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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.

ROTATIONS
Tess | Chestertown,MD | July 04, 2014

Hey! Our family loves Doonesbury. We have almost all of the books, which have become ever-changing rotations for our bathroom reading. I just wanted to let you know that I noticed a big typo when I was re-reading Heckuva Job, Bushie! When B.D. is telling his daughter Sam that he's going back to the hospital for more tests after losing his leg, he calls her "Alex." Oops! You've probably seen that by now, but I just thought I'd let you know, to be sure. Keep the books coming! Squared Away was excellent.

JESSE WINCHESTER
John Brennand | Langley, CANADA | July 02, 2014

There is another nostalgic aspect to that Little Feat video. Though not listed in the title, Jesse Winchester also sang in the chorus. Aside from his songwriting, Winchester is known for moving to Canada to avoid the war in Viet Nam. He died earlier this year in Virginia. Here is a tribute video, with his beautiful song "I Wave Bye Bye."

IMMORTALITY
Barb | Bend, OR | July 02, 2014

John Denver. One of the only non-politicians who became a semi-regular in the strip; when Duke showed up, his off-panel neighbor from Colorado often rated a mention. I wonder how Mr. Denver took this particular form of immortality.

NEIGHBORS
Grame Roberts | Birmingham, UK | July 02, 2014

Ah, we are reminded again of Duke's love for John Denver. The two eventually became neighbors in Colorado.

DIXIE CHICKEN
Donna C. | Lucerne, CA | July 02, 2014

Whoot! What a way to start the day -- "Dixie Chicken" and Emmylou with hair still dark. I feel 40 years younger -- well, at least until I try to get up from the computer chair. I will gratefully have the tune stuck in my head all day.

Editor's Note:

 Upon realizing John Denver was reffed in today's Classic Doonesbury strip, the Duty Officer felt compelled to switch to a different musical classic -- Toots and the Maytals' cover of "Take Me Home Country Roads." But "Dixie Chicken" was post-dated to yesterday, and can still be enjoyed via the Video Archive.

INDEPENDENT MUSIC ARTISTS
Sue Lester | Comstock Park, MI | July 02, 2014

Another way to support independent music artists; listen to independent, community radio station WYCE.org. Once you discover an artist who touches you, buy their CD.

A MARKET
Jonathan | Potters Bar, UK | July 01, 2014

Re Sunday's strip about the music biz, the fact that there are a variety of means by which people can voluntarily support their musicians, as though those musicians were so many charitable causes, is not a substitute for an actual market in music. A market is an arrangement whereby someone who desires a good, is obliged to pay for it if he wishes to enjoy it. A situation in which anybody can enjoy the good without paying for it, is not a market. I say "the good," but in reality this means the dwindling output of fewer and fewer artists who are less and less able to afford to devote themselves mastery of the art of composition.

THUDPUCKER
Nick Dangerfield | Tillamook, OR | July 01, 2014

Jimmy Thudpucker living in his car?! To put it in Nate-Harris-Speak, "Methinks not." Unless, of course, his car is one of those tricked-out mega mobile homes, maybe...

ON THE MONEY
T.J. Martin | Denver, CO | June 30, 2014

As a professional musician currently "retired" in my mid 50s both by choice as well as circumstance I have to say Sunday's Thudpucker strip was right on the money. There's tons of virtual fame to be had with almost zero income to go with it. If video killed the radio star, downloads, YouTube, and the Net in general are killing off the genuine musicians, leaving behind a trail of  "virtual" ephemeral entertainers, very few of whom can be considered musicians.

WILD-EYED OPTIMIST
Paul Jones | St. John, CANADA | June 29, 2014

I think that the problem is less that the Internet is inherently evil and more that Jimmy has always been a naive little kid (as evidenced by his not having the same eyes as other adult characters) in a world where being a wild-eyed optimist is, well, not what I'd call adaptive behaviour.

