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.

P. H. | Chicago, IL | April 13, 2012

I believe Jeff has been redeemed in today's strip, as someone with a grasp of reality, quite capable of ironic self-reflection. I remember well the quiet pride we felt when our daughter (a bit older than Jeff, but in the same demographic) received an A in nose-blowing ("uses handkerchief appropriately") when she was in kindergarten.

P.F. | McLean, VA | April 13, 2012

Please don't crush Jeff completely. Get him a girlfriend (maybe that helicopter mechanic?), to ground him before he implodes.


F. Rawley | New York, NY | April 12, 2012

The Red Rascal makes me think of Marwencol. I wonder if Jeff is working out some demons.

Gordon | COLORADO | April 11, 2012

Am I the only one who is genuinely pulling for Jeff's success here? It was the great Samuel Johnson who once said, "No man but a blockhead ever wrote, except for money," and in this respect, the younger Redfern comes out the better this week. Jeff's obviously inherited his family's verbal DNA, so why begrudge him the opportunity to make a living from what he does well? Hey, one man's "war porn" is another man's For Whom the Bell Tolls.

I see Sorkh Razil as a young Theseus type, who engages in dramatic battles against exotic enemies for the amusement of others: a pretty popular literary device these days. I hope that, in 20 years, Jeff Redfern will astound critics with a heart-wrenching tour de force novel about a middle-aged man trying to reach out to his dying father with whom he never managed to see eye to eye. I'm thinking Pulitzer, or maybe even Nobel. Or better still, it will be the namesake of the prestigious Redfern Award for Outstanding Literary Awesomeness Beyond Comprehension.

Gary | Washington, D.C. | April 11, 2012

I actually find the contrast between Rick and Jeff to be quite poignant. Rick represents the old media/journalism, with a dedication to credibility and accountability, but trying to maintain its relevance in a changing media. Jeff represents new media/journalism, with a focus on sensationalism, exaggeration and often pure fiction, with it's dedication to financial success and celebrity.

David Berlin | Bradley Beach, NJ | April 11, 2012

Rick's correct answer to Jeff at this point is, "Get out. Or I'm calling the police to have you removed as an unwanted person in my home." Jeff is now so far over the line that it has ceased to be funny, or even amusing. He needs to know that he is not welcome in his parents' home.

Neither Rick nor Joanie have failed; it is not a reflection on them. I have never personally met someone who is narcissistic to the point of psychotic delusion, although I have met some pretty narcissistic people. Jeff is there, and Rick and Joanie need to put him out on a permanent basis. It won't help Jeff, but it will help them.

Allie | Gettysburg, PA | April 11, 2012

How ironic. Rick has dissed and dismissed the kid for years and now he wants some of the bread? "'Who will help me grind the grain?' said the Little Red Hen." Methinks the one who made it rightly enjoys the dough.

Mark Suszko | Springfield, IL | April 11, 2012

I'm anticipating the time when "stately homeowner" Jeff discovers what an "advance against sales" really means to an author. It's a loan that comes due. No way he'll be able to afford that place. Rick should have brought this up to him by now.

Eileen | Salt Lake, UT | April 11, 2012

Re THE QUESTION: Lacey didn't teach Joanie's knees how to jerk. Joanie has never (used advisedly -- I'm an old, old timer) expected people to live up to her, or society's, expectations. She takes us (and herself) as we come. Lacey just knew a real diamond when she saw one.

Jane Maze | Canberra, AUSTRALIA | April 11, 2012

People have pointed out some parallels/opposites between Jeff and Alex, and Jeff and Toggle, as comments on the world today. But I've just seen like a lightning burst -- finally seen! -- that Jeff and Rick are being contrasted as representatives of new and old media. And whatever his moral qualities, Jeff as the new media star is in the ascendant.

Morf | Yerrington, NV | April 11, 2012

So Jeff’s passion has become rewarding? Not such a shock, given that he has shown a propensity for science and imaginative fiction -- not the first time that formula’s worked for someone. Perhaps he could mentor his more-intelligent journalist father in creating fact-based prose -- perchance composing captions for a politically satirical comic strip?

Karen | Huntington, WV | April 11, 2012

Every time Jeff says "stately home" I hear The Kinks in my head. Can't wait to watch him, sipping a beer on a sunny afternoon, like the slacker in the song, blocking out all the problems that are going to be inevitable for him. I predict his fall will be as spectacular as his rise.

Michael Cecil | New York, NY | April 10, 2012

The Red Rascal setting up a foundation to pay out of work journalists to blog would be pretty satirical.

Mark Troll | Seattle, WA | April 10, 2012

I wish in future you would not refer to bad entities as "trolls." It has gotten difficult -- my daughter even changed her name.

T.B. | Freeport, ME | April 10, 2012

Rick's going to donate his talents on HuffPo? For free?? Blawg! Bring it, GBT...

Rosie E. | Menlo Park, CA | April 10, 2012

It's always interesting to look at the Flashbacks and see the same character at different points in their life, but this week has been particularly poignant. Twenty-five years ago, Phil Slackmeyer goes dancing at Rosewood, trying to forget about all the legal trouble he's in. Fifteen years later, he's dead and his son Mark is hard-pressed to find anyone who actually cares. The record of a life nearly not wasted -- hands up if you're hoping the same thing will happen to Jeff someday!

John Drake | Austin,TX | April 10, 2012

I broke my addiction to HuffPo when I learned that some bloggers (specifically an IBM VP) pay HuffPo to post their work and the payer gets to moderate all the comments. So when I commented that the VP's blog exhorting people to get technical degrees was self-serving and disingenuous given IBM Global Services' practice of replacing their American, onsite employees with off shore resources, my comment was deleted.

J. G. | Galt's Gulch, CO | April 10, 2012

I can't believe that until now, I never imagined that Rascal could help good ol' mom and pop -- perhaps pay off the mortgage, and prepay insurance and taxes for a few years. What would be wrong with that?

Jon McQueen | Chantilly, VA | April 10, 2012

Millions for war porn, but not a dime for Reasonable Rick? Pity. Especially since that comic anomaly reflects the king's ransoms raked in by political screedmeisters / ripsnorters / voter-deluders. Oh, well. It's only money.

SamSam | Richmond, VA | April 09, 2012

Ah! I believe that Sunday look between Joanie and Rick was "How on earth did we raise this perfect wreck of conspicuous consumption given our backgrounds?"