A clean, well-lit place to vent
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BACK IN THE DAY
Back in the day when I scraped for food, cadging cigarettes was the only source!
I am so relieved for Mike that although he could only afford to give his daughter a stolen box of paperclips for Christmas, he can still afford to smoke. Things haven't changed much in the years since the strip was first published.
ON TOP OF THINGS
So wonderful how Doonesbury helps me keep on top of things, even if it took me ten minutes to figure out the derivation of "Juuly"...
As a new icon in the Doonesbury world, "Juuly" joins Buttsy, who has been around for 30-odd years as a penetrating critique of Big Tobacco and cigarette marketing. Juuly, at first shot, has a different focus. Although GBT gives a nod to the "Big Cig buyout," he also perpetuates the "addiction model" as representative of the "vape kids." Odd, perhaps, since roughly 30% of all who first try cigarettes, become dependent ("hooked") which leaves the remaining 70% as somehow not representative. It's likely that a popular view of vaping has a similar pattern -- where the behavior of the minority dominates the narrative. Side note: could it be coincidental that in today's 1992 Classic strip Mike shows up to his job-seekers-support-group in a bathrobe, unshaven, holding a cuppa joe and (wait for it) a burning coffin nail?
I remember when my rather moderate daily newspaper, the Journal Gazette of Ft.Wayne, Indiana, put Doonesbury on the editorial page. Considering GBT's ability to puncture ideological balloons, no matter the political stance of whatever person -- well, I thought the strip belonged on that page anyhow. Bear in mind that Indiana was very red regarding the elections of 2016 and 2018. I tend to be more moderate in my beliefs, and voting; while wearing a purple shirt.
Reading the recent comments on the Classic strips, I thought I’d share my two cents. Newer readers may not be aware but, at various times, Doonesbury has been considered so controversial that certain newspaper editors have chosen to banish it from the pages of their papers. Because of this even someone like me, a reader for more years than I care to admit (40), is seeing some of the older strips for the first time. Another odd choice made by some papers was to move the strip from the comics page to the editorial page. Who’da thunk it?Editor's Note:
Many of Doonesbury's most controversial episodes are chronicled in our TIMELINE feature.
GBT, generally at his best when "non-topical," hit a home run with today's Zonker flashback (as perpetual adolescent). It is interesting, however, that Zonker has lately taken a redemptive, entrepreneurial road as a Colorado cannabis producer.
Even more thanks for filling in non-existing memories for me: In 1986, I moved to a country that (gasp) does not have a single newspaper that runs the daily Doonesbury strip. So the Classic strips running now are all new to me!
The Classic strips from the early '90s open up some new ground on my understanding of the Doonesbury universe. While I remember the older material well, I didn't remember B.D.'s shipboard fling, Mike's recognition as a "Point o' Lite," J.J.'s career as an NYC cabbie, or (most recently) Duke's decision to conduct a "hillbilly stocktake" of his business. Thanks for the memories (even those I can't really recall).
I can't stand vocal fry; to me it sounds like a parody of '80s era "Valley Girls," and they were semi-mythical to begin with. I won't let style override content though, and with apologies to Mike, this daily NPR fan doesn't hear it enough to go crazy and shut down one of the few sane sources of talk on the radio today.
PS: I hope the dailies will one day return. I feel like Alex's kids are growing up without us!
Re: Modern language and excess. I used to encourage people to express feelings; now I wish they'd stuff them -- especially the superficial ones. When we experience things that can actually break our hearts, give us joy or lead to awe, there are no longer effective words for them. Everything is Amazing! Every goal is a journey; every pursuit a passion. Every kitten or act of kindness draws tears. I think this started before Trump's claims of the biggest crowd you've ever seen, the best deal in the history of the world, etc., but I'm guessing there's a link in this Age of Excess. Bears investigating, for sure.
So, yeah, I mean, my wife and myself hope the folks at NPR (and so many other outlets) have read today's edition of Doonesbury. Modern language, SAD.
GOOD THING THERE'S YOUTUBE
I had to look "vocal fry" up. I guess it's been too long since I taught high school! It's a good thing there's YouTube, because the written explanations don't help. Back in the day, I loved some of the non-political Doonesbury strips, no matter how bad things got in the real political world. I'll never forget baby Kim's first words, "Big Mac!" One of the lesser disasters of the past two years is that I now resent GBT "wasting" a rare Sunday offering on something that isn't, you know, the shutdown, or Stone's history of dirty tricks.
ALEX AND TOGGLE'S DAUGHTER
"Speech mannerisms" de-volve, ya know? Yeah, no. Ugh.
Reading these Classic cabbie strips makes me wonder if J.J. would be driving an Uber if they were written today...
GBT is at his best when his strips are not "topical" or "current." J.J.'s (mis)adventures as a cabbie will still play decades from now (or maybe not, with the advent of the "self-driving" automobile). One could say that J.J. is pioneering a new kind of "performance art."
Roland says in his most recent tweet about the "Quebecois cartoonist" (as a Canadian that kills me every time :-) ) that he has lost seven pounds. Using the most recent currency conversion rates that is about $9. With Brexit on the horizon, the pound is likely to lose ground, so I suggest he convert to US$ as soon as possible.
J.J.'s adventures as a cabbie are making me laugh. To friends and family I am notorious for getting lost. Some years back, my niece got married in Brooklyn. Thank goodness, the invitation included a map. So my husband told me to take the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway and all would be well.
On the way home, I called and he said, "How lost did you get?"
"Let's say I explored all four compass points pretty thoroughly."
"Mel, cops get lost in Brooklyn."
"At one-thirty in the morning, that is not comforting. No one told me to bear right on the BQE as I left the Battery Tunnel. I ended up on the TriBoro Bridge."
It was almost worth getting lost to hear my born-and-raised-in-New-York husband say, "Oops."
KEEP IT UP
I just want to say that I thoroughly enjoy Doonesbury and have since the first. Keep it up!