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.

HARDER
Mflam | Belmont, MA | February 12, 2014

I just read your news. Thanks for the great work to date. It's going to be a lot harder to peek at Alpha House while sitting at my desk at the start of the day...

BOOB TUBE
Brian Harvey | Berkeley, CA | February 12, 2014

Oh man, first we lost Life in Hell to the siren call of the boob tube, and now Doonesbury. TV has a lot to answer for.

DOONESBURY NEWS
David Stanford, Duty Officer | Doonesbury.com | February 11, 2014

Alpha House marches on! As does the Sunday strip. But the dailies will take a break, beginning -- well, technically, two days ago. Read the details, and an interview with GBT, in Michael Cavna's Washington Post column. Upside: during the open-ended hiatus the Flashbacks will go deep, way back into the strip's early-years archive, for a "Best of Doonesbury" journey.

PROPAGANDA
Phil | Portland, OR | February 11, 2014

A previous comment suggested that the new and stronger pot "leads often to aggression, paranoia and cannabis-induced psychosis." I didn't believe the reefer-madness propaganda when I saw the movie, and  I don't believe it now. Let's clear this up: Pot won't bring on a zombie apocalypse. It's more likely to bring a sunshine daydream with tangerine trees and marmalade skies. (Mmm, marmalade.)

STEAM
Tim M. | Leicester, U.K. | February 11, 2014

Wow, drugs in the strip cause people to work up a head of steam. I'm not sure Duke's foreign policy shenanigans get so much critical Blowback. They should.

A COUPLE HITS AND CHILL
Phil Parker | Beaverton, OR | February 11, 2014

Pot is stronger now than it was 30 years ago, and as a result people smoke less at a time. I don't see the marathon smoke-outs that I used to. It's now common to take a couple hits and chill. Back in the day a couple tokes wouldn't get you much, so we kept passing it till we got there. It's like replacing pints of beer with shots of liquor. People don't down six packs of vodka.

In high school we learned about the effects of different types of alcohol. Comparable info about pot wasn't offered. Legalization would result in more and better consumer education and, consequently, more responsible use. Since people now use less at a time, they put less smoke in their lungs than they used to, and people are opting to vaporize or consume edibles (practices that would increase with legalization). Also, most people don't toke all day the way cigarette smokers often do. There are health risks when smoking pot, but they are minimal when it is used in moderation, and there are ways to avoid the smoke altogether.

DAILY JOY
Phillip Virgo | Adelaide, SOUTH AUSTRALIA | February 11, 2014

Even this old conservative from Australia continues to get much daily joy from your work, Mr Trudeau. Thanks for the years of fun. For a moment on Sunday I thought Alex was driving a right hand car, and it made me feel at home...

HACKLES
Fiona | North Wales, UK | February 11, 2014

I don't know what gets my heckles up more -- ageism, or playing with your mobile whilst someone is talking to you. Show respect to get respect.

WAITING
Thomas Ehrenberg | Putney, VT | February 10, 2014

I sure hope Joanie can convince Elizabeth Warren to run for President. Millions of us out here are waiting for a candidate with her politics and integrity to get into the White House.

AN ASSISTANT
Sam Abrams | Rochester, NY | February 09, 2014

High-functioning users of pot and other psychedelics include billionaires Sir Richard Branson and Ted turner, Nobel Prize winners Kary Mullis and Francis Crick, and Louis Armstrong, who wrote in his autobiography: "It really puzzles me to see marijuana connected with narcotics . . . dope and all that crap. It's a thousand times better than whiskey -- it's an assistant -- a friend."

THE OLD DAYS
Brooksey | Nantwich, UK | February 09, 2014

I don't know the strength of the marijuana which Zonk and Zip are growing, but what's available in the UK these days is certainly very much stronger than what was available 20 years ago here. In the old days, marijuana induced all those benign qualities which Carl Sagan eulogised, but now it leads often to aggression, paranoia and cannabis-induced psychosis. I have seen an enormous difference in the behaviour of my grandsons' generation of weed-users, compared with that of my sons, 20 years ago, and my friends back in the late 1960s and early 70s.

POSTDOC
Matt | Indianapolis, IN | February 09, 2014

Love the strip, Garry, and I've been loving the storyline with Alex. But as a just newly non-postdoc myself, I have to cringe at the characterization of Alex's new job as having a "decent salary." A first year postdoc gets a salary of $39,200 and few guaranteed benefits. With a little overtime, it's likely she made more at Starbucks. Thanks for the fun!

