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Jeff is being used by Bekka and the publishing house. He likes it now, but it may not wear well, especially if somehow Jeff matures into a more substantial and deep person. It's a longshot but you never know. People do grow up. Rick is being supportive by telling Jeff how publishing works. Honest advice is a good thing. No point in sugarcoating Jeff's shallow endeavor.
Is Becca, once again, the only adult in the room? This has been going on a long time, but it is getting dysfunctional when irony replaces approbation. I'm sure the son is showing his version of adulthood via material success, and the father is showing protective restraint -- until we get to the part about supporting fantasies. Plain old human nature with baggage keeps turning a bonding into a rank-off. You can see how the crowd approves of that.
Jeez Rick, no wonder your kid is messed up. Instead of celebrating the publication of your son's book, you're giving him a hard time. It ain't easy being a writer; you should know that. Frankly, I hope it sells well enough that there are even more Red Rascal books.
Jeff seems to be a favourite target, but "as ye sow, so shall ye reap." I'm in the process of working my way through the archives. I'm up to 1989 and I've seen a half dozen or so parenting failures that may not excuse, but do explain, Jeff's relationship with his father. Here's one.
I have never been uncomforable before with a Doonesbury series of strips, but the last several days where Rick begrudges Jeff's success is hard to read. It's diametrically opposed to the usually hard-wired instinct of parents to want the best for their children -- although the jealousy has been part of their relationship and growing and I understand where it's coming from. Until now part of the reason I enjoyed the strip so much was that it mirrored my views, political and otherwise. I guess i'll have to broaden the ways I relate to Doonesbury!
The Great Redfern Kitchen Standoff is really illuminating the current generational divide in this microcosm. I'm surprised at the vitriol aimed at poor Jeff, who, after all, has served his country -- if not all that successfully. He's hapless, not evil. And he's surely not the only member of his generation to boomerang. Rick is jealous and petty and wholly unsupportive of his own son in a way that's meant to undermine him in what is probably his first moment of success. It's odd to see folks rooting for that. I wonder if this is what we have to look forward to as the Boomers age, embittered by the collapse of the prosperous culture they consumed.
Everybody wants to punish the Red Rascal, but I can remember when Jeff's mom interrupted negotiations and sold his and Zipper's business plan to Mike Doonesbury for like 100 bucks. Mike is probably still living off vulture.com.
I'd like Jeff to see his book sell a million copiies, only to have the rights and proceeds confiscated by the government to recoup the money lost on that rescue mission to Afghanistan. Oh, and on top of the $50,000,000 bribe he made to Karzai without authorization (paid by the US), add $90 for the cost of his repatriation from the Taliban kidnappers.
Oy! This Redfern kid has operated drones, mistakenly shot down a US helicopter, given $1 million of his boss's money to the wrong person and created a wold of his own delusions. His father was a professional journalist of stature who has been reduced to blogging, and this kid is proud of himself? His family needs to kick his butt so far out of their lives that he finally hits the wall of reality.
Jeff is being twerpy, but also he's trying to individuate and show his father he's his own person. His dad poops on his ideas, his alter ego identity, etc. Jeff is trying to be his own man and live his own life, and his twerpiness is his way of telling his dad, "See I told you so" and "Now you can accept me as my own person." It may fail the "Honor thy father" statute, but it's a pattern played out in hundreds of millions of families worldwide.
I don't think Alex is so bad. She's just young. Most youth think the universe revolves around them. But Alex is educable and usually brings herself around. Jeff, on the other hand, will never change. And I suspect GBT won't let him get away with it completely unscathed.
Yeah, Jeff's a twerp. But it would be nice if Rick could be a bit supportive on this one. Of course, knowing Jeff's history, the book will be remaindered in: 3...2...1...
Finally I got it! Jeff has introduced the principles of Wall Street to the writing world. Nothing wrapped in attractive gossamer. When can we start trading futures? Derivatives anyone?
I, for one, hope that all 50,000 copies collect dust on book shelves. Jeff Redfern needs to get his head out of the clouds, his body out of his parents' house, and to stop living in this fantasy world that all of his ilk float in.
Seriously, I love the way Jeff is holding the book in his father's face just to be a complete and absolute prick about his perceived success to the people who have taken care of him well beyond the point he should have moved out. (Sure, he's the fault of their parenting to an extent, but is he so broken he can't see what he's like?) It's a tight contest between him, the equally self-absorbed Alex, and Funky Winkerbean's own nasty little criminal, for the comic character I find most disgusting. On the other hand, karma has already kicked Li'l Jeffy to the curb before, and I suppose it's getting geared up for another lesson...
These recent strips about Rascal and his dad are just wrong. Or rather, right. A dead-on reminder of me and my late dad over running a marathon together. We were like that because my apple didn't fall far from Dad's tree. Wonder if it's like that (subconscious bottom line) for DB's father-son pair?
Yes Jeff, this does indeed change everything. Ian Fleming sold Casino Royale and got an entire career. Stephen King sold Carrie and got an entire career. As annoying as Jeff is, and as sympathetic as I am to his long-suffering parents, I hope it works the same for him and the Red Rascal.
Deliver me from old dog - new dog generational competitiveness. Wild and crazy cheers for the utterly testosterone-tension of the third frame; few can express seething fury with stone silence and pull it off. What a wonderful example for those who would "Honor thy father....."
There you have it -- the whole round of Redfern nuttiness in a nutshell.
Sons aren't supposed to do worse than their fathers, but when someone like Jeff Redfern has a blockbuster on their hands while Rick is a downsized journalist... If ever a picture was worth a thousand words, the expression on Rick's face in the last panel is.