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.

WRONG
Brian Harvey | Berkeley, CA | December 01, 2014

Jeez, moms just can't win with your Blowback writers! Leave without the kid, leave with the kid, or stay -- all rejected. It reminds me of the remark often attributed to Freud when someone asked him how to be a good parent; I've never seen it footnoted, but he is said to have said: "Whatever you do will be wrong."

MY MOTHER
HappyDespiteHer | MyLIfe, EUROPE | November 30, 2014

My mother, who's about as old as Joanie, didn't run away. Instead, she repeated every day how lucky I was that she had sacrificed her dreams and aspirations to take care of me, and how it was my duty to be thankful and to do exactly the same, assuming -- she was clearly skeptical -- I ever managed to be feminine enough to find a husband. To be honest, those were her good days. On bad days she said I was a heartless monster and would live and die alone like a dog. I so wish she'd flagged a passing motorbike.

WHEN WE LEFT
Margaret Delbatty | Vancouver, CANADA | November 30, 2014

Saturday's strip doesn't address the damage done to kids when they're abandoned by a parent, but it also doesn't acknowledge the vast numbers of us who took our kids with us when we left. People could write whole books (many have...) about what that cost us in life opportunities, and how little support society at large provided for us in raising those children. And in many cases, how little support the children's other parent provided, usually to very little disapproval or criticism. Most often those were fathers, and their abandonment of their children also is not addressed here.

GLOSSING IT OVER
D.M.J. | Friendship, ME | November 29, 2014

Today's Doonesbury, with Joanie explaining why she abandoned her child, harkens back to my first year out of college when I would have been non-judgmental of her decision. Thirty-plus years later I now realize that we have 'evolved' (or is that devolved?) into an emasculated culture where: A man abandons his child and it is the man's fault. A woman abandons her child and it is the man's fault. Hopefully, women will some day be held accountable to criticisms of abandonment the way men have always been. Glossing over it the way today's cartoon does doesn't acknowledge the huge damage done to kids who suffer through such 'I was finding myself' abandonment. It is a permanent scar.

ZONKER AND ZIPPER
Janis Hoch | Silver Spring, MD | November 26, 2014

What are you setting Zonker and Zipper up for? I am worried about these two. Zipper for being so dense, and Zonker for possibly landing in jail.

JUST TO THINK
Bill Hansen | Yola, NIGERIA | November 25, 2014

And just to think; that 17-year-old is now a grandmother.

J.J.'S ENTRANCE
Jesse Baker | Pound, VA | November 24, 2014

And now in Doonesbury lore we are at J.J.'s entrance. If Rick was able to see the future he would be terrified, as she is the future that he will have to endure when he and Joan spawn their own male version.

Z
Eric Merth | Calgary, CANADA | November 23, 2014

When B.D. was blown up in Iraq I was literally shocked -- I could not work for the rest of that day. It was very heavy, and not funny. Hearing Zonker tell Zipper "...there's a gun in the SUV glove box" shocked me again. Sadly, this is funny in a terrible way: Does Z know what he is doing?

ZONKER
Tony F. | Elmira, NY | November 23, 2014

Do I see Zonker starting to Break Bad?

POT
Mark | Las Vegas, NV | November 23, 2014

GBT sure does love his pot, doesn't he? I wonder how he reconciles his love of the plant marijuana, that people ingest into their lungs by burning the leaves and inhaling to get a desired side effect in spite of the adverse affects of inhaling smoke, to his hatred of the plant tobacco, that people ingest into their lungs by burning the leaves and inhaling to get a desired side effect in spite of the adverse affects of inhaling smoke.

STARRY STARRY NIGHT
David Ferrier | Edmon | November 22, 2014

Today's video about Van Gogh's "Starry Starry Night" led me to an article that says turbulence is the great unsolved mystery of classical physics. Good stuff! Thanks!

ALPHA HOUSE
P. Hidler | Evanston, IL | November 21, 2014

"Alpha House" is good. Really, really good. Bit if I could choose, I'd stick with the daily Doonesbury, which was a habit for decades.

HERE IT COMES
Patti H. | Rome, NY | November 21, 2014

Oh boy, here it comes, one of my favorite Duke lines: "Brain to eyeballs: will not compute." Hurray for unexpected reunions!

ZEITGEIST
Peter Mikkelsen | Spokane, WA | November 21, 2014

Back in the '70s, I knew a few NCAA players whose trainers passed out the performance-enhancing drugs like they used to pass out salt tabs. Their later lives were noticeably poorer for it. Also, a possibly forgotten (today) aspect of the issue: the popularity of PEDs was at least partially in response to the dominance of the Soviet Union's, and especially East Germany's, international athletes during those times. But the speed? That was definitely an American experience that rippled across the country from the 1950s on through to Breaking Bad. GBT has had a grasp of American zeitgeist for decades and I (we) love his work because of it.

THE CREDIT
L. Lapp | West Chester, PA | November 19, 2014

I love the publication details in Monday's 1978 "amphetamine scandal" breaking news story about Duke: The realistic masthead, "Washington Post SPORTS Monday"; the authentic page layout and page refs; and especially the credit under the headline, "By Richard Redfern." I definitely missed that the first time around.

HAPPENSTANCE
Winston Smith | Washington, D.C. | November 18, 2014

How mush happenstance can one person handle? As the Uncle Duke/Redskins reruns play out, immediately above the strip, the Washington Post sub-headline says, "In the news . . . NFL Drug Search." -- although it was the Tampa Bay Buccaneers who were met by the DEA at BWI airport after they beat the Redskins.

AMAZINGLY TOPICAL
Boise Ed | Atascadero, CA | November 18, 2014

 

Are we sure this was written a third of a century ago and not in 2014? It's amazingly topical today.

 

PREDISPOSITIONS
Roger Webb | Little Rock, AR | November 17, 2014

As a psychologist, I loved Sunday's strip that speaks to the genetic/biological predispositions of political behavior. There's no consistent ideological distinction between liberal and conservative, but there are very consistent personality differences between the people we label that way. Sensitivity to threat seems to be the biggest single factor. The role of the amygdala is not simple, but certainly involved -- e.g. John McCain doesn't seem to have one. The evidence for genetic factors is strong. There's a good book -- Predisposed: Liberals, Conservatives, and the Biology of Political Differences, by John Hibbing, et. al. -- that explains the research and speculates on the evolution of the types. I'm glad to see this stuff make Doonesbury. It's important for understanding our political mess.

FEAR
Maryhelen Posey | Calgary, CANADA | November 17, 2014

I was pleased to see how quickly those who sent in BLOWBACK posts confirmed the results referred to in the strip!

EVERYWHERE
Martin Snapp | Berkeley, CA | November 16, 2014

I agree with GLAD TO HEAR. I see terrorism everywhere: elementary schools shot up, abortion doctors murdered, Cliven Bundy threatening shoot-outs with the authorities, etc.