Thursday, January 17, 2008

Something to talk about

In its bitter, caustic way, this is the funniest Doonesbury I've seen in many a moon. I can relate to Mark's chagrin in the last panel. "Why that's the kind of thing we abhor on principle. Um, we still do, right?"

Earlier in this series, the dictator (and I'm not stringing all those consonants together, thankyouverymuch) pegged Mark Slackmeyer as Jewish, but didn't guess that he was gay. Maybe because it would have held up the plot. But I go back and forth as to whether that aspect of the character works. The character was created in the early seventies as a raging heterosexual, if also a radical.

In a quiet way this continued for the next twenty-odd years. Then Trudeau killed off the charming gay lawyer, Andy. I understand why, but kind of regret it anyway. Anyway, Mark was pressed into service as the new representative of non-hetero alignment. He and right-wing former boyfriend Chase, that is.

Like I said, I'm not sure it works. It's like he was one person when the strip was created, and then the "actor" cut his hair and started playing another character.

At this point, it would be awkward to change him back. Still, there are other possibilities for gay characterization in the strip. I'm thinking it might be interesting to out one of BD and Ray's army buddies. That plot twist could piss off all the right people.

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