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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.

FIRST APPEARANCE
Matthew Edwards | Wirral, UK | September 12, 2012

Forty years of Ms. Caucus! It's great to see this week's Flashbacks featuring the first appearance of Joanie Caucus, when Mike and Mark gave her a lift on their nationwide bike trip. I missed these the first time around!

BAIT
Carolly Hauksdottir | Kensington, CA | September 11, 2012

In his continuing adventures will the Red Rascal have to rescue the Ginger Prince? Since the British government isn't hiding Prince Harry's location or job, the suspicion that he volunteered to be "bait" is a strong one. It may be in his best interest to learn "The Friday Song."

VIDEO BACKSTORY
Steve Wagenseller | Honolulu, HI | September 10, 2012

Your video for today has a backstory. The fourteen California lifeguards -- fourteen teens having fun during off-duty hours -- were fired by the city of El Monte for having made this fun video. If the city administrator knew how much thought, effort, and time it takes to do one of these, they would recognize that they've canned some hard-working, innovative kids. Here's a "Bring Back the El Monte 14!" petition.

HIP REPLACEMENT
Richard | Lacey, WA | September 10, 2012

Joanie is going to impress me if she gets out of bed the day after her hip replacement. Even the anterior insertion tears up a lot of tissue. And nobody's going to guarantee both legs will be the same length. Oh yeah, and don't forget the ionization issue! At least one of the manufacturers has been in court often over it's failed devices. Just sayin'.

JOKE
David Hallett | St. John's, CANADA | September 08, 2012

Today's strip is not, of course, a joke about Twitter. It's a joke about Roland.

TWITTER
Jim | Baltimore, MD | September 08, 2012

Old people making jokes about Twitter will never begin to be funny.

HIP REPLACEMENT
Cathy Zemlick | USA | September 07, 2012

My hip relaplacement, in real life, is scheduled for September 25th. My family is going to think I'm sandbagging if Joannie is back to work in a day! My surgeon, nationally-known by the way, says I shouldn't drive for six weeks. I admire the girl's work ethic, but I'm just sayin'...

 

ELIZABETH WARREN'S SPEECH
Bob L. | Hudson, MA | September 07, 2012

I'm impressed. How the heck could Doonesbury come out in the morning with a line in Elizabeth Warren's speech that wasn't delivered until the evening? An amazing coincidence -- "synchronicity journalism" -- or did she take her cue from that morning's comics? Fascinating.

Editor's Note:

 As he was developing the Joanie speechwriting arc, GBT asked the Warren camp if they would provide some actual speech fragments he could imbed in the strip as a surprise to vigilant readers -- what engineers call Easter eggs. Ms. Warren provided several sentences that she thought might survive the drafting process. The part about the car elevator did not survive -- too snarky? -- but happily, the three words Joanie "wrote" made the final cut.

RISING STAR
Greg Polanchyck | Frackville, PA | September 06, 2012

Roland is not the only media outlet to know the future. CNN already knows the future of rising star Julian Castro: "Comparisons to the 2004 Barack Obama are inevitable. The then-Illinois state Sen. Obama gave the same address in Boston, launching him onto the fast track for the presidential nomination four years later." Being mayor of San Antonio for three years of course positions him for a run for the presidency in 2016.

SCHOOLMARM
Jack Cerf | Chatham, NJ | September 06, 2012

If Joanie wrote Warren's speech, Trudeau should fire her. After starting with the assertion "the game is rigged," she missed a great opportunity to explain why. Warren is a schoolmarm by nature. That's her weakness, but it's also her strength, and she should have played to her strength by teaching.

RIGGED
Rev. Dr. Bob Faser | Hobart, AUSTRALIA | September 06, 2012

Perhaps Elizabeth Warren's reference to the game being "rigged" was a direct tribute to Joanie and this honourable comic strip. If so, well done, GBT.

IMPRESSED
Roger Webb | Little Rock, AR | September 05, 2012

The line in Doonesbury Elizabeth Warren's speech that Joanie wrote, about the game being rigged, was in this morning's strip. I just heard real Elizabeth Warren speak the exact line at the Democratic Convention. (On this video it comes just after the 6:00 mark.) I am impressed, but I want to know how you did it.

JOANIE
Emmy | Oxford, CT | September 05, 2012

Joanie lives!

ALEX WAS RIGHT
Ian Zitron | Bloomfield Hills, MI | September 05, 2012

Joanie, your speech was wonderful and Elizabeth did a great job delivering it. Alex was right: you made history. Congratulations.

STRAW POLL
J.W. | Troy, NY | September 04, 2012

The current Straw Poll about Paul Ryan is interesting, but I am concerned that some of the people who say they "never lie" may not be telling the truth.

DALI, FLORENCE, AND THE RNC
Yundah | Olivet, MI | September 03, 2012

Salvador Dali, Florence and the Machine (channeling Boudica) and Paul Ryan and the RNC, all on one web page...I had been suffering under a sense of surrealism as I observed the run-up to the conventions but thought perhaps I was engaging in hyperbole. It was nice to have my sense of self reinforced by the conjunction of media on the site. I have been engaged in constant discussion with my very politically minded/active son, who at 18, is appalled by the lies he hears daily. He wonders, as do I, how it is that people will accept as truth those things they know to be untrue. I'm introducing him to Dali.

A CURSE
Raul Sanchez | Denver, CO | September 02, 2012

The Democratically controlled Senate goes three years without preparing or voting on a budget, and the combined House and Senate vote down the proposed Obama budget 485 to 0. I'd say a curse on both their houses.

SYMBOLIC VOTES
Thomas H. Williams | Annapolis, MD | September 02, 2012

Congress also charges U.S. taxpayers nearly $2 million per day for these symbolic votes, according to this piece.

VETERANS
Tom Merritt | Seattle, WA | August 31, 2012

As a Vietnam Vet I take special interest in PTSD, and the conversation here about dressage and horses prompts me to pass along word about an article that ran in the Seattle Times last March. Veterans at Joint Base Lewis-McCord who are being treated for PTSD have been riding and caring for horses, which apparently has had a very therapeutic effect on many of them. You can read the article here.

TWO CENTS
Dori | Cockeysville, MD | August 30, 2012

I'm no fan of Ann Romney, and certainly not of Mitt or Paul Ryan, but I would like to contribute my two cents. I have a lovely daughter with special needs; she is moderately mentally challenged, mildly autistic, and has an extremely profound auditory processing disorder, plus a bunch of learning disabilities. We are very far from wealthy. She does therapeutic horse riding in Special Olympics and other horse shows -- in which she does dressage, as well as equitation. I'll grant, my daughter's dressage level isn't exactly Olympic quality. We do not own her horse; her coach owns a small stable of therapeutic horses and cares for them deeply, with the help of a lot of volunteers and donations. (And in response to a poster who claimed that dressage is cruel to a horse, the horses where my daughter rides have never been abused in any sense of the word; our coach would be absolutely horrified at anyone treating a horse with anything but love.)

I'm not defending Ms. Romney (and if the horse is that necessary to her physical needs, why did she let it go overseas for an extended trip?), but I would like to say that I've seen what riding has done for a great many people with physical and/or mental needs. It's brought immeasurable joy to my daughter, as well as marked improvement in her balance, physical strength, equilibrium, confidence, and compassion for other living beings. And, as I said, we're not wealthy. Please don't dismiss the sport as being snobby or only for the wealthy.