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.

DOORS
Rick | Columbus, OH | January 25, 2011

"Doors in every university and college will have this strip posted." How are they going to hang computer monitors?

RE "RE 'NOT CHARMED'"
Robert Ashcroft | Las Vegas, NV | January 25, 2011

In Joanie's defense ("raised two real winners...") J.J. was not raised by her mother. So while we can lay some of Jeff Redfern's, uh, idiosyncracies at Joanie's door, she's presumably less responsible for what happened to Joan, Jr. However, given that Jeff is indeed Alex's half-uncle, getting them together would be, well, really icky.

RE "BRAVO"
Fred Waiss | Prairie du Chien, WI | January 23, 2011

As a former teacher pre-tech, I'd suggest you lecture for 60-70% of class time, then give a written quiz on what you just presented. Make those quizzes a high percentage of the final grade and I think texting, etc, would decline.

RE "NOT CHARMED"
Deb C. | Saskatoon, CANADA | January 23, 2011

Jeff and Alex should get together? Isn't he her uncle? I believe that Alex's mother is Joanie's daugher from her first marriage, so Jeff is J.J.'s half-brother. (Yes, I've been reading Doonesbury for a long time.) I was thinking about that the other day -- Joanie, lovely lady though she is, raised two real winners...

RE "WRONG"
Marv | OREGON | January 23, 2011

I agree. It's also unfair to assume that Leo is not intelligent just because of his "blue collar" background: there are plenty of intelligent people who have never set foot on University grounds. We don't really know Leo that well, and he could be hiding a lot of depth behind that stutter -- he manages to keep up with Alex's twists and turns just fine!

MICHAEL AND KIM'S SCRIPT
Lee Mays | Madrid, SPAIN | January 23, 2011

Our daughter is Alex. I wish I'd had Michael and Kim's script two years ago as coaching on how to deal with the "wrong boyfriend" (in our, the parents', interested, objective opinion).

NOT AT THE TOP
G. Richard | Hamilton, CANADA | January 23, 2011

Alex is not at the top of my favourite character list. She doesn't seem much more narcissistic than many young people, but maybe I'm not paying attention. I like GBT because he treats highly intelligent people as people with their own challenges based on their unusual capabilities and situations, which includes letting their powerful imaginations run away with them. She is self-questioning and is capable of growth. Her life is awkward because she has to interpret her feelings through intellect. Unlike J.J., she seems to care about other people and to be self-questioning. She admires and wants Toggle to succeed.

As for them as a couple, intelligent persons are often surprisingly insecure and like being with someone "other than intellectual," and more grounded. Toggle and she share interests in music. It's amusing that people seem almost angry at GBT for his opinions about his own fictional creations. Speaking of Dickens, both he and GBT create(d) a cast of characters of a range of social backgrounds and viewpoints, which makes both appealing and relevant to a wide range of readers. Not Shakestoor but still (Bored of the Rings ref.)

BRAVO
Stephen Chapman | Winnipeg, CANADA | January 23, 2011

Bravo for today's strip. I have done everything in my power to get students to stop texting or websurfing in class. Doors in every university and college will have this strip posted.

SELF-ABSORBED?
John Whalen | Indianapolis, IN | January 22, 2011

Give Alex a break. Self-absorbed? Sure, but who in their early 20s isn't. Also, Alex is self aware. She catches her own excesses and at least tries to correct them and that's more than you can say about her mother.

RE "BENEFITS"
Maryhelen Posey | Calgary, CANADA | January 22, 2011

Leo (like all other qualified vets) should definitely have access to all the benefits to which he is entitled, but I have the impression that he is also attempting to support his mother. That comes right back to having to work his way through school, even if it's not to pay for the schooling.

ABOUT ALEX
Ype Timmer | Eglinton, AUSTRALIA | January 22, 2011

About Alex, she's bloody awful but I love her.

