A clean, well-lit place to vent
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It's tempting to think "Oh, it's only a comic strip..." and consign the Red Rascal and his "magical realism" to a safe, separate comic world where real soldiers and real lives and real history would never be mixed up in "a comic book mission." But then one recalls the history of the CIA, and characters like Barker and Liddy and Hunt, to name only a few who come readily to mind.
I'm a Nam Vet who's still coming home. I'm worrying about Ray. Took me over a year to get off benzos (on them for 16 years). NASTY NASTY withdrawal. Help Ray, will ya?
I looked it up. It's going to take a lot to un-look it up.
Just when I thought we'd pretty much figured out magic realism (at least for bookclub purposes), along comes the Red Rascal. It doesn't get any better than this!
This strip is as reliable a pleasure as the Patrick O'Brian books. Thank you!
I read these comments by my fellow involved citizens and am amazed by the way these toons touch our hearts and minds. This is the most exciting the strip has ever been, in my most humble opinion. I started way back in the dawn -- didn't understand because I wasn't smart enough -- and drifted off for a while only to become obsessed in middle age. Please keep it up until we are too old to see anymore. Since we are the same age you probably won't be wanting to do this about the same time I won't be able to read it.
Tell me that the Red Rascal and his sidekick are "Soldiers of Misfortune," that they too, will jump into the moment with an AK-47, a bottle of whiskey and a backpack stuffed with cash! Ahhhh, let the insanity reign supreme and the storyline unravel as it may...
OMG, he's got his superhero turban on... This is really happening.
I have a deep foreboding about Ray's future. I hope he makes it back. I fear he won't.
I don't know if I find it more disturbing that I recognize all those drugs Ray gets or that I'm on half of them. I have two observations. First, whoever's giving Ray his "little buddies" needs to do a meds review. Clonapin and Valium are both benzodiazapams, and addictive -- not to be taken together. As to the memory issues, Ambien is in the same class of drugs as Rohypnol the (illegal) date rape drug. It doesn't put you to sleep unless you lay down and close your eyes immediately. Instead, you'll walk around doing your thing for three hours and have almost no recall of it the next day. The effect, in my personal experience, is cumulative. If Ray took all that at once, he'd be another Heath Ledger. Just sayin'.
Ray is breaking my heart. I have students who have to interrupt their education for multiple deployments and are returning from Iraq and Afghanistan depressed, angry, and, though I don't ask, probably on meds. Thanks for taking time to call attention to the Rays. These men and women are going to be some time healing.
I never thought I'd have something in common with Toggle. I was on a couple of scholarships and work/study as an undergraduate in a small, inexpensive-but-good college in Alabama (yes we do have good schools here!), so cutting class for me was throwing money away. I had two roommates: my sister, who understood and did likewise, and our friend, who thought we both were crazy. The only class I cut was the day after a huge party when I was a senior and got totally wasted, unable to move the next day. (Only time that happened, by the way.) It kills me to see kids wasting opportunities that others work their butts off to get.
To be fair to Alex, the immense pressure she was under at MIT means that a little escape, however illusory, was neccessary for her sanity. I worry about Toggle (as much as one can about a cartoon character): the pressure on him to perform is also immense, mostly self-inflicted. He needs to take time out, enjoy. The thrill of an illegitimate escape. Otherwise, he'll be facing that wall at 45/50 and burn out.
It is touching to see Toggle determinedly pursuing his college education despite the brain damage, speech impediment, and only one eye. It would be easy for him to play the victim card, or just give up and enjoy a haze of prescription drugs. I see homeless vets every day with less damage than Toggle begging on the streets of Washington, DC. The kid has guts.
I'm loving today's snow day strip -- Toggle is a good influence on Alex.
If we take a survey of Doonesbury at present -- young lovers we all cheer for through scenarios that smack of the absurdity of everyday life, young doofuses dropping head-first into a civil war, the hard voice of experience working again and again to bring his buddies home from the battlefield, and (a guilty pleasure of mine) Duke and Son living it up all wrong -- I think we're looking at a high watermark for the strip. A whole lot's going on, and it's all fantastic. Keep up the good work, good Sir.
Good for Toggle, to educate others on the real value of an education. Like many, many others I juggled my other adult responsibilities to be able to attend classes, and I did not like weather forced cancellations. That would disrupt my schedules. Good going, Toggle!
Today's strip about college class time being precious was superlative. Thank you.
So Ray's in the Hurt Locker. I hope B.D. eventually takes him over to the Vet Center to meet Elias.
Oh Ray, get thee to a Vet Center! It's so nice to see B.D. being there for him though. First Mel, now Ray -- he's really developing, sans helmet and leg.