DTWOF episode #504

February 22nd, 2007 | Uncategorized

Sorry. I should’ve put this up yesterday.


119 Responses to “DTWOF episode #504”

  1. Robin says:

    Ha! I’m glad I saw this first thing in the morning. It’s gonna be a good day.

  2. ega says:

    Hey, a respite from the gloom, awesome! And a Ginger strip, which is always fun. I’m really interested in the relationship that has developed between these two – a sort of reluctant/combative mentorship. And beautiful details, as always – love the toggles on Ginger’s coat.

  3. Ellen Orleans says:

    What an amazing array of faces and hairstyles and hats (did you see the earflaps on the person by the Buffalo?). I love Ginger’s twist at the end and how the two of them know each other well enough to be honest about their polarized attitudes.

    But there’s no real George Bush Center for Intelligence, right? That’s got to be a joke. Please say it is.

  4. sunicarus says:

    Brilliant, Alison!

  5. Ianscot deux says:

    The George Bush Center for Intelligence:


    “The Intelligence Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 1999* was signed into law by the President on October 20, 1998. Among its provisions, the Act directed that the Headquarters compound of the Central Intelligence Agency located in Langley, Virginia, shall be known and designated as the “George Bush Center for Intelligence.”

    (It’s named after George the First, whose term has CIA head purportedly featured more of the “speaking truth to power” modus operandi than that of his spawn. So they say.)

  6. Ianscot says:

    Remarks from George HW Bush at the center’s opening:

    “Let me thank the great team that we have running CIA. I think all the former Directors here would agree that in George Tenet we have one of the very, very best.”

    At this point he broke the bottle of champagne over W’s head. That’s where it all started.

  7. Alina says:

    It does exist. Although, (not that it really helps) it’s a tribute to the first George Bush.

  8. Lester says:

    LOVE cynthia!! she still a virgin?

  9. Donut Rooter says:

    The last row of panels made me laugh. Great to see a Ginger comic. 🙂

  10. Feminista says:

    I’m amazed that Ginger actually wrote the letter of recommendation for Cynthia; I don’t think I could. But then,no right-wing student has ever asked me for such a letter;none of them were outstanding students,and they were more interested in embarassing my guest speakers or getting me in trouble with the administration.An important exception: a male Mormon student,very polite and respectful of women,who honestly said that his worldview had been widened and he now considered himself a feminist after taking Intro to Women’s Studies.

    The GB Center for Intelligence:Daddy Bush’s influence runs deep,though the title is an oxymoron. Thanks for telling us about this so we can add it to our “know your enemy” list.

  11. Viva says:

    That was mightily hilarious! And as usual, the tiny details of gestures and grimaces are all perfect.

  12. Christine says:

    I love what Cynthia’s added to this storyline, and here, it’s just hilarious. Yay!

  13. NLC says:

    So, in the panel where Samia and Ammar are walking into the building:
    Is that AB on the sidewalk behind them, decked out in her famous snowboots and Charlie-Brown-earflap hat?

    In any case, any strip that features the name “Schmendrick” is OK by me.

  14. jmc says:

    One of my favorite grad-school teaching experiences was with a very earnest male Mormon student; I was wary of him, but he was a very nice kid and hard not to like. He was in my group piano class – nothing that seems very provocative, but I let my student choose their own music (and hence I ended up teaching hymns, Beethoven, and several Michael Jackson tunes).

    Several months after the class was over he pulled me aside in the library one day. He was in an education class that was well-known around campus for successfully pushing students to think critically about “diversity” issues and his teacher had sent all the students out of class with the assignment to wear a button that said “I support gay rights”. He had pulled me aside (not wearing the button, but with it in his pocket) because he said he really had no idea what gay rights were and asked if I’d be willing to talk with him about that.

    This was several years ago, but it was a formative moment early in my grad career.

  15. Fräulein says:

    Yes, NLC, that must be AB. Frame 5 is my favourite. Who are the two extras? They seem very intensely interested in one another. Has the woman brought her pet anaconda or is that her coat? Ammar looks like he’s fixing to do himself in with his scarf.

  16. Duncan says:

    Well, this confirms my long-held suspicion that Cynthia’s a sociopath. But given her chosen career, that’s not such a surprise, is it? Maybe at least there’ll be less wishing that she be inflicted on that poor kid she was dating and clit-teasing a while back. (For which, as usual, the victim was blamed.)

  17. Andrew B says:

    Oh, Ginger… Pretty soon you’re going to wish you hadn’t been such a pain to your housemates when things were going well with Samia.

    It’s fun to see all the different-looking people in the backgrounds — especially in the context of the discussion of appearances that has developed in the last post. How about the multiply-pierced person in the panel where Ginger is talking about torture? I have to think that was intended.

    How about Ammar’s hand in the last panel? Spooky, like something out of a horror film — the creature from twenty thousand leagues.

    Something that I feel somebody should mention, and I don’t think anyone else has: it appears that Alison has gone back to hand lettering the strips. For a while she was using the font she’d had made for _Fun Home_. I probably never would have noticed the font if others hadn’t pointed it out. But since it was pointed out, I feel like somebody should point out that she’s now making the effort to hand letter again.

  18. Ericaequites says:

    Cynthia, don’t abuse tyour position to help Ginger get Ammar out of the country. But if he’s here without visa status… The Republican total woman is whisphering evil things in my ear.

  19. Jana C.H. says:

    I don’t see Cynthia as a clit-tease. She gave her prospective lover a clear answer: “No, unless you meet my conditions.” Since What’s-Her-Name saw Cynthia’s conditions as unreasonable (as did I, but I’m not Cynthia), she should have taken no for an answer and left Cynthia to stew in her own frustrations. The two of them teased each other, driven by their own hormones. No one was a victim of anything except mutual human passion.

    Jana C.H.
    Saith Mark Twain: We all do no end of feeling, and we mistake it for thinking.

  20. shadocat says:

    Funny, funny—love that Ginger…

  21. Jaibe says:

    I wrote my first reference to the military a few months ago. For a bright student who had been a total trouble maker but put together an excellent final-year project — modelling the transition of activist networks to extremism/terrorism! (We modelled the animal-rights folks since it’s easier to get data on them :-). Anyway, I did feel really weird about the reference, but on the other hand one reason I live in the UK is at least their military seems more professional (though their arms industry is just as vile.) But it was still sad because he had achieved a lot coming from a very disadvantaged background & he was trying to go do something that could kill him (or others.)

    Anyway, they didn’t take him. I totally sympathised with Ginger when she was like “uh, great”. I’m sure she was doing her job but hoping it wouldn’t work… I wasn’t looking forward to getting that news.

    I think Alison has totally got the gifted-student/prof dynamic down here. It is amazing having a student you notice for years, watching them grow and develop & knowing you’re influencing that. Yet another amazing nuance from a keen observer!

  22. bongobunny says:

    Hilarious…but I don’t know how Ginger can tolerate lille miss Coulter. Ugh.

  23. bongobunny says:

    Pardon me, “little” miss Coulter. (Terrible typist.)

  24. Laugin, M'seur ... says:

    The backgrounds are delightful as usual. Love the spaces and the personalities.

  25. Hariette says:

    Took me a moment to remember where Ginger teaches. I saw the statue of the snow covered buffalo and thought for a moment I was back at Gallaudet staring at their Bison!

