Here’s the latest strip. It should have gone up Wednesday. Sorry about that.
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How the time flies, she speaks already.
It’s like she aged overnight, like on soap operas! 😉
Go Ginger!!! Ginger is so blunt and to the point! What a great episode! Ginger and Samia are hanging out. This is great! I hope to see them together for the long term.
Stuart worries a lot: dirty fountain, Harriette’s daughter picking up little JR, not riding in a car….maybe he needs therapy, too.
My sweetie said about her brother, an Ashkenazi Jew who married a Dominican woman, that he `has to be a Jewish Mother as well as a Jewish Father’. Stewart may be having a case of that, if it means extreme attentivness to ambient risks, as it seems to mean for my sweetie’s sib! Even risks that seem slight to most other people… an example might be `put on your sweater!’ in 63 degree F weather.
What’s that sign mean in the 7th panel, “1559? What about 242?” Does it refer to rival claims to land in Lebanon?
Ahah! some googling yielded answers, here’s what it seems to me, to mean-
It seems that 1559 refers to a 2004 UN Security Council resolution for all foreign troops to leave Lebanon, armed Lebanese militias to disband, and free and fair elections to be held.
and UN Security Council resolution 242 called for Israel to withdraw from occupied territory in the recent conflict – in 1967.
Alison: I don’t always agree with your politics nor do I live in the neighborhood frequented by your characters anymore.
Yet I LOVE this strip. Your characters are so real, so insightful, so fun. Your plots are so great. No “Queers for Our Lives” tired soap opera feeling here.
In fact when I don’t have your strip, I jones BIG time. Last month the Lesbian News did not have your strip. I called them to ask what happened? This week I went down to my local gay bookstore, and LN was GONE after 10 days.
Finally, I found your web site and DTs are gone. Thank you thank you thank you.
And a little more info about UN Security Council Resolution 242. … That’s part of the bipartisan peace plan originally set up under Clinton’s regime. There’s to be a gradual withdrawal.
Israel has been withdrawing more, but each time there is an incident such as the one in Gaza (where two soldiers were kidnapped), then those who support balls to their walls security gain political clout.
There is a peace movement in Israel. Example: The town of Neve Shalom. Here’s a link: http://nswas.org/rubrique22.html
It translates roughly into Oasis of Peace. Jews and Palestinians co-exist there, and the Roger Waters concert was held in fields surrounding the town.
Waters wanted to plant an olive tree there, but security concerns prevented it.
It’s just very threatened. Every act of “terror” or as the opposition likes to call it — legitimate revolt — just kills the moderate voices in Israel.
Of course a similar thing could be said about the incessant pounding happening in Gaza. For every civilian killed in the conflict, another set of Palestinians give up on peace as well.
I think it’s fair to say that both sides want peace, and that the region would be much further along in the process when both sides stop targeting civilians.
Uh oh. New character enter! It’s Cynthia’s mom, I will wager.
The Stewart/nosy mom interaction is the best allegory I’ve seen thus far for the mideast conflict.
Many thanks to you for the strip, the book and all the other lovely things you do.
Thank You Alison!
Really good to see a representation of a Jewish Voice for Peace…AND in a Utilikilt.
Hey, echoing coments above, there are a bunch of Israeli peace organizations that are very vocal, including Peace Now (www.shalomachshav.org), which is the largest, and many more. I’m actually moving to Jerusalem in three weeks to work for a religious peacebuilding group called Jerusalem Peacemakers, http://www.jerusalempeacemakers.org. Despite the actions of the government, the majority of the Israeli citizenry is moderate and left-leaning. Another complexity that shouldn’t be lost in the current conflict is the tactic of Hezbollah to deliberately use civilians and civilian targets as shields.
Dede, “the tactic of Hezbollah to deliberately use civilians and civilian targets as shields” is an Israeli fabrication, not a “complexity.” It is in fact the IDF that uses civilians as human shields. If you’re so moderate and left-leaning and therefore distinct from “the actions of the government”, why are you repeating Israeli propaganda?
