A clean, well-lit place to vent
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I really appreciate the sensitivity and depth with which you approach the DADT issue. As usual, politicians are testing the wind, looking for a lever, considering their options. Your character has reason to be wary. While the services shoot themselves in the foot by discharging (I hope it's not a UD or DD; prolly GD) capable people. I don't recall liking everyone I served with, but I did strongly prefer people who were steady and capable under stress. I did not inquire about their sexual preferences at the time. It does seem stupid and rude in the extreme to discharge capable service members when they're way down on brains in the Army anyway. Oh, yeah, Facebook. I've told my kids, and I keep this promise; never write anything on a computer that you don't want read on the Six O'Clock News, or in a court of law. Merry Christmas to all.
Jeff is self-absorbed and narcissistic, but he's not a sociopath. The latter know what they're doing and they intentionally harm others for the sake of their own self-aggrandizement. If Jeff would just withdraw his head from the proverbial you-know-where, he'd be fine.
I love where you are taking Melissa this week. As a (liberal) Army civilian employee, I work with a number of former infantrymen who are against the DADT repeal. Thursday's strip summarizes better than I ever could why the ban is ridiculous. On a side note, never mind the naysayers, I want to see what happens when Melissa and Jeff get together!
I must admit, in the 20 or so years of reading Doonesbury, this thread on the DADT issue is a pretty good representation. I knew several gay soldiers when I served and had no issues with them nor they with me because we had the common soldiers bond. DADT shouldnt be a law; discriminating against anyone in the military is just wrong. And when DADT is repealed, it is just as well that Women should be allowed to participate in Combat Arms on the front lines. I know plenty of women that can sit front seat in an Apache or fly an A10 just as well or better than most men. And a few that can even outshoot me.
Naming names and outing McCain as a fraud. Awesome.
I have been a fan of the strip for more than 30 years. I just want to say that today's strip is up there with the biggest highlights of all that time: topical, human, and vitally important. And somehow still wryly amusing. You might just have struck the greatest blow against DADT yet.
Terrific irony that Zuckerberg is named Time magazine's Man of the Year on the same day that the Melissa concludes "Facebook really is evil!"
Normal people don't use the word "functionality" in conversation unless they're dictating bad ad copy for underfinanced tech companies.
Pvt. Illegible-Name-Tag's girlfriend must feel awful about the result of what should have been some harmless venting...
It's amazing how Jeff Redfern elicits sympathy and hope for his redemption among readers. People struggle to imagine him as just a misguided, nice boy -- ripe for enlightenment. But really, every evidence we've been given indicates that he's not just a goof living a fantasy, but that he's a sociopath with no perspective, no idea of the consequences, a creature of sheer impulse. He may not be evil by intent -- he does dream of himself as hero -- but it's clear by his actions, not his dreams, that it's all and only about himself.
It's time to give him to Uncle Duke. They so deserve each other. We all know how evil breeds evil, but GBT deserves thanks for his reflection on this more subtle aspect of the brave new world, where these amoral or apathetic creatures are bred by people of some decency who are just too busy or confused to really take a clear hold of what's involved in parenting. Has that not been the Redfern family?
Today's strip could not have pointed out in a more appropriate way the absurdity of not allowing gays and lesbians to serve their country openly. Sending a Warrior home from war where her brothers and sisters in arms depended on her to do her job of combat support or combat service support, and where her Soldiers depended upon her for her leadership*, because of her sexual orientation** is a crime. Guess what, people; they're here, they're queer, and they can shoot, move, communicate, sustain and survive. DADT will end sooner or later just like segregation ended. Deal with it or get the hell out of my Army!
* I am, of course, making a huge asumption that she is also an NCO, by the casual tone of her conversation with Melissa, who we know to be an NCO.
** Also, I am assuming that she's not getting "disharged" for engaging in behavior forbidden by UCMJ or by any other lawful, in-theater order given by the appropriate combatant commander or any other officer in her chain of command. The "don't ask, don't tell" nature of the dialogue makes me think I'm right in my assumption.
Mr. Overkill is undoubtedly stupid in some ways, but come on -- Jeff is older than some of the troops who have been trusted with reconstruction funds. Let's not insult them in an effort to whitewash Jeff.
Yep, I can see where this is going. You've been teasing us for a long time, and now you're ready to pull a changeup.
Today's strip was indeed powerful in its quiet message. It took me a second to catch, but then I truly appreciated the way you presented this. Well done.
Today's strip? Brilliantly understated. Thank you.
"Mom? I want to come home." Could Jeff have finally learned his lesson and be ready to leave his fantasy life and join the real world? Jeff might have a future as a writer of thrillers, with his proven ability to write fiction and his experience in the CIA, Iraq, and Afghanistan. That's how Ian Fleming, the creator of James Bond, got started. But please -- no Jeff and Melissa, okay? Melissa, who has recovered from command rape and become a leader in her own right, deserves so much better than Jeff and his on-line fantasies.
I like Melissa. I want her to succeed. Please don't let her fall into the trap so many women who are trauma survivors tumble into: finding solace with some sub-par doofus of a guy. Jeff Redfern doesn't deserve a gem like her, and she sure as hell doesn't deserve a headache like him.
Maybe Jeff needs to go through a real training program to see if he is cut out for the reality of his fantasies. To me he is like Don Quixote, only he is young and can actually go out and try to prove himself. There is only one way to reconcile fantasy and reality, and that's starting at the bottom; real basic training to be able to carry out all those fantastic stunts. Otherwise, it's just a case of "it might have been." He certainly talks the talk, but it's time to walk the walk -- and for that a true mentor who knows is needed.
My wife had lunch with her literary hero, poet laureate Richard Wilbur, and was riding very high that day. Our son Will called me into the TV room and said "You'll never guess who Colbert is interviewing." I couldn't guess. He told me, and I said, "The famously reclusive Garry Trudeau? No way!" I have all his books, and when Colbert showed the intricate chart of D'bury personnel I said, "I can tell you who all of them are. Garry Trudeau is my Richard Wilbur." This actually happened.
I resent the comment about Zipper working in a cubicle. Zonker was basically Zipper, back in his college days, and now he has a reliable career as a nanny and Viscount. At least until Sam goes to college.