Many, many years ago (the early 1970s to be exact) while I was attending The University of Miami in Florida, I got turned on (not that kind of turned on!) by what was then a little known comic strip called Doonesbury.The comic strip consisted of an eclectic cast of characters derived from the far left to the far right and everyone in between.
At that time the country was going through a mass cultural change. Woodstock was just a few years behind us and the war in Vietnam, Richard Nixon's Watergate and the Women's Movement were in full swing.
Equal rights, drugs, sex, religion-all were in transition. Young people were abandoning their parent's vision of the future and everyone was starting to do their 'own thing'.
Doonesbury commented on these social phenomenon in an off-the-cuff, cynical and hilarious manner.
By far my favorite character in the strip was Zonker, the uber-liberal hippie who wanted nothing more than to smoke pot, live free and drop out.
A lot has changed over the decades. Zonker has grown up (sort of) but his free spirit and unique take on life are as poignant and to the point as ever.
In the latest Doonesbury hardbound collection of daily strips (in color): The Weed Whisperer, from Andrews McMeel Publishing, Zonker and his fellow Doonesbury residents tackle unemployment, government ineptitude, legalized marijuana,, a hilarious class reunion and other social and personal dilemmas and decisions as only G. B.Trudeau (the strip's creator) can portray them.