A clean, well-lit place to vent
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I don't know if I find it more disturbing that I recognize all those drugs Ray gets or that I'm on half of them. I have two observations. First, whoever's giving Ray his "little buddies" needs to do a meds review. Clonapin and Valium are both benzodiazapams, and addictive -- not to be taken together. As to the memory issues, Ambien is in the same class of drugs as Rohypnol the (illegal) date rape drug. It doesn't put you to sleep unless you lay down and close your eyes immediately. Instead, you'll walk around doing your thing for three hours and have almost no recall of it the next day. The effect, in my personal experience, is cumulative. If Ray took all that at once, he'd be another Heath Ledger. Just sayin'.
Ray is breaking my heart. I have students who have to interrupt their education for multiple deployments and are returning from Iraq and Afghanistan depressed, angry, and, though I don't ask, probably on meds. Thanks for taking time to call attention to the Rays. These men and women are going to be some time healing.
I never thought I'd have something in common with Toggle. I was on a couple of scholarships and work/study as an undergraduate in a small, inexpensive-but-good college in Alabama (yes we do have good schools here!), so cutting class for me was throwing money away. I had two roommates: my sister, who understood and did likewise, and our friend, who thought we both were crazy. The only class I cut was the day after a huge party when I was a senior and got totally wasted, unable to move the next day. (Only time that happened, by the way.) It kills me to see kids wasting opportunities that others work their butts off to get.
To be fair to Alex, the immense pressure she was under at MIT means that a little escape, however illusory, was neccessary for her sanity. I worry about Toggle (as much as one can about a cartoon character): the pressure on him to perform is also immense, mostly self-inflicted. He needs to take time out, enjoy. The thrill of an illegitimate escape. Otherwise, he'll be facing that wall at 45/50 and burn out.
It is touching to see Toggle determinedly pursuing his college education despite the brain damage, speech impediment, and only one eye. It would be easy for him to play the victim card, or just give up and enjoy a haze of prescription drugs. I see homeless vets every day with less damage than Toggle begging on the streets of Washington, DC. The kid has guts.
I'm loving today's snow day strip -- Toggle is a good influence on Alex.
If we take a survey of Doonesbury at present -- young lovers we all cheer for through scenarios that smack of the absurdity of everyday life, young doofuses dropping head-first into a civil war, the hard voice of experience working again and again to bring his buddies home from the battlefield, and (a guilty pleasure of mine) Duke and Son living it up all wrong -- I think we're looking at a high watermark for the strip. A whole lot's going on, and it's all fantastic. Keep up the good work, good Sir.
Good for Toggle, to educate others on the real value of an education. Like many, many others I juggled my other adult responsibilities to be able to attend classes, and I did not like weather forced cancellations. That would disrupt my schedules. Good going, Toggle!
Today's strip about college class time being precious was superlative. Thank you.
So Ray's in the Hurt Locker. I hope B.D. eventually takes him over to the Vet Center to meet Elias.
Oh Ray, get thee to a Vet Center! It's so nice to see B.D. being there for him though. First Mel, now Ray -- he's really developing, sans helmet and leg.
It is great to see B.D. being there for Ray. GBT has succeeded here the way Norman Lear and Carroll O'Connor succeeded with Archie Bunker -- and beyond. I'm totally progressive, but I love B.D.
Love the series on Ray and his "addiction." Trust GBT to deal with a real issue that we all try to ignore. These warriors go and put themselves in a high-stress violent situation year after year and we're surprised that they can't just plug right back in to civilian life? We owe them big time, including help on this.
It seems Ray's five tours of duty have taken their emotional toll on him and he's not adapting well to being back. He needs some readjustment help, as with so many real soldiers who have seen too much conflict and spent too many tense moments feeling targeted.
A guy going back for his sixth tour attacks a guy who squinted at him. This isn't going to be fun.
I've read every single posting to The Sandbox since its inception in October 2006 (thanks for this invaluable education!) and that is the only reason I understand B.D.'s willingness to leave Boopsie in the middle of ...the night, just to grab a beer with Ray. There's nothing like Doonesbury to give you a perspective on other lives.
I'm worried for Ray. My first thought wasn't that the other guy must have deserved it, I thought it was time to get Ray some help because he's been on too many tours. Thank goodness B.D. is there for him. Watching B.D. get Ray to see he has a mental health problem that cannot be ignored would resonate with so many families...
Today's strip is hilarious. That is so like the compartmentalized brain of a guy. Thanks!
Saved by his own hubris? A guy as cool, calm and collected as Ray would only lose it in a bar because of one thing -- a brash, mouthy contractor-type, someone whose braggadocio would extend to putting down regular grunts like Ray's brothers-in-arms. Someone just like Jeff!! Perhaps this is how the Red Rascal will be saved from a fate worse than death in Berzerkistan.
I grew up next to Fort Drum, back when it was Camp Drum, and remember well when the Tenth Mountain Division was permanently stationed there. My favorite conversation with the guys went like this: Me: "Where are you from?" Him: "Texas." (or South Carolina, or Missouri...) Me: "So how do you like the snow?" (This in November) Him: "I love it!" Me, smiling: "We'll talk again in March." That region averages ten feet of snow a year. I'll also note that the locals love the folks from Drum. It's a good fit. And I wish Ray luck getting up there this time of year. The snow belt is an evil stretch between Watertown and Syracuse, and you couldn't pay me to fly there in the winter.