There’s a lot of reasons to dislike Dustin, and one of the biggest is that it was cooked up with the premise of “Ha ha, these lazy millennials are moving back in with their parents because they’re slackers who refuse to get a job” and then was launched in newspapers in January of 2010, when the Great Recession was at its peak and unemployment stood at more than 10%. Anyway, the family dynamic has remained constant over the subsequent decade plus of economic change, and so today, with some the strongest employment numbers in living memory, we can maybe start hating Dustin for his own personal shortcomings rather than as a symbol of his generation; but I think we also might need to consider that in the world of Dustin, it has never stopped being 2010. Certainly it would explain why someone in their early 20s might talk about “the Brad Pitt look” as if that were a novel and contemporary cultural reference, although I guess it would make even more sense if the strip were actually taking place in 1997.
Barney Google and Snuffy Smith, 11/8/23
At least in the context of the Barney Google and Snuffy Smith Present … Sparkplug’s Grandson Li’l Sparky strips, horses in the Snuffyverse are capable of human speech. But still, it makes me very sad that they apparently need to exchange money for goods and services. They’re domesticated animals! Shouldn’t they just get a nice feed bag in their paddock to meet their needs?
Rex Morgan, M.D., 11/8/23
“It doesn’t have anything to do with health, so it’s not my problem! Some people say that there’s a ‘mental’ kind of health, but I’m not buying it.”