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.

WHATEVER THEY DID
Sarabird | Seattle, WA | November 16, 2010

40 years really? Amazing and wonderful, thanks to your parents for whatever they did to let you be you! Bedbugs -- folks, get some diatomaceous earth and quit whining already. At least they aren't Black Mambas.

CBS SUNDAY MORNING
Carol | Merritt Island, FL | November 16, 2010

Congratulations on 40 years. I saw your interview on "CBS Sunday Morning." It reminded me of why I started reading Doonesbury in the first place -- in 1972 when I was 12. Our paper put Doonesbury on the editorial page instead of with the other comics. I'm not sure I would have been reading the strip all this time if they hadn't.

CHRONICLE OF OUR TIMES
Carl Stein | San Francisco, CA | November 16, 2010

Doonesbury has been an important part of my life since the early 1970s, longer than almost everyone I know. As a high-school student, I wrote letters to the editor of the newspaper in Midland, MI, to support Doonesbury and Trudeau when others were writing to criticize and to request that the newspaper drop the comic because they called it offensive to local morals. I'm glad that while I lived in Midland, the newspaper continued to print Doonesbury. I've read every Doonesbury strip for years and look forward to reading it every morning. Thank you for the ongoing chronicle of our times.

ACK!
Kelly | Edmonton, CANADA | November 16, 2010

Ack! Please, no bedbug stuff. People are so freakin' paranoid these days. Every time they see a fly or beetle or insect, they scream "Bed bug!" Please leave the sensationalist junk to the MSM.

SEEING MIKE SUFFER
John Narofsky | Aurora, IL | November 15, 2010

I laughed at today's strip and then I laughed at myself. How silly is it that I'm looking forward to seeing Mike suffer with bed bugs? Doonesbury is my preferred reality TV, I guess.

WHILE A GRUNT IN VIETNAM
Marcus Nevacoff | St. Augustine Beach, FL | November 14, 2010

Thanks, Garry. I have been reading you since I first ran into you while a Grunt in Vietnam in the late 60s early 70s. B.D. and Phred were my favorites. You have helped me and so many other Vets understand what is happening to us, talking about things the government denies. Your nightmare strip the other day was so real two of my ex-wives contacted me to say they understood now. I am at about at the end of my run now. And I wanted to thank you for your work.

OFFENSIVE
Val | Pleasant Hill, CA | November 13, 2010

I found it very offensive that when "ma" came home yesterday and there was the discussion about her staying out all night and the morality issues (or lack thereof) that it involved, you felt it necessary to put a necklace with a cross on it around her neck. While I suppose it was a comment regarding the hypocrisy of some who claim to be Christians, it was offensive to those of us who are.

CELEBRATING
Elias Waters | Bisbourne, NEW ZEALAND | November 13, 2010

Congratulations on 40 years! I myself am celebrating by going right back to strip number one and reading every single one since. That may well take another 40 years to do.

FLASHBACKS
John | Brooklyn, NY | November 13, 2010

I love the strip. It is a daily pilgrimage. As is the Flashbacks section, which gives fascinating insight into how Mr Trudeau's style and outlook have evolved.

APHASIA
Ellayne S. Ganzfried | New York, NY | November 12, 2010

I see that Doonesbury has featured the word "aphasia" again . On behalf of the National Aphasia Association (NAA), I would like to thank Garry Trudeau for raising awareness of aphasia in his comic strip.  Not many people know about aphasia until they or someone they love is devastated by this condition -- the sudden inability to communicate, speak, read, write or understand language, usually as a result of stroke or traumatic brain injury. Few realize that aphasia is more common than cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophy or spinal cord injuries.

More than 1 million Americans have aphasia and there are over 200,000 new cases each year. This number is predicted to continue growing as our population ages and Iraq veterans return home forever changed due to traumatic brain injuries, as depicted in Doonesbury.

As Mr. Trudeau correctly points out, aphasia does not affect intellect.  However, because people with aphasia have a difficult time expressing themselves and understanding what is said, others often mistake this communication challenge as a loss of intellect.  As a result, people with aphasia are treated differently, sometimes ignored, which leads to isolation and depression, which is devastating. An NAA study found that 70 percent of aphasics felt people avoided contact with them because of their difficulty communicating. 90 percent felt isolated, left out, ignored and lonely.

There is no cure for aphasia, but speech-language therapy and constant social interaction is critical for recovery and maintaining a meaningful life. Family, friends and society must help people with aphasia reconnect with their communities and life.  All it takes is understanding, patience and a few commonsense strategies to improve communication.

