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Ian Fleming, for all practical purposes, was James Bond. He was with the Special Operations Executive during World War II, Churchill's "dirty tricks" squad (along with Christopher "Count Duuku" Lee, BTW). Most of his wartime activities are still classified, but we know that, unlike Jeffrey, Fleming was a real, effective covert operator.
Jeff is a boy who is insists on operating as a video game avatar in the real world and on transmuting reality into a fantasy world. Even though George Bush didn't know video from voodoo, he was gaming in a similar way when he and his teenage pals in the White House took the most powerful military machine on earth out for a joyride in Iraq.
Ian Fleming was James Bond. He was a decorated commando for British Intelligence during WWII and based many of the stories on events drawn from his own experience, and many of the characters on his colleagues (and enemies). Even some of his book titles were drawn from plans he drew up for various missions during that time.
Jeff doesn't get the joke. He hasn't realized that Becca sees through him and that the book is being published and marketed as fiction. It's as if Ian Fleming thought he actually was James Bond.
The Jeff sequences, while crushingly funny, always make me wince a little bit. They always carry a scent of generational conflict: 'What's wrong with the kids these days?'
"You'd make it out to 'cash.' As many have." The line of our times.
I'm curious to see if Mark learns that Jeff is Joanie's son. It's always interesting to see how GBT intertwines characters' lives, with the reader being more aware than the characters how few degrees of separation there are.
Blowback is a wonderful feature. It makes me realise how many others have been watching Doonesbury as long and as religiously as I have. It's an incredible body of work; there can't be many others with the depth and breadth of understanding of their country and society that GBT has. Trudeau for president.
The revulsion with Jeff is because he's achieved an entirely different level of self-obsession. Look at what happened in Berzerkistan: He helps to airlift a dictator to safety. Jeff isn't just guilty of being young and foolish, he's guilty of knowing better and doing the wrong thing anyway. He is neither quaint nor excusable.
Tee hee hee! A special "laugh out loud" funny strip, as Sorkh Razil's natural coloring draws admiration from both his publicist and Marvellous Mark, and he discovers that life on the tour circuit isn't all about attention from female groupies. He can't handle other peoples' fantasies intruding on his. It's not surprising that he reacts with reflexive homophobia.
I sometimes wonder how much of the Jeff/Rick conflict is autobiographical. Trudeau drew and created his own fictional world, just like Jeff did. Perhaps at times he took his new world too seriously and his father didn't apporve of it. Is Trudeau entertaining here, or trying to get closure with his past?
Doonesbury points out the foibles and heroics that we see around us. I can't imagine that any reader sees Jeff as real, but the so-called "hatred and bile" is directed at those we know who expect to float effortlessly through life with every wish granted. I see some of them in my college classrooms. Happily, they sit alongside others who work hard and take responsibility for their own lives and decisions.
Today's strip: Wicked...sense...of...humor! Keep up the good work.
The fact that people are belittling and deriding Jeff for living in a fantasy or virtual world is deeply ironic, considering they're getting so upset with and wasting so much hatred and bile on an imaginary character in a comic strip.
I just want to say: sometimes a good joke -- perfect set-up to a zinger punchline -- is just a good joke. Today the timing alone made me laugh, and it was cool to go back and notice exactly what Alex was doing throughout the strip. Applause, man!
Today's strip reminds me of my daughter's complaint about inheriting my big feet.
Watching Jeff is like watching a busy street covered in black ice. I keep looking away in horror only to sneak a look back to see the wreckage.
Seriously, did Mike deserve this? Where would Alex be without the parent that cared enough to stick by her, while her feminist, independent mother abandoned and walked out on her? It would have been nice to have Kim stand up for him and tell Alex that in some cultures a man's sexual prowess is judged by his nose.
Given GBT's history of audience participation (cf. allowing readers to vote on where Alex would go to college -- MIT), I wonder if the success of Jeff's book might depend upon the success of, um, "Jeff's book" (aka Red Rascal's War).
Jeff has always seemed to me to be Garry Trudeau's symbol for 'the youth of today' -- living more in a virtual/fantasy world than a real one. (Alex Doonesbury is like the other end of this spectrum; an achiever, but she is still very hooked into that world.) And this new plot line, I'm hoping, will be about Jeff and the world (including Rick eventually, perhaps) figuring out that there are honorable livings to be made out of the imagination and make-believe worlds -- as a writer, for example.