HERE'S TO ALEX
Laureen Marchand | Val Marie, CANADA | January 22, 2011

Here's to Alex and everyone like her whose feet will never completely touch the ground. Alex honey, long may you fly.

RE "WRONG"
Beth | Syracuse, NY | January 22, 2011

I disagree with the suggestion that Alex wouldn't be attracted to Leo. As a female math nerd myself, I dated a soldier or two in my youth. Non-nerds have the appeal of a fresh perspective. There's only so many times you can hear that pun about the poles on the left half of ze plane before you start looking for someone who likes paintball and camping. And don't underestimate the appeal of discussing the best tactical formation for your cadre of half-orc berserkers before assaulting that desert canyon protected by 20th-level elven wizards together. My point is that there's more to life than Fourier transforms and bluestockings, and people can have some common values, interests, and hobbies without having the same background or "IQ", and without having all of the same values, interests, and hobbies.

A BREAK
Glenn Ford | Albuquerque NM | January 22, 2011

Hey gang, please give Leo a break! People keep talking about him as "a disabled veteran." He is a person first and a Veteran living with disabilities: he lives with brain injury (a lifetime of change), struggles with PTSD, but he is doing the very best that he can. He is our hero!

TODAY'S FLASHBACK
Bob | St. Augustine, FL | January 22, 2011

I love today's "35 YEARS AGO" Flashback -- the first strip with Honey! It's also apropos to the times, seeing as  she is not doing a true translation. When I saw the clip from the Limbaugh show questioning whether Hu's comment were being translated, this is what popped into my head!

DOONESBURYLAND
Catherine Dempsey | Flatrock, CANADA | January 21, 2011

I love everybody in Doonesburyland, including the annoying people. Alex is wonderfully complex, Toggle is growing exponentially, and if we just give them time they will work their relationship out (one way or another). I appreciate the live and let live attitude of the whole column and feel we can all learn from it. Que sera sera. I just want to be able to read it every day and learn what will be. Thank you, Garry Trudeau.

ENOUGH ON HIS PLATE
Richard | Olympia, WA | January 21, 2011

The number of Post-Vietnam-Era suicides has exceeded the wartime KIA numbers. Treating Leo as damaged goods because he is suffering from PTSD, a valid war-time injury, and from other wounds, cheapens his sacrifice. I'm pretty sure there is enough dysfunctionality in this comic strip family to make anything worse. Fantasy planning is a good thing because it lets you take a mental vacation somewhere else, but Toggle has enough on his plate without loved-ones' projections, expectations and judgments.

BENEFITS
Merri Busch | Detroit, MI | January 21, 2011

Re: Kim's comment in today's strip. Leo, a disabled veteran should not have to work his way through college. He qualifies for Chapter 31, Voc Rehab and Employment benefits which pay for his college tuition, fees, books, supplies, a laptop computer and a subsistence allowance as well as dental, optical, medical and psychgological treatment. If he hasn't already done so, all he has to do is to go to the VA site www.vetsuccess.gov to apply for benefits.

A PLEASURE
Bernard | Washington, D.C. | January 21, 2011

It has been a pleasure this week to see Mike and Kim working together as a couple to keep Alex grounded. Kim has been strangely silent in Alex's life. Kim graduated from MIT, but I don't think that Alex has turned to Kim for advice even once. And almost all of the parenting advice has come from Mike. So it's good to see Kim taking a more active role with Alex, and especially to witness Mike and Kim working as a team.

THOSE NOT SO CHARMED BY ALEX
Tony Phillips | Chicago, IL | January 21, 2011

Those not so charmed by Alex fail to see that her narcissism is rather limited to some childish outbursts of grandiose fantasy. She's smart; sooner or later she comes to realization. When push comes to shove she is sensitive, giving and considerate of others. Her mother is another story. Real narcissists never let up; they live, eat and breathe only for themselves. Alex is the child of such. Her story is a classic right out of Alice Miller's Drama of the Gifted Child.