  26. silvio soprani says:

    On the subject of writing a recommendation for a student, I don’t need to agree with their values to assess whether they have good reasoning skills, turn in good quality work, pay attention to directions, or interact well with their peers. Those are qualities that can shine through regardless of any political or religious differences.

    Although I admit, I have been frustrated from time to time, for instance, when a particularly good student who I can see is highly intelligent and has a thirst for learning tells me she can’t register for next semester until her husband tells her what courses she should take. I have also had many students who have talked about their arranged marriages (from Hindu or Muslim cultures) in class discussions.

    To be honest, having taught hundreds of students from so many cultures has mostly underlined to me that 1) they speak more languages than I do; 2) they have travelled more than I have; and 3) the ones with a strong belief system and a strong family support system seem to be a lot happier than I am with my loner/ unaffiliated-humanist-spiritual so-called belief system. (Although not as happy as I was about 10 years ago when I was more active in the queer community and had a sweetheart.)

  27. Danyell says:

    Duncan- Clit-tease? Are you for real? I guess when you make out with someone, it has to lead to sex, or else you’re just leading them on…Not that proposing marriage is a solution, but deciding not to go further doesn’t make her a “tease”. I don’t like her character, but I do respect her choice for her body. (Btw, I think “misinformed jerk” and “sociopath” have a pretty wide separation).

    Allison, I’m often shocked how many people presume people of Arabian decent are automatically terrorists. Guh.

    And I love the white girl with the eyebrow ring and dreds. Such a college staple. 🙂

  28. Jana C.H. says:

    “I guess when you make out with someone, it has to lead to sex, or else you’re just leading them on…”

    I actually thought this when I was in high school and college. Or rather, I thought other people thought this, and I didn’t want to be falsely accused of being a tease. This was one reason (though not the only one) that I had no romantic relationships while I was in high school and college.

    I got this notion largely from grade-b movies and feminist comic strips– but not from Alison. DTWOF was not yet in existance.

    Jana C.H.
    Saith JcH: Do whatever you like with Wagner, but mess with Gilbert and Sullivan and you die!

  29. Jana C.H. says:

    Now that I think of it, it wasn’t entirely feminist comic strips, but underground comics in general.

    Be verrrrry careful when you try to learn about life from comic books!

    Jana C.H.
    Saith JcH: Some people drink, some people gamble, some like whips and chains– I buy books.

  30. PKintheUK says:

    First, I agree with everything ega said in the 2nd post up there. Second, I got the impression that the two background people in the 5th panel aren’t in the same plane (spatial depth, distance from observer, etc) and so are looking past each other.

    Finally, most important to me, I don’t see why this is dragging on for so long! If Samia says she’s not sexually or romantically involved with Ammar–and why should she be? And what evidence have we seen that she is?–why doesn’t Ginger believe her? Sure, we could say something about Ginger’s chronic commitment-phobia or something like that.

    Why is there suspense for us the audience about Samia and Ammar’s relationship? I can’t imagine a motivation for her to have him around other than innocuous things like old times’ sake, friendship, the comfort of having someone with a similar cultural background around.

  31. Deena in OR says:

    Anybody hear in the news about the push in Iran to have a women’s-only island (tourist destination) in NW Iran? Somewhere where women wouldn’t have to wear chadors/etc., and can walk around in Western garb? Didn’t the ancient Greeks already do this????? Or to quote Rachel Maddow today- “They’re trying to recreate an Olivia cruise!”

  32. Feminista says:

    Silvio–I too have taught ESL students,many from traditional backgrounds,but I wouldn’t lump them in with white,narrow-minded,arrogant,openly bigoted right-wing students,who are the ones I was referring to above.

    I’ve taught students from 40 different countries,the majority of them motivated and cooperative,from whom I’ve learned a lot. I always mention my grandparents,immigrants from Ukraine,who had no ESL classes and had to learn English the hard way, through work and independent study.

    I remember two Vietnamese students in particular,both bright and respectful who are now studying pre-med and pre-pharmacy,respectively. After I went on a peace delegation to Viet Nam,I made a collage title “Viet Nam: 30 years later”,honoring the Vietnamese people,whether they lived in their country or in the U.S. I included photos of these remarkable young women, as well as of rural ethnic minority students for whom I sponsor scholarships through the organization Global Exchange.

  33. Em says:

    Perhaps there’s more to the history of Samia and Ammar than has been let on to the audience? We haven’t really seen too much of Ammar so it’s hard to tell if there actually IS something sketchy about him, or it’s simply Ginger’s POV.

    I think it’s hard to hate Cynthia because she really is sincere about what she thinks is doing the right thing. She’s not going out there thinking “I WILL join this evil organization!” but in her view, she’d doing the right thing by ‘taking action.’ I know it’s probably been brought up before, but she seems similar to Sydney in that regard. But although Sydney’s beliefs seem to be motivated more by playing the devil’s advocate and the desire to challenge conventional wisdom, with Cynthia you can trust that what she says is her pure conviction. Ironically enough, she is almost pure Mo in her conviction too and they both have had trouble fitting the real world in with their principals. I have a terrible memory, have Mo and Sydney ever met Cynthia before? I’m especially curious as to what Syd would make of her.

    Alas, what’s really disturbing me about Cynthia is just that there’s something deeply troubling about people my age already accomplishing big (even if they’re fictional) Deep down I still don’t think of myself as being a ‘grownup’, and that people who do crazy things like say get started on a career path (with the frikkin CIA no less!) will always be older than me. I guess it feels like so much of my life has been reading and watching about people older than me and being the youngest kid in my family it felt like I would never get out of childhood, and it was such an odd sensation to do even the most mundane “grownup things” (going to the bank, grocery shopping, paying rent) for the first time.

  34. Aunt Soozie says:

    hmmm…Cynthia working for the CIA?

    I know she hasn’t had sex yet
    but does she identify as bi-sexual or lesbian?

    Did they ask that on the application for her internship?

    When you actually apply for a job with them they ask everything. It’s not a don’t ask don’t tell policy like with the military.

    They ask everything. You have no privacy when you apply to work for the CIA. They ask if you were ever in therapy and if you say yes…they ask you to sign a release so they can ask your therapist for your records.

    Cynthia may be in for a rude awakening. She may be betrayed and dumped by the very folks that she is so anxious to work with and for…they don’t like her kind…even if she is still a virgin and is politically right…
    she is still an abomination in the eyes of those leaders that she admires.

  35. LondonBoy says:


    You said in your post about a student who was joining the military that “it was still sad because he had achieved a lot coming from a very disadvantaged background & he was trying to go do something that could kill him (or others)”. Whilst it would indeed be sad if he or others ( on whichever “side” ) were killed, I think that joining the military is not per se sad. I’m in the slightly odd position of having applied to the RAF ( I was desperate to fly ) and been turned down for medical reasons ( nothing to do with being gay ). Of course when I applied I considered that I might be called on to fight, and to put my life at risk, for the people of my country or another, and that I might have to kill. But I didn’t consider that trying to live in accordance with my principles was sad. My principles, which I suspect are shared by many who join their nation’s armed forces, are simple: killing is always bad, to whatever end, but history teaches us that there are times when the only way to preserve life and liberty requires that force be met with force. Although there are many cases where wars have been fought for bad reasons ( the current one in Iraq seems to me a good example ) there are other cases where war has been waged for good reasons, and in a way that has been, as far as possible, decent ( most theatres of the Second World War ).

