Doonesbury 4

March 15, 2012 • 2:50 am

Today’s strip (particularly the last panel) is the most incendiary yet in this week’s Doonesbury, which deals with a woman trying to get an abortion under the Texas ultrasound-exam-before-abortion law.

In the Wall Street Journal, artist Garry Trudeau discusses the continuing controversies that swirl around the strip, and this one in particular:

What’s your aim in satirizing the subject of abortion policy?

I usually weasel out of that question, because if my intention isn’t clear from the strip, I’ve failed. It’s never the readers’ fault if they’re confused. The strips this week are a pretty straightforward commentary on mandatory sonograms, a subject that’s been in the news since the debate in Virginia. We anticipated that we might run into a community standards issue with one or two clients, but nothing like the 47 papers that we know about. I don’t want to sound disingenuous here — controversy is obviously good for business, especially if your business is satire. And it does amplify the discussion — in my view, a good thing. We need a robust debate on these shocking rollbacks of reproductive rights. But I didn’t set out to gin up some kind of furor. It just followed me home this week.

Be sure to click on the Slate link to give Trudeau click credit.

15 thoughts on “Doonesbury 4

  1. We anticipated that we might run into a community standards issue with one or two clients, but nothing like the 47 papers that we know about.

    What is a “paper”? Seriously.

    1. A “paper” must mean a local community newspaper, like the Richmond Times-Disgrace, as opposed to a national paper, like the Wall Street Funeral — oops, I mean Journal, of course!

    2. What is a “paper”? Seriously.

      Something that some of us like to read, do the crossword from, and the 16×16 Sudoku, while soaking in the tub on Saturday morning.
      I guess these things can be done on tablet editions, but I found the steam and wet fingers did for one of my early PDAs (Psion5, FWIW), and I don’t wish to repeat the expense.

  2. This Doonesbury-series makes me shudder. And it makes me think of Margaret Atwoods “A Handmaid’s Tale”. This Doonesbury should be obligatory reading – and now it’s being censored (arggghhhh I’m getting angry now)

    1. yes, and “by the authority vested in me by the GOP”, which fully explicates the GOPs new character as a political religion.

  3. Go, Gary, go!
    If you care to pause in kicking the Texas Legislature about it’s communal tender bits, I can loan you a nice pair of crampons. ( , for those who don’t know the term.) Well-rotted sheep excrement on the tungsten carbide teeth, to ensure the wounds fester.
    There are subjects where subtlety and euphemism can be justified. And there are subjects where subtlety and euphemism are not called for. This is one of the latter cases.
    I’ve never been particularly a fan of Doonesbury – rather American-centric for my tastes in a UK paper. But he has scored some notable goals in the past, and he’s obviously not lost his touch.

    1. Hmmm, I thoughtDoonesbury was syndicated to the Grauniad here, but now I’m not so sure. (I normally get the IndescribablyBoring myself, when I want ink-on-paper news.) I suppose there’s one way to easily find out …

  4. Rick Perry whines about Trudeau making jokes about the Texas bill when he’s the one who signed off on making women’s reproductive health into a circus act.

  5. It seems to me that the republican, conservative, evangelical, teapartyers have dug a hole so deep they will never be able to crawl out of it. Without getting too confident, I am fantasizing about a decisive democratic victory coming up.

    1. A democratic win? I would certainly hope so. But given how much poison Republicans have injected into the country – destroying the economy, destroying the environment, ruining our credit rating, undermining everything based on science and evidence, and hollowing out everything from the EPA to NOAA to FWS to MMS – you’d think we would have long penned their obituary. It is truly remarkable that if Democrats do win it in November, it’ll be by the slimmest of electoral college margins. Their war on women shows just how prescient Borat of Kazakhstan’s satire was. He nailed rabid religion. He nailed xenophobia. He nailed mindless bloodthirsty patriotism. But the part where our mustachioed nincompoop compares women’s brains to squirrel brains was years before Ledbetter, vaginal probes or contraceptive using sluts and prostitutes. Spot on.

  6. The good news is that 1) I currently have a solid, secure job in a state that is pretty damn progressive by US standards; and 2) Between my vasectomy, and my wife’s physical issues, it is virtually guaranteed (99.999999% or so) that she couldn’t become pregnant.

    If, however, those two things were to change, we would be forced to go through the expense of travelling to a different state to have a legal medical procedure done to avoid this.

    Fuck the GOP…with a dead, rusty porcupine.

  7. Here is the argument I use against religious fundamentalists attempting to turn their wacky mythical beliefs into law.

    Let’s see now, if Christian fundamentalists have their way and are able to establish “personhood” laws such that state and federal laws define a human to exist at fertilization, what are the implications of this… religiously? They are these. Since God is all powerful and all knowing, He is directly responsible for everything that happens; because if He did NOT want it to happen, it most certainly could not and would not happen.

    So what does happen? This. Only 30 to 50% of conceptions or fertilizations survive past the first three months. The vast majority are aborted by God before the woman is even aware of the conception or before medical practitioners have the ability to detect the presence of an embryo. So let’s review, about 50% (up to 70%) OF ALL FERTILIZED EGGS ARE ABORTED BY GOD IN THE FIRST TRIMESTER. Whatever will we make of this knowledge that GOD ABORTS MORE THAN HALF OF HIS CREATED, FERTILIZED, CELLS-WITH-SOULS in their first few months?

    But wait! There’s more. We have not even counted second and third trimester God performed miscarriages, stillbirths and neonatal deaths. And what about God performed sudden infant deaths and child deaths from disease, malformed organs, starvation, abandonment, failure to thrive, etc, etc, etc … God’s infanticide program is getting way above my abilities to calculate. This is 2012, not the Dark Ages… why kill like this God? WHAT REASON COULD YOU POSSIBLY HAVE, GOD, FOR DESIGNING SUCH A MASSIVE, PERMANENT PROGRAM OF INFANT MURDER THAT YOU YOURSELF CARRY OUT?

    So now, tell me again, what’s all the religious fuss about a woman’s right to choose and contraception?

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