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.

Morley Williams | Cromwell, NEW ZEALAND | February 05, 2011

Jeff is truly heroic in a thoroughly modern mould. As a has-been fossil myself I look forward to his dashing exploits daily, with almost as much enthusiasm as I had for the tweets of Roland -- Twitter is a dreary desert without his mature wisdom. More from Jeff please, and bring back those tweets too.

Simon Kneebone | Sydney, AUSTRALIA | February 04, 2011

The current story arc (Zipper and Jeff in the diner) is very nearly unreadable. Although "wanker" is not a word which is in as common use in the US as it is in Australia, New Zealand and the UK, and I don't like swearing in your excellent forum, it best describes Jeff (and Zipper). I am constantly amazed that the progeny of Joanie and Rick is such an outrageous one.

John A. Broussard | Kamuela, HI | February 04, 2011

Today's strip is so unrealistic. Why isn't anyone in the background texting?

Erik Lund | Vancouver, CANADA | February 03, 2011

Kids today, with their texting and their social media. Why, in my day, all we had were text-based email servers. And we liked it! Why, I remember one day during a snowstorm, I walked five miles to get to an emulator terminal in a school library. Through the snow. Uphill. And then the city closed that road, and I took another one home. Uphill again!

Joe Adamski | Portland, OR | February 03, 2011

When old folks don't understand something, it's easy to cross the line between humor and condescending smugness. The phone stuff, we don't get, I know. But when you make a joke out of it, it puts you one step further out into geezerhood. Kinda like Jiggs' nephew, who was into (gasp) jazz. Leave them kids alone! The adults are trouble enough.

T.G. | Portland, OR | February 02, 2011

IMHO, as an open metaphor, the panels of Jeff and Zipper represent the need for 21st century humans to have someone who will stand beside them even while they are busy dealing with the communication necessities of life. The best friends are those who remain friends even when you don't talk to them for long periods of time. Pretty clear to see how a college roommate fits that bill.

Bernard | Washington, D.C. | February 02, 2011

Today's strip clarifies the situation: Jeff and Zipper are talking to each other via mobile even though they are seated just an arm's length apart. An exaggeration of today's thumb-tribes, perhaps, but a thought-provoking one, as BLOWBACK has proven. A couple of predictions: In the near future, schools will teach classes in personal interaction, where kids can practice holding a conversation. And there will be a resurgence in old-style board games and pencil-and-paper games for people to learn to reconnect with each other.

Allie | Gettysburg, PA | February 02, 2011

After reading all the recent BLOWBACK posts I have to tell you my Sainted BF and I have spent many a weeknight evening snuggled up in bed, him roleplaying and/or on Facebook with his netbook, me on Facebook and/or a puzzle game on the laptop. Every now and then, we'd send each other hearts via FB chat. Every bit as cozy as spending an evening reading separate books together! That said, if ever I have a classroom of my own again, I intend to set up a signal jammer. It's one thing to read in bed, and another to do so under the desk.

Brett Bayne | Los Angeles, CA | February 02, 2011

Forty years without a fart joke, and now this.

Rob Dalzell | Falmouth, ME | February 01, 2011

I saw today's and yesterday's strips differently than Rev. Faser (in his "IN A CAFE" post). With my teen and young adult children in mind, I saw the guys so disracted by the non-stop texting with others that they had completely tuned each other out. Either way, it's the era of anti-social media!

Katharine McNealey | Stroud, ENGLAND | February 01, 2011

Two friends meet. At last a Doonesbury strip that my 12-year-old USA-educated daughter and I both laughed at and understood!

Ben Ezzell | Salem, OR | February 01, 2011

Deja vu all over again. I had to hit yesterday's strip to make sure that today's wasn't exactly the same. I text a lot with my daughter and grandson, but they're quite remote and never sitting at the table with me. My wife and I, however, have exchanged emails at 10 feet. It's called communication, right?

Don Stanat | Chapel Hill, NC | February 01, 2011

It's interesting that the author of the "IN A CAFE" post had a completely different interpretation of yesterday's strip than either my wife or me. He thought Jeff and Zipper were texting one another.  I inferred that neither could remember the other's name, and each was searching for a clue on his pocket pal. My wife concluded that neither had anything to say to the other, so they each turned to their pocked pal. All three of us thought it was funny. Perhaps that makes it the perfect strip.

Bill Purkayastha | Shillong, INDIA | February 01, 2011

I hope that Doonesbury, in the person of intrepid Tweeter/reporter Roland Hedley, is headed for Egypt. If so, he'd better hurry. The time is now.

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).

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.

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?)

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.

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!

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?