    I write this from England, and one thing that we can never forget is that without people like Jaibe’s student our lives would be very different. In our darkest hour it was the willingness of such young people to interpose their bodies between us and a tyrant that saved us, our lives and our society.

    Coincidentally I was looking up a school friend on Google today: he joined the Royal Navy on graduation ( I would have joined the RAF at the same time ). He’s just stepped down from captaining a frigate, and is now running a management and logistics unit for the Navy. He’s a good and decent human, and I’m glad that there are people like him taking on the task of guarding my country and its values. Like any other member of the military he has to follow the orders given to him by politicians, of course – and some of these orders are deeply misguided – but I respect him for being prepared to take on a difficult and dangerous task.

    I don’t think it’s sad to want to join the military. It’s clearly not for everyone, but my own view is that those who are prepared to risk their lives and health for the benefit of their fellow human beings are worthy of respect. My guess is that no soldier really wants to fight, particularly when a war is fought for bad reasons, but when people join up they know that the risk, and the underlying principle, comes with the job. I don’t think it’s sad when someone is guided by a desire, however inchoate, to protect the commonweal. That some may die in the living of this principle is sad, but a willingness to live by it is, it seems to me, anything but.

  36. PixieLauren says:

    To Duncan,

    I tend not to call people “sociopaths” just because their beliefs differ from mine.

    Also: I am stopping myself from typing a diatribe about how and why the term “tease” is so completely misogynistic.

    Next: Silvio,

    You wrote, “I don’t need to agree with their values to assess whether they have good reasoning skills, turn in good quality work…Those are qualities that can shine through regardless of any political or religious differences.”

    I am so glad you wrote that.

    (And a side note: Did I read in another set of comments that you’re in Baltimore? I lived in Hampden for 10 years — From ’92 to ’02. Loved it there so much. I miss it terribly, and I feel absolutely cheated because when I was there, I was totally closeted in a straight marriage. Although, ironically, I volunteered at the GLCCB in the 90s, answering the phone hotline. Me: “Oh, I’m straight, but I just want to support the gay community.” Too funny. Anyway, there is a chance I’m moving back to Baltimore this summer, which would be difficult for a lot of reasons, but also nice.)

  37. The CIA’s apparently very big on diversity, even of the sexual kind. “We at CIA equate diversity of workforce with diversity of thought. Nothing is more important to the intelligence profession than cultivating different perspectives on the foreign threats and challenges facing our nation. By hiring men and women with a broad range of ethnic and cultural backgrounds, language expertise, and educational experiences, we effectively minimize the likelihood of groupthink. For us, diversity is a mission-critical objective.”

    They’re very down with the youth in general. Take this fun personality quiz! They swear they don’t keep track of your answers. I’m a “thoughtful observer.”

  38. liza says:

    That seems right for you Alison.

    But they say I’m a daring thrill seeker! Ha! I get my thrills on Ebay. I hope that their other assesments are more accurate for all our sakes.

  39. hetero genus says:

    I do think you are a thoughful observer, evident in your art and writing. Cynthia charachter seems no more deluded than her loveable buddies (i have become very fond of the entire gang over the years: Toni’s parents, Mo’s bro, and all the occasional drop ins. Everyone is as complex and comical as the real thing (I came to appreciate your real pop after reading Fun Home. more emotional involvement than lots of dads, only a bit reserved, and confusion dealing with hi own complicated persona, but i digress). It may seem paradoxical for Cynthia to blindly embrace the far right politics of those she admires, despite their eschewing of her gay lifestyle, but exactly the same can be said for the virtual moral majoity, who are left and gay in this case. they too are out demonstrating, though never against cultures who would murder those who (gay or otherwise )preach or write dissent against the status quo. I am speaking of oil rich nations here who make no bones about who they want dead and have taken videos of such deeds, or left messages of warning pinned to the chest of murdered writers (the civilized people of the Netherlands firebomed Muslim schools and burnt down a Mosque after that…Odd, the Israelis don’t go after their Moslem population after the numerous suicide/homicide bombers, they go after the homes of individual terrorists. I haven’t seen our political activists zeroing in on the attempts to ehnically cleanse Darfur of blacks or the Arab Slave traders in the Sudan, or even a little show of support for Salmon Rushdie. And then there were the Danish cartoonists. I heard a lot of rationalizing among my friends regarding that. Well, maybe good old Cynthia wants to ensure that our country never falls into hand forbidding her creator Allison from displaying her talents, even if the extreme right, left or religious (take your pick) wing finds them insulting. How about them honor killings? Cultural sensitivity? It is alot easier to accept the slanted rhetoric from our particular trusted news sources and seach to justify the circumstances of those commiting the atrocities as long as they are wearing the correct colors.

  40. Suzanonymous says:

    Great visuals, very real and spacial scenes (something about the entire second row I love), and a laugh out loud at the end. Wonderful! Perfect cap off to a good day for me. 🙂 Selfish, selfish, I know. 🙂

    Loved the Hortense Schmendrick lecture series, too. And I agree about Ammar’s hand in the last panel: ominous!

    LondonBoy, there is a war protester here, the mother of a dead soldier. Cindy Sheehan’s son had a lot of promise and suddenly joined the army and people who knew him didn’t quite understand his choice but respected it. Somehow he believed in it. Your post reminded me of him and I agree you have to respect that. He died in Iraq.

    Ah! I am also a thoughtful observer. Yay. ..chuckle..

  41. Jana C.H. says:

    Now that I’ve checked out the CIA test page (another thoughtful observer; I expect a lot of us are), I see where Cynthia’s phrase “Work of the Nation” comes from.

    When I was in grad school in the Eighties, a man from the CIA came to talk to one of our geography seminars. At the time the CIA and the Defense Mapping Agency were the only federal agencies hiring cartographers. We all drooled over descriptions of their dedicated printing plant and the two CIA satellites that imaged the entire planet every eighteen days, and laughed to learn that the U.S. invaded Greneda with only a cheap tourist map for guidance. (I ended up writing my thesis on tourist maps, by the way.)

    But I figured I wouldn’t really like them much, and they wouldn’t like me. Maybe nowadays belonging to a gay square dance club and going to socialist New Year’s Eve parties would not wash you out of the CIA, but it probably would have in 1983. Still, I kind of liked the idea. It’s not for nothing that I was a big fan of “The Man from U.N.C.L.E.” when I was eleven.

    So, is Cynthia going to meet Jeff Redfern at the CIA? No, he just washed out, didn’t he? Too bad. They would have made quite a team.

    Jana C.H.
    Saith Floss Forbes: If you don’t know the tune, sing tenor.

  42. Deena in OR says:

    Jana…oh, my gosh, yes what a pair they’d be. The mind boggles.

  43. Colino says:

    I thoughtfully observed that even after leaving the CIA site (ie: after closing the tab in Firefox), it was still connecting or trying to connect to my browser. I had to restart Firefox for it to stop. Just a teensy little bit odd. But then again, I suppose they just have to do things like that. It would ruin their reputation if they didn’t and people would be so disappointed…

  44. AnnaP says:

    If there were no soldiers, there would not be war.

