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.

DELUSIONS
Brett Bayne | West Hollywood, CA | July 26, 2011

Wow. Jeff's egomaniacal delusions are approaching rubber-room levels if he thinks those female bar patrons can tell he's got baby blues through the sunglasses he is inexplicably wearing indoors.

THE JULY 10TH STRIP
Ellen Emerick | Lexington, KY | July 25, 2011

I have been reading the comments on the July 10th strip and just want to say that I have never understood why anyone who accepts evolution as a viable theory is somehow anti-God. Why can't God have set in motion the possibilitiy of adaptation to changing circumstances?

BLOWBACK
Doral | Chennai, INDIA | July 25, 2011

Blowback allows me to understand the full significance of the strip and enjoy it; without it, many times the strip is Greek to me. I was overjoyed when Blowback resumed today. And thank you GBT, for a window on U.S. culture, politics, life, and whatnot!

THE ELEPHANT
Jack Cerf | Chatham, NJ | July 25, 2011

Judging from the comments here, Sunday's invisibility strip seems to be like the elephant examined by the blind men. My piece of it is not that the Boomers have become invisibile to the young in general, but that men of a certain age become invisible to young women and sometimes -- since young women remain highly visible to them -- have a tough time accepting that fact. This is not a new situation. George "Tubby" Bowling, the middle-aged insurance salesman who's the narrator/hero of Orwell's Coming Up For Air (1938), describes himself in part by saying "no woman will ever look me again." But just as the Boomers in their narcissim believed that they had invented sex and idealism, they now seem to think that they have invented aging.

BETTER
Kate C. | Penticton, CANADA | July 25, 2011

I love invisible. It's way better than being called "Dear."

THE GOOD NEWS
Mike | Lansdale, PA | July 25, 2011

Loved yesterday's strip about the invisible boomers (and boomleters). The good news is that I'm entering the "old-enough-not-to-give-a-tinker's-damn" stage about many things. That gives us geezers the opportunity to do things to get noticed and not worry about it. A friend who turned 50 wore her tiara with a big purple 50 on it to dinner with her kids in New York City last weekend. Embrace it, folks!

A REAL JEFF
Steve Dotson | Littleton, CO | July 25, 2011

Just to let you know, there is a real Jeff in Afghanistan, a friend of my daughter at West Point. He is trying to make a difference.

STILL OUT HERE
Horst Baelz | Bangkok, THAILAND | July 24, 2011

I am not an American, but I have had friends who didn't dare to reintegrate after their tour of duty in Vietnam. They're still out here in Thailand, never to return. It's high time somebody is daring to address the subject of post-war integration. Two thumbs up for bringing this to public attention.

WEBCHATS
Karyn | Chicago, IL | July 24, 2011

Thank you, thank you, thank you for your strips with webchats between Sorkh Razil and one of the "job creators." You have given a voice to those of us who are on exactly the same page (no pun intended) and level of disgust at those in Congress who are in the pockets of corporate America. If they have their way, it will be government by the corporations, for the corporations and of the corporations. If it's not already. America, wake up and show up at the polls. The partiers will. Don't let the election be decided by the loonies. VOTE! People elsewhere are dying for the right.

OUCH !
Brian C. | New York, NY | July 24, 2011

Ouch! Today's strip hits way too close to home. I work as a Dean in a public HS in New York. In the school building I am a visible presence, the students are friendly and respectful (mostly), and I am literally "seen." As I leave school each day my visibility to the students who saw me earlier in the day drops to just about zero by the time I am a block from the school building. At that point I am just another adult who does not register at all. When I first encountered this phenomenon I thought it was purposeful, but as time has passed, and I have seen the genuine "startle" when I engage a student, I have come to see it as the same unconscious process of the checkout girl in today's strip. Thanks as always for nailing an undeniable developmental milestone.


CASHIER
Barb | Bend, OREGON | July 24, 2011

As a former cashier of a major retailer, may I point out that having invisible customers has everything to do trying to meet the store goal to scan and bag 700 items an hour, keeping the lines at no more than three customers per checkstand, making sure to get that pesky rewards card and to do the financial transaction right. Make a mistake on the transaction and you get fired. (Being union doesn't make it any easier, as it makes you a target for management to attack when payroll has to be trimmed.) Do it for 6 to 8 hours a day, for low pay. Customers will complain to management if they think you're taking their time by being too friendly to another customer. Heck, I'm surprised she asked "Paper or plastic?" as the corporation said not to ask, to just do plastic unless the customer asks otherwise. A paper bag costs the store 5 cents each, while a plastic bag is a fraction of a cent.

