeeeewack! I call shotgun, Zonker! You wax the boards and I'll wax the car. Malibu is calling!
The poll on what pleases me most about OBL's demise is missing an option D: "Nothing!" I served three tours in Vietnam, I was a rifleman in the Infantry. I have seen plenty of dead human beings. Death, even when it comes to find a Saddam, a Hitler, a Stalin, is not a joyous thing. When you rejoice in the demise of a fellow human, you are rejoicing in the demise of your own humanity. Killing might be necessary, gloating about is not.
No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main. If a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe is the less. -- John Donne
Thank goodness. After Monday I feared a week on suicide prevention: inherently not funny. The rapture: funny. If it is supposed to happen on Saturday, given the neighborhood I live in, I won't know about it until Monday.
The Rapture strips yesterday and today prompted me to check out Family Radio Worldwide's web site. The homepage is dominated by confident predictions of the Rapture on 21 May 2011 (four days left), but FR Worldwide is still accepting on-line donations. Unless Harold Campbell and his followers have found a way to take it with them, this sounds like a bad case of cognitive dissonance.
I wonder if Zonker's neighbor will want his weed-whacker back when he gets "left behind" this weekend?
A day of head scratching, and finally... I't's the Rapture, isn't it!
Ray does have it right. I didn't want to leave Viet Nam in 69 but was caught in the drawdown there. After that I thought world peace had come, and got out of the Corps. When Cambodia looked like it was blowing up I ran to the recruiting station lickity split. Three months before the end of my enlistment, sanity returned, I got out, and have been dealing with the remnants of my mind since.
Thank you for being so straightforward with Ray. He is an excellent soldier. I can't fault his thinking. Really, I can't. We had guys stand up in the middle of a firefight. Sometimes, just screaming and shooting and charging the enemy position. Noticeable result; one dead soldier, with multiple gunshot wounds, that doesn't have to feel the pain any more... It's just one of those terrible things about war fighting; there's nobody around to tell you when it's over. It's never over, it just gets personal. Ray really needs to de-stress in country. He needs to feel secure. He needs to feel understood. If he's to be discharged, he deserves a soft de-militarization. I sure hope they cut out that PTSD/Personality trait type discharge. It's not hard to figure out. You dip (or sometimes steep) people in crazy, they're going to take a little bit home with them.
Wanted to add my voice to the chorus. I worked at a VA Medical Center for twenty four years, and saw Gulf War I vets come home; then, later, the Forever War vets. It still amazes me how completely many people in this nation shield their eyes from the outcome of the battles fought in their name. One of my favorite lines to use when issuing a piece of much-needed medical equipment was, "Nobody seemed to care how much it cost to send you into combat; I'm not bothered by how much this is costing now."
After seeing the official video for "Friday," all I can say bout the Red Rascal is this: He is one merciless SOB. I pray I never hear that song again. It is the worst ode to infantilization I've ever heard. I'm amazed I survived listening to it once.
Today's strip was really powerful. It accomplished in four panels what it took The Hurt Locker two-plus hours to do. Great storyline.
I'm probably one of the few who weren't surprised that Ray got injured, even less so that he's going to get sent home. I get the feeling he's going to have a harder time adjusting than B.D. or Toggle.
I just noticed that the "enlarge" feature has been restored to the site. I don't know how long it's been back, but I appreciate it. it's a godsend for these 75-year-old eyes. Thank you very much from an old sailor who has been reading your strip from day one.
Just click on the word ENLARGE, right under the strip.
Please bring Ray home, please. He's been there too long and he's earned the right to stop being GT's symbol of the USA. Let him start rebuilding his life with BD's help. I'm certain the rest of the crew can also lend a hand.
How do you do it? How do you address a soul-wrenching issue like battlefield traumatic brain injury and make it poignant and funny at the same time?
Ray is at an intersection and intersections are dangerous. When you tell the soldier, sailor, airman or marine that the show is over, it's a dangerous time. They do desperate things.
War is simple. Life is complex. Makes sense to me. Seems like Ray got it right.
Sometimes I feel helpless in the face of all that has been done in my 52 years of life (so far), supposedly "in my name." The story of Ray brings it home in a way that body counts and patient numbers cannot. Thank you for staying with your work for so long, and sharing your gifts so beautifully.