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.
Quiz after lecture won't work. One student will be designated the "listener" and will live-blog the answers to the quiz. Resistance is futile.
What fascinaties me is how folks who write in regard the characters as real people. There seems to be a phenomenon that could be called "vested attention" that has transformational power. Take the fiction of money for example, or the myths of any major culture. It seems to be a combination of the genius of GBT and the love from millions that has allowed Alex, Leo and others to walk off the page and into our lives.
I don't think Toggle is as dumb as some people are making him out to be. He's certainly ill-served by his family background, and I'd love to see a visit to his old schools. In spite of that, he is a music nerd with a blooming interest in music's technical aspects. He probably has the same kind of analytical, numbers-oriented mind as Alex. Different on the surface, but very similar in the way they think: this could be a very successful relationship -- personal and business. I certainly hope so.
"Doors in every university and college will have this strip posted." How are they going to hang computer monitors?
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.
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.
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...
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!
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.