A clean, well-lit place to vent
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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!
OH HAPPY DAY
Oh happy day. All eight strips are on the Flashbacks page! Such a small thing, but it always makes for a good start to my day when they are all there! I wish it happened every day.Editor's Note:
Glad you enjoy this time-travel feature. There have been a few additional glitches as a result of our site re-launch, but when one of the windows on the Flashbacks page ("Today's strip -- 5,10,15,20,25,30,35,40,45 years ago") does not display a comic it is usually due to one of the sabbaticals GBT has taken over the years. (The first was from January 1983 through September 1984.) Also, although the daily strip launched on October 26, 1970, Sundays did not begin until March 21, 1971.
This is outrageous!! It's obvious that Berserkistan is a far more important and far more troublesome and hard-to-work-with country than Turkey or Ukraine. And we know Duke's work in lobbying for Berserkistan would have required far more underhanded business and double-crossing military deals, so the fact that Duke is the only one of the three nominees not currently caught up in serious charges is remarkable and clearly proves he deserves the highest honor, The Dickie.
A CANADIAN'S TAKE
I've never heard the song by "the Travis boy," but I'm familiar with a Canadian's take on the subject. "We got a thousand points of light for the homeless man. We've got a kinder, gentler machine-gun hand." Neil Young's Keep on Rockin' in the Free World.Editor's Note:
President Bush was referring to Randy Travis's "Point of Light." You can see a live performance, with a glimpse of 41 singing along, here.
My blowback is simply this: I think you should get rid of the Blowback section and bring back Today's Video (or This Week's Video, if time constraints won't allow a video every day). Our society is overrun with comment sections and social media posts. Why? All they do is provide more platforms for toxicity. In a more perfect society, perhaps comment sections would elevate to the level of discourse originally envisioned by Tim Berners-Lee. Unfortunately, we are not that society.
The video section was awesome; it opened up the world! I would bet good money that folks frequently saw things in those videos that they had never seen or heard before. I know I did. I cannot say the same for Blowback.
Roland. Get real, man. You know red lines seldom work even if they are thin. Ya got to follow up on Nancy Pelosi's observation -- the beaded curtain idea. A beaded curtain can be very effective, especially if a huge Punjab-type character stands in front of it. A lot of people are saying.