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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.

TEXTING
Lance M. | San Jose, CA | August 04, 2011

I really enjoyed the shot at texting. Thank you! Here's a great short TED talk by Julian Treasure, called Five Ways to Listen Better.

OUR KIDS
Angie Shiraishi | Northern VA | August 04, 2011

Wow! It's awfully hard to criticize our kids when they are just taking their cues from their parents. "The apple doesn't fall far from the tree." When Jeff realizes that his mom is fantasizing about a job that doesn't exist they suddenly have a lot more in common than either would previously like to have admitted. But when it comes down to it the most successful people in this world are the ones who were willing to dream, fantasize, and then create the job that best defines them. I suspect this is something that earlier generations have realized on a more conscious level than does the current one, and the real challenge in parenting today lies in helping our kids connect with this process of making one's future for oneself.

Jeff's parents need to realize that he is, indeed, taking his cues from them; he is just stuck between the fantasizing and the leap of faith required to make that dream into a reality. Perhaps this epiphany will finally lead Jeff to find a way to live his dream job, and help his parents to realize that they do have an impact on his life course even at this later stage.

PHOOEY!
Fiona | Melbourne, AUSTRALIA | August 04, 2011

Re. ABOUT TEXTING. I'd sit down with Maryjane for a chat over coffee any day. Texting? Phooey! Genuine warm-blooded communicating -- real conversation in real time -- is being displaced. Add to that the fact that so many are constantly plugged into overly loud music piped from their MP3 players through ear buds. What's it mean? It means we're heading toward a time when huge swathes of the population will be so hearing impaired that they won't have any choices left. Texting will be their only option.

MY GENERATION
Rob E. | Somerville, MA | August 04, 2011

Some people in my generation are getting a little tired of baby boomers telling us that we're lazy or immature for not having good jobs and houses, when we've come of age in the worst job market since the Great Depression. Jeff is Jeff, but I'd like to see a more realistic example, like smart, accomplished Alex struggling for months to find a reasonable job.

ELIZABETH WARREN
Michael Kniat | New York, NY | August 03, 2011

I'm lovin' the Elizabeth Warren narrative already, GBT. Now that's the way to keep it timely and topical -- just like the good ol' days. You go, man!

HIS MUM
Andronico | London, UK | August 03, 2011

I like that Jeff obviously cares enough about his mum to pretend to be interested in her thoughts about her going back to work. Although obviously his doing so also is a great worry.

ADVERTISEMENT
Ken M. | CALIFORNIA | August 03, 2011

I wonder how much Ms. Warren paid for that advertisement. It was enough to get it printed, that's for sure.

THE BEST
Mary Cooney-Glazer | Marblehead, MA | August 03, 2011

The Elizabeth Warren storyline is the best since B.D.'s Veteran's Center rehab! Please stay with Warren for Senate. Massachusetts is desperate for her kind of common sense.

PLEASE
Brian Corby | New York, NY | August 02, 2011

Please please please let Joanie be talking about Elizabeth Warren. And please, Ms. Warren, run!

ABOUT TEXTING
Maryjane Mazzarella | Winchester, MA | August 02, 2011

I have enjoyed your sense of humor and commentary for many years, but Sunday's strip about texting really did not hit on all cylinders for me. I am a grandmother as well as a mother of two adult children. I do not text. I find that having a cell phone on 24/7 and texting 24/7 is rather rude. Our daughter lives with us, so that means that at 5:30 A.M when she wakes up, on goes her phone, and maybe two minutes later that phone is beeping with messages coming from co-workers already at work, or her boyfriend who is on his way to work, or her brother complaining about his life. I am not kidding when I say that her phone goes off at least 50 times before she leaves the house at 7:30.

When we go out to lunch or dinner with our daughter, our son and his wife, or our eight-year-old granddaughter, everyone is texting. We have complained but are told "Get up with the times, this is important." Well I hope that it is important, because when they get to my age, 68, our granddaughter will be telling them that they should get up with the times. Of course she will probably tell them by text and not in person. My granddaughter texts her mother from her bedroom asking what to wear that day for school, Mom is in the next room texting her friends.

Years ago I remember hearing Paul Harvey say, "This generation coming up was afraid of being alone; they will be known as the phone generation." Well he was right. Thank you for letting me blow off steam. I'm the grandmother of one, the mother of two, and I'm tired of rude people texting and being on the phone.

AMAZED
Benjamin Watson | Storrs, CT | July 31, 2011

I am amazed that Zonker remains a nanny. He ignored Baby Alex while signing "I'm Bad," let toddler Alex watch nine hours of TV a day, offered to give baby Sam to a fan who asked "May I have your baby?", asked a stranger who had said that Sam was cute to watch her, and drives without a license. Telling little Howie about a gentle freak named Douglas was something that college Zonk would do, but it seems that his commitment to responsibility has not changed since he "changed his mind" about a vote that he had promised Mark in the early 70s.

ROOFTOPS
William Fuchs | Arlington, VA | July 31, 2011

Really. "Across the rooftops of Arlington." Now I know this is Jeff's inspired fiction.

FAILING
Lisa Plante | CALIFORNIA | July 31, 2011

Thank you for today's Sunday strip that tells phone and text addicted parents that they are failing their children. I hope it causes some of those parents to rethink where their attention is most needed.

THUMP ON THE HEAD
Bunny Thompson | Sisters, OREGON | July 31, 2011

Today's strip with Zonker chastising parents about choosing electronic devices over quality family time is more than spot-on. It's a thump on the head that is greatly needed to wake parents up. Time and family are what is precious -- not the latest text or phone call.

CAREER
Rich Simon | San Francisco, CA | July 30, 2011

Ah! Jeff finally has a promising career -- as a bestselling novelist. Sorkh Razil:Red Dawn. Sorkh Razil: Enemy of the State. Sorkh Razil: Scourge of the Unbelievers. Sorkh Razil: Kabul Confidential. Oh, man. Rick will eat his typewriter in envy.

HIS HORSE
Gemma | Turin, ITALY | July 30, 2011

When I saw the Red Rascal call for his horse I burst out laughing. General Petraeus must be so proud. I am surprised we haven't seen any of Jeff's tales on The Sandbox. I think he'll do better as a writer than as a soldier.

MADDENING
Thomas H. Williams | Annapolis, MD | July 30, 2011

Okay, okay, get to Jeff's New Yorker serial deal and his book contract already. The suspense is maddening!

FABULOUS RASCAL
Dave Juson | Southampton, UK | July 30, 2011

The Red Rascal is fabulous. Roll over James Thurber, and tell Keith Waterhouse the news.

DISEMBOWELING
Bernard | Washington, D.C. | July 29, 2011

Disemboweling? Okay, I get it. This week's strip has been another of Jeff's Red Rascal fantasies. If I may throw him a lifeline, I recommend that he channel his imagination into writing thrillers. That's what Ian Fleming did, creating James Bond. And how better for Jeff to get his father's goat than by becoming a rich and famous novelist?

FANTASY WORLD
Steven Smith | COLORADO | July 29, 2011

I don't care for these Red Rascal stories. I've got a kid who lives in a fantasy world myself. Perhaps the RR needs a dose of reality.