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I've been reading Doonesbury since the late 70s, when I was in high school. Last year I read the whole series from the beginning, and it's as good a social history of the last 40 years as any book ever written. Thank you, and please keep doing it forever!
There's a difference between Zonker and Jeff. Zonker doesn't want much, and gives back what he can (child care for a roof over his head, for example). Jeff wants everything, provided by anyone else. Once he was living the good life, it was his alone; only when he blew it did he think of his parents and what they could do for him!
In today's SayWhat? Keith Knight is totally wrong. Bacon is not the marijuana of meats, it is the crack of meats.
Zonker didn't get a pass. He had to work -- as a mailman, a waiter, a nanny, etc. Also, he has far less expensive tastes than Jeff, even as a Lord.
There is a difference between the characters of Zonker and Jeff. Zonker annoys only B.D. Jeff annoys everyone.
Zonker has coasted, but I can't help thinking that while pursuing high standards of tanning is not a widely respected career, it clearly did require a good deal of discipline on his part. And he never insisted on getting in everybody's face about his overwhelming superiority.
Readers equating Jeff and Zonker may have missed elements of Zonker's history: some time ago he won a lottery, bought a title, did some other things, and moved in with B.D. and Boopsie. He earns his keep as the live-in nanny for their daughter, Sam, who adores him. When finances got tough for the family, Zonker became a waiter at a local restaurant to help pay the bills. Unlike Jeff, Zonker has great empathy for those around him, and has helped however he could, even if it's just to try to lighten the mood.
Let's suppose, just for a minute, that the Redfern experiment in reality-based parenting actually works. Jeff becomes a productive citizen (perhaps a writer, perhaps a burger flipper, maybe both -- but productive). What then? Currently, his very active fantasy life is his reason for being in the strip. Would we lose him as a character? What would be funny about that?
Is it just me, or does the Mudline give everyone visual effects reminiscent of countercultural mycota? I read it, start laughing at the absurdity of life and politics, and for long (too long) minutes, everything is swirly and groovy.
Trudeau has let the space cadet Zonker coast for all these years with no comeuppance; I wonder why Jeff has to be brought around to the mature way of dealing with the world. Perhaps GBT is more forgiving of his own generation than of Jeff's.
Great new development at the Redferns'. High time Jeff got the push. I am so glad my children were not in the least way like him.
"Always" supporting your kids emotionally and financially is not "always" the best thing to do. Sometimes they do need to be pushed out to face reality. Yes, this economy is a tough one and many children have only their parents to rely on, but I know far too many perfectly able kids who sponge off their parents, play video games and hang with their friends, and rarely or halfheartedly look for work.
I'm enjoying the current strips with Duke and ex-president for life Trff. And I'm still having trouble breathing when I read the Toggle strips from five years ago. I was living in Britain at the time, and can remember the dread I felt then -- only somewhat less now. Then I was not sure if he would survive, now I know he did, and I also know what he has been through since.
Yes! Way to go, Rick and Joanie! A bit of schadenfreude in reaction to the collapse of Jeff's fantasy world. It's unfortunate that they didn't do this earlier, but later is better than never for Jeff to learn some responsibilities in the real world.
I see today's strip and I am pumped! Could this be the return of Doonesbury: Greatest Adventure Strip Ever?
I'm loving Joanie and Rick's sudden turn to reality-based parenting, albeit a tad bit late. While hubby and I knew that we'd always help out the kids if they were in a tight spot, we never clued them in on it. A great motivator. So far, so good, and the oldest is almost 30.
As for the SayWhat? quote about PSY's song, from Fox News psychiatrist Keith Ablow -- "I think what this fellow is tapping into...is the fact that people don't want any meaning right now...The meaning is that it means nothing." -- I'm the substitute teacher at our senior center line dance classes, and some of us grannies can kick it Gangnam style. Dance wards off the dementias, and keeps the mobility and bone density on the uptick in lieu of the alternative. I won't even ask Mr. Ablow what comes into his mind when he sees a cigar. Sometimes a dance is just a dance.
Ha! "Reality Intern." I love it! I've got one living in my basement. I've tried several times to release him into the wild, but the little critter keeps coming back. They must have some sort of homing device in them.
Regarding the "secret little smile" or the "smirk" that other posters have noticed on Rick's face, I think it has to do in part with his knowing that Joanie has, indeed, changed after her hip replacement. We can only wonder what changes, if any, the surgery and its aftermath will make in hers and Rick's relationship. I'm guessing that the one with the unknown accomplice who helped her escape has been strengthened.
What Joanie and Rick are doing for their son is excellent and a huge favor to him. And not because of gloating or revenge, as others have suggested. Rather they are showing him love and truth by teaching him about reality in a very safe environment: that working, paying bills and taking care of himself is a good and necessary thing. Would that many others had had a safe environment in which to do this, and parents that cared enough to follow through on their child's 'growing up' and learning that difficult skill of being a self disciplined and productive artist who can pay bills and meet deadlines. Very good, Joanie and GBT!