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.

GEORGIA WISE
Tom Loughlin, Jr. | Utica, NY | June 16, 2014

Today's strip reminded me of Georgia Wise, the last WAC out of Vietnam, who was aboard the flight with Vietnamese refugee children which crashed on takeoff. She saved many kids. I do not think she is still on active duty, but she was stationed at Randolph AFB in Texas, and helped my WWII Air Transport Command veteran father get his discharge papers and WW II medals, back in the early 2000s. That kid looking out the window is luckier than she could ever know. 

CLOSE TO HOME
Roger Webb | Little Rock, AR | June 16, 2014

Sunday's strip hit close to home. We are keeping grandchildren while our daughter and son-in-law get a break. I am struck by how different these kids are from my own. Every meal is a major negotiation. Telling somebody “no” is the beginning of a process. I try to keep perspective. Every generation thinks the one after it is going to hell, and I guess my befuddlement over current childrearing tactics is just another example. I am distressed to see a third generation of self-absorbed women trying to raise children in the strip. At least Toggle is there to provide mothering.

KIM
Bobby Padgett | Gastonia, NC | June 16, 2014

So Abigail doesn't fit a war victim, but somehow Kim Rosenthal Doonesbury does. Kudos for the first appearance of Mike's second wife, who appears to be some 25+ years his junior.

OLD SAW
Dayne Chastant | Mesa, AZ | June 15, 2014

Speaking as a twin, let me use an old saw that still cuts: "If you want your children to follow in your footsteps, you'd better stay ahead of them!"

BY SURPRISE
Brian Corby | New York, NY | June 15, 2014

Thanks for today's belly laugh. As a 40 year veteran of the strip i can usually see where things are going (which does not diminish my pleasure in reading one bit), but today caught me by surprise, perhaps because it truly accessed a source of ongoing anxiety for me: how much is too much, how much is not enough? Uggh... Thanks again!

TO OVER-ESTIMATE
John Ghalt | Anchorage, AK | June 12, 2014

To over-estimate an as-yet-strange-woman's age, to her face, in her bed, no less, can at best be described as a "youthful error".

TOOTHPASTE
John MacKendrick | Lac Cruces, NM | June 11, 2014

Aaah. The good old days. Today, Joanie wouldn't even bother to worry about packing toothpaste. It would just get confiscated by the TSA. 

QUALITY INSTRUCTION
Tim Shimeall | Pittsburgh, PA | June 10, 2014

Frankly, if a student can come to my class and spend the time surfing the web, but still pass -- more power to them. I put my focus on providing quality instruction and involving lectures, but you cannot force students to learn. Those that do not learn will not pass, and may in turn learn a valuable lesson that their progress depends on their own effort, not some nanny riding them. Word gets around -- I don't have (or make this) a problem. I do know that the University lawyers would have an issue with the paint-ball solution.

RESTRUCTURE
John Ghalt | Anchorage, AK | June 09, 2014

The professor who finds himself competing with electronic entertainment need only restructure his syllabus. Make responses to the lecturer's questions part of the grade. Give regular, short-answer-type quizzes. Assign short essays that address the lecture material -- this could happen near the end of lectures. Be willing to de-inflate grades and willing to give grades that forestall credit. Share the quiz and essay grading with that grad student who now holds the paintball rifle.

ELLIE
Becky Manning | Washington, D.C. | June 09, 2014

Always great to see Ellie. I sure wish she'd wander (no, stride) through a 2014 strip at some point!

A CURSE
Michael Corrado | NC | June 09, 2014

Computers in the classroom are a curse! And it isn't just that some students are browsing the web or checking their email. Even those students who are most diligent are apt to be hurt by the use of computers: they try to get down everything the instructor says, and it goes from their ears to their fingers without passing through their brains. I have banned all electronic devices in my classroom (except phones for mothers and fathers with small children -- and even then the phones must be kept packed away unless there is an urgent call). I have done this for about four years, and the students by and large agree (1) that classes are more interesting; and (2) that they seem to learn more without the computers.

FALL 2014 TERM
David Hallett | St. John's, NEWFOUNDLAND & LABRADOR | June 08, 2014

First day of Fall 2014 term, this is image #1 for "enhanced learning" in my courses.

HAVE TO WAIT
Barry Cochran | Portland, OR | June 08, 2014

Damn you, Trudeau, for drawing today's strip at the end of the academic year. We educators will have to wait until September to print this out and post it on our office/classroom walls.

CLASSROOMS WITH COMPUTERS
A Prof | Hempstead, NY | June 08, 2014

I teach in classrooms with computers. At one point instructors could see what was on the student's screen. That changed with smart phones (and budget cuts for underutilized software). It truly amazes me that many students will come to class and spend the whole time browsing or chatting on the web. Perhaps I'm teaching to those who don't care about the cost or don't care about the grade or have some social dependency for perpetual communication and support. Whatever the case, time and money is being wasted. It had been my practice to call on students who were otherwise engaged with an irrelevant or non-existing topic. It went like this:

Instructor: "Well, Mr. Smith, which argument has the most merit?"

Student: "Uh, sorry I wasn't paying attention."

Instructor: "I know. That is why I called on you."

Most of the class would smile. Now many won't know I called on a student. Sigh...

COLLEGE STUDENT
Fred McDonald | Bristol, WI | June 08, 2014

Electronic Sniper: As a 44-year-old college student I have to ask, where can I sign up to be on the team for this? Back when someone else would have been paying for it, perhaps I would have been the same way. But today, I want my money's worth!

SNIPER
Christine Blouke | Las Vegas, NV | June 08, 2014

A Paintball Sniper for inappropriate electronic media use. Brilliant!

Editor's Note:

 And available!

DIDN'T REALIZE
Oin-oin Schmilblick | Fribourg, SWITZERLAND | June 07, 2014

Whoa.... I never realised that at some point Duke didn't wear Ray-Bans. I thought he was born with Ray-Bans!

UNCLE DUKE
Bert Katz | Silver Spring, MD | June 07, 2014

In this past week's Classic strips from 1974 I think Uncle Duke doesn't quite look like himself. but resembles a character who came on board later -- Jeremy Cavendish, fellow bird-watcher to Dick Davenport, and later wannabe-boyfriend of Dick's widow, Congresswoman Lacey Davenport

UNCLE?
Margaret Delgatty | Vancouver, CANADA | June 03, 2014

Uncle Duke? All this time and I don't think I ever knew he had a family connection to anyone else...

NICE GUY
Pat Goudey OBrien | Warren, VT | June 03, 2014

Sigh. I'm beginning to think I wish Zonker were my best friend. He's such a nice guy.