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I was very surprised to hear Sam referring to her friend as "it." It's not inconceivable that someone, somewhere, might voluntarily adopt that pronuoun. However, but in my nine or so years of living as an out transgender man and being active in the transgender community, I have never heard "it" as an acceptable personal pronoun. All those I have met consider "it" dehumanizing. In fact, the Nebraska Supreme Court has held that a sheriff's use of the word "it" to refer to a transgender crime victim was, as a matter of law, not just "intentionally offensive" but "extreme and outrageous." (Brandon v. County of Richardson, et al., 2001.)
Sam was right about one essential point, though. Most trans folk are pretty cool. Even though the etiquette changes all the time (even the term "preferred gender pronoun" has been replaced by just "gender pronoun") we generally forgive a simple mistake, and happily clarify correct pronoun use if asked politely. Even trans folk make mistakes sometimes. It's when people get hung up on misgendering us again and again, intentionally using incorrect pronouns, that it starts to sound rude. There are lots of great gender neutral pronouns available: "Yo," "Shorty," "Ze," "They," "Hir," and many others. Some folks eschew pronouns altogether. It's a linguistic wonderland out there, and as Calvin said to Hobbes, "Let's go exploring!"
I love today's video about Hamilton. I saw it in July and got the cast album in September, and have been listening to it obsessively ever since. It's fantastic. The CBS Sunday Morning clip came out when the show was still at the Public Theater, downtown. It's been on Broadway since the summer, and is sold out until next fall -- but you can enter a lottery for the chance to win $10 tickets. It's the best musical I've seen for a long, long time (and I go to the theater a lot). See it if you can!
Re MINITOWER: I think my old cell phone has more muscle than Alex's wish machine.
In today's 20-years-ago Flashback strip young Alex's Christmas wish is for "a Packard Bell with a 133MHz processor in a multimedia minitower with a 2.1 gigabyte hard drive." Wait, I think I saw one of those out by the curb!
I see I'm not the only one who noticed Mike and J.J.'s marriages are breaking up. Can it be that they will be getting back together? I'd love to see Zeke run off with some Sarah Palin type!
I'm a little concerned that two Sunday strips in a row show Mike and J.J. each dissatisfied with their marriages. Their divorce was bitter enough. I feel sad to see both fall into the pattern of quiet, passive-aggressive disparagement of a spouse, rather than attempting real communication.
To confront B.D.'s drinking, Mike physically blocked his access and said, "Let's talk about that." If Kim's cell phone addiction bothers Mike so much, he could afford her the same courtesy of direct confrontation, rather than simply walking out on her during a lunch date. (Having been a lunch date abandonee myself, albeit under different circumstances, I know how hollow and mortifying it feels to be the one left behind.)
Similarly, when J.J. was concerned about Mike's growing distance, she first attempted to involve him in her social life and her art, then attempted to teach him about her art when he didn't understand it. She then confronted him directly about his wandering eye at a college reunion, and next enlisted the help of his mother-in-law and friend Joanie. Finally, they made a pact to work together to raise their child despite their differences. In short, for all her challenges, J.J. fought for her marriage with Mike. It seems she feels that Zeke's not even worth fighting for.
I understand that conflict is the foundation of drama, upon which storytelling strips are built. I just wish the conflict weren't so cold and mean.
A day without Doonesbury is like a day without sunshine. Not that the Classic daily strips aren't terrific, but...