Blowback_toon

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.

ZONKER
Pierpaolo | Trieste, ITALY | March 19, 2012

I'm greatly indebted to Garry Trudeau, whose Doonesbury has kept me company for many years. From today's strip about Zonker's way of life I've realized why he is younger than he used to be. Certain plants keep people young and without Alzheimer's Disease. Rock on and keep on rollin'.

PREJUDICED
Jim Levenick | Salem, OR | March 19, 2012

I loved Sunday's strip. The line "I've always been deeply prejudiced against racists" reminds me of "Most everyone agrees that prejudice is bad, and that mother-love is good; yet, what is mother-love but prejudice against all other children in favor of your own?" Is there something wrong with my thinking there?

REINTEGRATION
Emily | Oakland, ME | March 18, 2012

Ha! Is today's strip saying "sorry for all the trouble, Dixie newspapers -- here's one for you"? Hard not to read it that way. Well, here's to a happy reintegration back into the comics pages.

SAME GUY
Dale Parkinson | Turlock, CA | March 18, 2012

Been reading the strip since I was in college in the mid seventies. Well, I just don't get why the characters have aged when I clearly am the same guy I was when Nixon was forced to resign. Thanks Garry, have loved your work for over 35 years.

SELECTIVE REVERENCE
Alan | San Diego, CA | March 17, 2012

What a great service this series is! What really strikes me is Texas' selective reverence for information. The legislation, according to Gov. Perry's office, is to "ensure that women have all the facts when making a life-ending decision." Yet when it comes to having all the facts when making a life-beginning decision, Texas stands out for restricting access to the facts. From what I can find, in 2009, 94% of Texas schools were teaching abstinence in place of sex-ed, emphasizing that birth control doesn't work. They have the third-highest teen birth rate in the country, with six out of every 100 girls between 15 and 19 getting pregnant. Yet Gov. Perry maintains that "teaching abstinence works." Like most people, I think abortions should be a last resort, since there are a number of cheap, effective, and safe ways to prevent pregnancies in the first place. Yet this article from a woman who was carrying a poorly developing foetus tells a whole other side of the abortion story -- one of avoiding a life of pain and misery.

NO ONE
Carla Carlson | ARKANSAS | March 17, 2012

I have had two abortions. Both times, birth control failed -- it is not infallible. Both took place in Texas, and because I was young and broke, I went to Planned Parenthood for assistance. I knew what I was doing both times. I did not take it lightly. The women who were there with me were as frightened and sad as I was. The staff was kind and understanding. No one has/had the right to tell me what I could do or not do when it comes to my body. Not the father of the child, not the government...no one. Thanks for the very clear message you are sending. Women are listening. We vote. There has never been a time more important to go to the polls and pull that lever. Politicians like Rick Perry only serve if we let them. OCCUPY your own body, I say.

HIPPOCRATIC OATH
March 17, 2012

Not only are these state "mandatory ultrasound" laws a violation of Roe v Wade, they are also infringing on a physician's Hippocratic Oath and a patient's right to give consent to any procedure without shame, legal or financial penalty. When will physicians in all these GOP-run states rise up and just refuse to comply? Put your patients first, physicians. Get the government out of your exam rooms.

THE MONEY
Liza | Los Angeles, CA | March 17, 2012

One of the worst things about this law is that is doesn't even apply to everyone in Texas. Anyone with the money (including, of course, the families of the legislature) can go out of state for an abortion. This law only fully impacts poor women and very young women without resources of their own -- the people who often can't even afford to have the baby. This can't be Constitutional.

SKEWEY
Alan Fraser | Montreal, CANADA | March 17, 2012

It's absolutely right to complain about the Republicans' draconian approach to unwanted babies growing up neglected etc. But is the solution for an unwanted baby to kill it? Something's a little skewey in the logic. The human race is falling apart: we don't even want our children any more if "we can't afford them," and we think the solution is to just kill them at the start? Hey, wake up!

NO IDEA
Bob | Chicago, IL | March 17, 2012

Thank you for your strips regarding the Texas law, although I almost cried when I read the one today. I had no idea that Rick Perry was so evil, and I come from a state where two of our former governors are in prison.

UNCOMFORTABLE
Stephanie Edwards | Portland, OR | March 17, 2012

Thanks for your strips, especially this last week's worth. I've read your strip since I was a kid, and even before I understood the political humor, it made me think about the world I live in. I can't thank you enough for showcasing the assault on women's rights that's taking place throughout the country right now, and for having the courage to make us all uncomfortable about what's going on. My mom has been raped several times in her life, and I once sat with her while she had a trans-vaginal ultrasound for diagnostic purposes. I'm here to tell you all that she told me it felt like getting raped, even though it was a diagnostic procedure that she consented to. I've never had to face the agonizing decision of whether or not to get pregnant because I've been lucky not to get pregnant yet (I use the word luck because I'm in no financial shape to care for a child or a pregnant me), but I stand with a woman's right to choose what happens to her body. Pro-choice is not anti-life. The campaign to control women's bodies is cruel, dogmatic, patriarchal, and shaming, and I'm so glad that it's getting the resistance it deserves.