I think the fair conclusion is that both sides probably do it to some degree. Which of course just adds to the complexity.
I just noticed that Stuart is wearing Crocs. Oh, Alison, your detail is amazing. From the Crocs to the Jewish Voice for Peace logo. You rock.
> How the time flies, she speaks already.
> It’s like she aged overnight, like on soap operas!
Yeah, but bear in mind that J.R. was born in
episode 411 (3/12/2003), which means she’s, like,
Time in sequential media like comic-strips (or soap operas!)
is always interesting. I mean, if you do the math,
Mo and Lois must be closing in on 50 pretty rapidly now.
I don’t necessarily like the flicking in the face idea, but to let a kid throw a tantrum like that over swimming is pretty annoying. Stewart, don’t be such a pushover.
A sobering element in the “developments” in the middle east is that the US can hardly complain about what Israel is doing without looking like utter hypocrites. We invaded Iraq because we figured they had WMD. They DIDN’T! Israel invaded Lebanon because they KNOW Hezbollah has missles that can fire deep into Israel. Lots of countries have the situation of existing neighbor weapons, but Israel was indeed attacked.
I’m also going to go out on a wee limb and say that a toddler throwing a tantrum, which amounts to a lot of noise in this instance, by the look of it, is NOT a good allegory for the middle east. Age 7 is considered the age of reason. She has not reached that age and yet is harming no one, despite great upset. She is ultimately in control of herself as she loses control in this controlled manner. Even the finger-pointing woman is maintaining such control, annoying as finger pointing is. Stu was also in control, though his finger pointing, coming from such a big person, standing, must have felt threatening to that woman. Ginger, was the worst. Squirting someone in the face, fergodsake?! How obnoxious! Well, this is a cartoon.
Still, compared to what the grownups are doing in the middle east, including the support Syria and Iran are alleged to be doing, is utterly irresponsible, making our gang look like models in comparison.
Whoa, the Middle East situation and child-rearing… topics don’t get much more contentious than that. I put it to you that toddlers are a *very* good allegory for the situation in the Middle East, because no-one is acting like they’ve attained the age of reason. Sure, the military strategies show a certain ruthless cunning, but the only way it will ever be settled once and for all is if both sides stand back and say, “OK, we’ll stop hitting you, you stop hitting us.” This won’t happen, because everyone is too busy telling everyone else “You started it!!” and trying to tattle to God.
jewishaunt, what IS the neighborhood? What city?
TeratoMarty, you stated it perfectly! As a mother of two grown sons and the survivor of tantrums, that is exactly what is happening….especially with the tattling to God. Perfect!
Losing control is in the nature of toddlerhood it’s developmentally appropriate for toddlers to tantrum. Part of what toddlers need to learn is how to titrate their self expression and their emotions…how to gain and maintain some self-regulation. They need to practice.
Let’s not judge and say it isn’t appropriate to lose it over swimming. Let’s say, what an excellent opportunity for her to learn that her dad will say no sometimes and even if she falls apart, he won’t change his mind, you can count on it. He’ll tolerate her not liking his decision, he’ll tolerate her being angry with him and he’ll stick to his decision and still love her and everyone will be okay.
How we deal tantrums is what matters. We can ignore…we can try to distract or redirect…We can explain, briefly, once, JUST ONCE, why we are saying no and then ignore or distract or redirect. But being punitive? I can’t support that…a flick in the face? what are you teaching with that?
If you are out of control I’ll harm you?
If your behavior annoys me I have the right to inflict pain on you?
Now that’s the kind of logic that reminds me of War.
it’s the I have a right to harm you if I don’t like you mentality.
