Blowback

Blowback

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.

  • WELCOME

    Victor Field | London, ENGLAND | December 08, 2013

    Between the colonel and her dad, it must be a category 12 storm inside Melanie. Welcome to the military, indeed.

  • BETTER

    Mark | Westchester, NY | December 07, 2013

    I just want to say how glad I am that GBT is back from hiatus. My mornings feel complete again and my coffee somehow tastes better..

  • FUN

    Margaret Delgatty | Vancouver, CANADA | December 06, 2013

    It is going to be sooooo much fun watching those kids grow up...!

  • WIDESPREAD PRACTICE

    Jean | Boston, MA | December 06, 2013

    Alex seems to be about to exemplify the widespread practice of hiring the person she is most similar to (a young white woman with a STEM PhD), regardless of level of expertise for the job at hand.

  • A COMMON CHOICE

    S.R.F. | Boston, MA | December 06, 2013

    Alex said she is keeping her job because of its "good insurance." That's a common choice for one member of a married couple, and as a life-long single I've made it myself many times. But I thought Obamacare would end that calculus. Expansive, ambitious Alex could do a lot better financially by hiring herself out as a nerd-on-call, and she'd be able to handle insecurity. Or does caution come along with motherhood?

  • STATE OF AFFAIRS

    Thomas | St. Joseph, MI | December 05, 2013

    Oh, the state of affairs in the higher-level science and engineering fields. We say college for all, and the post-docs need the jobs or are struggling to create a full-time position with adjunct teaching or nanny positions. Today's strip was one of the best for us career education types. "My kid will go to college" but my plumber will earn more, and likely have job security.

  • LIKE

    Jonathan | Philadelphia, PA | December 05, 2013

    Today's strip shows why so many Ph.D.s who are in relatively low-paying jobs with little job security, but work in their fields (I'm thinking of non-tenure-track professors, but there are plenty of others), consider themselves "lucky." I laughed. I cried. I posted today's strip on Facebook, where my Ph.D. friends "like" it.

  • COLLEGE DEGREES

    Allie | Gettysburg, PA | December 05, 2013

    I can't tell you how many un- and under-employed people I know who also have college degrees. But when I was a student, my parents wouldn't let me attend vocational school because it didn't include college track academics, and when I was a teacher, the vocational schools were the dumping grounds for "problem" children. Reading today's strip reminds me of what Mike Rowe has to say on the subject of "dirty jobs."

  • THE PRIZE

    Tracy Novak | Nashville, TN | December 05, 2013

    I hope we can all agree that Uncle Duke wins the prize for worst parenting.

  • MANY DECISIONS

    Louise | Fort Collins, CO | December 05, 2013

    It's interesting that in BLOWBACK Alex is being pinpointed as the one "abandoning" the twins, as she is just one of two parents. Leo hasn't been accused. At any rate, there are many ways to be a good parent and many decisions to make that are unique to each family. Our decision and privilege to share a part-time nanny with a neighboring family turned out wonderfully, whereas my sister and her spouse decided to tag team with staggering work shifts, and that worked well for them. My other sister was a stay at home mom in a country with universal healthcare and paternity leave. Thankfully, all our kids are thriving and feel loved. For some, the grandparents' involvement is a blessing, but for others it isn't a desirable arrangement for any number of reasons. Alex has somehow landed a waitress job with insurance (unheard of in my day waiting tables!) and she and Leo have their reasons for not employing Mike and Kim as babysitters (it wasn't clear that was their intention anyway, even in buying the condo). Parenting is laden with tough and personal decisions with no one right answer. The best we can do is root for every mother and father and push for family-friendly legislation.

  • NOT WANTING TO LAUGH

    Gary Huckabone | Bozeman, MT | December 05, 2013

    Sometimes (like today) I find myself laughing but not wanting to laugh. GBT puts the satire out there ("...PhD in microbiology...") and it's just pathetically funny.

  • ALEX AND TOGGLE

    McAlvie | Baltimore, MD | December 05, 2013

    Go, Alex! Everybody picks on her, but in an era when graduates are mooching off mom and dad and living in the basement because the world didn't throw jobs at them when they graduated, Alex and Toggle (he'll always be Toggle to me) are making it work on their own, even if it means waiting tables. I say they are an inspiration.

  • NEVER

    Eugene Palmer | Kentfield, CA | December 04, 2013

    A mug of coffee should never be allowed on top of a soundboard...

  • HATIN'

    Martin Snapp | Berkeley, CA | December 04, 2013

    I don't know why people are hatin' on Alex. And on Joanie. Joanie did what she had to do. (If you weren't alive in the early '70s, you wouldn't understand.) Just because Alex has admitted that she needs a little help doesn't make her a bad mother.

  • A DIFFERENT ROLE

    Eileen | Paris, FRANCE | December 04, 2013

    Nobody feels quite up to the task of mothering, and I don't see that Alex is abandoning anybody engaging help with it. I had the incredible good luck of having a live-in nanny the first seven years of my children's life (also a part-time live-in sister and a live-in husband). The neighbors called the sitter their "other mother." They've recently been to visit her in Spain with my (our) three grandsons, and her reactions to all of them couldn't be more adorably opinionated. She's a lifelong blessing for them. I love my weekend grandmothering, but I've come round to agreeing that it's better for the grandparents not to be the sitter. It's quite a different rôle.

  • UNKNOWN

    Tim Shephard | Gibsons, CANADA | December 03, 2013

    I really don't get why Alex would recruit an unknown nanny with unknown morals and ethics after rebuffing her dad and Kim. Does she think they're not capable? Of all my friends, the only ones that ever did that are the ones that are estranged from their parents.

  • NANNY

    Sue Lester | Comstock Park, MI | December 03, 2013

    If there's going to be a new nanny character, I hope it's a dudette as cool for Eli and Danny as Zonker was for Sam.

  • AN ACCOMPLISHED WOMAN

    Kathy Wolf | Groton, NY | December 03, 2013

    I find Alex's list of what she would be looking for in a nanny interesting. I was in the same boat 26 years ago, but I was only looking for someone for a few hours, several days a week. I had a Ph.D. and had a certain notion of what an accomplished woman was. The woman I hired to help with my two infants had finished high school and married and had a child immediately. At the point she entered my life she had three children aged three to fifteen. When I interviewed her I found her pleasant and competent -- but not what I would have called "accomplished."

    As I got to know her I found she kept her home beautifully. She decorated it with her craft projects. She had lovely flower gardens. She kept a large and productive vegetable garden from which she preserved food. She did sewing projects to supplement income. She watched school children before and after school. Then she came to my house with her three-year-old. She cared for my babies beautifully, giving me time to sleep or go out to shop (or whatever) by myself. She did my laundry and basic house cleaning. My ideas of an accomplished woman did an about-face.

  • TOGGLE

    Shannon Westrup | Crocker, MO | December 03, 2013

    Toggle is an ornery pup, and a perfect foil for Alex. He just slays me.

  • REALITY

    Benjamin Smeall | Green Bay, WI | December 03, 2013

    I believe the message that Garry Trudeau is trying to convey is that in reality, to be a primary caretaker is more than a full-time job. It's more like a full-time-and-a-half job. As stated in the common expression, "It takes a village to raise a child." Let's face it, there is very little support in today's society for those who are brave enough to nurture a new generation.