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.

THE FINER POINTS
Neil H. | Seattle, WA | September 15, 2011

With regard to certain newspapers not running the Rogue strips: Once again people are missing the finer points of GBT's satire. If you read Roland's attempts to "re-characterize" the book quotes, you can't help but notice how outlandish they are even in their original context. The funniest part of the whole series is his attempt to re-spin the spin. Unfortunately, seeing the subtleties of satire (as well as filtering the hyperbole from both the right and the left) seems to require a level of critical thinking that the editors in question are incapable of, which in turn is preventing their readers from exercising that part of their brains as well. And so the "dumbing down of America" continues.

TWIG OF MISUNDERSTANDING
Pam Bishop | Miami, FL | September 15, 2011

I enjoy Doonesbury tremendously. I think you are a brilliant humorist, and, as well, a humanist and a kind of cultural historian for our several contemporary generations of Americans. I despise Sarah Palin and her like in modern public life, and was happy to see her pilloried in the form of your evil Sarah Palin doll character. The recent strips are wonderful in several respects, not least as an illustration of the misuse of language for propaganda and manipulation of opinion, which permeates all aspects of our culture, and of course is ultimately the work of Mammon. But I wish you hadn't associated yourself, even for the purposes of satire, with Joe McGinniss. Whatever his success in unearthing authentic information, he also uses the reprehensible trick of sourcing innuendo and unverified ‘facts’ to the utterances and gossip of third parties. This kind of indirect tactic is virulent in our modern political system, employed by sleazy operators like Karl Rove to discredit perfectly respectable people. It should not be tolerated, even in service against public enemies like Palin. It is a truism that people love to think ill of other people. They will all too often interpret a fact in the worst possible light and build a house of scandal on a twig of misunderstanding.

THE SYMBOLOGY OF POLITICS
Maryhelen Posey | Calgary, CANADA | September 15, 2011

I'm an American who has lived long enough in Canada that the last time I lived in the U.S.,  red was not used to describe John Birchers, but rather the people they so adamantly opposed. Doonesbury has once again reminded me that even the symbology of politics has changed over the years. Case in point, the SMALL BLUE ISLAND post below. In Canada, blue is tory (conservative, sort of), red is liberal, and the New Democrats are orange (federal) or purple (Alberta -- used to be green, but then the Greens came along!). Every election year in the US -- which is almost certainly also an election year here, if not two or three -- my brain becomes seriously colour-deranged. By the end of your Presidential election, I will almost have the red/blue set sorted out -- then it will end for about a year, year-and-a-half, and I will become completely befuddled again. Can't they just call them elephants and donkeys, and have done with it?

A LOWER ROAD
Marc Adler | Austin, TX | September 15, 2011

I can't stand Palin, but smears like McGinniss's book only serve to make Palin a sympathetic character, if not actually give her some kind of respectability by comparison. Judging from the other comments here, I'm not alone in this opinion, so fer crissakes stop helping Palin's image by taking a lower road than she has.  Apparently newspapers are pulling this week's strip, and that's deplorable, but what can you expect? They're dinosaurs watching that comet growing brighter in the sky.

CRANKY
Peter B. | Cleveland, OH | September 15, 2011

Trudeau isn't vouching for the McGinniss book's accuracy (to be fair, the book is starting to sound like a Kitty-Kelley-esque smear job). He's merely reporting its contents in furtherance of the real target of his satire, the far right's inevitable, far-fetched overreaction to McGinniss's claims. Mocking political spin doesn't merit censorship; it sounds like the Atlanta and Chicago editors are cranky because they know that they're ones being slammed.

SARAHPHOBIA
Jim Samples | Redford, MI | September 14, 2011

Who do you know who has to attend meetings on a constant basis who never (ever) says, "Damn, I have to go to this f***king meeting." Honestly. Who do you know who has never once said that, or wanted to say it? This is just more Palin fear by the left. Sarahphobia.

DECENCY AND FAIRNESS
David Stieglitz | St. Charles, IL | September 14, 2011

Kudos to the Chicago Tribune for having the courage to maintain standards of decency and fairness. McGinniss has everything to gain, and nothing to lose, by quoting anonymous sources, disgruntled formers staffers, and every marginalized Democrat in Alaska to get his 15 minutes. When Gov. Palin has the opportunity to refute his misrepresentations, then we can have a reasonable discussion in a public forum.