  45. straight european says:

    Compare the 6th panel with the following quotation from the CIA website: “Friends, family, individuals, or organizations may be interested to learn that you are an applicant for or an employee of the CIA. Their interest, however, may not be benign or in your best interest.”
    Alison is just great.

    About Ammar’s hand in the last panel: I didn’t find it so strange. I come from a culture where physical contact between longtime, close friends (including, but not restricted to, ex-lovers) is very natural. It still would bother me no end if I were Ginger, though.

  46. patricia tall and proud says:

    Maybe nowadays belonging to a gay square dance club and going to socialist New Year’s Eve parties would not wash you out of the CIA, but it probably would have in 1983.

    Don’t ask me how I know this, but they were letting furries in not so long after that.

  47. DSW says:

    Impressive Mastermind?? hmm… these CIA lot freak me out a bit, it’s all so sinister. I mean, some of those questions were really dumb, which makes me think even more that it’s a total ‘public image’ thing and they are hiding their true character from us. But then, I may just be paranoid…. :S I love Ammar’s face in the last two panels, poor Ginger I would be furious.

  48. Josiah says:

    Another “Thoughtful Observer” here. I like the mixed messages in that quiz: the text says that you won’t be a glamorous jetsetter if you work for the CIA, but the questions all imply that you will be.

  49. PentacleGoddess says:


    In some ways, I can see where you’re coming from, but… eh. It all ends up sounding like a more nuanced version of the US’s typical ‘Dudley Do-Right vs. Snidley Whiplash’ foriegn policy.

    I don’t have a desire to get into this too deeply, at least not right now, but I’ll say this: There are few adages truer than “Violence begets Violence.” If criticisms of the current administration seem more reactionary than they should be, I suspect it has something to do with ‘western’ nations having gotten a pass on genuinely bastardly behavior for so long.

  50. Jaibe says:

    LondonBoy — I didn’t mean “sad” in the British slang sense, I meant sad like it made me want to cry. But I agree that there are lots of necessary things that make people cry.

    I’m a gut-level pacifist, but not an intellectual one, because I think that letting someone kill other people is just as bad as killing them yourself. When I was a teenager, I saw one too many documentaries about Hitler’s ethnic cleansing machinery to think that there’s never a reason for an army. I even thought about going into the airforce myself. But it still, at the gut level, all makes me very sad.

    I didn’t just write the letter because it was my job, I wrote it because I thought it was the right thing to do. And I still think the RAF were probably wrong to turn him down!

  51. curious in Manchester says:

    I understand why Ginger is upset. Ammar is Samia’s primary partner. They do and have everything together except sex. Ginger gets the sex. By comparison, Ginger really isn’t getting much. I think Samia shows over and over who is the primary. Whenever she and Ginger have something to do, she invites Ammar. Samia and Ammar spend loads of time alone. Yet, when its time for Samia to be there for Ginger .. she brings Ammar. I really am tired of their excuses. They should all just admit what is going on. Ginger should just call it quits. Or, admit she likes having a girlfriend that is not available (without Ammar) and never will be. Arrrrrrrgh!

  52. PKintheUK says:

    :-/ I think Samia may be using Ammar as leverage to make Ginger jealous in the way you describe? Did she really invite him along all those times? What has Ginger tried: has she invited Samia out alone? Has she thought about the logistics of Samia moving in with her household?

    I agree that I think we the audience is a bit in the dark. I wonder if this is building up to some sort of confrontation/revelation, maybe in one of those great extra chapters in the back of a book?

    FTR, I don’t know that I would say I think it’s sad for someone’s aspirations to be joining the military, but I would *if that seemed like the only route for improvement* i.e. if there were no other choices.

  53. becca says:

    Yay! I missed Ginger. 🙂

  54. Sophie says:

    Thoughtful Observers Unite! 🙂

  55. cybercita says:

    innovative pioneer here…

  56. AnnaP says:

    Thoughtful Observers Unite!!
    I have to agree on that!

  57. Silvio Soprani says:

    Curious Adventurer here.

    My, that was a SLICK presentation, with a sense of humor, yet! I agree with Josiah, the questions totally set up your expectations for glamour. And I have to say that I do feel a bit paranoid now that I have connected with that CIA website. Surely they will monitor my blog posts in perpetuity. (That will put them right to sleep!) Perhaps Alison has unwittingly become a viral transmitter of their probes..(just kidding, Alison, and yet, deep down I probably never am kidding…)

    PixieLauren, please e-mail me and we must talk about Baltimore! silvio.soprani@yahoo.com

    Today’s discussion has some great stuff in it. My busy week just ended so I finally can catch up with the blog!

    Okay–must put in my two cents about Samia and Ammar. I don’t blame Ginger a bit for feeling jealous and frustrated. Curious in Manchester–I totally agree that Samia and Ammar have their long-time domestic scene in place. That is hard for the “girlfriend” to find a niche within. I used to know a lesbian professor at an urban university who had a gay man fellow-academic as her best friend. They went way back. They were both very intelligent, witty, well read, and cynical with a wicked sense of humor. They both dated their own kind, but the dates were definitely peripheral to their “significant friend” relationship with each other. My friend once told me, “Friends are permanent; lovers are temporary. The latter must never threaten the former.” And that was basically her credo.

    It actually makes a certain amount of sense to me, even though I have never been able to live that way. But I think that is what is happening with Samia, although perhaps she does not realize it. Maybe her mistake is that she has tried to affirm Ginger as her significant partner, when actually that role is already filled.

    If you look at Lois, that has basically been her method all these years (until recently with (What is her girlfriend’s name?) and her child (didn’t want to say “son” or “daughter”), Janis. Until that relationship, it seemed like she was an out-front casual dater with a truly significant bunch of “others” as friends. And I have to hand it to Lois for making the transition (no pun intended) to monogamy and domesticity (of sorts) without any noticeable angst. Well, Lois doesn’t do angst, does she?

    Didn’t Lois date that older woman (was it “Emma”) some years back who was already “married” to another older dyke, and she made Lois feel really peripheral (for the first time in Lois’s life, probably). Am I remember this right?

    Alison, I have to thank you for posting that link to the CIA, in spite of my paranoia, because I am really getting a kick out of being called a “curious adventurer.” (It’s because I said I’d like to drive an amphibious sports car and surf the waves! 🙂

    I just have one more comment, about the military. Sad or not, I do remember when I taught high school in a rather depressed area with a lot of angry, low income, unmotivated, and badly behaved male students. (there were female students with the same symptoms, but they had a different set of circumstances.) I have always been against ROTC recruiting on high school campuses, ever since the Viet Nam war. But in the late 90s , I watched some of my really low achieving and miserable students join the ROTC program. They would appear on Thursdays in their spiffy uniforms, stand up straighter, be more polite, and act like completely different people. They loved having a group to belong to; they loved the tough love of their adult parent surrogate (the commanding officer), and in spite of my pacifist beliefs and my disgruntlement with the whole issue of grooming babies to be militaristic, I have to acknowledge that the effect on these boys was overwhelmingly positive.

    Now I know that there are many other kinds of groups they could join which might have the same effect, but no other groups were in place that were recruiting, handing out uniforms, and making the committment.

    so what this says to me is that there are certain hurts in life that can be healed by this sort of “male bonding” if you want to call it that, or “surrogate parenting.” I suppose the lesson is mostly that young men need role models who will make a committment. And I say this with no disrespect to single mothers or lesbian parenting either. I am only commenting on what I observed.