DOESN'T MATTER
Nancy Gearhart | Rochester, NY | March 17, 2012

I appreciate your viewpoint and your support for women. It doesn't matter to me if not all required sonograms will involve vaginal probes. It's still punitive to force women to look at pictures. I really don't believe that anyone seeking an abortion does not know that a fetus which could become a child resides in her uterus.

SMALL GOVERNMENT
Candee Lucas | San Jose, CA | March 17, 2012

I knew the GOP favored small government; I just didn't realize it was supposed to be small enough to get into my vagina.

OFF MY CHEST
Julie Schatz | San Jose, CA | March 17, 2012

Thank you for your Doonesbury pieces on the Texas law. I've been reading the strip all week (well actually for years) in the San Jose Mercury News, but this is the first time I've bothered to write and thank you. It's been entertaining (and sad) commentary.

While I'm at it, I'd like to add that for the Catholic Church to be opposed to birth control in this day and age is downright irresponsible. I say this as a woman who was raised Catholic, enjoyed my Catholic grade school and graduated from the University of Notre Dame. My mother had five kids and even she used birth control -- just imagine if she hadn't!?! There is a clear link between how many children a woman has and the health and wealth of her family. I can't image why anyone would take family planning advice from a bunch of old, celibate men; but it makes me angry because the women who may be influenced are the same women who can ill afford a large number of children. Whew -- got that off my chest. Keep on writing.

ASSAULT
Geo Lane | Fort Lauderdale, FL | March 16, 2012

I had to go online to read Thursday's strip, as the Miami Herald refused to publish it. Frankly, I am saddened by the refusal to print, as that particular strip is the most poignant in the series. Whether one is for or against abortion, the Texas legislation must be recognized as the assault on freedom that it truly is, and ultimately must be overturned. Thank you, Mr. Trudeau, for your defense of the American people and their civil rights.

SOME OF US PRO-LIFERS
Lee Mays | Madrid, SPAIN | March 16, 2012

Some of us pro-lifers don´t support government intrusion in the doctor-patient relationship. From over here in Europe, it seems the GOP base and its conservative representatives like Perry, Gingrich, Santorum and Palin have gone mad.

ULTRASOUND
Sandra Pocius | Kettering, OH | March 16, 2012

I have enjoyed your comic strip for many years. Your portrayal of B.D. and his family’s challenges after he was injured were fantastic! My concern is the strip's discussion on ultrasound. I am a Diagnostic Imaging technologist (though in a former life I was in the Graphics field) and you’ve made an already difficult medical procedure even more stressful for both the technologist and the patient. The fetus is too small to see properly with a transabdominal exam -- we have to use the endovaginal probe or we risk injury to the woman. It is not a shameing rod or rape -- it is a medical procedure, and telling us that we have to use the wrong tool is like me telling you which pens to use.

THE DILEMMA
Consciously Not A Mom Yet | Grass Valley, CA | March 16, 2012

I love these comic strips, and I love this forum. The comments are phenomenal, especially the ones who assume that women who abort are ignorant. I had an abortion. It was agonizing and traumatizing. I wanted the baby, even though the dad I'd been dating had raped me (he took the condom off against my will), knowing that I was against abortion for myself (though I've always been pro choice). And then he threatened me, to pressure me to have an abortion. He got violent, loud, crazy, silent, and even declared that he would take my child away if I had it (yes, I know that doesn't make sense, I said he was crazy).

Faced with the dilemma of bringing a child into that chaos, I decided against it. It broke my heart a thousand times. Yet I am grateful for the choice! I own it, and I'm glad I don't have a child with a crazy man. Now I'm getting my masters, am devoted to my career, and I'm available to start a loving family with a sane man who wants to be kind and present with me and our child. I'm not ignorant, nor a murderer. I'm an intelligent, loving, spiritual woman who made a difficult choice. And I will stand with other women. Keep up the good works!

A LITTLE MIFFED
Dianna Trang | Keller, TX | March 16, 2012

I live in Texas and personally do not take issue with requiring women to have the vaginal sonogram before they can have an abortion. It is, after all, a life being taken, and the women should feel it. But I am a little miffed that the strip isn't being run in many newspapers here. Can Texans not handle a little dissent?

FINANCIAL COST
D.M. | Tacoma, WA | March 16, 2012

One aspect of this whole stupidity that I haven't really seen a lot of discussion on, is the financial cost of this unnecessary procedure. If a woman is lucky enough to have medical insurance that covers abortions, she's still out of pocket for her co-pay and deductible for a totally unnecessary procedure. If she doesn't have insurance, this puts an even higher burden on her. The gods help her if she's poor on top of it. This is just another way to discriminate not only against women, but especially poor women.