Recently, I watched Studio 54, a documentary film by Matt Tyrnauer that chronicles the rise and fall of the famed Manhattan discotheque that was the hottest spot in New York City in the 1970s. In its heyday from 1977 – 1979, the club, owned by Steve Rubell and Ian Schrager, attracted crowds that included A-list … Continue reading “Where a Man is Judged by His Moves”: Doonesbury Goes Disco
Since the emergence of Donald Trump as a political figure, antisemitism has found new public acceptability. From the close relationships Trump and his supporters fostered with alt-right people and outlets including Steve Bannon, Brietbart, and the Daily Caller, all of whom have been linked to antisemitic statements, to his half-hearted condemnation of a white supremacist … Continue reading “Jews Make Awkward Overlords”: Two Comics About Jewish Identity and Israel.
America’s disengagement from a brutal, unpopular, and ultimately failed war in Vietnam began in 1969 with Richard Nixon’s announcement of his policy of “Vietnamization.” The 1973 Paris Peace Accords marked the end of America’s formal commitment to fighting in Vietnam; the war finally ended on 30 April 1975 with the fall of Saigon to North … Continue reading Vietnam, the Aftermath. Part IV: “Explain My Wound to Me.”
Depressed Dave, by Mak, a Singaporean comics artist, is a webcomic that’s been running since December 2017. The comic, loosely based on Mak’s life, chronicles the titular character’s experience with severe depression. Mak balances Dave’s story with explanations of depression’s causes, effects, and strategies to address it. The “explainer” strips help us understand what Dave … Continue reading Comics Review: Depressed Dave
A common trope in the popular memory of the American experience of the Vietnam war is that when American soldiers returned home, they were scorned by the anti-war generation for being “baby-killers” complicit in mass atrocity. As one Vietnam veteran writes: “Vietnam vets were a bit crushed coming home. We were not honored, but were … Continue reading Vietnam, the Aftermath. Part III: Skip and the Myth of the “Baby-Killing” Vietnam Vet
On my other blog: a look at David Priess's history of checking and removing bad presidents. "... More recently, Richard Nixon’s aides and Cabinet officials limited his acting out his worst impulses. Priess does not mention the oft-repeated story about how, in the dying days of the Nixon Administration, Secretary of Defense James Schlesinger ordered … Continue reading New on Reading Watergate:
The most popular post that I have written is my look at how Garry Trudeau resurrected what is possibly his most famous comic strip, Mark Slackmeyer’s 1974 proclamation that Attorney General John Mitchell was “GUILTY! GUILTY! GUILTY!” of crimes associated with the Watergate break-in and subsequent cover-up. GBT revived the gag in 1987 in reference … Continue reading This week in Doonesbury: In Search of Trump’s Brain
Hey folks, I'm starting a new reading and writing project related to this blog: it's called Reading Watergate, and it's a history of the Watergate crisis, the fall of Richard Nixon, and the evolving memory of those times. You can bookmark the site here, and read my first post here. Build the Wall!. Doonesbury, 12 … Continue reading New Project: Reading Watergate.
Vietnam remains America’s most divisive foreign war and the divides it caused shaped American politics and culture for decades after the fall of Saigon. Alongside questions about its rationale for getting involved in a senseless endeavour that was doomed to fail and its conduct during the war, a key question that America had to confront … Continue reading Vietnam, the Aftermath: Part II, “Stuffed inside the Spare Tire Compartment of a Volvo.” The Draft Dodgers.
(Note: This was actually last week in Doonesbury, but a nasty bike crash has slowed me down a bit.) This year, I reviewed two comics that told women’s stories as they experienced gender transition: Julia Kaye’s Super Late Bloomer, and Sabrina Symington’s First Year Out. Both books provide intimate and nuanced accounts of the triumphs … Continue reading This Week in Doonesbury: “What’s Gender-Fluid?”