A clean, well-lit place to vent
Please feel free to contribute to this frequently-updated forum, which posts selected commentary on our favorite comic strip. If you’d like your critique to be posted, please note that civility, if not approbation, counts. Click here to submit a comment.
Re today's strip: I used to have a girlfriend who really hated it when I spent my weekends playing the game Left 4 Dead. But we finally broke up because she spent all her weekends playing Halo.
Love the Black Ops parody -- so true! I remember when Doom came out, most everyone played but then most of the women dropped out. I do not believe today's strip is sexist; obviously you do great homework, prep and back-checking, otherwise you would not know! Congrats on 4-0. Love the book and all your good works!
This 68 y/o found Doonesbury waaaay back last century, somewhere in the mid 1960s. I was in the army at the time and not only felt kinship w/B.D. and Phred and the guys, but kind of emulated some of the behaviors in a passive-aggressive sort of way. I have been an ardent follower ever since, and appreciate the little differences -- read: talking bed bugs -- from the reality of the difficulties of the current times. Keep the talking bugs, and anything else your wild but wonderful imagination can think of, coming. They are a good break from the war strips. BTW, as a licensed professional, I've used your PTSD strips as training aids when I work with clients having the same issue. You'd be surprised at how effective a good laugh at reality is toward better mental health. It would be great if you could put together in one book, all of B.D.'s, Mel's, and other Doonesbury characters' experiences in their travels from travail to acceptance and healing. I would really love to have such a volume.
To fight zombies or sexism? Today's strip is priceless, and works on so many levels! It has men who are fighting a real war obsessed with a war game, no doubt providing them with a welcome escape from reality and reminding us that most of the troops are very young. The strip also manages to cast an eye towards gender differences and, I think, pokes a little gentle fun at both genders. Either fewer women play war games or, if they do, they must be multi-tasking, since they are carrying on with their jobs, while men are single-task achievers? However, the guy accepts Mel's criticism of the situation, immediately labels it sexism and thus something he will deal with, but, hey, one thing at a time - he's already got to sort out those zombies. Thanks for a really good laugh! I'm going back to re-read the strip for the umpteenth time.
Today's strip has Melissa claiming sexism because the female soldiers are working while the males are playing Black Ops. With all due respect, this premise itself is sexist. Why are the males the only ones interested in playing the game? There are female gamers, and some are in the military! I am a female veteran and a gamer. To have only the males gamers, and only the males slacking, isn't fair to either gender. I certainly appreciate the humor, but if you're supposed to be making a point about sexism, the joke's on you.
First Sergeant: "I can either battle zombies or sexism." I think we should train the zombies to battle the sexist idea that only men are gamers.
Maybe the Red Rascal's greatest feat was slipping out of the comics into the real world.
I started reading with B.D. and Phred as I was preparing to go to Nam in the later part. Listening to stories of grunts returning from over there let me see the parallels between what B.D. and they did. We again see the new war same as the old war with the same problems. Names and faces change but voices remain the same. The hypocrisy of Osama bin Laden saying too much money is wasted on standing armies, when he and his terrorist movement is the cause of the need for armies and security. In a modern world he is a relic, so the cycle continues until the exhaustion of men and material is complete. Sorkl Razil is art imitating life. Thanks for 40 years.
I don't know which is worse. All the GI's (mostly guys but not all) or the Federal civilians playing the game this week. The week before Thanksgiving is usually light work, or urgent stuff since the manning dwindles the closer to T-day it gets. I can totally relate to Mel in today's strip!
During the Vietnam era, GIs would go to bars and drink beer and play pinball games to "get away from it all." Now the infinite ways you can access video games results in a virtual non-stop "get away from it all" playing field. I continue to be amazed at the gamers who put these "video games" a priority in their everyday lives! I call them "game zombies." They choose to close out real life and live in that "play" world. Video games are a good healthy pastime, but, as other things in life, do not over-do it!
I couldn't believe the strip today. Hilarious. I am just back from National Guard training in Yakima, Washington where the Soldiers were all playing Black Ops with the hot Nazi Zombie action in the MWR lounge, while I tried to keep up with homework on the barely functioning wifi connection. You must have a direct line into the GI psyche.
All I need to know about the U.S. in a daily strip. Pure magic.
Here in Oz, we're also dealing with the humble bedbug (also with ants, cockroaches, and the occasional plague of locusts). Like everyone else, we're about evenly divided between those who (like Mrs. Doonesbury the elder) regard insect and rodent pests, as a sign of poor domestic hygiene, and those more sensible types who see these uninvited visitors as a necessary fact of life for many people, depending on the climate and geography of the place where you happen to live. Very perceptive, GBT, as always!
If you check out the past 20-30 years of rocker fashion culture, you'll notice that the crucifix was long ago co-opted, especially by Heavy Metal. From hair bands of the 70s to Keith Richards of the Rolling Stones, to even non-metal musicians like Madonna all the way up to the current entertainment product known as Lady GaGa -- all use crosses as a jewelry accessory. Ragging on GT about the reflective aspect of his riffing on reportage unfortunately begs for a bit more of an expanded and, can we say, Christian, attitude. As one swami in my neighborhood in India says, "Hey, it's the Kali Yuga (Age of Darkness and Ignorance). What did you expect?" What we focus our attention on grows. War on Drugs = more drug-related problems. War on Teen Pregnancy = more teen pregnancy. War on Terrorism = you do the math. Let's focus on peace and love, in our hearts, in the home, and in the rest of the world, and see some more of that grow. Thanks to GT for this lifetime of art and humor!
Forty years, huh? Seems like just yesterday I was a cute little Spec. 4 stationed in Germany, buying the Europe Stars & Stripes at the messhall and enjoying Doonesbury on the comics page with my breakfast. Over the years, Doonesbury has changed and improved, but never grew up -- just like me! Keep up the good work! (But please, no more talking bugs. If I want a comic strip with anthropomorphic animals, I'll read Garfield or Get Fuzzy. I read Doonesbury for cutting-edge cultural satire, not talking animals.)
What a great 40 years it's been -- and may there be many, many more. I read you in The Boston Globe for years, but now I have to get my daily fix from the web site, 'cause our local daily is too Libertarian to carry Doonesbury. (Go figure). Thanks for all the great stuff, and for the treasures in the archive!
40 years really? Amazing and wonderful, thanks to your parents for whatever they did to let you be you! Bedbugs -- folks, get some diatomaceous earth and quit whining already. At least they aren't Black Mambas.
Congratulations on 40 years. I saw your interview on "CBS Sunday Morning." It reminded me of why I started reading Doonesbury in the first place -- in 1972 when I was 12. Our paper put Doonesbury on the editorial page instead of with the other comics. I'm not sure I would have been reading the strip all this time if they hadn't.
Doonesbury has been an important part of my life since the early 1970s, longer than almost everyone I know. As a high-school student, I wrote letters to the editor of the newspaper in Midland, MI, to support Doonesbury and Trudeau when others were writing to criticize and to request that the newspaper drop the comic because they called it offensive to local morals. I'm glad that while I lived in Midland, the newspaper continued to print Doonesbury. I've read every Doonesbury strip for years and look forward to reading it every morning. Thank you for the ongoing chronicle of our times.
Ack! Please, no bedbug stuff. People are so freakin' paranoid these days. Every time they see a fly or beetle or insect, they scream "Bed bug!" Please leave the sensationalist junk to the MSM.