What is this cartoon saying?


Doonesbury strips go in a lot for political and social commentary. I usually get the point of the cartoons but this one puzzles me. What do the two guys disappearing signify? Are they dead? But that would not be making any kind of point. Is it meant to show that these people who were once Wall Street big shots are now reduced to pretending to still be busy but in really are just fading into irrelevance, spending their retirement days in idleness, while their wives, freed from the constraints of being corporate spouses, have found new leases in life and are engaged in meaningful activities?


  1. Bruce says

    I agree. The men defined their identities through their jobs. Thus, for them, retirement means they are fading away into irrelevance. They still continue talking, but they have no significance or impact.
    The men fading has freed the women to be more active, independent, and in control of defining their own identities. They have plans for the future, developing themselves and meeting with and helping others.
    Thus, as far as whose lives have meaning, the roles are reversing away from society’s stereotypes,

  2. Ridana says

    I think you meant 82, not 72. I’m missing the significance of 2028 though, other than a Presidential election year in the US.

  3. billseymour says

    I was born in ’46 and am now 75.  I’m still employed as a computer programmer, which isn’t strenuous; I still like my job; and the boss still thinks I’m good at it. 😎

    I should probably retire pretty soon, though.  I’m subject to a union contract, and the work-from-home agreement runs only through December.  I won’t be idle, though:  I serve on the ISO standards committee for the C++ language, and there’s a proposal I want to get ready and don’t have a lot of time for right now..

  4. aquietvoice says

    I took the significance as related to the things they were talking about -- wall street work fades and becomes nothing, prison reform, ACLU-contributing and meals-on-wheels keeps going.

    In other words, I took it as a commentary to mean that what we do for ourselves dies with us, what we do for others endures.

  5. birgerjohansson says

    BTW, Michael Caine who was much too young for WWII and had to lie about his age to go to Korea just recently announced he has retired from film. He is just a bit older than a boomer but had kept surprisingly busy.

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