War and spanking are the same thing…a lack of boundaries/respect for others and ignorance of better ways to get your point across or to assert yourself without violence. You don’t need to harm a child to be a strong, assertive, firm parent. You can set limits and garner respect without physical discipline. When it comes to spanking…I’m a conscientious objector.
and another thing…you should let your kid move their furniture around in their room, especially their desk, unless, oy vay… it creates a fire hazard and/or they could put their eye out with it. (I AM a Jewish mother)
Amen Aunt Soozie!
BTW, the permalinks are munged.
Only advancing armies don’t hide behind civilians.
(Or have we all forgotten the military bases in our own cities? In the UK there are military bases in the heart of Portsmouth and York.)
Oh poor Stuart – having a child makes one such an open, easy target for stupid advice, exactly like this. I love how you worked it in to the greater idea of the political climate – so true. I’ve been reading Lakoff and he compares the differing mindsets this way.
Aunt Soozie’s bringing us closer to how parents might appropriately handle tantrums and 3rd party countries might handle peacemaking. What she proposes, that Stuart neglects, is continued engagement w/the one who’s out of control. He hasn’t explained his “no” to swimming adequately, and by ignoring JR too quickly he’s dismissing the request . . . and his daughter. some words w/JR about how to ask appropriately wouldn’t be amiss here. saying “no”, then dismissing her and her demands is only leading to an escalation in her behavior.
and THANK YOU for articulating the beliefs behind violent action. they seem pretty silly when put into words. isn’t this ridiculous philosophy the starting place for advocating a better way to handle conflict?
However, you didn’t comment on how you have to warn your kids not to put their eye out. you know, if perchance they run with a stick in their hand…you have to yell, “stop, stop running,you’ll put your eye out with that stick!” and then you have to wring your hands, sigh and say, “oy vay mein kinder!” I mean, am I right about that part?
Are you feeling me?
Aunt Soozie and mlk (and fjm) good points. I do want to state more clearly one part of my comments: comparing the violence of the middle east with a child’s tantrum (and putting it as something to ignore) trivializes what went on over there. People were killed, and countless lives’ plans thrown out the window. I’m not horrified by the comparison to a toddler, I understand the point, as people explained it well above.
I think it would have been more a more appropriate comparison if JR were throwing things, throwing punches, or physically fighting with another kid. She was so reasonable it was thereby possible to ignore her.
Aunt Soozie, I have qualms about telling a child that something bad will happen to them as a result of their behavior (putting their eye out with a stick, catching a cold . . .). when you come down to it, it’s simply not true! a child MIGHT put her eye out when running with a stick, but countless children who have run with sticks haven’t! in fact, I’d say that it’s more likely she WON’T harm herself when engaging in such dangerous behavior than that she WILL.
which doesn’t mean that adults should just stand by when children are doing something that might harm them — or someone else. but come on, a number of children are smart enough to know that dangerous behavior doesn’t automatically cause harm. these children will just tune out those adult cautions. worse, the children who take their elders’ cautions at face value will grow up believing that the world is more dangerous than it actually is. and that belief leads to behavior that’s fearful, defensive, and sometimes aggressive.
back to that adult concern, which is certainly legitimate.
maybe Concerned Adult could say “I’m afraid/concerned that you’ll fall and poke out your eye if you run with that stick.” it’s a truer statement, and those children who examine Concerned Adult’s caution will probably admit that the feared outcome IS possible.
much better to conclude that an adult is correct than to dismiss them as stupid!
I chuckled a little reading the comparison between Middle East politics and child rearing because I’ve been saying for years that what the Middle East really needs isn’t the UN but a Mother. “I don’t care _who_ started it, you can both stop it right now!” “Okay, if you can’t share I’m taking Jerusalem away until you can play nicely.” Etc.
a clarification for Aunt Soozie — please don’t think for a minute that I’m calling you (or anyone else) stupid! dire statements about what will happen to children who alarm their elders are all too common in American childrearing. makes me wonder what was said to W during his formative years . . .
