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.

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 Even though the etiquette changes all the time (even the term "preferred gender pronoun" has been replaced by just "gender pronoun") we generally forgive a simple mistake, and happily clarify correct pronoun use if asked politely.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.

Alyn Adams | Johannesburg, SOUTH AFRICA | December 15, 2015

One of the fun parts of the strip being 45 years old is tracing the development of GBT's art skills, political consciousness, and eye for the nuanced joke. Looking at the 45-years-ago-today Flashback strip, I presume that in the early 70s he got to chatting with some smart women...

Melinda Capozza | Huntington, IN | December 15, 2015

The idea of Zeke with a Sarah-Palin-type female boggles the mind. I suspect Palin would go into her "lock and load" attitude if exposed to Zeke.

Roberta | Henderson, NV | December 15, 2015

Today's 45-years-ago strip ("Oink, oink. Woof woof! Bow-wow!") may be the only truly cheap laugh GBT penned. One sad clinker in a 45+ year career -- I think I'll stick around.

Donanon | Sausalito, CA | December 15, 2015

New York Times: "Can't Put Down Your Device? That's by Design." How does he do it? GBT is still nailing topics in the news with uncanny timing.

Niki | Montreal, CANADA | December 15, 2015

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!

Ray Lampe | Templeton, MA | December 15, 2015

In trying to keep up with the scope and detail of the Doonesbury saga, I am frequently impressed by the depth of comprehension and compassion readers and commenters have found that this visual literature impresses on us. We find connections to our personal lives and see the reasons and unreason of society at large, and really care about these "people" whom we follow day-by-day and year-by-year. This is the definition of a social medium. Kudos, GBT.

Tom | San Francisco, CA | December 14, 2015

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.

Sam | New York, NY | December 13, 2015

A day without Doonesbury is like a day without sunshine. Not that the Classic daily strips aren't terrific, but...

Graeme Roberts | Birmingham, UK | December 09, 2015

Frames one and two of today's 30-years-ago Flashback strip are views of Manhattan which 9/11 etched permanently on my mind. Some of the documentaries regularly repeat-screened over here include video clips of the Twin Towers, as they disappeared, shot from an apartment facing them. Prominent in the foreground is a water tank on an adjacent roof. Eerie.

Nermal | San Juan, PR, USA | December 06, 2015

Today's strip is yet another standing ovation gem! Mobile devices are a horror. I'm beginning to suspect that Steve Jobs may conceivably have been as evil as his critics always wanted to believe that he was. This glorious new millennium is losing its charm in a hurry -- even though its predecessor was certainly no bargain in the milk of human kindness department. Viva GBT, yet again!