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.

EARLY MORNING LAUGH
Dave | Silver Spring, MD | December 26, 2010

Your strip where Zonker is talking about his back tax bind is brilliant. One of the best ever. Thanks for the early morning laugh. Merry Christmas!

SAD
T.W. | Peoria, IL | December 25, 2010

I've been reading your cartoon for years, but you lost me with your Christmas cartoon this year. You couldn't forget your agenda for even one day? How sad. I'll never read your cartoon again.

NAILED IT
Richard | Olympia, WA | December 25, 2010

You've kinda nailed it today. The fumbling sensitivity of the characters as they face death daily, but are clumsy and halting about living. Merry Christmas!

A NEW ONE
Steve | Sarasota, FL | December 25, 2010

Slamming God on Christmas Day. That's a new one.

REMEMBER
Garrett List | Liege, BELGIUM | December 24, 2010

In the context of this week's storyline it would be well to remember some of the important homosexual soldiers of the past. Let's start with Alexander the Great...

RE "USED"
Larry S. | Delaware, OH | December 24, 2010

It looks like we'll not be seeing 70% of all military personnel attempting to break their enlistment contracts on the grounds of religious objections to allowing gay personnel to serve openly. Military chaplains who wanted to excuse themselves from ministering to gays have already run smack into the teeth of military discipline and nobody else is going to be able excuse themselves, either. It's a bogus rumor anyway. The all-volunteer force is just that, a volunteer force that has elected to serve, and they're not likely to change their minds and bail out that easily. Frankly, I think they have too much integrity for such a cowardly maneuver anyway.

ON THE LINE
Dale | Manhattan, KS | December 23, 2010

God I love this strip and have since -- forever. What prompts me to comment for the first time is the real love GBT displays for our Heroes who put it all on the line for the rest of us. Living near Ft. Riley in Kansas, I know many Heroes and the amazing families who wait for them to return. God bless and protect them all this Christmas, and God bless GBT for helping the rest of us understand their world a little better!

A HIDDEN LAYER OF HARM
Margaret Hollis | Iqaluit, CANADA | December 23, 2010

Reading the recent Blowback, particularly the more deeply felt responses to DADT and institutional homophobia, I am reminded that there is a second and more insidious harm done by oppression. The harm to the targets is more or less obvious, but there is a hidden layer of harm to those who participate in the oppression, whether actively or passively: they lose a little of their humanity. Voicing one's regret is a way of regaining that humanity -- what could be more human than regret? In my orisons, be all our sins forgiven.

JAG OFFICER
Bob Bolton | West Bloomfiueld, MI | December 22, 2010

I served as a JAG officer on an Air Defense Command Base in the early 60's. Air Force Regulations made any act of homosexuality a dischargeable event, even if not prosecuted under the UCMJ. There was a young very visible homosexual enlisted man who over a period of time had sexual contact with about 15 different enlisted men-most of whom, if not all, were not homosexual, but experimented or were drunk. All were discharged, general discharges. A lot of good airmen were lost, and as the years have gone on and I have learned about homosexuality and that it is something people are born with and do not choose, I regret more and more my part as a JAG officer in what was a pointless witch hunt.

BATAAN
Corky Frausto | Albuquerque, NM | December 22, 2010

When I was in high school (1973) I was living with my gay uncle, a WWII vet. One of his best friends was Col. Frank Dixon, another vet. The remarkable thing about Frank was not that he was gay but that he spent WWII in Bataan. I have read stories about the Death March that mention Frank, and the courage he showed there should be an example to all soldiers. Thank you all for that you have done.

HOMOSEXUAL PROSECUTION
Michael Strickland | El Dorado, AK | December 22, 2010

I retired from the US Army in 1989. I served in the Infantry, Military Police and for a while in Personnel. In my 22 years I can only recall one homosexual prosecution under the UCMJ* (two men caught in the act), and never recall anyone being discharged for that reason under Chapter 13. We had at one point an Intel sergeant named Ernie, who everyone thought was homosexual, but because he was so well-liked he was not harassed nor investigated. At Fort McClellan (then the WAC basic training post) women danced together and even kissed, without any great consternation. My general impression about homosexuals in the Army of the 60s through the 80s was that you could be homosexual and left alone, unless you were caught in the act, or really pissed the chain of command off. But that is just my opinion.

