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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.

LIZ
Ken Traverse | Billerica, MA | January 19, 2015

If you'd vote for Liz, you must still be smoking Maui Wauwi.

ELIZABETH WARREN
CJG31 | Lombard, IL | January 18, 2015

I think Elizabeth Warren should run for President. She lacks charisma in her speeches, but makes sense all the same. She advocates for the homeless on the street but also for the disaffected behind their computers. I like that she's a she. I like that she has always thought of herself as Native American. I like that she researches her speeches and has taught at Harvard. Hell, been a teacher. I'd vote for her. I can't think of a single reason not to vote for her. Does she hate baseball?

PORTENTOUS
Ray Lampe | Templeton, MA | January 18, 2015

Today's strip is portentous, but sadly unclear of what. Whatever comes to pass, I'm happy to be known as a "Masshole" and a New Englander. A lot of good stuff starts here, as did "Lizzy."

THANKS
David Ferrier | Edmonton, CANADA | January 17, 2015

Thanks for today's Jesse Appell stand-up comedy-in-Chinese video, especially the part about ordering in a restaurant. This is a big problem in New Zealand, where one must never think one's server is one's servant. Starving to death in a restaurant there is a real possibility.

WHY BOTHER?
Josh Barnes | Kyoto, JAPAN | January 17, 2015

Well, if "nerd" and "nurd" are just alternates, as Speak Good English implies [see NURD VS. NERD, below], why bother to change the spelling? My inner geek says that one member of an equivalence class is as good as another. That said, I have a "Nerd Pride" button given to me by one of the greatest nerds of all time, Prof. G.J. Sussman of MIT. And it says "Nerd," not "Nurd."

MIKE'S EYES
Bobbie Herman | Fairfield, CT | January 17, 2015

Mike's eyes changed overnight! What did he and J.J. "talk" about all night to make this happen?

NURD VS. NERD
Lee | Melbourne, AUSTRALIA | January 16, 2015

I've always been fascinated that the original printing of today's strip had J.J. telling Mike she'd initially thought he was a "nurd." This was changed to "nerd" later on. Is "nurd" actually incorrect, or just a less common spelling?  Was GBT under pressure from the powerful Nerd Lobby? Did Pharrell Williams' N.E.R.D. spell it out in too emphatic a fashion? This remains the biggest question facing Doonesbury historians since the disappearance of Mike's sister. Oh yes, Mike, the authorities know about you...

Editor's Note:

 Rather than do serious research on this subject, we are going to refer you to an online source called Speak Good English, which addresses the question in what we hope is a definitive manner here.

UPDATED
Matthew Bond | Nashville, TN | January 16, 2015

I see that today's version of the strip featuring conversation between J.J. and Mike, which originally ran on 9-19-80, updated (corrected) the spelling of "nurd" to "nerd." Good work.

WELCOME
Mebane Lea | Hendersonville, NC | January 16, 2015

I really loved your January 4th strip. The last thing I said prior to leaving for Vietnam was: "I don't think my country and its leaders would send me to a place it didn't want me to go, to do something it didn't want done." And they did. And now I see these vets and I say "Thank you for your service." And I don't say, "I wish the country had never sent you there in the first place because you were nothing more than a pawn in a fool's game and your sacrifice was literally for nothing. You were a patriot in the most profound sense of the word, and the people who sent you were liars and manipulators and purely evil monsters who deserve to burn in hell for all eternity. They destroyed my faith in them and in the country by betraying me and my fellow soldiers, and then again by doing the same thing to you and your brothers (and sisters)."

Sadly, I can't tell them that, because to do so would either enrage them or destroy their faith and make them "uncomfortable, and anxious, and depressed," although many of them are that way already, because they already realize it at a subconscious level. And now, "welcome to my world." It's a tough place, where waking up puts you into a nightmare, where the only viable alternative is to observe what happens and marvel at it, and comment on it as you do. Keep up the good work. You help me stay sane...and alive.

ALPHA HOUSE
Greg L. | Bathurst, AUSTRALIA | January 16, 2015

I really like Doonesbury but have been watching Alpha House lately via my daughter and BitTorrent. It is a really good show. I particularly like the bit where the drones get blown to bits. If Mr. Trudeau has to take time off to make this show it is fine by me. There is so little decent TV around at the moment (or movies) Alpha House really stands out.

MIKE
Brian Harvey | Berkeley, CA | January 15, 2015

Everyone's picking on J.J., but in these 1980 strips I'm struck by how little Mike has changed from his social awkwardness in those first Yale-freshman days.

DISASTER MOVIE
Fiona | North Wales, UK | January 15, 2015

Seeing J.J. and Mike meet for the first time is a bit like watching your very favourite disaster movie. You know what's going to happen, but there is the faintest hope they might not make the same mistake twice.

J.J.
Pete Hogan | Dublin, IRELAND | January 15, 2015

I love J.J. She does not deserve the trials you went on to inflict on her.

NEVER NOTICED
Dane Winberg | Pueblo, CO | January 15, 2015

Oh, look...I never noticed before. Mike had the innocent eyes back then.

ORIGINAL SIN
Alan Richtmyer | Brooklyn, NY | January 14, 2015

"Live in them. This is just borrowed." Mike's original sin.

J.J.'S CHARMS
Jahn Ghalt | Anchorage, AK | January 14, 2015

So! Mike "lives" in leathers!  It's plain that he is not immune to J.J.'s charms -- and is willing to lie through his teeth to impress her.

COOL
Clifton Tinker | San Antonio, TX | January 13, 2015

I just wanted to send you a note of thanks for all your years of Doonesbury. I have followed it almost since the very beginning, and it is my favorite comic strip of all time. Of course, I wish for you to live the life you want, but selfishly I hope you never retire from drawing at least the Sunday strip. In any case, I think that you have contributed greatly to the national discussion of our culture, and I thank you for that. Plus, your graphics keep getting better and more adventuresome in the Sunday strip. Cool.

THE RESULT
Curtis Burga | Mustang, OK | January 12, 2015

Okay, so Mike and J.J. didn't work out in the end, but the result was still Alex!

J.J. MEETS MIKE
Pelly | Chicago, IL | January 12, 2015

J.J. meets Mike? Run away! Run away!

STONER MENTALITY
Tony Phillips | Chicago, IL | January 10, 2015

GBT really nailed stoner mentality with his characterization of Zeke -- a kind of blank numbness of denial, not unlike The Big Lebowski. Since he wrote today's strip, this quality has gradually seeped throughout the breadth of the culture.