A clean, well-lit place to vent
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Today's strip was devastatingly spot-on. It put me in mind of two lines in the last stanza of Bob Dylan's A Hard Rain's Gonna Fall :
And what'll you do now, my blue-eyed son?
And what'll you do now my darling young one?
I'm a-goin' back out 'fore the rain starts a-fallin'
I'll head for the depths of the deepest black forest
Where the people are many and their hands are all empty
Where the pellets of poison are flooding their waters
Where the home in the valley meets the damp dirty prison
Where the executioner's face is always well hidden
Where hunger is ugly, where souls are forgotten
Where black is the color, where none is the number
And I'll tell it and think it and speak it and breathe it
And reflect it from the mountain so all souls can see it
Then I'll stand on the ocean until I start sinkin'
But I'll know my song well before I start singin'
And it's a hard, and it's a hard, and it's a hard, and it's a hard
It's a hard rain's a-gonna fall.
(Here's Dylan singing it.)
MORE THAN A GRAIN OF TRUTH
I sent the following message to all my NC friends and family:
Don't know about you, but I'm ashamed at how NC has become a national disgrace, as evidenced by G.B.Trudeau's poking fun at us in today's Sunday comic section. Thanks to our new governor, who was supposedly a moderate but changed his stripes as soon as he was elected. Like all good comics/jokes, there is more than a grain of truth to what is being addressed. I'm proud to live in NC, but I'm ashamed of our backwards politics.
I'm going off(line) to bang my head against a wall for relief.
If NC's new motto is "No!" then SC's is "So?" State computer hacked and millions of people's personal info stolen: So? Women beat to death by their spouses: So? Millions of uninsured: So? The list goes on and on but Nikki and legislators say: "So?"
Please don't say that allowing citizens to carry firearms increases the danger to police. Look in Chicago, which has the strictest firearms laws in the country, and the highest homicide rate. I'm not saying that everyone should be allowed to carry, but law-abiding citizens are not making police departments' jobs harder.
That's an unfair assessment to those of us who lawfully own firearms in today's strip. If you don't like firearms, that's certainly your right. I served 22 years in the U.S. Navy so you could exercise that right, please allow me the courtesy of exercising my First and Second Amendment rights, too. I don't even want to get into the legal, moral, ethical issues of abortion, as that is just as flammable a topic. Thank you.
Today's strip perfectly addresses our problem in NC. As one arrested for secondary trespass, it was necessary to act to show my displeasure with our legislature and governor because I volunteer at an assistance agency.
Negative Ned has deftly explained how the N.C. legislature has put the "No" in NOrth Carolina. Maybe we should start referring to the state in print as "NOrth Carolina" or "No-rth Carolina." Your choice! (Which is apparently not something women in N.C. have.)
WHAT IS WRONG
Your Sunday strip about Negative Ned and North Carolina seems a good example of what is wrong with the political dialogue in America. People with different opinions, all people from North Carolina as presented in your strip, are characterized as being stupid and without merit -- easily dismissed. I have never lived in North Carolina so it is nothing personal to me. However, your strip, as much of our political debate, is based on the "straw man" approach to dialogue. That is, exaggerate your opponent's position, making a weak straw man of it. Then, rather than discuss the real issues, knock the exaggerated, misrepresented, and weakened caricature apart and act as if you have dismantled your opponent's point of view.
I wish we could have an open discussion politically that acknowledges that people who disagree with us often have valid points of view that we should consider. The government would not be shut down now if Democrats and Republicans stopped acting like the characters in your strip -- opinionated, dismissive, and too cowardly to look behind the straw man for the real issues.
I realize you write a comic strip, and that comedy is often based on exaggeration. However, to be responsible, I think you have to step back and think what your approach would sound like if it was not people from North Carolina that you were knocking. What if they were gay, black, Muslim, Jewish or women? No group of people deserves to be ridiculed -- even in the comics.
Thank you for highlighting one of the most annoying and embarrassing things about our state, North Carolina. You succinctly hit the nail on the head, where our supposedly moderate governor did everything he said he would not do once he was elected to office. He changed his stripes -- or maybe he was planning to do that all along? Either way, it is why politicians are held in such low regard. I came here from Maryland, a pretty liberal/progressive state. I love my new home, but we have some major problems to address. Thanks for your wonderful comics, which are one of the highlights of my day.
CLOSE TO HOME
Oh, my! It will be interesting to see how many NC newspapers have the guts to carry today's strip!
HERE IN TEXAS
Great Sunday piece with Negative Ned, but he must have a counterpart here in Texas because there are several of the exact same initiatives rolling through our state.
I just read today's strip, narrated by Negative Ned of North Carolina. Some years ago, I was standing in a Northwest Airlines administrative office and overheard two employees chatting. Employee #1: "Hey, did you see USAir's new ad campaign? Their slogan is 'USAir begins with You (U).' " Employee #2: "Ha! Our slogan should be 'Northwest begins with "No." ' "
I get it. Zonker is giving us the excuse for the entire government going on forced vacation. It isn't any sillier than the real reasons, or the reasons the Right is pretending to give. Would it were only a week, and that we could send them to kindergarten when we all got back to work, until they learned how to play with others.
Is the Bart Svigals who hires a fancy pants lawyer and evades his just desserts in Monday's 40 year Flashback related to the Barry Svigals who tries to pay to have his name read out in the mail silo? I think I've correctly gathered that the latter is an old pal of GBT, and am enjoying tracing the faint shadow of the author's personal life in his art.
Hi! It used to be that a new Doonesbury book came out regularly. This has been a highlight of my year for longer than I care to remember. But now there has been a break for over a year. Is any release for a book after Red Rascal's War planned?
We want more babies . Come on, let us see them!
The funniest thing about the BLOWBACK comments on the twins is there are two totally different reactions to the same words -- "Chilled" and "Grinning." Those two should get together and compare notes.
Don't underestimate Alex's maternal power to change and channel the energy of her children. Maternal power is awesome and never to be underestimated.
Sunday's strip with Alex and Toggle's kids chilled me to the bone. It basically confirms that Joanie's cursed bloodline has skipped a generation. Alex is a good person, but her mom and Jeff are monsters. Rather than children who share the traits of Toggle and his family, Alex has produced two hellspawns possessing the worst aspects of J.J. and Jeff's personalities. One is a shamelss attention whore and the other is an obnoxious slacker. I pray for Alex that these two terrors-in-waiting don't lead her to doing to Toggle what Joanie did to her first husband -- abandon him.
I'm grinning. The twin on the left clearly inherited Grandma J.J.'s genes, and the one on the right got Grandpa Mike's! Can't wait to see which of them is Danny and which is Eli.