Editor's Note:

*

UCMJ: Uniform Code of Military Justice;

WAC:  Women's Army Corps

PROUD AND FEARLESS
Ralph Jones | Hartford, CT | December 22, 2010

It occurs to me how very proud and fearless the gay community has been in the deplorable treatment they have received from our government. They are certainly expected to pay taxes, vote and serve on juries, all responsabilities of good American citizens. However the gay members of American society have had to fight for the right to serve in our Armed services, and they have fought with pride and dignity to do a job most other citizens try to avoid. I'd like to say that it's about damn time the military and government made this most obvious and common sense change in policy.

KIND OF HOPING
Ron | LA, CA | December 22, 2010

I was kind of hoping we'd follow Pvt. Illegible-Name-Tag for a while, maybe see how things are now between her and her girlfriend.

MY DAD
M.A.M. | EUROPE | December 21, 2010

Todays strip reminds me of my dad. It's possible to love someone who is just wrong. And to be confused for years by that. That's why sometimes government has to decide.

LESSONS FOR DADT
Robert Davis | San Jose, CA | December 21, 2010

October, 1960, 12 years after President Truman integrated the services, I was studying FDC for the 105 howitzer at Fort Sill, Oklahoma. PFC Davis (me) was walking across the base with a Sgt. from my company. We passed an African-American Lieutenant. We saluted him and he saluted us. All very normal. As we continued, the white Sgt. said to me, “You know, I was only saluting the uniform." I draw these lessons for DADT: 1. Prejudice dies very slowly. 2. There were dire predictions of doom and gloom when President Truman integrated the services. 3. When the military receives a directive, they salute, say “Yes, Sir” and get on with the mission.

THE OLD ARMY
Bernard | Washington, D.C. | December 21, 2010

If another former soldier may join Melissa's father in talking about the "Old Army": The Army is remarkably tolerant of any beliefs or behavior as long as they're not "in-your-face" and don't interfere with good order and discipline. You can be a white supremicist, a black separatist, a radical feminist, or an evangelical Christian, but as long as you don't bother people and keep your activities out of the office and on your own time, no one much cares. I worked with gays when I was in the Army, and everyone knew they were gay. But they kept a low profile and did their jobs, and no one bothered them. I was in the Army when the civil rights movement gave more power to black troops, and when the Women's Army Corps ended and more career fields opened to women -- two events that the repeal of DADT has been compared to. To extend the comparison, there was trouble only when the militant blacks and militant whites and militant feminists and militant sexists caused it, and I predict that the same will happen today. There will be trouble when the militant gays and the militant homophobes cause it, and it will take awhile for the leadership to discipline and/or discharge the jerks and troublemakers. For the rest of the troops, I predict the general attitude in the ranks will be same now as it was back then: "OK, you got what you wanted. Now shut up about it and get back to work."

DESERVES BETTER
Bill | Pittsburgh, PA | December 21, 2010

There's a military expression I heard sometime ago: OBE (Overtaken By Events). I hope this applies to Jackie's storyline, but then again, there's some continuing controversy over the right to reenlist (per this Slate article). Let's hope they let her come back -- she deserves better than clumsy come-ons from Jeff.

EVERY TIME
Jennifer Simpson | Conneaut, OH | December 21, 2010

I don't know where GBT is going with the current storyline, but I love Melissa more every time I see her. That gal has moxie!

TEARS OF JOY
Allie | Gettysburg, PA | December 20, 2010

Sam and her mom remind me of my daughter and me -- but you have to realize her dad's a head case; I'll spare the details and ask you just just to take my word. B.D. is not (okay, there was that shooting up the garage thing, but still, he's not the overblown controlling kind). Now Jeff and Melissa? He'd annoy the hell out of her, but puppy love may be what he needs to finally get his kit together. Meanwhile, DADT in the ashcan of history where it belongs brings tears of joy to my eyes. Were I in the military, I'd still be circumspect about my sexual orientation; why risk it? I'll add that it doesn't surprise me the former military people have a problem with DADT's repeal. I know several, and they don't seem to quite understand that today's forces are composed mainly of people who don't remember when there was no DADT, and largely find it silly that there is/was such a rule. Our society has changed a lot in my lifetime, and it seems common knowledge that orientation has nothing to do with capability, good sense, or the capacity to stand and deliver in combat. Lastly, shame on you, John McCain! You've proven yourself a dinosaur waiting to join the annals of history. Maverick, my middle-aged tushy! Shame, sir, shame.

USED
Ed Williamson | Penrose, CO | December 20, 2010

What you gay right advocates do not understand is that you proved to the military leaders that their opinion is irrelevant and you will not listen. If you had listened, you would have heard that the 70% of the military that said that gays could serve are the very ones that will now try to get out of their eight-year enlistment contracts by claiming their religious rights do not allow them to serve with gays! You were used and you fell for it.