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.

Melinda Capozza | Huntington, IN | January 02, 2016

Sal misses the early 80s? Oh come on: Reaganomics, "Greed is good," the AIDS epidemic? On the other hand: I was back in college, part time; my baby daughter was growing up; I became a quilter.

Perry | Flagstaff, AZ | December 29, 2015

I remember adopting the word "Flamer" to describe Reagan-ites, and I recall it as a term from the strip, but I had no recollection, until reading this series, of the exact origin. Yet another reason to love these walks down memory lane.

Steve Ehrmann | Silver Spring, MD | December 28, 2015

I've loved your strip for decades, but I can't remember who Sal is.

Editor's Note:

 During his pre-college years, Mike's younger brother Benjy turned to the Punk side and adopted the moniker "Sal Putrid."

John Brennand | Langley, CANADA | December 27, 2015

Re The "Bathroom Break" story in Daily Briefing: Wow! This Huffington Post article predicated on Hilary Clinton's tardy return to the stage last weekend was powerful. What gave it so much greater a kick was the TedX piece at the end. As a man who tries to be careful I how he approaches and interacts with women it gave me lots to think about. Equality demands more than just lip service. Keep 'em coming.

Mary Asicit | Long Creek, SC | December 27, 2015

The Donnie. Yes!

Rom | New Britain, CT | December 27, 2015

Today's strip is a brilliant finish to 2015! The mindless obnoxious jabber of Mr. Trump amply demonstrates that neither he nor his supporters have changed. Their mentalities and politics remain juvenile.

Grant H. | Hamilton, CANADA | December 25, 2015

Your (typically excellent) Flashback from 25-years-ago-today suggests Saudis didn't like mentions of Christmas. In case any unthinking person takes this reference as "evidence," I will mention that major stores here in Qatar and in the United Arab Emirates sell abundant quantities of Christmas trees, ornaments, and other paraphenalia. Three hotels I used in Oman last year had Christmas trees in the lobby. People smile when wished Merry Christmas -- as I wish you all. ("Happy Morale Day" is very clever. )

Editor's Note:

 Backatcha! Merry Christmas to all, and to all a Merry Christmas.

Grant Hurlburt | Hamilton, CANADA | December 24, 2015
I am deeply offended by your categorization of a drug dealer as a gruff person who greets every caller with a gun barrel shoved through a metal slit. I have watched movies in which drug dealers were very nice people forced into their profession by social conditions or simple laziness. Just because some drug dealers can apparently exhibit some apparent hostility, does this mean all drug dealers are like this? Perhaps this fellow had an upbringing that did not expose him to the social graces. Consider me deeply offended by almost everything.
Joshua Eliason | Givat Ada, ISRAEL | December 23, 2015

Re: The 25-years-ago-today Flashback strip from 1990 -- of Boopsie keeping oceanside vigil; even your exquisite artwork or the passage of time can't soften the raw emotional force of that strip. One of the best ever forever. Merry Christmas, America.

Carl | San Francisco, CA | December 22, 2015

"They" is a plural pronoun. "They" is never the appropriate pronoun choice when referring to one person, no matter the person's gender or gender identity.

John Ghalt | Anchorage, AK | December 22, 2015

Boopsie fears committing a micro-aggression, not only with an inapt pronoun, but with virtually any innocent statement. If the press can be believed, we who are of Boopsie's generation (along with "non-PC" comedians Maher, Seinfeld, and Rock), haven’t a clue how to walk the new PC-etiquette minefield.

Seb | U S of A | December 21, 2015

"It" is in fact an appropriate personal pronoun, as long as someone has told you it identifies that way. For example, it/its/itself is my pronoun set, but I would never refer to anyone else as "it" without knowing that was acceptable, because that would be dehumanizing. The same is true of all pronoun sets. Habitually referring to someone as "they" if he uses he/him/his pronouns is just as misgendering as the reverse would be.

Rev. Dr. Bob Faser | Hobart, AUSTRALIA | December 21, 2015

This is about far more than gender. The pronoun "it" refers to an inanimate object, a lifeless being. A rock, a chair, a guitar, a CD: all can be "it." A dog, a cat, a canary, a gorilla, or a human being can never be "it," whether living or dead. Even if the person or the creature is no longer alive, they were once alive and, thus, deserve to be honoured as far more than merely "it."

Tom | San Francisco, CA | December 20, 2015

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!"

Patti H. | Rome, NY | December 20, 2015

Timely topic for today's strip -- but yikes! Sam's actually in college, and she chose Walden! Let the circle be unbroken.

Lisa | Brooklyn, NY | December 19, 2015

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!

Mark Miller | Amsterdam, NETHERLANDS | December 19, 2015

Re MINITOWER: I think my old cell phone has more muscle than Alex's wish machine.

George | Jupiter, FL | December 18, 2015

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!

Don Albertson | Spring Mills, PA | December 17, 2015

Pennsylvania may have become the next New Jersey, but at least no one's trying to move Chris Christie here.

John Ghalt | Anchorage, AK | December 16, 2015

In today's 35-years-ago Flashback strip it was a nice bit of irony that Rick Redfern was assigned to cover fellow columnist George Will's "little fete" for president-elect Reagan. I think GBT got it right that Washington Post publisher Katharine Graham expected him to swallow that bone sideways -- after all, our preferred candidates don't always get in.