    My own son loved my gay male friends when he was younger. He pointed out that they (I am thinking of 2 in particular) were kind and funny where his own father was angry and critical. So it doesn’t have to be militaristic role models. But I suppose it is natural for a boy growing up to look for someone who is like himself, just as a girl would need an adult like herself to show the way, so to speak.

    Why are my posts always so long? How do the rest of you manage to get it all said in just a sentence or two?
    Thank you for letting me emote. 🙂

    PixieLauren, as I said, e-mail me !

  58. Silvio Soprani says:

    Jana C. H.: Man from UNCLE! Ah yes!
    Colino: (Hello!) My Firefox tab closed with no problem on the CIA, BUT I noticed that the “enlarge the print” feature [CONTROL +] was powerless during that personality quiz. Apparently they are marketing to people with good eyesight!

  59. Feminista says:

    Still another thoughtful observor,amazed at the way the sinister marketing folks are attempting to gussy up their image. **shudder**

    Now if this had been WW II,it would have been another story–Office of Stragegic Services,or OSS,sent many intelligent leftists to support the Resistance in Europe,and its sub-branches employed progressive professors and researches state-side. After the war,our former Soviet ally became the enemy as OSS morphed into the CIA,and red-baiting commenced.(Summarizing here–Marge Piercy’s Gone to Soldiers covers all this very well.)

    In my middle school the three top social studies students were Marc N.,Paul K. and me. Marc entered the Air Force Academy & became a career military officer & Paul morphed from hippie Berkeley grad to CIA researcher to conservative management prof. I think I turned out fine.

  60. Jana C.H. says:


    My posts run shorter than yours because I don’t try to get it all said. That doesn’t mean mine are better. That’s just how I do it.

    Jana C.H.
    Saith JcH: Those who can’t write poetry write prose; those who can’t write prose, write free verse; those who can’t write free verse use emoticons.

  61. Twilight says:

    Thanks for the CIA quiz link. That was funny. I’m an “Innovative Pioneer”.

    The details in this episode were great. Especially the dreadlocks.

  62. LondonBoy says:

    Jaibe: I didn’t mean “sad” in the slang sense either.

    I appear to be another “Thoughtful Observer”. Unsurprisingly, I selected the “eat a gourmet meal” answer to the first question… I suppose it’s too much to hope that they have a vacancy for a food critic !

  63. cybercita says:

    here’s a link for all of my sapphic friends here:


    it’s an article about ellen degeneres hosting the oscars.

  64. cybercita says:


    i selected “eat a gourmet meal” too. however, i also selected the choice about shopping for haute couture in europe. unfortunately, i have come to realize that even with a gym membership, these two pastimes are incompatible. hence my designation as an innovative pioneer: now i have to figure out how to have my cake and look fabulous while i eat it, too.

  65. Pam I says:

    I’m an “impressive mastermind”. D’oh !

  66. geogeek says:

    Jana – I’d be willing to bet that USGS was another agency with plenty of cartographers, as they are the people who publish all of the official topographic maps of the US. I don’t know if they do much internationally, though.

    Apparently, I’m a Mastermind (I forget what cute adjective they added). It’s a totally dorky little quiz, but I came out as something similar years ago when I took a full MMPA (or derivative) test. Now if I could just persuade someone to put me in charge of things so I can fix the way the world works, that would be great…

  67. geogeek says:

    Yeah, that was it, impressive…

    p.s. If you’re paranoid, check your cookies and clean them all out. That might be too mickey-mouse for the CIA, but it can’t hurt.

  68. Wendy says:

    I liked this strip, but I was really disturbed by the last panel. It suggests that Ginger may be willing to bring down the rath of the CIA on Ammar just because she doesn’t personally like him, for her own benefit. Maybe I’m an idealist, but please, please, Alison don’t let Ginger fall to the lure of oppressive power.

  69. PKintheUK says:

    Ginger won’t really get involved with the CIA. She’s just having a *moment*.

  70. PixieLauren says:

    I read “Lemme get back to you on that” in the last panel as sarcasm, a joke. I can’t see Ginger meaning it.

  71. AB ManFan says:

    All’s fair in love and war I guess, and in this case Ginger looks like she’s gonna take Cynthia up on her offer. Of course she’ll regret it big time AB won’t let her get away with it. LOL

    Of course, Sammia and Ammar are a bit too friendly. Who knows if Ginger did move in with Sammia she might find herself with a partner who decides she’s actually bi, not a lesbian and Ammar will be there. Hmmmm.

    I just love how AB constructs a perfect example of how the extremes on either side of the spectrum talk past each other.

    Ginger makes the “you have so much potential” comment to which Cynthia replies with what is almost a non-sequiter, just as Republithugs love to do. She redirectes and repackages Ginger’s original comment and then answeres Ginger’s original comment as if that is what Ginger meant. LOL

    Honestly Lefties need to get a handle on this speech, or they’ll always be on the losing end of discussions. Not because we’re wrong, but it allows the Republithugs to steal to focus of the conversation and make it look like lefties support a redicious position. Lefties of course always take the bait and jump right after the conversational misdirect.

  72. sweetpottoo says:

    Funny, talk about old maps. My Dad is dying of cancer and dementia, over 60 years after he flew over Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and took the first pictures from his P-51 while the mushroom clouds still hung in the air.

    He loved maps so much – his favorite thing to do was to take the plane up to the limit of its altitude so that the whole Japanese island chain spread out below him. At home we had maps of all his favorite places in Europe – Sicily, Corsica, Sardinia, the entire Mediterranean.

    How do you give some one a map of an undiscovered country? Does the CIA know the GPS coordinates for that bourne? Maps will only take you so far…

  73. Jana C.H. says:

    Geogeek– Ah, if only USGS had been hiring! or even better, NOAA. A big part of the problem, of course, was that I didn’t want to leave the Northwest.

    I’m sorry to hear about your dad, Sweetpottoo. There are maps of undiscovered countries, but the CIA doesn’t have them, despite its sattelites. Artists, writers, and armchair travellers sometimes make them, but spies? Never!

    Jana C.H.
    Saith JcH: Geographers can study anything because everything happens somewhere.

  74. Maggie Jochild says:

    Thoughtful observer, too.

  75. Suzanonymous says:

    A couple people alluded to Cynthia as a virgin but she and her ex-girlfriend did do the deed, then gf left calling her crazy: Cynthia told Ginger and Samia about it in one episode.

  76. Lea says:

    maybe cynthia gets information here:


  77. shadocat says:

    So I’m a “thoughtful observer”; isn’t that just a polite way to call me a “couch potato”?

  78. ready2agitate says:

    Great strip. Great blog. I love Ammar taking off his scarf as soon as he enters the bldg. – I instantly recognized this movement from how we all look these days as soon as we are indoors (now that December weather has finally arrived in New England at the end of Feb.). (I still laugh out loud at last strip’s first panel of JR and Stuart and the dandelion btw.)

  79. Trix says:

    AnnaP, I have to say that that statement that there would be no wars if there were no soldiers is terribly naive. Certain governments are currently doing their best to cut the soldier part of war-making out of the equation. You don’t need soldiers to launch bombs to the other side of the world. Speaking of the other range of the technology continuum, there are plenty of armed conflicts carried out by people who are not professional soldiers.