ALEX AND TOGGLE
G.M. | Lovettsville, VA | February 09, 2014

Yaaaaaaaay, Alex and Toggle! Whoot! Whoot! Beyonce and a bad-ass grant, all in one sweet day. You go, kids! Whooohooo!

THE DEVIL MARIJUANA
Nancy Nuance | Lexington, SC | February 08, 2014

Despite living in a red state where the devil marijuana is sehr verboten I know many people who avail themselves of weed with varying degrees of frequency. Pot is not really my drug of choice as I am not much on smoking, but brownies can be nice. If South Carolina would just stop dragging its knuckles on anything progressive or in the best social interest it might create a nice source of revenue for the state, since Nicki Haley turns down federal money right and left when it comes with social policies she finds anathema. The climate here is great for pot cultivation, too. In my opinion, we need a Weed Party to come in and overthrow the Tea Party.

MYTHS AND LEGENDS
T.J. Martin | Denver, CO | February 08, 2014

Ah, myths and legends. The myth of the supposed 420 geniuses may be more delusion/illusion than myth -- perhaps especially Self Delusion. And the legends of past musicians lives... As one who has been surrounded by such myths in his given profession (professional musician, jazz specifically, "T.J. Martin" an online name), and having met those legends face to face, and seen the results of their "habits," allow me to say: "Poppycock!" 

I've been around it all my life, and seen the end results far too many times. Seen what it can and does lead to more often than not. And, simply stated, I know far too many casualties -- and way too few who survived intact a story that is in fact... fact. Add to the above that it is a simple medical fact that any smoke, of any kind, inhaled on a regular basis, can and does lead to cancer, from mouth to lungs. You're doggone right those of us with a critical and discerning mind are concerned.

The old way of doing things was admittedly a failure. But this "new" way may prove to be even worse. Have a look at the news from Northern California; environmental damage galore from growers, crime rampant and including organized crime, tourists being harassed , robbed and worse. All this reminds me of a face-to-face I had years ago with the Jazz Legend Miles Davis -- no stranger to the weed and other drugs himself -- who, upon hearing the Legend I was working for at the time had banned me from all drug use, and I do mean all, said: "That SOB just saved your ******* life, kid!"

MOST PROGRESSIVE COUNTRY
Justin Jeronimo | Arlington, VA | February 08, 2014

The most progressive country with respect to marijuana is now Uruguay, where it will be legal by April next year.

LEGAL POT
Mark Miller | Amsterdam, NETHERLANDS | February 08, 2014

Legal pot in Colorado? Look what it did to the Broncos...

LEGALIZING
Ed Cherlin | Columbus, IN | February 08, 2014

When I was in Amsterdam some time back I saw that citizens have been working for years on legalizing people, specifically refugees and other immigrants being blocked and jailed by the government. Their slogan is "Geen mens is illegal," which means "No one is illegal." We could do with more of that on immigration, voting, and marriage.

A FREE HIGH
Internist M.D. | Cincinnati, OH | February 08, 2014

All these messages we keep getting about how harmless marijuana is are concerning me. There is no such thing as a free high. The latest medical literature indicates that, though there has never been an overdose death directly attributable to MJ, it is often present in people who OD. Furthermore it impairs cognition, psychomotor performance, attention, concentration, short term memory, risk assessment and ability to complete complex tasks. These effects last up to 24 hours, much longer than the subjective mood change of feeling "high," due to accumulation of marijuana in fat and recirculation through the liver. Marijuana users often think they are no longer impaired after a few hours, when the mood-altering effects resolve. A trial with licensed pilots found that smoking marijuana impaired performance on a flight simulator for up to 24 hours, and most subjects were unaware that they were still impaired. Drivers using cannabis are up to seven times more likely to cause accidents than drivers not using any drugs or alcohol. I haven't even touched on the risks of inhaling products of combustion into one's lungs. Yes, alcohol and tobacco are legal despite having some of the same risks, but let's not pretend that marijuana is harmless. It is not.

SUGAR BOWL
Tony Phillips | Chicago, IL | February 08, 2014

There are certainly people like Louis Armstrong with enormous talent and functionality and perhaps a load of attending pain who can do a modicum or more of pot -- and/or booze and/or a lot of other indulgences -- and keep on coming. Maybe those spices are necessary to make it happen for certain of these souls, or maybe not. But for a huge hell of a load of less focused and capable individuals, those goodies do tend to make mush of their intentions, and flatten out whatever they had going for them. And then they go for the sugar bowl too!