A clean, well-lit place to vent
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The pair of strips that ran July 18 and 19 just epitomize Doonesbury -- this is GBT at his best. The currents and counter-currents eddying around these catch with gentle humor and irony our current national malaise. As an American worker -- though much older and more level-headed than Jeff -- I can sympathize whole-heartedly with his yearning to break out of the doldrums we routinely have to put up with; yet he is under no illusions about what is driving the current fiasco in Washington. These strips are masterpieces: from the not-so-hip ring tone to the amazing layers of significance behind "Arab autumn"; from MacDonalds as the emblem for America's cluelessness to Jeff's clientele's complete understanding of what America seems to stand for now. And all woven together with such seeming effortlessness!
I read today's strip -- fantasy Red Rascal alter ego devolving to Jeff killing time at laptop devolving to Dad asking if he's heard from McDonald's yet -- to my 24-year-old daughter who's home for a visit. She is a bright college graduate now in her second year as a Starbucks barista earning <$10/hour (plus benefits, which is why people work there), and she so got the punch line that she went directly to her laptop and caught up on the key story lines of your strip. So you have a new fan. Thank you for summing up modern life so succinctly, from so many real points of view.
Following the high tragedy of Ray Hightower with the low comedy of the Red Rascal an almost Shakespearean dramatic device. (Shades of the drunken porter scene in Macbeth!) Once again, well done, GBT.
I grew up near Fort Drum. A brother who still lives up there used to drive taxi. He told me stories. I find Ray's situation with the truck completely credible. He's just lucky he parked it in a pond and not the Black River (level four to six rapids, last I knew).
I had to comment on Ray's confusion. Sometimes it's hard to say if I'm on foot or horseback. In addition to having to deal with the aftermath of 5-minute patrols I hope he doesn't get caught up in the UCMJ and find that he's AWOL from Drum. 300 miles is a serious drop-out.
It is interesting and sad to see how Ray, whom we are used to seeing as a powerful figure in full combat gear, has become so diminished in appearance, almost pathetic, now that he is out of his conditioned circumstance.
Ah. Ray's eating the pancakes. Good.
Your strip continues to shock and awe and inspire new expressions of fandom! I began reading Doonesbury in the middle 1980s, and in the 1990s began purchasing as many collections as I could, to fill in my reading gaps. With this website, I never have to miss an installment. May your pen never be put down!
Nice to see, after 40 years, that Doonesbury continues to offer the most withering satire and most resilient humanity of all sequential literature. The ongoing tableau of B.D., his friends and family continues to be among the high points of the series; telling tales about soldiers and their world that much of the world-at-large still refuses to see. In this most essential of comix, here is a necessary tale; never needing to be told more than right now.
Please don't kill Ray!
With the current storyline involving Ray and B.D. it's timely that a highly-effective treatment for PTSD is in the news. The David Lynch Foundation is providing funding through Operation Warrior Wellness for vets to learn Transcendental Meditation (TM). A recent study by Dr. Norman Rosenthal, who discovered and developed the treatment for SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder), showed a 50% reduction in PTSD symptoms after only 8 weeks of meditation. There is a non-pharmaceutical alternative available! Maybe Ray can learn TM and help himself and the thousands of vets who read your amazing strip.
I just want to point out that in the current Straw Poll on gay marriage, option A -- "It should be an inalienable right to pledge your troth and say 'I do' with whomever you choose. America is a work in progress, and for me, all progressive steps toward equality work.' -- is literally off the chart. Way to go, Doonesbury readers!
"I'll put her away." About time!
Right on, as usual. Erie thing, that perimeter concept. I was never in 'Nam or in an official land battle, but where I was serving, we got regular 'contact' with indigenous peoples. Nothing serious; shot at (heard shots, assumed the worst, correctly as it happened.) foiled a robbery of the base hotel, IED'd, blown up, nearly blown up again. Security force for EODs, job hazard. No purple nurple or nothing, just base security forces in contact with local criminal elements. At least that's the official line. Just telling the tale, though, makes me remember why I had, in my head, a perimeter too.
Today's strip would be so funny if it wasn't so real! Thank goodness for the B.D.'s of the world.
Ray needs a break, I hope he can calm down someday. Thanks for making us all think about these somber and painful effects of war. How you do it and make us laugh at the same time is true brilliance.
Very good! The schism between Ray and the politics that made him the liability he now, so obviously, is. When I see how you handle the sensitivity and the humor of Ray's 'whacked-out' state, "Reload, America!" by Caribou Barbie is the topper. I'll bet Ray was already reloading in his sleep.
If I know of anyone who just got back (and I do) I allow about eighteen months of risky behavior. Drinking, drugging, fast cars, boats and bikes, extreme sports, and a few questionable injuries -- all of it par for the course. Man! I wish there was a house like B.D.'s to go to when I got back (way back). Folks would ask, "Did you kill anybody? What did it feel like?" You can imagine. It was a very different time. When I got back, I went to Canada and told everyone I was Irish. At least that covered the drinking. Thank you for the patient and charitable depiction of Ray. Good home life, no matter how aggregated, works wonders when a man comes home. Less-welcomed men had definitely lesser outcomes. Props!!!
Today's strip on "alternate theories" to evolution was one of the funniest I've read -- and I have read them since my own high school days. I laugh every time I think about it. Laugh until I cry, that is.
It was the unicorns that Moses forgot. The dinosaurs had already been smote by that time for eating apples and supporting gay marriage. They got what they deserved.
I am offended by today's cartoon ridiculing Creation Science. You have a wonderful venue in which to promote God. Please don't ridicule him. That's probably not a good idea.