Wednesday, January 5, 2011

More on Doonesbury

I plowed my way through all 9 pounds of the Doonesbury retrospective, and it was a surreal experience. It was like visiting a parallel universe, one very similar to this one.

The strangest thing for me was knowing what was going to happen--historically, I mean. Duke is sent as ambassador to China after Bush (Sr.) is recalled. Knowing now that not only Bush but his son would be president--it was a strange feeling.

I think it's because Doonesbury is written in real time. A novelist writing in a historical period about things in the recent past knows the same as you do what will happen to the world surrounding the characters as they age. Trudeau doesn't. The mention of Ambassador Bush has no foreshadowing in it. Trudeau is walking through history at the same pace as his characters, which made me as reader the only omniscient person in the picture.

What this brought home to me is something I don't usually acknowledge: that I really don't know what the future will hold. That none of us do. That things will happen that will change the picture. It's so obvious, and yet so hard to really believe.

Strip from 9/11/2001

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