HARDLY THE FIRST
Bob S. | New York, NY | July 24, 2011

I'm a B-Boomer too, and I've certainly noticed this. But ours is hardly the first generation to get ignored by younger people. I can recall doing it myself in my friskier days. Maybe there's an extra sting to it in times when the youth culture reigns supreme. But take it in stride, because it's only gonna get worse for us!

MORE VISIBLE
Robert | Oakland, CA | July 24, 2011

Oddly, I've become more visible lately. I recently turned fifty (yeah!), and have been practicing my people skills with bus drivers, cashiers, etc. I even say "Bless you" to strangers when they sneeze. Perhaps part of it is that, having been happily married for fifteen years, I don't hope for special attentiveness from attractive young women. Of course, my husband has other explanations for that last bit. Heh.

DEAD ON
Kelly | Philadelphia, PA | July 24, 2011

Your strip today was dead on. For the past several years, I have been telling my friends and family that people in our generation (aging baby boomers) are invisible. They didn't seem to understand what I meant, until I showed them today's comic. Loved it. Thanks!

AMBIGUITY
John Keefer | Santa Monica, CA | July 22, 2011

I like the ambiguity of the reality of the Red Rascal. His parents think it is pure delusion and yet other established characters (Duke) interact with his reality. It's the play/movie Harvey all over again!

FEWER EMPLOYEES
Ed Gosnell | Columbus, OH | July 22, 2011

The comment in today's strip about the rich learning to operate with fewer employees during the downturn is exactly right. I worked for over 40 years for a wholesaler supplying supermarkets and other mass market retailers. Changes over the last 15 years have been massive job killers. The easiest to see are the self-serve checkout lanes which are effectively robots that can each eliminate between 2 and 3 full-time jobs since they operate 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Keep in mind that they pay no social security, medicare or workers' comp payments. Am I crazy; or is there something wrong with a tax system that favors robots over people? Moreover, these lanes are just the tip of the iceberg. Similar job losses behind the scenes throughout the supply chain have been far, far worse. Our retail/distribution sector is currently in the middle of its equivalent of the industrial revolution. Trade has been mechanized. Retailers are no longer mom and pop stores but the end points of giant integrated machines stretching back to the manufacturers and farms. Capital investment in this environment tends to kill jobs as machines replace people. Such is progress. However, giving tax breaks to promote such change is like throwing gasoline on an already raging fire. It is a great policy for the welfare of robots and machines; not so great for people. Unfortunately, robots and machines do not buy much.

CIVIL DISCOURSE
John Nancekivell | Dartmouth, NS | July 21, 2011

I read the Mudline comments scrolling across top of your home page and have to wonder if Americans and maybe North Americans have ever heard of civil discourse. Insults are not a debate! I loved the clip of the British House of Commons recently, when Cameron (for all his many faults) made telling points using logic as well as humour in a time-tested tradition. I believe the USA used to echo this tradition from the mother country. Now it's all vitriol and insults and mistruths. "If I say it enough, it must be true." I was hoping Obama might change the conversation, but I could be hoping in vain. Let us hope higher ideals than those represented by people in government now will prevail.

PUBLIC ENEMY NUMBER 2
Neal Byles | Concord, NH | July 21, 2011

As one of those vampiric teachers lounging around on my endless vacation, thank you so much for addressing this. I don't know how we became Public Enemy Number 2, but it's been frustrating how little defense we've received from the mainstream. Cheers!

TEACHERS
Cathy Starnes | La Quinta, CA | July 21, 2011

I absolutely loved the July 21, 2011 strip. My husband and I are retired teachers who, for years, have listened to some wealthy "friends" make snide remarks about how they are overtaxed and teachers overpaid. The irony, they both were teachers at one point! How soon some people forget.

SHOUT-OUT
James Garner | North Little Rock, AR | July 21, 2011

Today's Flashback strip from 40 yerars ago offers offers another fine example of your 'up-to-date' comics. With a Physics degree and an Electrical Engineering degree I can relate to having to take a manual labor job (jackhammer and blow torch) to pay the bills, and then I can relate to getting laid-off said manual labor job. Politicians like to say "workers are the engine of the ecomony." In that analogy, this worker feels like a tire; used for all I'm worth, possibly by a multi-generational corporation, then discarded. Thank's for the shout-out!