    The only thing that will cause there to be no more wars is if the benefits of negotiation and co-operation outweigh the expediency of waving the big stick around, and using it from time to time. Humans in general haven’t evolved that far.

    I’m a Curious Adventurer in the quiz. I knew I shouldn’t have said I wanted the amphibian car. Also, I might have been somewhat anal about the questions. Since I think the vast majority of “bestsellers” are crap, I would much rather eat a nice meal than read one (even though I love reading).

  80. geogeek says:

    Maps, again: I spent several large notebooks as a kid drowing maps of and inventing aliens to live on my own worlds. The aliens were fun, but the maps were infinitly absorbing. There’s actually an Atlas of Imaginary Lands, or something like that, with many fictional territories mapped out. I’m not sure if the features in the map were more important or the detailed decorations around the corners and edges.

    I did actually read the strip, too, and felt for Ginger, mostly in her teacher weirdness moment. My brother’s about 8 months away from his PhD (we think) and keeps photocopies of the three “Ginger writing her dissertation” panels, paraphrased below:

    (1) “Oh my God, I’m such an idiot! What is this about?!?”
    (2) “Oh my God, I’m an adult-inset prodigy! This is brilliant!”
    (3) “Huh. I guess this will do.”

    I think we haven’t really seen enough of the Ginger/Samia/Ammar detials to have a clear idea what the deal is between the various parties. I am very interested to see what she’ll say to the housemates if/when she sells her portion of the house and moves. My experience so far has been that a friend will leave you for a lover every time.

  81. AnnaP says:

    I have lived in East-Africa, in Soviet Union just before it stopped existing witnessing the situation. I have also worked with refugees, immigrants and people who have experienced war in some form.

    Most conflicts are political but politics with their own agendas do not seem to be able to end the madness.
    And because of the global warming there will be more conflicts cause of the lack of water and food for example. This is one reason I think ordinary people should take action.

    I do not personally have first hand experience on war thank God.

    After meeting a really plesent Japanese man who survived from Hiroshima and has been trying to get nuclear weapons banned ever since, French woman who was raped by a group of American Soldiers In Normandy during the invasion and some Russian boys that escaped from the army few years back because they did not want to end up in Chechenia killing innocent people I truly believe that armies should be abolished, weapons of all kind should be banned and people should be taught how to solve conflicts peacefully

    PEACE 🙂

  82. Sophie says:

    In “The Right to Be Lazy,” written in prison in 1883, French Anarchist Paul Lafargue argued that if all soldiers stayed in bed in the morning, there would be no wars. Of course it’s a silly idea. But I love it because it’s funny, and because it puts the focus on the individual’s power to decide whether or not to participate in the collective madness.

    Here’s a link to an English translation:

  83. Ellen Orleans says:


    I understand there are no easy answers, but I’d like to ask, “What’s in a name?” A person launching missiles a continent away is still a soldier. A “non-professional” is still a soldier. Call them warriors, call them freedom-fighters, they are still, voluntarily or against their will, supporting and creating war. Or, what U.S. soldiers often say, “doing their job.”

    The question I ponder is how to live a life that, paraphrasing Quaker George Fox, takes away the occasion for war. In other words, what can we do to discourage people from taking up arms in the first place? Can we live more simply, can we help provide life’s basic needs to people around the globe?

    People often cite World War II as a just war. But what could have been done immediately after World War I to make the conditions less ripe for Hitler’s rise to power? After he did gain control, why didn’t countries around the world take in those people wanting to leave Nazi Germany? Why did Cuba, the U.S., and other countries turn away the St. Louis, a ship carrying over 900 Jews attempting to flee? Why did American aircraft bomb strategically-unimportant Dresden, but not concentration camps?

    There are non-violent ways to move against violence. They don’t always work, but if we used them even half as much as we use war, we’d be way ahead of where we are now.

  84. Marta Maria says:

    Great episode… (I love Cynthia as well.)

  85. Silvio Soprani says:

    Right on, AnnaP.
    Unfortunately, it is the will of the majority that must change (or their apathy) before war will lose its stranglehold on societies.

    I am thinking about the Aristophenes satire about anti-war activitism by women: LYSISTRATA, where the women refuse to have sex with men until war is ended.

    I cannot remember if in this play it is all women or whether it is prostitutes…but in the early 1970s there was a play put on in Greenwich Village, off-broadway called “THE SUPREME COMMANDER” in which prostitutes collude with the manufacturers of condoms to stop production to support their similar sex strike for peace.
    (In real life, of course, the lack of a condom would not stop most men from having sex, sadly even in the age of AIDS.) But perhaps lack of sex partners MIGHT stop men from waging war…

    And these days,we can’t just put it on men. So many people are dependent on war economies for jobs, health care, and pensions that it isn’t easy any more to decide “whose hands are clean” (to paraphrase that Sweet Honey in the Rock song about the blouse…)

    On a lighter note, I am a “curious adventurer” because the act of using the computer is such a sendentary one. When the CIA dangled all those choices like surfing and driving an amphibious vehicle, my imagination jumped at the chance!

  86. Aulton Smith (real name) says:

    What I especially liked about this one is the diversity of the background characters…Great stuff!!
    I’m a straight man and a big comics fan, and your strip is by far my favorite!

  87. Aunt Soozie says:

    I’m an impressive mastermind…but, we knew that already…
    I took the test three times and I changed my answers slightly…to my second choices or maybe choices and it came back with the same answer each time. Very hip website…looks like they’ve done some surveilance of the up and coming generation. I still wonder about sexual orientation and what they do with that…my info was based on a friend of mine who applied when he finished college and uhm, okay, well, maybe it’s a tad bit outdated…just a tad…since I’m about AB’s age.

  88. Ginjoint says:

    *sigh*…thoughtful observer here.

    Standing on the outside, looking in. State of grace, state of sin.

  89. Anonny Mouse says:

    So, whatever happened to the scenario where Cynthia “outed” Ashley to Ginger’s class? Even if Ashley was already out (which, based on her character, seems probable), it seems like a potentially disciplineable action.

    This happens a lot, actually: the strip sets up intriguing scenarios and then leaves them as loose ends because the action move on to MORE intriguing scenarios. Not a complaint, just an observation. : )

    I keep waiting for Cynthia to become…comprehend-able in some way. Why does she support so many viewpoints that clearly condemn her and lots of people she cares about? Is she a victim of deep-seated internalized homophobia? How have her “War in Iraq” convictions survived the ease with which Samia, Ginger, et al can blow them out of the water? What is her deal?

  90. sweetpottoo says:

    Thanks for the thought, Jana C. H.

    I realized I got the “undiscovered country” from Hamlet’s Soliloquy, via one of the Star Trek movies. The Bard is referring to death as the undiscovered country, whereas in the Trek movie, peace with the Klingons is toasted by Captain Kirk as “the undiscovered country”. Shameless scriptwriter pilfering of the phrase.

    Of course, there might be a multiplicity of dimensions we haven’t discovered, given how weird quantum physics is getting.

    Getting back to the CIA, a close friend is friends with an 80-year-old retired spook, and this spook has been comparing the Iraq war with the US invasion of the Philippines in the early 20th Century. He doesn’t think either was a good idea.

