A clean, well-lit place to vent
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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).
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 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.
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.
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, she's bloody awful but I love her.
Here's to Alex and everyone like her whose feet will never completely touch the ground. Alex honey, long may you fly.
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.
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!
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!
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
Alex is grieving, isn't she. The conversation about her forthcoming wedding is taking place immediately after her grandmother's funeral. In her grief she's articulating, as a grandiose fantasy, her own sweetest dream. Just cos the bad bad thing has happened doesn't mean that good things aren't still to come, is what I read her as saying. In her narcissistic way she's offering comfort to her father. Does anyone know how to lobby the Nobel Committee? Shall we promote GBT for the Literature Prize or the Peace Prize? Genius, man. And a million thanks...
The artwork in Doonesbury is becoming more sophisticated all the time. The first three panels in today's strip have a lot of movement in them, especially Alex pulling on her coat. I've never seen that angle/action in the strip before.
I can't say that Alex is my most beloved character, though she is great. And Toggle really tugs at my heart; the two of them together, though totally mismatched and probably ill-fated, are so endearing. Give me B.D. any day. Insufferable as he is, he has, in my opinion, grown the most over the years. When he removed his helmet I nearly fainted -- a classic moment. Brian Dowling must be proud.
I, for one, am not charmed by Alex. I know people like her -- narcissistic, entitled, grandiose -- and they're not funny. I wouldn't mind if Leo turned her down. Maybe she and Jeff should get together.
I hate to bring this up, but am I the only one that doesn't buy the Alex/Leo storyline? First off, I think GBT is wrong about his own character. She's not narcissistic, just a bit Aspergers-y, like so many brilliant nerds. But also, I just don't buy it that she would be interested in Leo in the first place. I feel like GBT gave her to Leo as a kind of a prize, because he deserves an awesome girlfriend. But Alex deserves an awesome relationship too, which means someone she can talk to about the stuff that really interests her. Please, GBT, don't falisify the storyline of the math/science/computer genius, just because you are presently more interested in war veterans.