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Your Flashback of 15 years ago with Lacey talking to Dick is beautiful. Their relationship is one of the gems of the Doonesbury Series. I find their continuing dialog profoundly moving.
Jeff Redfern's financial failure is mirrored in real life by many. His father Rick's reaction, though understandable given Jeff's previous smugness, seems inordinately cruel. When I was in a similar situation (no mansion, but job loss) my father didn't laugh, he growled out a speech on the virtues of self-reliance and almost didn't let me back into the house (my mother filibustered on my behalf). Now that some years have passed, and both my parents are gone, I am somewhat wistful reading Jeff's plight. On one hand, I almost (almost!) wish Jeff would have made his literary fantasies a success. On the other, I take a moment of schadenfreude in watching him come down to earth. Could Jeff have "made it"? Maybe. J.K. Rowling struck literary gold, as have others. Jeff's big mistake was thinking (I can't be sure, but I'll bet it was something like this) "if she can do it, so can I." Wrong. It's not that easy; otherwise everyone would do it.
I'm losing (even more) respect for Rick with his reaction to Jeff's downfall. His reaction to his son's success was petty, his reaction to this latest turn is mean-spirited. No emotional support, no wisdom -- the kind of reaction you'd expect in response to an enemy's success and failure, not one's son.
I have to admit, this week's series has truly made my month complete. After months of watching that self-absorbed git fall into success after success and rubbing it in the face of his father, now he's finding what it's like on the way down. And I'm only mildly surprised by all the people jeering Rick about his attitude. I'm guessing those are liberals incensed over reality invading their fantasies.
It's interesting to watch Jeff's travails, but it's more interesting to wonder if it's a treatise on our societal inadequacies in parenting. We keep hearing that children are maturing at an earlier age, and that children should be allowed to "expand their horizons." But that has led to our children seeing the world through rose-colored glasses while the world burns around them. Parenting going awry has happened before, and every time ends in a dark age followed by a period of reasoning and then a golden era. We are a habitual species, claiming to be "moving forward," but the circle just gets tighter and tighter. And in the end, chaos rules.
Rick will be laughing out of the other side of his mouth when a major Hollywood producer options The Red Rascal for a trilogy of summer blockbusters.
Jeff, you're turning 30 in a couple of months. Consider this a fresh start.
I don't think Jeff ever had success. Like the rest of his life, what Jeff had was fantasy. Abroad he was Sorkh Razil, at home he was a great author. And like all fools living a fantasy, he showed arrogance and contempt to those who were trudging through life, actually paying their dues, including his own parents whom he sponged off of for years.
Rick's laughter is understandable. It's what a fool deserves when he falls from his perch but eludes wisdom by still failing to take responsibility for his own downfall -- although he expects everyone else too. It mirrors the pent-up anger at those who treat the rational and wise as idiots, while being idiots and pretending to be wise and deserving. Rick's laughter is reality's cry of triumph as up is once again up and down returns to being down.
Jeff's dad, again, reminds me why I have so little compassion for his career doldrums. Talk about misspent energy!
I wonder if Rick Redfern will be laughing quite so diabolically when his son moves back in.
In the current Straw Poll it's too bad GBT didn't include an answer D: All of the above!
Knew this was coming; as always, too good to be true. For some reason though I feel a bit uneasy about Jeff's fall from grace. It's like you say finally someone has found success in even a small part of the world, only to have things tipped upside-down just like that. It feels too much like the real world now, everyone asking for more and more, but we aren't getting any better. Depressing...
Another Trudeau psychic phenomenon: anticipating in 1972 that a strip about McGovern would serve as his epitaph in 2012.
Wait, Jeff! Don't panic! Just go to your computer and dash off a little missive about how the Red Rascal finds terrorist repo men trying to plant a bomb in his ride, the Rascal trounces them all, and tosses the bomb to explode harmlessly in an empty field. It's perfect! Send it off to your publisher, look outside, and... Oh, wow. The car's still gone. So much for magical thinking. Jeff Redfern -- legend in his own mind, a loser in real life.
Oh bother - I was just starting to believe in the American Dream...
This isn't simply a blow to Jeff. It's a setback to boneheaded, Oakley-wearing posers the world over.
As much as I'd like to see the Red Rascal get his comeuppance, seeing him done in by a repo man is still sad.
I called it early when Jeff blew his advance on the mansion. Most people don't understand how advances against sales work in publishing. I look forward to Rick and Jeff getting closer now and maybe even working together.
Oh God, this week is going to be great. Karma is finally catching up with Jeff!
I have been reading your strip since I started delivering Newsday in 1971. I am amazed that you still come up with the things that you do. Rock on, Garry!