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IMHO, as an open metaphor, the panels of Jeff and Zipper represent the need for 21st century humans to have someone who will stand beside them even while they are busy dealing with the communication necessities of life. The best friends are those who remain friends even when you don't talk to them for long periods of time. Pretty clear to see how a college roommate fits that bill.
Today's strip clarifies the situation: Jeff and Zipper are talking to each other via mobile even though they are seated just an arm's length apart. An exaggeration of today's thumb-tribes, perhaps, but a thought-provoking one, as BLOWBACK has proven. A couple of predictions: In the near future, schools will teach classes in personal interaction, where kids can practice holding a conversation. And there will be a resurgence in old-style board games and pencil-and-paper games for people to learn to reconnect with each other.
After reading all the recent BLOWBACK posts I have to tell you my Sainted BF and I have spent many a weeknight evening snuggled up in bed, him roleplaying and/or on Facebook with his netbook, me on Facebook and/or a puzzle game on the laptop. Every now and then, we'd send each other hearts via FB chat. Every bit as cozy as spending an evening reading separate books together! That said, if ever I have a classroom of my own again, I intend to set up a signal jammer. It's one thing to read in bed, and another to do so under the desk.
Forty years without a fart joke, and now this.
I saw today's and yesterday's strips differently than Rev. Faser (in his "IN A CAFE" post). With my teen and young adult children in mind, I saw the guys so disracted by the non-stop texting with others that they had completely tuned each other out. Either way, it's the era of anti-social media!
Two friends meet. At last a Doonesbury strip that my 12-year-old USA-educated daughter and I both laughed at and understood!
Deja vu all over again. I had to hit yesterday's strip to make sure that today's wasn't exactly the same. I text a lot with my daughter and grandson, but they're quite remote and never sitting at the table with me. My wife and I, however, have exchanged emails at 10 feet. It's called communication, right?
It's interesting that the author of the "IN A CAFE" post had a completely different interpretation of yesterday's strip than either my wife or me. He thought Jeff and Zipper were texting one another. I inferred that neither could remember the other's name, and each was searching for a clue on his pocket pal. My wife concluded that neither had anything to say to the other, so they each turned to their pocked pal. All three of us thought it was funny. Perhaps that makes it the perfect strip.
I hope that Doonesbury, in the person of intrepid Tweeter/reporter Roland Hedley, is headed for Egypt. If so, he'd better hurry. The time is now.
Hmmmm. From what I've observed with today's youngens, I don't believe that Jeff and Zipper are continuing their conversation via text -- more than likely they're both engrossed in their own separate corners of the socialmediaverse, hanging out with each other only by physical proximity. The event of their meeting might be indicated on Twitter, but only by one of them (probably Zipper since he's more outgoing).
Oh boy, more of Garry Trudeau making fun of Generation Y and their toys. I just pray that the texting bashing is just for today's strip, and that we'll be getting Zipper (in a bit of character growth) reducing Jeff to tears as he describes, with bullet-point precision one would never expect from such a major slacker, why Jeff sucks as a human being via the Red Rascal scam, and why he needs to end it ASAP and grow the f*** up. 'Cause seriously, I find it hard to stomach that Trudeau is shocked at Alex's popularity and namechecks her mother as reason one why we shouldn't care for her. But Jeff and his abominable Red Rascal scam and Zipper and his vile treatment of Toggle, are ignored and (in Jeff's case) treated as something good that we should root for. Even though neither figure has the inherent charisma or crazy awesome charm that made Duke such a popular character in terms of a villainous protagonist.
Interesting to note in today's strip how the people and buildings in the background, real at first, dissolve by stages into a generic blur as these kids sink their attention into The Cloud. (And who's to say they're even texting each other?)
Today's strip was spot on! This is the world we live in today, where people sit next to one another, talk to one another (via text), and don't even look each other in the eye. Maybe it's just that I am an older generation, but there is something so wrong with that picture -- and yet, it nails the behavior of the times.
I'm sorry to see that you ended the firearms series so soon. There must be several more weeks of material there. You haven't even touched on assault weapons yet!
Yes, the handheld device craze is very sad, but even moreso for the young crowd, like highschoolers and under. They are not learning how to socialize except at a distance and in Martian slang. And what else is it doing to brain development?
Are Zipper and Jeff even conversing? Could it be that the only thing they are sharing is the same physical space? I figured they were just off in their own worlds, surfing the net, or whatever...and that's the irony.
Today's strip is brilliant! Two (supposed) adults, and close friends at that, meet each other in a cafe after one has been overseas for a significant length of time. Nevertheless, their "conversation" is conducted by texting! It may be my "boomer" hubris, but I am reminded of Paul Simon's line about "People talking without speaking, people hearing without listening."
I don't find self-centeredness any more endearing in Alex than it's been in J.J. Planning a wedding without even asking her intended about it -- and she doesn't see that she's following in her mother's faiied footsteps.
If you were to apply "Young's Logic" to our foreign policy, then every country would have nukes.
Great theme this week -- and what incredible material is being handed to all our satirists, cartoonists and stand-ups. Thanks for giving people a chance to reflect on our increasingly bizarre culture.