Beta-fresh answers, uploaded occasionally
Lets face it, our favorite comic strip is often obscure or inconsistent, and key characters are sometimes left stranded for years. Long-suffering readers are within their rights to demand some clarification. Use the "Ask GBT" form to email us your questions, and we will answer those we can on the Blowback page, and also archive the answers here.
--Ken Luer, LA, CA
Are you aware that NY Newsday is censoring the strip? The name of Tenet was removed from the strips of 6-9-04 and 6-10-04.
-- Larry S., NY, NY
We've borrowed the following explanation of the physiatrist's role from the American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilition Web site, where you can go to get more information.
What is a Physiatrist?
A physiatrist (fizz ee at' trist) is a physician specializing in physical medicine and rehabilitation. Physiatrists treat a wide range of problems from sore shoulders to spinal cord injuries. They see patients in all age groups and treat problems that touch upon all the major systems in the body. These specialists focus on restoring function to people....
Physiatrists treat acute and chronic pain and musculoskeletal disorders. They may see a person who lifts a heavy object at work and experiences back pain, a basketball player who sprains an ankle and needs rehabilitation to play again, or a knitter who has carpal tunnel syndrome. Physiatrists' patients include people with arthritis, tendonitis, any kind of back pain, and work- or sports-related injuries.
Physiatrists also treat serious disorders of the musculoskeletal system that result in severe functional limitations. They would treat a baby with a birth defect, someone in a bad car accident, or an elderly person with a broken hip. Physiatrists coordinate the long-term rehabilitation process for patients with spinal cord injuries, cancer, stroke or other neurological disorders, brain injuries, amputations, and multiple sclerosis.
Physiatrists practice in rehabilitation centers, hospitals, and in private offices. They often have broad practices, but some concentrate on one area such as pediatrics, sports medicine, geriatric medicine, brain injury, or many other special interests.
Asked by Editor and Publisher magazine to comment on Continental's decision, Trudeau said:
"The popularity of individual comic strips naturally waxes and wanes, and newspaper lineups tend to reflect the evolving preferences of editors and readers. Moreover, a newspaper consortium will represent those tastes imperfectly, a price the individual papers pay for joining it. However, in this case, Doonesbury was singled out for internal polling because of the views of a single individual; other competing strips were not put to the same test. In this way, one opinion drove a process that eliminated the strip from 38 newspapers across the entire region, including 15 papers that wanted to keep it.
I greatly appreciate the Anniston Star's speaking out against such an unfair process, asserting its right and responsibility to put in front of its readers a diversity of opinion. This seems particularly important during a time of war, with all its grave implications to public life."
You're focusing a lot on the war in Iraq. I've noticed that your military characters, like B.D. and Ray, sound like real soldiers. Have you been talking to the troops for research?
Yeah. During the first Gulf War, I'd meet them because they contacted me. This war is a lot easier, because it's an e-mail war. I hear from soldiers who are actually in the field. That changes all the rules of the game. They can't censor soldiers with laptops -- it's literally impossible. It's a way for somebody like me, sitting in this office, to get a view of what soldiers are experiencing.
What did you do to prepare for B.D. losing his leg in combat?
In the case of B.D. suffering this grievous wound, I went down to Walter Reed hospital, in Washington, D.C., to talk to some of the amputees. It's important to me to get the details of his recovery right. There's a great deal of pain on Ward 57, where the amputees are sent. Most of the soldiers will admit to having bad days when they feel overwhelmed -- either by their physical pain or by the hard work of looking at themselves in a new way. But it's not as depressing as you might think. In fact, it's uplifting and inspirational. Part of it has to do with the fact that these guys are wrapped in a culture that is very positive, very can-do. Their whole mind-set is: This is a problem I can overcome. Almost all of them want to return to their units, which is a fascinating response to the crisis they're undergoing.
Garry Trudeau has sent the following message to Linus, the Italian magazine for which Enzo translated Doonesbury for many years: "Enzo Baldoni brimmed with the kind of passion and joyfulness that we Americans like to associate with being Italian. Such was the size of his life force, that he literally laughed at death, always brushing aside the concerns of friends who begged him to stop exploring the world's most troubled regions. Chiapas, Columbia, East Timor, Iraq -- these were the kinds of places Enzo was drawn to -- out of compassion and concern and curiosity. When he left for Najaf earlier this month, he sent me his usual breezy email, informing me that he was off to do something well-intentioned but insanely dangerous. I told him to email again as soon as he left Iraqi air space, never imagining he wouldn't be able to cheat death one more time. And why not? He was Enzo the miraculous. He had always come home before.
"I do not speak or read Italian, so I was never able to evaluate our collaboration. However, since I seem to have Italian readers in abundance, I can only assume that he improved my writing, making it livelier and funnier. When we finally met during a trip to Italy in 1991, I could tell that the strip was in good hands -- nobody as effusive and generous of spirit as Enzo could fail to leave Walden a happier place than he found it. And nobody could have represented my intentions with greater fidelity -- he regularly wrote to inquire about some nuance that he felt he might be missing (but rarely was).
"Although we have not seen each other in some time, I will miss my friend tremendously. My thoughts are with his family and colleagues during this sorrowful time."
--David L., Indialantic, FL
With all the current Swift Boat Vets and Bush Guard brouhaha I was just wondering -- did anyone ever collect on the $10,000 reward for confirming Bush's Guard service in Alabama? Thanks.
-- C.A., Milton, MA
-- Barry M., Toledo, OH
Is Sundance the only channel that will be showing the new Tanner show? If so, will it be coming out on DVD for those of us who don?t get Sundance Channel?
-- Kandee, Indianapolis, IN
Each of the four new half-hour episodes premieres on a Tuesday night, with numerous re-broadcasts sheduled throughout the week.
During October, the Sundance Channel will also complete its re-broadcast of the 11 original Tanner 88 episodes, updated with new documentary introductions that lead into the new series. Tanner 88 in its entirety will be available on DVD on 10-5-04. Tanner on Tanner is scheduled for release on 11-23-04, and can be ordered directly from Sundance.
If you?d like to read more, check out A New ?Tanner? Joins the Race, a New York Times article about both programs.
-- Barry M., Toledo, OH
Is Sundance the only channel that will be showing the new Tanner show? If so, will it be coming out on DVD for those of us who don't get Sundance Channel?
-- Kandee, Indianapolis, IN
Each of the four new half-hour episodes premieres on a Tuesday night, with numerous re-broadcasts scheduled throughout the week.
During October, the Sundance Channel will also complete its re-broadcast of the 11 original Tanner 88 episodes, updated with new documentary introductions that lead into the new series. Tanner 88 in its entirety will be available from Amazon on 10-5-04. Tanner on Tanner is scheduled for release on 11-23-04, and will be available directly from Sundance.
If you'd like to read more, check out A New 'Tanner' Joins the Race, a New York Times article about both programs.