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.
Today's strip really hit me hard, as it peeled back the edge of the "cover" that fragile vets work with, trying to cope. We also see it in our beloved demented. This was a master touch of subtlety. I'm pretty tuned in to it, as my name is Ray and I lost my wife to dementia.
Let Ray pay the rent. He needs to feel entitled to respect as a valuable member of; society, veterans, family. So what if he's a little off on his math (and thereby, his reality) right now? He's back, he's alive, and he's trying. Go, Ray, go!
I just read the most recent comments about Toggle. PTSD (got mine in Nam) is a life-controlling disease. The best you can do is learn to live with it. Thanks for a sensitive and touching approach to it in both the younger (Toggle) and older (B.D. and Ray) vets. You've probably done more for us than all the drugs and shrinks at the VA (tho they really try).
Today's strip includes the infamous straw man that the Republicans and the right love to throw out to justify refusing any attempts at health care reform: the old "ER" excuse. Let's ignore the fact that ERs do charge people (often $1000 for something minor). And worse, if you go in and they find out that you have a serious medical condition that needs long term care, you are SOL in that they will only give you basic, bare minimum treatment and reject you if you need bone marrow or a new organ or have cancer that needs extensive treatment, such as chemo and surgery to remove said tumor. I know several people who refuse to go to the emergency room when sick because their financial situation is so dire that a trip to the ER can pretty much bring them to the brink of financial ruin, given how much hospital ERs charge people for treatment. And god help you if you are so sick that you have to spend 3-4 days in the hospital.
What the baghead implies is that the bohemian left aren't serious people willing to do the retail work of translating outrage into electoral power. Hendrik Hertzberg, as left liberal as you could ask for, says something similar in this week's New Yorker: "The Tea Party is simply better adapted to — and, despite its angry face, less alienated from — the actually existing environment of American politics and government. Its purported fear of coöption didn’t stop it from accepting millions of dollars (and offers of “training”) from Astroturf outfits like the Koch brothers’ Americans for Prosperity and Dick Armey’s FreedomWorks, while Fox News and talk radio provided it with a ready-made apparatus for organizing and propaganda. The Tea Party has never doubted the efficacy of elections; it has focussed on officeholders and would-be officeholders all along. The paradigmatic Tea Party activity, in the summer of 2009, was to pack a local congressman’s town hall and shout imprecations against Obamacare. By 2010 it was all electoral politics, all the time." We've seen the result.
Dishwashers are only appropriate for the well-to-do. The poor should not have them, not even if they're ancient. (Dishwashers have been around for a long time, like refrigerators, which the poor also have, lucky them.)
Please, Roland, allow me to respond to your "Fox editorial." To quote you, "This is America." We are (or were) the wealthiest nation in the world. Poverty may be unstoppable, but America has no excuse for not availing its poor of every resource with which the poor themselves can survive in the artificial environment that is America, and perhaps even become non-poor taxpayers. Indeed the poor themselves are a resource we cannot afford to squander. We are quite a different society from many others. In some countries, the poor might be able to get by with a few seeds, a hoe, a good well, and a lot of luck, but in the America we have built, the poor are SOL if they are deprived of such "luxuries" as good jobs, nutritious food, modern communications, modern transportation, medical care, and education. Take those things away and this is no longer America, it's the Third World. And believe me, Roland, we do have pockets of Third World right here at home. Is that really the way you would prefer to keep your poor?
Thanks for today's reality check.
Today's strip had me until the final square. I was hoping GBT, Mike or Kim would have a verbal and intelligent response to the attack on the poor, not to mention the increasingly poor and struggling middle class. Poverty isn't funny. Neither is obesity. Least of all is Roland. Nice try.
In today's strip, Roland isn't nearly over-the-top enough. His dialog sounds exactly like the real-time online comments in the Washington Post. This isn't satire, it's reality comics.
Today's strip really hurt. They usually do because you often lay bare the truth of current events, but usually it is accompanied by some comment that makes it really clear you're being ironic, and that was absent today. Some people reading today's strip might think you are in agreement with Roland Hedley.
Ha! The return of egg freckles! Welcome back to our favorite phrase of misunderstanding!
Having the bag-headed kid be a white guy is not a bad thing. Not that he's representative of America today demographically, merely that white guys have no baggage attached to them. When white guys are the main characters in the movies, you can't complain about some minority being misrepresented. White males represent nobody. They're a blank slate. If a white guy character is a scumbag, no white male advocacy network is going to come out of the woodwork to fire off angry letters about how their people are being abused in the public media.
I heard Diane Rehm's show on NPR this morning when we were on the way to work and got so excited when I heard Diane wonder "how would one interview a 99%er." We had been reading the interview that Mark Slackmeyer was doing with a 99%er and both looked at each other and busted out laughing. How reality and imagination have intertwined in the brain of Garry B. Trudeau! Wonderful.
As a 63-year-old Boomer I've been looking into the mirror of this comic strip for a long time. Santa Rosa is a dynamic city with all the urban problems, only we are doing something about it with Occupy Santa Rosa City Hall. We are sharing our food with the homeless and the hungry, we are making space for everyone to have their voice heard; from folks like your character with bags over their heads to single mothers to drug addicts. Not only the wealthy -- who can afford ads telling us coal is now clean and extraction of natural gas won't bother our drinking water anymore -- need to be heard.
The whine about how boomers are self-involved has a great deal of currency these days. But I never heard it until our kids -- the children of the boomers -- got out into the world and discovered that it was only their own parents who worshipped the ground they walked on. If someone is going to call me self-involved because I don't think the sun shines out of their orifices, I'll survive the epithet. And I'll believe it's true as soon as I am called that by someone who gives more time, money, and energy to charity and good works than I and my generation did and do.
The current STRAW POLL asks "How preoccupied are you with Occupy Wall Street?" I think that we all are a little too preoccupied with it. Notice how long it took for Michael Moore to arise out of his Piano Box and take a stand. He is in Oakland today preaching probably because of the poor way the City of Oakland, one of the worst gang violence locations in the United States, handled the protesters. We, the people, need to get on the same sheet of music and present a 99% front to the issues at hand. Look at the protests and all the dissimilar placards being held up. Chaos at its finest!
You had me GB. You really did. I was getting livid at your portrayal of the OWS dude as an incoherent moron. But your initial portrayal was as misleading as the MSM's ongoing portrayal, and with yesterday's and today’s strips I'm on to ya. Well played, sir.