Geogeek, I like…a mom would be good!
and MLK…uhm…I was being silly…really…I don’t really believe that you should tell kids they’ll put their eyes out…cause yeah, you make ’em kinda neurotic like that.
but, I am serious about letting them move their desks where they want them. That’s important…letting them have autonomy where you can and not making rules unless you have to…I tell my kid sometimes, that’s a want to, not a hafto, so, you decide.
OK, so I’m taking myself too seriously . . . I guess I *wasn’t* feeling you.
but there really ARE a bunch of people out there who believe that if they’re not absolutely safe, something bad WILL happen. which is why people of color who ask for help from some paranoid person may get shot (my memory’s not too good, but I believe it actually made into the news when an Asian man who went to a Caucasian man’s house for assistance was shot). it’s not true, and it’s a dangerous belief.
I agree about allowing children autonomy. it’s important to allow them to make decisions that may be inconvenient but don’t cause harm. seems you’re a pretty sane mama.
on a more personal note, I’m sensitive about this fearful belief system because I seem to be surrounded by people who have $$ and prestige to protect. those who don’t are living out of a very materialistic and androcentric view of reality. sometimes I feel like an alien in this world of ours.
and maybe there was a language barrier there . . . my Yiddish isn’t up to snuff. I *think* that was Yiddish!
Yes,Yiddish…”oh my, my children”. is a rough translation.
My cousin and aunt purchased some language learning tapes recently. The French and Italian tapes contained phrases one would typically expect in a first language lesson, hello, how are you, where is the train station, stuff like that…but, on the yiddish tape, the first lesson included the phrase…”my children, they give me heartache”.
hmmm . . . my Jewish father would never say that of his children! he also left our religious upbringing to my mother and the Episcopal church. despite these anomalies, he’s still Jewish — he certainly understands anti-semitism.
I’m still looking for a way to embrace and express my Jewishness without giving up my Christian faith. the so-called Messianic Jews are too evangelical for my taste.
not Aunt Soozie, you’d probably enjoy “Born to Kvetch” by Michael Wex. It’s full of riffs on why one the first lessons in your Yiddish language learning tapes included the phrase above. It’s hilarious, in the bittersweet way only a book about Yiddish could be.
Thanks Eva…I’ll check it out.
It’s good to laugh at ourselves…right?
Even in tragic times like these?
My Jewish father wouldn’t have said that either…most days. He had four daughters and often said that we were his “wealth”;that his life was rich because he had us in it.
Hafto say there were less poetic moments…like when he first realized not one but two of the four were lesbians…but then, you’ll have to read my graphic memoir for that story.
would love to hear the story! have you written it, or is that a “someday” project?
my dad, who was so concerned that my older brother might be gay, took it in stride when I told him I was dating a woman! when he met her, he said something to the effect “I wish you’d found each other sooner!!” not that we stayed together, and our breakup was the most painful I’ve ever experienced. but was my first female lover, and I’m forever grateful.
mmm…it’s a someday…
maybe when the kid goes off to college
or when I retire…
or when Ms. Bechdel wants to draw my people for me…
(I’ll even give her all of my journals…
the kitty cat one and even the Barbie one)
tho I think she said collaborating is hell
or something like that.
didn’t you Alison?
my paramour says…every baby boomer thinks they should pen their memoir…and that makes me think twice about it.
Tho some boomers do have quite a tale to tell, ie. our Alison.
LOL Yes, we do have a tale to tell Aunt Soozie! Hey, what about organizing these blogs into something that Alison could put together in a book? I mean, look at us all? We are living DTWOF!
This is the actual url for the “Mothers of a New American Century” quote from Stewart in the last panel. Be scared if you venture to this link. It’s for real. While you’re there, look for the names of people that endorse this ‘freedom’ ideal and how the, OUR United States, should proceed in this next millenium. Think it won’t happen? Look at who are current President is and his staff of woe-be-gones.
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