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.

TODAY'S YOUNGENS
Dan (the Man) | Pennsauken, NJ | January 31, 2011

Hmmmm. From what I've observed with today's youngens, I don't believe that Jeff and Zipper are continuing their conversation via text -- more than likely they're both engrossed in their own separate corners of the socialmediaverse, hanging out with each other only by physical proximity. The event of their meeting might be indicated on Twitter, but only by one of them (probably Zipper since he's more outgoing).

OH BOY
Jesse Baker | Pound, VA | January 31, 2011

Oh boy, more of Garry Trudeau making fun of Generation Y and their toys. I just pray that the texting bashing is just for today's strip, and that we'll be getting Zipper (in a bit of character growth) reducing Jeff to tears as he describes, with bullet-point precision one would never expect from such a major slacker, why Jeff sucks as a human being via the Red Rascal scam, and why he needs to end it ASAP and grow the f*** up. 'Cause seriously, I find it hard to stomach that Trudeau is shocked at Alex's popularity and namechecks her mother as reason one why we shouldn't care for her. But Jeff and his abominable Red Rascal scam and Zipper and his vile treatment of Toggle, are ignored and (in Jeff's case) treated as something good that we should root for. Even though neither figure has the inherent charisma or crazy awesome charm that made Duke such a popular character in terms of a villainous protagonist.

DISSOLVE
Stef | Madison, WI | January 31, 2011

Interesting to note in today's strip how the people and buildings in the background, real at first, dissolve by stages into a generic blur as these kids sink their attention into The Cloud. (And who's to say they're even texting each other?)

SPOT ON
MedicVet | Okmulgee, OK | January 31, 2011

Today's strip was spot on! This is the world we live in today, where people sit next to one another, talk to one another (via text), and don't even look each other in the eye. Maybe it's just that I am an older generation, but there is something so wrong with that picture -- and yet, it nails the behavior of the times.

SO SOON
Ed P. | Southbury, CT | January 31, 2011

I'm sorry to see that you ended the firearms series so soon. There must be several more weeks of material there. You haven't even touched on assault weapons yet!

THE HANDHELD DEVICE CRAZE
Maerzie | Florence, WI | January 31, 2011

Yes, the handheld device craze is very sad, but even moreso for the young crowd, like highschoolers and under. They are not learning how to socialize except at a distance and in Martian slang. And what else is it doing to brain development?

CONVERSING?
George Charouhas | Los Angeles, CA | January 31, 2011

Are Zipper and Jeff even conversing? Could it be that the only thing they are sharing is the same physical space? I figured they were just off in their own worlds, surfing the net, or whatever...and that's the irony.

IN A CAFE
Rev. Bob Faser | Bacchus Marsh, AUS | January 31, 2011

Today's strip is brilliant! Two (supposed) adults, and close friends at that, meet each other in a cafe after one has been overseas for a significant length of time. Nevertheless, their "conversation" is conducted by texting! It may be my "boomer" hubris, but I am reminded of Paul Simon's line about "People talking without speaking, people hearing without listening."

SELF-CENTEREDNESS
Steve Bailey | Jacksonville Beach, FL | January 28, 2011

I don't find self-centeredness any more endearing in Alex than it's been in J.J. Planning a wedding without even asking her intended about it -- and she doesn't see that she's following in her mother's faiied footsteps.

NUKES
Joseph Lenchner | Corralitos, CA | January 28, 2011

If you were to apply "Young's Logic" to our foreign policy, then every country would have nukes.

MATERIAL
Gary Pippenger | Creve Coeur, MO | January 28, 2011

Great theme this week -- and what incredible material is being handed to all our satirists, cartoonists and stand-ups. Thanks for giving people a chance to reflect on our increasingly bizarre culture.

ALEX AND JEFF
Treva Obbard | CALIFORNIA | January 28, 2011

Icky uncle-ness aside, Alex and Jeff would never work. Alex needs grounding, supplied freely and magnificently by Leo, and Jeff needs so much grounding he should be buried.

NAILS IT
Simon Leigh | Toronto, CANADA | January 28, 2011

Doonesbury nails it, as usual; how will a gun protect you from an audience of people with guns, especially after you've been shot through the head from behind?

THE AWFUL REALITY
Tom Ryan | Columbia, SC | January 27, 2011

The awful reality is that from Columbine to Va Tech 1 & 2 to Tucson, today's threat does not give up until met with deadly force or full restraint. Every single truthful law enforcement agency will tell you they can not protect the average citizen day in and day out, they can only respond. In this case the cure is scarier, especially to liberal bias (as noted by the Straw Poll) than the problem. There will always be people bent on evil, regardless of regulation. once again we learn of a social outcast and man with major physiological issues who was passed through the system out of fear and political correctness. It wasn't the guns, clips or ammo that killed those people, it was a sick person. Someone who, by the way, had been stalking this woman for at least three years, well before we ever heard of Sara Palin and vitriolic speech. The only thing scarier than free speech is the lack thereof. The only thing scarier than an armed citizenry is one that is helpless to defend itself...

