Many years ago, the Houston Chronicle engaged its high-sheriffs for a lively debate: should “Doonesbury”, the longest-running salute to sanctimonious spittle ever appearing in newsprint, be in the comics or the editorial section?
Strong cases could be made against either. The comics section was nixed because the strip was seldom funny; its main characters were pompous gasbags afflicted with end-stage irritable bowel syndrome, ready to bombast readers with sneering, condescending diatribes at the drop of a dime.
The editorial space was hallowed ground for opinions and exercise of free speech, but to some minds Doonesbury’s narrative was suspect – the strip was thinly-veiled code-talk for sedition – so it was off-limits there, too. With no consensus, then, the debate paused and the strip was free to waltz across newspaper pages, with all the appeal and subtlety of a serial flasher overdosed on Quaaludes.
Fast forward to Christmas morning 2016 when the Chronicle, lovingly ensconced in the full-color comic section, arrived at readers’ doorsteps full of Yule greetings. But not so fast! If readers expected cheery holiday fluff, such notions were quickly squashed when confronted by the sullen, disdainful mug of Doonesbury character, “Rick Redfern”, notable for a chronic scowl typically associated with sufferers of psoriasis and piles, befouling the front page like cat litter in a Christmas stocking. Garry Trudeau, creator of the strip, shows why he’s the perennial fart in the punch-bowl, a noteworthy achievement for which he was awarded a Pulitzer in 1975.
Trudeau’s Redfern character, ersatz journalist and unapologetic purveyor of hackneyed Marxist drool, wastes no time heaping broadsides of snarky bile on incoming president-elect #45. Now Trump isn’t even due to arrive at the Oval Office for another 23 days, yet Trudeau is unleashing his spleen at Le Donald with the ferocity of a 50,000# psi pisswater-cannon.
Gotta wonder where Trudeau was during the last eight years while Obama connived and finagled how to transform America’s clock back to the Jurassic era? Oh, right, he was front-row, cheering him on. See, Doonesbury was the go-to forum for inspiring many incendiary upheavals – Occupy Wall Street, Black Lives Matter, Hands Up-Don’t Shoot – providing misfits an open-source playbook, and excuse, for instigating social mayhem and calamity.
Trudeau’s comic creation has been kicking progressive-liberal-left glop into Americans’ faces for 46 years. Enuff awready! Time to drain the swamp! Doonesbury's self-righteous UC-Berkley style chicanery has overstayed its welcome. Bury it and everything it stands for.
To the Houston Chronicle high-sheriffs, seems like passage of time resolved the debate. Doonesbury fits in neither the comics nor the editorials, that's why there's obituaries. “Doonesburied 1970 – 2016. Good riddance."