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The differing opinions about Jeff and his father Rick made me think of Martin Sheen and Charlie Sheen. How does a good guy feel about a son who is a wildly successful stinker? Parenting is not always the problem. Anyone with more than one child knows how different kids are from birth. Hard to know why.
In 2008, my husband's vote was indeed stolen due to voter impersonation, which you assert is "virtually non existent" in today's strip. When my husband went to vote early, 13 days after early voting had commenced, he was told that he had already voted on the first day of early voting. Not only that, but "he" had apparently voted at the local university across town, and also changed his address to a nursing home. My husband had to petition with the North Carolina Board of Elections, and appear in person before a review board. They could trace the fraudulent ballot cast down to the time, place, and even the actual machine where it was cast. However, since they could not determine who the person was that actually committed the crime, they decided that both votes would stand. My husband's vote was cancelled out by the fraudulent one. It didn't count.
We of course didn't find out the result of his petition until six weeks after the election was over and certified. All of this because no ID is required. Anyone can walk up and state their name and address (voting registration rolls are public record here and very easily accessed), and they will be given a ballot, no questions asked. My husband was the one disenfranchised. Not the criminal who should have been challenged and asked to produce proper identification when they fraudulently voted in my husband's name. I felt you should know that voter impersonation fraud does indeed happen in this country, and that it happened in my own family.
I'm rather surprised at the Bad Dad Rick comments. Those readers must have missed the strips years ago showing Rick being the stay-at-home parent while Joanie was out on the campaign trail and working late at the office. My favorite was a Sunday where father and son were tussling around, talking about heart-to-heart stuff, and in the last panels Joanie comes in the front door and Jeff asks: "Who's that, Daddy?"
Yes, a "reality based lifestyle." And even though Rick often speaks with a journalist's sarcastic cynicism, his last words say it all: "It's all I got, son". Maybe Jeff should take the advice.
It's pretty clear that the next step for Jeff is to go to work for Duke. It's hardly a "reality-based lifestyle," but some seem more cut out for it than others.
Doonesbury is forty-two? Well, according to Douglas Adams, that means it is The Answer To The Ultimate Question Of Life, The Universe, And Everything. Congrats!
I love today's strip about Rick telling Jeff to adopt a "reality-based lifestyle" because I can identify with both. I was never quite as deluded as Jeff, but I had my share of fantasies that took me nowhere fast. My parents were about as supportive as they could be, but they were also realistic, and I now understand Rick's point of view really well.
As the manipulator Jeff was settling into the mansion and life of his dreams, his poor honest, hardworking father has been suffering through HuffPost blogging. I couldn't help wondering when Jeff would get his! Karma is -- well, karma. Not to say everything couldn't flip again in an instant. Thanks for keeping us guessing!
I see an opportunity for some real personal growth on the part of both Redferns. Jeff needs a new book; Rick needs a job and knows how to write. Can't they collaborate on a project? Jeff's first book fell out of his pen unbidden. He cannot hope for lightning to strike twice. He can, however, create another the old fashioned way, with outlines and research, if his father shows him how it's done. Enough with the cross-generational sniping. Lets see how to work together and create new art.
Congratulations, Mr. Trudeau! Apparently today is the 42nd anniversary of the syndication launch of Doonesbury. Here's to 42 more, if you're up to it! Thanks so much for a lot of laughs, a few tears -- and some of the most intelligent social/political commentary around.
I wonder when Jeff will call on his inner rascal and go and get the money necessary for his new lifestyle. He is, after all, a mercenary. In a world at war with itself, there must be job openings.
Living in fantasy, showing arrogance, cynicism and contempt, most of Jeff's foibles were founded in Rick's neglectful emotional distance, Rick's own veiled contempt, slipping here as a laugh. Long before Rick's own career flopped and Jeff's soared, the son had devolved into a putz, shaped in great part by his inability to gain the attention of a distracted, unloving, self-involved father. Such psychology may ruin Jeff, but many celebrated, awful people have raised themselves up, motivated in a compensatory way by these very means. Likely, Jeff will rise again, but will there be some redemption for him and his father? Or will they proceed in their respective warps, occasionally banging heads?
At least Jeff earned the money he squandered. How many lottery winners have wound up in the spot he is in now? Jeff is the author of a best seller. He could write another, and (if his present circumstances have taught him anything) use the money from his second book more wisely.
p.s. Like the poster of FIRST STOP, below, I try to read Doonesbury every day. But it's the last thing I read before I head out the door for work -- I save it for dessert.
The quality of GT's work is reflected by the comments on the Blowback page. In just four panels and around 40 words per day, he manages to create a whole world of precise characterisations that obviously lots of posters identify with as much as with soap opera characters on a 30-minute TV show. I wonder what GT is planning for Jeff.
Even with as much empathy as I can muster for Jeff, as an Austinite, hometown of Lance Armstrong, this past week that (my name here) has been experiencing such deep humiliation, my feeling is, "It could be much worse."
I have a horrible feeling that the IRS has yet one more horrible surprise in store for Jeff.
Rick did try to warn Jeff, and Jeff's reaction to that was rude and dismissive. Rick deserves to enjoy the moment!
Jeff completely deserves his karmic retribution , but sadly I suspect he won't learn a thing from it. No Southpark-esque "I've learnt something today." Solipsism incarnate. I've zero sympathy for him, particularly after the bad grace and manners he showed when he first met Toggle with Alex. He's hitting 30? God help him. As we say in Clare, "He's in for an awful landing."
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.