    I would love to have Cynthia in the CIA in the strip – I want to see AB’s drawings of dykes in other countries! The snow rake entry was brilliant, but I want DTWOF to go global! How about that New Zealand trip, and AB could send Cynthia there to investigate those anti-nuclear NZers?

  91. sweetpottoo says:

    Oh, and is it possible that Ammar is deeply closeted himself, and his relationship with Samia is his cover with Homeland Security? How hard is it to be openly GLBT and get Permanent Resident status?

  92. Duncan says:

    Anonnymouse, I never thought that Cynthia “outed” Ashley in Ginger’s class — I supposed that Ashley (who’s involved in various activist groups, I thought) was already out, and you can’t out the openly gay. One of the biggest conundra (? – plural of conundrum) I’ve wrassled with over the past 35 years is the number of people, straight and gay, who have tried to *in* me — that is, they try to treat my gayness as a dread secret to be revealed only with written permission from me in each instance, even when they know on some level that being gay is for me a public fact. (Sort of like being married — you may not announce it to everyone on first introduction, but it’s not in any way a secret.)

    What Cynthia did do in Ginger’s class was to make a personal quarrel public, in a place where it wasn’t relevant. (And of course, to present herself as the aggrieved victim of a sexually demanding lesbian.) This is one reason I consider her a sociopath: other people and their feelings aren’t real for her — not just Ashley’s, but her classmates’ and Ginger’s — only her private feelings and grudges matter. Whether that should be “disciplinable” (in terms of university administration) I don’t know; I hope not, but it shows just how selfish and self-absorbed she is.

    I haven’t noticed, though, that Ginger, Samia et al., *are* blowing Cynthia’s views out of the water; they make a good beginning sometimes, but (at least as we see it in the strip) never go very far. To Cynthia’s remark that “there are bad people out there,” I’d have agreed, and that she’s one of them, and wants to join an organization full of them.

    sweetpottoo, it’s good to remember the US invasion of the Philippines, which was not a good idea to put it mildly, very costly in terms of human life; if only to remind us that the US has been an international aggressor since long before Bush took office. But why go that far back? There’s also the US invasion of Indochina a mere half-century ago, which was also a violation of international law and killed millions of innocent people, with injuries that persist to this day.

  93. Minnie Snowta says:

    I love this strip’s incidental passers-through. They’re visually very similar to the activist folks locally. When we’re all bundled into winter clothes, it’s harder to spot the kindred spirits! The character with sideburns, braids, and high forehead reminds me of a particular someone.

  94. Wendy says:

    Ellen Orleans – thanks for those words about war – they deeply resonated with how I feel about it all. I have heard that one of the reasons Hitler came to power in Germany is because Germany was subjected to economic punishments after they lost WWI, and so conditions in the country were very stressed.
    I have always heard the words peace and prosperity together, and I think that’s because it is easier to have peace with prosperity. It also seems easier to have prosperity with peace. We just have to figure out how to bring prosperity to everyone without causing major global warming – an interesting challenge – eh?

  95. Aunt Soozie says:

    Yeah, the CIA personality quiz labeled me an impressive mastermind but, sometimes, I dunno, obsessive compulsive dork seems more fitting…

    I had to do some research into whether or not the CIA is supportive of diversity in my “personal best” area of diverse performance. I googled away and found this quote on the Log Cabin Republican’s website in an article opposing the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy. I didn’t stick around long but I’d bet you’d get a sense of the mind of Cynthia if you poked around on that website a bit.

    Okay…I’ll sign off now…
    your friend
    Aunt Soozie
    (impressive mastermind
    or ocd dork…
    the choice is yours)

    “1. The rationale supporting Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell is no longer valid…The CIA, FBI, National Security Agency, and Secret Service allow gays and lesbians to serve openly and have seen no decrease in unit cohesion or morale….”

  96. ready2agitate says:

    Ellen Orleans, have you read “Days of Awe” by Achy Obejas? She writes about that ship not embarking in Cuba. Great book.
    This conversation is particularly meaningful to me right now as I take a course entitled “Human Rights and US Foreign Policy” at the JFK School of Government.
    Lastly, AB, each of the past couple episodes begin with a quick apology for late posting – we, your humble and loyal fans, need no such apology – we simply love you and DTWOF!

  97. Lhinx says:

    I love the ending to this comic. Cynthia’s so awesome. XD Good work Alison!

  98. Deb says:

    As an ‘Innovative Pioneer’ I had to crack up at the strip today. In the second frame, the “Bush Center for Intelligence”. GAWD, I cracked up when I read that!

  99. hetero genus says:

    i love the concept, Sphie,“The Right to Be Lazy,”(Paul LaFargue. What if there was a revolution and everyone slept late? No communism, just good old oppression. Ostentatious wealth surrounded by abject poverty, and a cheap or free source of serf labor. Maybe so many wouldn’t have died in the Civil War, maybe there would be an evil, peaceful slavery system in the south, and Europe’s Jews, maybe the worlds by now, would be extincet as was Hitlers plans. The concept that “someone has to stop fighting” appears, i hope i am wrong here, to only have merit in those who don’t start the wars in the first fplace. It is kind of like not voting, because it only encourages politicians. A department of Peace with ongoing creative conflict resolutionists sounds like a good, proactive idea, but at present, i would like to know of one (the UN is not at present-being made up of some countries with the most atrocious human rights violations picking and choosing among who gets sanctioned: Great organization, but needs a bit of scrutinizing. Yes, being lazy myself, the concept appeals to me, then i remember what happened as i slept, the big shift in our political system and collective values. Having said that, war is miserable business and should not be entered into with exhuberance, especially by one who is totally inexperienced ith its horrors or knowledgable about strategy.

  100. hetero genus says:

    i thought Lois and Cynthia met during Thanksgiving or Christmas last year, Samia (not Ammar) was there too, if i recall andthey were discussing religious backrounds to determine who would lead saying grace. Did i mix that up? Anyway, Ammar seems like a nice fellow, warm handshake. i am not sure what Ginger sees in Samia, at least i missed it in the strips dealing with them.

  101. Jana C.H. says:

    What does Ginger see in Samia? As far as I can tell so far, Samia is passionate and decisive, while Ginger– who is passionate and indecisive– likes it when someone takes charge. Otherwise nothing gets accomplished, even when it’s something Ginger wants to do.

    I’m not saying that as a put-down of Ginger. Many people are like that. I’m like that myself. It’s a character trait I recognize, and cannot entirely eliminate. A decisive partner who would help me get over my procrastination at key moments would be helpful. On the other hand, it would not be helpful to have someone pushing me around or goading me into rebellion.

    It’s a delicate balance that doesn’t seem to occur often, and I’m not looking for it to happen to me. If it’s going on with Ginger and Samia it appears to be mainly in the area of sex. We don’t see them together often, and almost never the two of them alone. I assume they see something in each other besides hot sex partners and fellow dog-lovers (Hey, were’s Anubis these days?), but AB hasn’t really shown us what it is.

    Jana C.H.
    Saith JcH: It’s called light verse because all the heavy work is done by the poet.

  102. Sophie says:

    Yes, hetero genus, I guess that’s the problem with the right: they just don’t get lazy, not them, no sirree. They just march their unhappy butts on and on until Armageddon finally comes and proves them right.

    So where does that leave us Thoughtful Contemplatives or whatever, huh? Life’s not fair.

