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Nobody else in my life has provided more good cheer than Garry Trudeau. I love my children, but they've only been around 20 and 25 years, respectively. I've got a great natal family, and they are and were (the late ones) funny, but in terms of 43 years of day-after-day joy... it's Doonesbury.
Thank you so much for bringing to light the hardworking people who have jobs that pay poverty wages. I wonder how many people realize that most medical transcriptionists (the people who transcribe and proofread all the medical reports that are generated by physician dictation in offices, clinics and hospitals), who used to be paid generously for their service and given excellent benefits, now work for poverty wages.
With the arrival of speech recognition systems, even the most experienced and extraordinarily fast typists (many of whom are single mothers, single older women and people with disabilities) are lucky to make $20,000 a year if they work for any of the large transcription corporations in the United States and Canada. As a transcriptionist with 20 years experience who can works at above average speed, it is a struggle to make $10,000 a year as a supplement to my Social Security income of $10,000 a year. Transcription is paid by the line. We are pieceworkers who work at home. If our fingers aren't on the keyboard, we are not paid for our time. We are not paid when the transcription company's equipment fails. We are not paid when we stop typing to look up the names of new drugs and medical equipment. My meager medical benefits require a $100 co-pay to see a medical specialist.
The pool of experienced transcriptionists who are willing to continue providing their service is shrinking, and the quality of our medical records is suffering as a result. I am fortunate to have the opportunity to work at all at my age, but I have no doubt that I am being exploited along with many others in poverty wage jobs.
Speaking of bad situations, I am a teacher. In Nevada, if you work for the state, when you retire and apply for your pension 2/3 of your Social Security benefits will then permanently disappear due to some sort of 'windfall profit' legislation. I earned my Social Security, but will never see most of it. Even if you move to another state after retiring, this rule holds. Because of this law I will be reduced to poverty after retirement -- which wouldn't happen if I received all of my Social Security benefits. Only a few states in the union have this 'windfall' law. Our union is constantly trying to undo this crazy law but having no success in this Republican-governed state, which is also a 'Right-to-Work' (forever) state. I did not know of this law when I moved here or I would not have.
Uh oh. Are B.D. and Boopsie headed for the rocks?
Earth to Zonk: It is worse in right-to-work-and-not-get-paid states like Indiana, and will continue to be until Democrats vote their numbers nationwide. Before the election I wrote about it on Daily Kos.
B.D. and Zonker! Thirty-eight years since it started for me, it's so cool to still have them in my life.
It's good to see I'm not the only mother that lives to embarrass her children. Lucky for my kids we didn't have video camera access back then. Not that this stops me.
Ah, I just love those two. GBT draws Leo as such an awesome, complex, and inherently decent person. But one with a huge dollop of 'fun' in his soul. Leo's relationship with Alex and their interplay is so much fun to contemplate. I keep thinking one has to be at least a bit of a really, really nice person to create such characters. They could not come from the mind of a mean person, even if the mind they do come from is also capable of creating Duke. Thanks to Garry for such fun people to spend time with on a quiet Sunday morning in late March.
Interestingly, "Kevin Colorado Springs" makes sense! The Springs has embraced medical marijuana as a terrific source of tax revenue. There are dozens of dispensaries within the city limits. I'm not a card-carrying "member," but I appreciate that the revenue it has generated allowed the city to re-open public toilets and re-install trash cans within the city parks and trails system; yes, those amenities were gone for a time. Get out here, Zonk! KCS is welcome in the Springs!
Frame three today: I've never seen B.D. smile. And this hint of a smile -- alert self interest, drawn with so little information between upper lip and nose, but conveying perfectly the lack of information in B.D.'s character; eyebrows tilted in unexpected pleasure. It's amazing.
Zonker, B.D. had to listen to all of your game-derailing diatribes when you were on the team. And now you complain when he actually enjoys the conversation?
Kevin Colorado Springs? Colorado Springs, home of Focus on the Family? Are you kidding? How about Kevin Boulder (The People's Republic of Boulder) or even Kevin Teluride or Aspen or Ward (a smaller People's Republic higher up in the Rockies above Boulder.) Zonker is just too East Coast pseudo hip.
I'm a union activist and a long-time fan. I'm already nervous about your "strike" theme. A strike is a very carefully considered, democratic action by deeply dissatisfied workers, who have attempted to negotiate with their managers before taking such a serious step. We don't chose our strike leaders like that. There's a vote. Stoners would not be likely to win. Your strip is very influential. Please treat us with truth and justice. Do you have experienced advisers for this?
Uh, oh, I think Zonk's blown his cover. What's this about "normally" not being stoned?
Zonker leading a strike? Now that's rich!!
As a Springs native I don't think Zonker or his plants would thrive in "The City of Wide Streets and Narrow Minds."
I wonder if this incident was one of the inspirations for last week's story arc. After this prime example of video-bombing, I'm sure that a number of aides were told to comb their hair, put down the smart phones, stay focused and in control.
Zonker would do a lot better as "Ben Boulder."
Colorado Springs is so wrong for Z. Please allow me to offer New Uraniborg, home to the Keplerian Institution, which would be honored to have Zonker as its Horticulturist in Residence.