Doonesbury by Garry Trudeau


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  1. Astolat

    Astolat said, over 3 years ago

    ‘But it’s “Thank you, Mr Atkins” when the guns begin to pound.’

  2. Bill Weinberg

    Bill Weinberg said, over 3 years ago

    I get the Kipling reference, but why “Mr Atkins”?

  3. luckylouie

    luckylouie said, over 3 years ago

    @Bill Weinberg

    In the USA, the stereotypical foot soldier is “G.I Joe”; in Britain he’s “Tommy Atkins”.

  4. Lorenzo Browncoat

    Lorenzo Browncoat said, over 3 years ago

    Is Mr Weinberg suggesting that it should be “Miss” or “Ms” Atkins?

  5. rpmurray

    rpmurray said, over 3 years ago

    Not always. Sometimes they let you off. Look at Florida.

  6. Astolat

    Astolat said, over 3 years ago

    What this arc of the strip is about is best shown by Melissa in counselling shortly after we met her, back in 2007; read the week that starts here:
    Nothing there to suggest that she is gay, although plenty of reason why she would feel more comfortable having female colleagues as friends rather than male ones.

    On the other hand, what your comments are about, I’m really not sure. They honestly don’t show too much connection with what is in the strip, so I can only assume you have some issues to work out yourself – I’m not sure that6you doing that here in public is going to be helpful for you.

  7. Astolat

    Astolat said, over 3 years ago


    I misremembered the line too. I was thinking of the comment by the Duke of Wellington at Waterloo “Hard pounding, this, gentlemen”. I also just made the mistake, trying to verify that quote, of searching Google for “hard pounding”. Eek! At work, too…
    The whole poem is here
    I’m not normally much of a fan of Kipling, but this is one of his best IMHO.

  8. james123tipton

    james123tipton said, over 3 years ago

    I’ve never Kippled.

  9. Astolat

    Astolat said, over 3 years ago


    You don’t know what you’re missing… ;-)

  10. Doughfoot

    Doughfoot said, over 3 years ago


    by Rudyard Kipling

    I WENT into a public ‘ouse to get a pint o’ beer,
    The publican ‘e up an’ sez, " We serve no red-coats here."
    The girls be’ind the bar they laughed an’ giggled fit to die,
    I outs into the street again an’ to myself sez I:
    O it’s Tommy this, an’ Tommy that, an’ " Tommy, go away " ;
    But it’s " Thank you, Mister Atkins," when the band begins to play
    The band begins to play, my boys, the band begins to play,
    O it’s " Thank you, Mister Atkins," when the band begins to play.

    I went into a theatre as sober as could be,
    They gave a drunk civilian room, but ’adn’t none for me;
    They sent me to the gallery or round the music-‘alls,
    But when it comes to fightin’, Lord! they’ll shove me in the stalls!
    For it’s Tommy this, an’ Tommy that, an’ " Tommy, wait outside ";
    But it’s " Special train for Atkins " when the trooper’s on the tide
    The troopship’s on the tide, my boys, the troopship’s on the tide,
    O it’s " Special train for Atkins " when the trooper’s on the tide.

    Yes, makin’ mock o’ uniforms that guard you while you sleep
    Is cheaper than them uniforms, an’ they’re starvation cheap.
    An’ hustlin’ drunken soldiers when they’re goin’ large a bit
    Is five times better business than paradin’ in full kit.
    Then it’s Tommy this, an’ Tommy that, an` Tommy, ’ow’s yer soul? "
    But it’s " Thin red line of ‘eroes " when the drums begin to roll
    The drums begin to roll, my boys, the drums begin to roll,
    O it’s " Thin red line of ’eroes, " when the drums begin to roll.

    We aren’t no thin red ‘eroes, nor we aren’t no blackguards too,
    But single men in barricks, most remarkable like you;
    An’ if sometimes our conduck isn’t all your fancy paints,
    Why, single men in barricks don’t grow into plaster saints;
    While it’s Tommy this, an’ Tommy that, an` Tommy, fall be’ind,"
    But it’s " Please to walk in front, sir," when there’s trouble in the wind
    There’s trouble in the wind, my boys, there’s trouble in the wind,
    O it’s " Please to walk in front, sir," when there’s trouble in the wind.

    You talk o’ better food for us, an’ schools, an’ fires, an’ all:
    We’ll wait for extry rations if you treat us rational.
    Don’t mess about the cook-room slops, but prove it to our face
    The Widow’s Uniform is not the soldier-man’s disgrace.
    For it’s Tommy this, an’ Tommy that, an` Chuck him out, the brute! "
    But it’s " Saviour of ‘is country " when the guns begin to shoot;
    An’ it’s Tommy this, an’ Tommy that, an’ anything you please;
    An ‘Tommy ain’t a bloomin’ fool – you bet that Tommy sees!

    First published, under the title “The Queen’s Uniform”, in W.E. Henley’s weekly Scots Observer (later to become the National Observer) on 1 March 1890 and in the St. James’s Gazette on the same day.