  103. Jana C.H. says:

    Here’s something Cynthia might start thinking about as she progresses in her chosen career. It’s from an article by David Lindorff about meeting in Olympia, Washington, on February 20, concerning impeachment.

    “[Former CIA man Ray] McGovern told the crowd that the administration had destroyed the CIA, preferring ‘faith-based’ to real, hard-nosed intelligence. With the angry intensity of a man who has given nearly 30 years of service to the government only to see it trashed by a know-nothing, criminal administration, he suggested that impeachment was the best way to bring the War in Iraq to an end and to prevent the launching of yet another illegal war–this time against Iran.”

    Here’s a link to Lindorff’s article: http://www.smirkingchimp.com/node/5702

    The focus of the meeting (which 900 people attended) was a bill introduced into the Washington State legislature officially calling for impeachment proceedings against Bush and Cheney. Two other state legislatures are doing the same thing: New Mexico and AB’s own Vermont. These are not advisory measures; impeachment investigations can genuinely be started by this means.

    Don’t we have an Olympian here on the blog? Were you there?

    Jana C.H.
    Saith Theognis: If you should overthrow, by any means, a tyrant who devours the people, no vengeance from the gods will fall on you.

  104. miguelito says:

    Psst. . . Hey, Alison. I know that most of your characters were not watching the lesbian/Latino Oscars tonight, but for some reason, I’m pretty sure Carlos had an Oscar party (and maybe Toni was there). In fact, maybe Sydney was “keeping tabs on the Zeitgeist,” and she forced Mo to watch. Just a suggestion. (I know this has nothing to do with Episode 504, but I didn’t know where else to bring this up.)

  105. Michele says:

    This is a great way to start the day. I love the B & N pic too, it is 4:46am and I am headed off to another coffee making morning! It is reassuring and nice to see sanity somewhere in the the world. Ironic it comes in the form of a comic strip?!

  106. Maggie Jochild says:

    Katie, honey — the above two comments are spam from a drug website. Don’t anybody click on the orange headers, let Katie deal with ’em.

  107. Katie says:

    Whew! Something is up because I found about 20 spam items that had all passed through the filter somehow.

  108. Danyell says:


    Thanks for your comments. I got really concerned that I was the only upset by the misogyny of the term “tease”.

  109. Butch Fatale says:

    Yes, a resounding third (or possibly more) to the rebuttal of “tease”. There are any number of reasons why people choose not to have sex, and I’m sure several of them would be perfectly palatable to many of DTWOF’s readership who have such a negative reaction to Cynthia’s choice. Just because she has repugnant political views doesn’t mean she has no right to those views, or to the personal choices she makes about her body.

  110. AB ManFan says:


    In regards to Ginger’s inability to see Cynthia as the enemy, I was wondering how many are aware that way back in the early 60s or as late as the early 70s, a certain way of viewing all women took root and took over feminism’s modus operendi re: how to treat women who aid and abet the enemy.

    It was decided (perhaps by concensus 😉 a woman could never be the enemy, could never be evil.

    Only a man could be that.

    Any woman acting in accordance with and supporting the patriarchy should be seen as one its biggest victims, brainwashed and enslaved by the patriarchy.

    When attacked by these women, feminists decided the proper response was to try to reason with her in order to start her on the road to freedom from her obvious and clear opression.

    An example is everyone’s favorite feminist (SICK JOKE) Fillis Shaftley (sic)

    Schaffley always got a pass from Eleanor Schmeal (spell?) her usual opponent on talk shows debating the nearly forgotten ERA amendment.

    Eleanor would never say she was wrong, never slam her or insult her like she did to male opponents. Instead she would go out of her way to ‘respect” her opinion, and beg her to consider Schmeal’s points.

    Shaftley never did. In point of fact she spoke as if Eleanor wasn’t even in the room. She never looked at her, no matter how many times Eleanor turned to her and pleaded all for all women.

    I have this book called the Lesbian Nation, now most must have heard of that, and it also says something along those lines albeit in a very different context.

    This “concept” that no woman can be the enemy has probably done more to hinder women’s rights in the modern struggle than anything else.

    For regardless of who is pulling the puppet strings, to the general public it’s a woman speaking her mind as a woman, and not seeing puppet strings, think it’s proof that feminists are on the fringe rather than truly in the mainstream as they are on so many women’s issues.

  111. Greta says:

    LOL! This strip is hilarious!

    Thanks for cheering it up, Alison.


  112. Aimz says:

    love the last word from Ginger – LOVE it! True to life! I mean, not that a decent person would ever take someone up on an offer like that but – ooooo the temptation! Thanks for creating a world where the characters don’t always remember to use their ‘inside’ voice …

  113. All says:

    can I just say I love the punk-ass college kids and the wonky intellectual professor types.

  114. Elizabeth says:

    To respond to some questions:
    The first time we see Ashley she is wearing a shirt that says “Dykes Against Dubya” so we know she wasn’t outed by Cynthia in class.

    And yes, Mo and Sydney have met Cynthia when they were waiting in line to see Farenheit 9/11 with Ginger and Samia and thought that she “Wanted [Ginger and Samia] both. Bad.”

    I am confused because I don’t know if we’ve ever learned Samia’s nationality and don’t remember finding out that she, Ammar or both were from another country. I went back to the archive to find it and the planetout archive ends after episode 480 and this site’s doesn’t appear to start until episode 485, after Samia has already explained a bit about her marriage. What’s with that? Where can I see these lost episodes?

    Finally,I think there is a logical problem with Cynthia’s offer , and that is that whatever Ammar’s “green card situation” is, he either share’s it with Samia because they’re married or is protected from deportation because he’s married to her.

  115. tacitus says:

    Elizabeth – Samia’s Syrian, and of course Cynthia’s offer is goofy, she’s a sophomore(?) in college…Even the word sophomore means wise dolt…

  116. Grisha says:

    Hey ….. I’m anxiously awaiting Cynthia’s report on her internship. Will she be out at work? Will she find her true love in the Agency (“It was so romantic Dr. Jordan, she was lying next to me while I was in the prone position, coaching me on the M-40 sniper rife”)? Will she write a book “I Was a Lesbian for ther CIA”?

    Bring it on!

  117. a different Emma says:

    Notice the bone in the ear of the student in panel 4?

  118. HB says:

    Finally, a lesbian conservative in the strip! It’s nice to see a small visual.

  119. […] While reading the latest installment in Dykes to Watch Out For which chronicles the story of Cynthia, the conservative lesbian smarty pants student/wannabe CIA agent, who alternately amuses and appalls her older radical mentors. On the blog which accompanies the strip Alison Bechdel answers a reader who wonders whether the CIA would really hire lesbians. Sure enough, it seems the CIA is committed to all sorts of diversity, including sexual orientation, and Bechdel links to the CIA personality quiz according to which I am a Curious Adventurer. Bechdel herself is a thoughtful observer. And if you care about Myers-Briggs at all, I’m a INTJ, and I don’t know what AB is though I’m guessing we share the I, as in "introvert." At least my career choices matches my personality type…see the list below from  Suggested Careers for Myers-Briggs Types. Most of this list I like, but dentists?! More later on how well the INTJ types do in the classroom and why we are doomed to disappoint our students. (Hint: almost all high school teachers-and church ministers-are E’s.) […]