JIMMY'S CAREER
Thomas | San Francisco, CA | June 29, 2014

It's true that it is difficult for independent artists like Jimmy Thudpucker to make a living directly distributing content online to their fans, without record label sponsorship. It is not impossible, though. Kickstarter crowdsources fan-based funding for new artistic projects. Fans can support their favorite artists monthly, or even by the song, at Patreon.com. Artists can sell their recordings online at Bandcamp, CDBaby, Audible or Amazon. Artists can design and distribute merchandise through retailers like Zazzle, Cafepress, Topatoco, and even Costcophotocenter.com. If artists prefer to bypass intermediaries, services like Paypal and Project Wonderful allow artists to fundraise directly via their own websites and blogs. Projects like Concertsinyourhome.com allow musicians to, as Jimmy Thudpucker once predicted, "earn a modest living through touring." Direct marketing requires networking, outreach, and personal thanks for even small incremental support. But hasn't Jimmy's career always been about connecting personally with his fans?

THUDPUCKER
Allan Olley | Oakville, CANADA | June 29, 2014

I would love to help Jimmy Thudpucker out, unfortunately the only music of his available to buy I can find is his greatest hits album from 1978 in Vinyl secondhand. I would happily pay him for his music if this were only possible. It is unfortunate his ring tones revenue has apparently fallen through, it sounded like he was doing so well...

WELL-FOUNDED
Carpetbag Yankee | Hartford, CT | June 29, 2014

Re IMPLAUSIBLE. Actually the 6/26 Classic strip was well-founded: the slave trade in New England thrived until 1808, with New London and New Bedford both being ports of call for slaves and sugar, and points of export for rum.

BUT
C. Hexham | Traverse City, MI | June 28, 2014

...but of course ratification of the US Constitution didn't stipulate either assembly or bearing arms. That didn't happen for two more years.

THE CONSTITUTION
Brian Harvey | Berkeley, CA | June 28, 2014

I think even back then nobody would have said "Now we truly have liberty" about the Constitution. Even the pro-Constitution people saw it as a desirable compromise of liberty for security and economic growth. That's why they put in the Bill of Rights as a promise that the strengthened central government would preserve rights that people had under the separate state governments.

IMPLAUSIBLE
K.E.W. | South Miami, FL | June 26, 2014

Today's scenario is perhaps a mite implausible for Massachusetts, but the cartoon went straight up on my university office door  nonetheless.

YOGI BERRA
Dennis B. Swaney | Oroville, CA | June 26, 2014

As Yogi Berra would say, last week's fall of Saigon flashback strips are "Deja vu all over again," especially given the Iraq situation. In 1973, we cut and ran from our promise to to help the Republic of Vietnam; two years later the RVN was conquered by North Vietnam. In 2011, we cut and ran from our promise to help the Republic of Iraq; three years later it looks like the same result will happen there. And in 2015 we are scheduled to cut and run from our promise to help the Republic of Afghanistan. Yep, deja vu all over again!

THE HUNDRED HEARTS
William Kowalski | Erie, PA | June 26, 2014

Because your strip has spent a lot of time chronicling the lives of vets, I thought your readers might want to hear about my novel The Hundred Hearts, which is about the plight of a young veteran of Afghanistan dealing with PTSD and physical injuries. It was recently nominated for the Thomas H. Raddall Atlantic Fiction Award. Until July 4, I am donating all the proceeds of the e-pub version of my book to two military charities, Fisher House Foundation (which your Wounded Warrior and Sandbox books raise money for) and Homes For Our Troops, both of which are rated as four stars by CharityNavigator.Org.

DOCUMENTATION
Roger Webb | Little Rock, AR | June 25, 2014

The difficulties that Mark is having getting married in the 15-years-ago Flashbacks provide a great documentation of how far we have come. Today, the Rev would not be worrying about eternal damnation for performing a gay wedding, but falling all over himself to do it. It is my contention that you could write a social history of America over the last 40 years using Doonesbury as the sole source and improve on the standard texts.

GIFT
Clara McKenna | Colorado Springs, CO | June 24, 2014

The timeliness of the early strips in today's world blows me away, and I love seeing them as we did the first time, one a day. What a great gift -- thank you!