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I'm hoping Mark will become a Big Brother for some young boy who needs exactly the kind of camaraderie and encouragement he's talking about.
I make it a point to read the Flashbacks section every day, partly for nostalgia, but also for for the weirdly prophetic strips from years past. The one from 10 years ago today is scary: Boopsie and B.D., commenting that "a whole new generation of madmen" "will "pay any price to destroy us." This in a strip that appeared just three weeks before 9/11.
Someone round about the age of 60 should know better than to call a friend cross-country in the middle watches of the night. For any reason. Still -- "She's more up on the gay stuff"? Depth in characterization can be recognized by the author's willingness to have a protagonist sometimes be a total d*bag.
What the what? Did Mark's hair go white after he heard about Michele Bachmann's views on homosexuality?
As outrageous as the extreme distribution of wealth is, the real crime to me is that in a country that professes one man/one vote the 400 have more political power as well.
The current Straw Poll seems to call for an Option D: All of the Above.
So who will present the greater challenge to the gorgeous and talented Becca Bickle -- the self-deluded psychopath or the self-deluded Peter Pan? Becca's had a good run so far. I look for it to continue.
Today's "400 families" strip is really just an embellishment on last Sunday's about how even college grads are these days not trained to think critically. Before you can solve a problem, or even be outraged by it, you first have to recognize that it is a problem, and not let the "Invisible Hand" folks do the math for you. How ironic that it is Zipper who (at least momentarily) feels a pang of that outrage.
Today's Sunday strip aptly summed up the current American crisis in a fit of frenzied discovery, met by a sigh of complacent ignorance. Calm wisdom and proper action still lurk in the open with the general wellbeing, all waiting to be accomplished...
I wonder when Zipper's eyes will transform from doe-eyed wonder to the world-weary resignation of the other characters.
I like the "trust the invisible hand" being uttered by someone lounging supine in the sunshine -- I've often thought this faith in free markets, to be born of intellectual sloth, complacency, a disabling fear of complexity and of the painstaking thinking-through of muddy realities and detailed policies and risks, needed to run a successful mixed economy. In the UK we call its extreme adherents "headbangers."
I laughed out loud today -- my first laugh of a dreary day -- when Becca had to wrap up her interview with Trff Bmzklfrpz since her "two o'clock" was due, and who do we see over her shoulder for his appointment but the Red Rascal. Love GBT's plotting.
The gorgeous Becca Bickle is perfect, feeling no threat whatever from the drooling Trff's mono-brained bluntness. Which might explain burkas in his country, or perhaps burkas caused him. Interesting planet, this. I'm in communications and media studies. I say Garry Trudeau with a dedicated channel is one of the things about the place that makes me feel okay.
Trff reminds me of a chef I used to work for. His food wasn't that bad, but he used to insult the customers, the staff, God. But then he got a waitress who was totally immune to any and all verbal assaults. Eventually the poor man was reduced to saying 'please' and 'thank you'. I think they got married.
I'm afraid I have to agree that the Trff character is "lewd, crude and contributes nothing." He's got to be the first character that's made me want Trudeau to move on -- fast! At the same time I know it takes as much skill and imagination to create a Trff as it does an Alex. So I'll keep watching and wondering where this will lead.
I'm sorry, but Trff is a brilliant character. Look at today's strip. We have a young woman at a major publishing house who is thrilled, thrilled, to be working with him. It is the perfect criticism of America's two-facedness: Coddle a genocidal thug who murdered untold numbers, especially when a best-seller could be the result? Sure can! Trff will do swell in America. Why? Because he can make a lot of people a lot of money. And isn't that all that matters?
Becca Bickle is amazing! The ability to browse the Doonesbury archives allows us to watch the development of GBT's incredible skill to the point where he can introduce a full-blooded human character in four frames. I can hear her bracelets jingle and feel the energy in the room.
One thing the Trff character has going for him, he makes Duke look like a (marginally) nice guy. Duke is having to deal with someone more obnoxious than he is!
Now I know who Trff reminds me of -- the late Art Hoppe's character the Ratt of Phynkia. His sand-swept, nuclear-weapons-equipped satrapy was located in the Greater Lesser Antilles Desert, IIRC.
I've enjoyed Doonesbury for many years. Yesterday's strip has Trff sad about a lost love, a female shot putter. In John LeCarre's book The Spy Who Came In From The Cold the lead character, Leamas, states that after he is paid for his treason he will "settle down with a flaxen haired shot putter." The similarity struck me.