1)    Have the person's attention before you speak.
2)    Minimize or eliminate background noise (TV, radio, other people).
3)    Keep your own voice at a normal level. 
4)    Keep communication simple, but adult.
5)    Give them time to speak; resist the urge to finish sentences for them or offer words.
6)    Communicate with drawings, gestures, writing and facial expressions. 
7)    Confirm that you are communicating successfully with "yes" and "no" questions. 
8)    Praise all attempts to speak and downplay any errors.
9)    Engage in normal activities whenever possible.
10)    Encourage independence, avoid being overprotective.

NAA is a consumer-focused, not-for-profit organization that was founded in 1987 as the first national organization dedicated to advocating for persons with aphasia and their families.  Free resources, advice and support groups can be found by calling our hotline (800-822-4622) or visiting our Web site

HAPPY VETERANS DAY
Treva Obbard | Albany, CA | November 11, 2010

Happy Veterans Day to Toggle, B.D., Elias, Jason, Kurt, and Dex, George, Phred, and the officer B.D. had a fling with that one time on the ship. And to everyone who will be a veteran as soon as they come home: Melissa, Roz, Captain Seabrooke, Ray, Agent Havoc, possibly Jeff, and all the "wrench wenches" on Mel's crew. And, of course, to all the non-fictional soldiers, veteran or serving, who defend(ed) our rights and upheld/are upholding the country's honor in tough times. Thank you, whoever you are, from all of us back on the homefront.

WARNING SHOTS
Ron Shirtz | Rensselaer Falls, NY | November 10, 2010

So Alex, who self-righteously confronted gun-carrying customers at Starbucks, and took away the gun her boyfriend kept in his car, now gives him advice on dealing with his nightmare by firing "warning shots" at the phantom insurgents in his dreams? Of course, innocent Alex cannot comprehend
that shooting warning shots or otherwise with the .50 caliber machine gun that her boyfriend most likely handled as a Humvee gunner could result in collateral damage to innocent civilians. Or that warning shots would allow the bad guys to fire back. Perhaps a better suggestion by Alex would be that her boyfriend should go AWOL in his dreams, or become a conscientious objector. Now that would take real guts -- to refuse to fight in a unjust and unnecessary war! And to encourage all his buddies to do the same. It seems hypocritical for her to suggest maintaining the violence quo by advocating "warning shots."

MY YEARLY TRADITION
Lisa | Austin, TX | November 10, 2010

I'm coming up on my yearly tradition of T-giving at Mom and Dad's place, where I park in "Daddy's chair" for the better part of a day and read through all his Doonesbury anthologies -- he's got 'em all. Let's hear it for another 40 years!

NIGHTMARE
Richard | Olympia, WA | November 09, 2010

Great portrayal of the nightmare sequence. Good call on the "they might scatter" remark. I know, trying to influence a nightmare, the barest bit, can start you out of it. Did anyone else notice Toggle's first thought was for the loved one's safety, not his own? I wonder why the nightmare keeps looping.

NOT FUNNY
A.H. | PENNSYLVANIA | November 08, 2010

The military no longer considers Post-Traumatic Stress a "disorder." Thanks for whatever part you played in that. It's not funny. But you nailed it today.

PTSD
Michael J. McCarthy PA-C | Port Huron, MI | November 08, 2010

Thank you again, this week of Veteran's Day, for featuring the ongoing problem of PTSD that plagues war veterans, present and past. I've been following this since serving as a conscientious objector during the Vietnam War, and seeing the personal destruction wrought in the lives young people, bringing the wounds and memories of their battlefields home. No one should be asked to fight unnecessary wars...Peace, in these troubled hopeful times.

DAILY DOSE
Wayne Carpenter | Belton, TX | November 07, 2010

Thanks for 40 great years! Please stay with it. I need my daily dose.

GAVE UP
Mark LaMure | Corydon, INDIANA | November 07, 2010

Years ago, probably when I was in my late twenties or early thirties, I gave up on reading one of my favorite comic strips, Doonesbury, because it had become incredibly biased and harsh against anyone or anything with conservative values. Occasionally I would give it a retry just to see if it had gotten any fairer, only to find that it had just gotten worse and more shrill, especially during the George W. Bush presidency. And of course none of it was backed up with any facts, only the talking points of the liberal media. Well, here in the last year I have begun to read Doonesbury again. It is funnier than I ever remember it being; the way that it so obviously avoids the pathetic failings of the Obama/Pelosi/Reid administration cracks me up...

 

RAISED WITH DOONESBURY
Spike McKinley | Vancouver, CANADA | November 07, 2010

My kids were raised with Doonesbury as a cultural reference that was far more relevant than any religious tome available today. Thank you G.B., thank you.

ASTUTE
Larry S. | Delaware, OH | November 06, 2010

Wow! Could it be that 43 was really as astute as portrayed in Roland's interview, that he anticipated that Americans would "remember" TARP as Democratic initiative? According to a Pew Research poll, a large percentage of Americans actually believe it was.