GROWING UP IN THE U.S.
Steve G. | Zichron Yaakov, ISRAEL | January 27, 2011

Growing up in the U.S. I remember fearing the gun in the holster of the policeman standing next to me in line at McDonalds (of course, that was Chicago). Over here, it's common to carry concealed weapons -- one of the questions I'm commonly asked by security guards when I enter a store is if I have one (I don't) so he can see my license -- yet I don't feel that same fear I did growing up. The problem, as I see it, lies largely with the values of the society. We're concentrating on carrying concealed weapons when what we should be concentrating on is the glorification of violence in our culture. That's what teaches one to have the fantasy of shooting a gun out of an assailant's hand. The danger of guns in anyone's hands is a symptom of a greater problem. Solve that problem, or you'll never stop seeing the symptoms.

ARGUMENT ENOUGH
Noc | Sun Prairie, WI | January 27, 2011

Given Shuler's accuracy record with a football, the thought of him possessing and using a pistol of any sort (even a Nerf) ought to be argument enough to ban concealed and open carry.

AN EXPERIENCE
B.J. | Denver, CO | January 26, 2011

I had an experience recently that made me wish with all my being to have a loaded handgun on my belt. I was moving out of a literally psychotic landlord's property, when the landlord's friend (someone riding a Harley, all dressed up in leather) threatened me with a gun. Gosh for all the rhetoric, the handgun would have been comforting, since the county's finest Sheriff's Department refused the civil standby. The biker could certainly have killed me, if he chose, since he was armed and I was not. In the end, I would rather have it and not need it than the reverse, just to escape the boredom of becoming a nightly news special.

JUVENILE FANTASIES
Larry S. | Delaware, OH | January 26, 2011

I'm enjoying the Congressman's juvenile fantasies about shooting the gun from an assailant's hand with one well-placed shot and dropping an overhead chandelier on him with another. I am impressed -- impressed to learn that the grocery stores in Tuscon have chandeliers. Notwithstanding that I support personal gun ownership and the use of guns for personal protection, I note with no little amusement that Mythbusters has already established that: 1) shooting a gun out of someone's hand is possible but dangerous to bystanders because bullet fragments will fly unpredictably if you hit it, and 2) cutting a rope by shooting at it is also possible but difficult. It would seem that if it's necessary to use a gun stop a shooting rampage, the best way is to shoot the shooter. It's not nearly as flashy, but it's much more practical.

NO DAMN WAY
L. B. | COLORADO | January 26, 2011

In the current SP, I'm one of the gun owners who voted No Damn Way. I own two handguns: the 22-caliber my deceased ex-husband used to teach my daughter to shoot, and the .45 that he used to blow his brains out. I'm not opposed to regulated gun ownership, but concealed carry permits are obscenities. Sports firearms should be required by law to be carried in public only when enclosed in day-glow orange labeled cases, and removed from cases only on private property with the permission of the owner, at licensed shooting ranges, and, when also carrying a valid hunting license, in designated public wilderness areas. Any non-compliant usage should be a felony. Concealed carry by non-professionals is right out. Ownership of weapons not classified as sport firearms, such as military artifacts, should require a collector's license issued only with an extensive background check, and proper storage and transport of such weapons must also be stringently regulated. No firearm usage within the peacetime social contract is precluded by these rules, nor is a prudent armed citizenry (in case those rules ever are suspended) thereby prevented.

ARMED CITIZENS
Maryhelen Posey | Alberta, CANADA | January 26, 2011

The current STRAW POLL raises, in the first option, an opinion I hear frequently -- that if there had been armed citizens at the mall in Tucson, the gunman could/would have been cut down before doing as much damage as he did. Not only was there an armed citizen present who almost shot the wrong guy (as is pointed out in the third option), but the man who restrained the gunman until police arrived was armed and says that it never occurred to him to draw his weapon. He doesn't tell us why, though I like to think that it's because he had the good sense to know that shooting in a crowd is a bad idea, rather than just because he's not used to drawing a weapon on a real person in an ordinary place. But both of those are very likely responses: this was Arizona, people. Almost certainly at least 25% of the adults present were armed, possibly as many as 50%, and none of them but the mad gunman shot anyone. Which is a good thing, no?