  11. StCleve72

    StCleve72 said, over 3 years ago


    So you don’t feel that gocomics is a good place for group therapy? Perhaps it is, perhaps it’s the only place some folks can get feedback that will lead to self-reflection. We all have issues and perhaps a blog can be a productive forum to get honest feedback if we can ignore the name calling and infantile drek that also goes on. I think your comments to gmartin997 are very intelligent and insightful, but I don’t necessarily agree with the last sentence so much. What do you think?

  12. Doughfoot

    Doughfoot said, over 3 years ago

    The Last of the Light Brigade
    Rudyard Kipling

    There were thirty million English who talked of England’s might,
    There were twenty broken troopers who lacked a bed for the night.
    They had neither food nor money, they had neither service nor trade;
    They were only shiftless soldiers, the last of the Light Brigade.

    They felt that life was fleeting; they knew not that art was long,
    That though they were dying of famine, they lived in deathless song.
    They asked for a little money to keep the wolf from the door;
    And the thirty million English sent twenty pounds and four !

    They laid their heads together that were scarred and lined and grey;
    Keen were the Russian sabres, but want was keener than they;
    And an old Troop-Sergeant muttered, “Let us go to the man who writes
    The things on Balaclava the kiddies at school recites.”

    They went without bands or colours, a regiment ten-file strong,
    To look for the Master-singer who had crowned them all in his song;
    And, waiting his servant’s order, by the garden gate they stayed,
    A desolate little cluster, the last of the Light Brigade.

    They strove to stand to attention, to straighen the toil-bowed back;
    They drilled on an empty stomach, the loose-knit files fell slack;
    With stooping of weary shoulders, in garments tattered and frayed,
    They shambled into his presence, the last of the Light Brigade.

    The old Troop-Sergeant was spokesman, and “Beggin’ your pardon,” he said,
    “You wrote o’ the Light Brigade, sir. Here’s all that isn’t dead.
    An’ it’s all come true what you wrote, sir, regardin’ the mouth of hell;
    For we’re all of us nigh to the workhouse, an’ we thought we’d call an’ tell.

    “No, thank you, we don’t want food, sir; but couldn’t you take an’ write
    A sort of ‘to be continued’ and ‘see next page’ o’ the fight?
    We think that someone has blundered, an’ couldn’t you tell ’em how?
    You wrote we were heroes once, sir. Please, write we are starving now.”

    The poor little army departed, limping and lean and forlorn.
    And the heart of the Master-singer grew hot with “the scorn of scorn.”
    And he wrote for them wonderful verses that swept the land like flame,
    Till the fatted souls of the English were scourged with the thing called Shame.

    They sent a cheque to the felon that sprang from an Irish bog;
    They healed the spavined cab-horse; they housed the homeless dog;
    And they sent (you may call me a liar), when felon and beast were paid,
    A cheque, for enough to live on, to the last of the Light Brigade.

    O thirty million English that babble of England’s might,
    Behold there are twenty heroes who lack their food to-night;
    Our children’s children are lisping to "honour the charge they made – "
    And we leave to the streets and the workhouse the charge of the Light Brigade!

  13. Doughfoot

    Doughfoot said, over 3 years ago

    We do much better by our veterans than the British did in 1890, but there are still a lot them homeless or unemployed in the America of 2013.

    In the 19th century, armies were recruited chiefly from the dregs of society. Pay and living conditions were terrible. The U.S. army lost 25% of its enlisted men to desertion each year. Before the Civil War, army officers could not afford to retire at any age, as there were no pensions. “Why should we pay someone who is no longer working?” was the philosophy in Congress.

    Most who decry “big government” forget that the growth of big government went hand-in-hand with the growth of the “military-industrial complex” and that the military is the biggest government program and biggest government employer by far. Few “small government” types really want polluted air and water, decaying infrastructure, or the elimination of police and fire protection, or the sort of small, weak, ill-equipped military that the U.S. had before the progressive era. The only part of government operations they actually wish to cut are those intended to improve, protect and/or aid those whom they consider their moral or intellectual inferiors. Such people deserve to suffer, in their estimation. They regard it as a sort of “law of nature.”

  14. ossiningaling

    ossiningaling said, over 3 years ago

    Except in Florida. Also a medal.

  15. The Wolf In Your Midst

    The Wolf In Your Midst said, over 3 years ago

    I’m afraid you’re wasting your (virtual) breath. Folks like gmartin there aren’t here for discussion or entertainment- their sole goal is to dissect everything they come across in search of “proof” of their own deeply-held biases. They can’t be reasoned with or convinced otherwise, so it’s best to just leave them to babble to themselves.
    You should have a look over at the “Luann” comic. Oftentimes a hundred comments a day, or more, on a comic about a teenage girl- and at least 60% of them are people either claiming that the comic proves their biases, or complaining that it doesn’t!

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