CURIOUS DECISION
Elizabeth Connor | Roswell, GEORGIA | September 14, 2011

I haven't paid for a print edition of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution in years, so I didn't notice that the paper had pulled Doonesbury. But it is possible to find the strip online through the AJC site just a few clicks deep. If Ralph McGill is spinning in his grave (per the post below), part of the reason is his paper's curious decision to give its paying customers less content than non-paying digital surfers like me.

THE HIGH ROAD
Craig B. | Chicago, IL | September 14, 2011

I actually get why the Chicago Tribune editors think they are taking the high road in declining to run Doonesbury this week. I would prefer that they extend this policy to their columnists and letters to the editor, which often carry unfair and factually incorrect information. Holding their comics page to a higher standard than their editorial page makes a perverted kind of sense given the current media model of entertainment over information. I want to thank the Trib for underscoring its own obsolescence. Instead of paying $1 a day to get my daily dose in b&w, I come here to get the strip and archive in color -- for free.

MY INBOX
Thomas Andrew Olson | New York, NY | September 14, 2011

Thanks to the Internet Reformation, I get Doonesbury and other great comics in my inbox each day, and I no longer have to suffer the judgmental turpitude of such publications as the Chicago Tribune and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. My RSS aggregator presently contains over 110 feeds from all over the world, so I get the kinds of coverage the arrogant MSM in the U.S. obviously thinks us plebes unworthy of. "You can't stop the signal."

HELPING
Mike Flamang | Belmont, MA | September 14, 2011

You know you have to be helping the sales of McGinniss' book. I'm going to have to read it now.

A GREAT COUNTRY
Andrew Epplett | Listowel, CANADA | September 14, 2011

As a Canadian, I rely on Doonesbury, The Daily Show, and The Colbert Report to give me my American 'news,' since they remind me that a country where these people are free to satirize their political leaders has to be a great country. Too bad some newspapers feel otherwise.

WARREN
Mark Walmsley | Amsterdam, NETHERLANDS | September 14, 2011

Warren is in. Please, in the name of all that is civilized, let Joanie out to help with the big work.

POSITIVE FEELING
Joshua Rey | Oxford, CT | September 14, 2011

I'm getting a pretty positive feeling about Sarah Palin from today's extracts. I hate meetings too -- would you want your country run by people who liked meetings? And what's not to like about a politician who makes post-feminist jokes at her own expense? As for the SayWhat? quote, if she really believes God loves her (doubtless not to the exclusion of loving everyone else) it's quite reasonable to remind herself of this encouraging fact. She probably has pictures of her family on her desktop; maybe she likes them too!

SMALL BLUE ISLAND
Jim Davis | Atlanta, GA | September 13, 2011

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution has also pulled the Palin strips. They've apparently given in to the fact that they're on a small blue island in a very large red sea. Ralph McGill must be up to 3600 RPM in his grave.

COPOUT
Jean Ray | Canton, GA | September 13, 2011

I was disappointed, but not surprised, to find that the Atlanta Journal-Constitution is not running this week's strips, due to "stong political content..." What a copout! Keep up the good work.

SHARED B.D.'S SENSE
Paul Roe | Souderton, PA | September 13, 2011

I spent 9/11/11 digging a drainage trench around my house. My headphones, normally tuned to NPR, were solidly in pop and hip hop for the day. I didn't know any of the folks we lost then, and since in response, but I still shared B.D.'s sense of senseless waste of life.

HYPOCRITICAL
James Johnson | Kenosha, WI | September 13, 2011

I think the Chicago Tribune is being hypocritcal in not showing comic strips about Palin when it allows another comic strip to attack Obama on an almost daily basis.

NICELY
S. Hoffman | Chicago, IL | September 13, 2011

The Chicago Tribune has always been very right-wing. They endorsed Obama "because it was the thing to do at the time," and then they reverted to who they are. More important than writing in this space, I think, is writing letters to the newspaper. And these letters should say, nicely, "Fairness, my ***."

CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER
Steve Lill | Valparaiso, IN | September 13, 2011

I couldn't believe it when I saw the note in the Chicago Tribune stating that "due to fairness" Doonesbury was not going to be shown in this week's papers. I've had a subscription for over 20 years, and the main reason is for the comics. I sent them some nasty feedback and suggested that they'd be much better off censoring Charles Krauthammer in the editorial section. His treatment of the president in editorials is extremely disrespectful of the office, and yet they continue to print them.