Suzanne Fields from Creators Syndicate Creators Syndicate is an international syndication company that represents cartoonists and columnists of the highest caliber. en Wed, 21 Apr 2021 03:53:48 -0700 Suzanne Fields from Creators Syndicate ce293f9fc6fb2871f214bd7b92a45aed Saying Goodbye in a Changing World for 09/06/2019 Fri, 06 Sep 2019 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Saying goodbye is never easy. Every school child quotes "Parting is such sweet sorrow" from "Romeo and Juliet," which has become a sentimental cliche. But the sentiment captures the memories that sustain my final column. I am saying goodbye to all my readers who stayed with me through these changing times and wrote lively letters with both appreciation and argument for my opinions. We've had a rewarding give-and-take in these days of dogmatic pontification.</p> <p>But the times they are a-changin'.<p>Updated: Fri Sep 06, 2019</p> 7dc77932fb63ab2eb62d655dc87e8818 When the Press Plays 'Gotcha,' Everybody Loses for 08/30/2019 Fri, 30 Aug 2019 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p><span style="background-color: initial;">It's a difficult time to be proud of everything about America. The president is vilified from all sides (some criticism deserved, some not), and what's difficult to defend is the democratic process as we've used it to produce both the likes of Donald Trump and a press that rushes to judgment like lemmings.</span><br></p> <p>That's too bad. Honest criticism (not mindless vilification) reaffirms democracy and our values &#8212; if we don't lose the principles that make such criticism possible.<p>Updated: Fri Aug 30, 2019</p> 48c7b8e124f901e6948685841d8e4cf4 Sex, Gender, Confusion and Distraction for 08/23/2019 Fri, 23 Aug 2019 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p><span style="background-color: initial;">Sex and gender are serious subjects, but academics, pundits and the pop media have so stretched their meanings to use as weapons of political persuasion that the words sometimes don't mean very much. Communication becomes confusion and distraction.</span><br></p> <p>The worst is when we're told to be blind to the obvious differences of the sexes because "identity," not biology, determines who we are. A society functions best when it uses conventional generalizations about sex and gender, as long as it acknowledges the prejudices that work against the exceptions among us. We can accept how biology determines who we are if we understand that common humanity includes variations on a theme. Tolerance of others is required.<p>Updated: Fri Aug 23, 2019</p> 2bb3e1c84963de2022ccd16ab7f21304 The Boys Fall Into the Gender Gap for 08/09/2019 Fri, 09 Aug 2019 00:00:00 -0700 <p>Reading is not for sissies, as the front page of the newspaper demonstrates every morning in the homestretch of a raucous presidential campaign. But there's a deeper problem, one that civility and good manners won't cure.</p> <p>The really bad news is that boys are falling into a gender gap far removed from mere politics. <span class="column--highlighted-text">Great numbers of boys won't read, even when they can, and when they do crack open a book or pick up a newspaper or magazine, they don't stay with it very long. The concerns in a competitive technological age are obvious.</span></p> <p>Boys skip pages to avoid the hard stuff, and understand less. Extensive studies in both the United States and Britain show this clearly. "Boys of every age," the surveyors found, "no matter the nature of the literature before them, typically read less thoroughly than girls." They take less time to process the words, lazily skipping parts with abandon. They choose books too easy for them and fail to move on to tougher material."<p>Updated: Fri Aug 09, 2019</p> 1af414ee77bb0dc4a475601bd0a8efe9 Summertime in the Age of the Selfie for 08/02/2019 Fri, 02 Aug 2019 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>"Summertime/ and the livin' is easy." George Gershwin's haunting melody and DuBose Heyward's tender lyrics once floated over the mood of summer, coaxing us all to reverie. But that was when vacationers lay on the beach under a lazy old sun, concentrating on important things, like grains of sand seeping through their toes, and watching the currents of salty waves ebb and flow before rippling back to the vast deep.</p> <p>We luxuriated in those summers past; we left the cacophony of the city and the urgencies of work and school behind. <p>Updated: Fri Aug 02, 2019</p> 98f546ae00964dd61e1a6dce372eaba1 The Political Myth to Capture Our Times for 07/12/2019 Fri, 12 Jul 2019 00:00:00 -0700 <p>In the Age of Trump, a growth industry of commentators and critics is in search of a mythical image, a graphic insight, a metaphorical phrase to capture our fragmented politics and culture. "Make America Great Again" worked as a campaign slogan, but it's about process, not essence.</p> <p>For self-glorification and euphemism, no one beat John F. Kennedy & Family, who conducted the most effective public relations in our history. In his short time as president, the handsome young war hero from Massachusetts thrived in the glamour of the fictional Camelot. After the death of JFK and before the Vietnam war ruined Lyndon Johnson's chances, Johnson established a strong image as a leader capable of creating "the Great Society." It didn't last.</p> <p>Barack Obama, our first black president, offered a portrait to the world to show how America had truly changed since the Civil War. But his wings were clipped when the heir(ess) apparent couldn't sustain his promise of hope and change, and 8 million disenchanted Obama voters helped send Donald Trump to the White House.<p>Updated: Fri Jul 12, 2019</p> 5c9edc6e78e51add4c8ca2b97768bd7f In Our Political Babel of Anger and Arrogance, Conversation Changes for 07/05/2019 Fri, 05 Jul 2019 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Summer is the time for conversation, at the beach or in the mountains, on the front porch or a park bench, wherever we find the change of pace that pleases. It's a time for stretching and refreshing body and mind, for looking at things with a fresh focus. At least that's how it used to be when friends and family gathered together for lively talk after jumping waves, hiking new trails or climbing the stairs of an old lighthouse.</p> <p>The seasonal regrouping encourages us to enjoy and challenge the familiar, an opening to expand perspectives for our daily lives.<p>Updated: Fri Jul 05, 2019</p> 983ca2ffe6010d85ee18ea242db7791e Unrequited Love Among the Genders for 06/28/2019 Fri, 28 Jun 2019 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Love is bustin' out all over. It's summer, and June is the favorite month of brides. Or it used to be. Nothing is what it used to be, including brides. Sex, if not necessarily love to die for, gets weirder and weirder.</p> <p>A 9-year-old boy named "Keegan" is a drag queen in Houston and regularly performs in gay clubs when he can get away from his third-grade studies. He was celebrated by a Houston television station the other day for "spreading a message of love," though one viewer objected that "dancing onstage as adult men throw money at him is not 'spreading a message of love'; it's child exploitation."<p>Updated: Fri Jun 28, 2019</p> 6071d41e112dfa701834d7dbeea0ef34 Crisis at Super Liberal Oberlin for 06/21/2019 Fri, 21 Jun 2019 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Identity politics is having an identity crisis.</p> <p>Parading as a noble cause to elevate only one side of the hyphenated American, identity politics has always cultivated a mean streak, a vulnerable underbelly of hatred for the "other" it indiscriminately blames for prejudice against African Americans, Native Americans and any other culture perceived to be at the mercy of the white man.<p>Updated: Fri Jun 21, 2019</p> a526f79212ac5dcd41bd95a1c2271ddc New Responsibilities for the Gander for 06/14/2019 Fri, 14 Jun 2019 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Bonding with a newborn baby isn't just women's work any longer. Men now say, "What's good for the goose is good for the gander." Fathers want in on parental leave.</p> <p><span class="column--highlighted-text">New daddies have no tell-tale stretch marks or breasts overflowing with warm milk, but it's a sign of the times that increasing numbers of them demand paternity leave to spend as much time with their newborn son or daughter as the baby's mom (as practically difficult as that may be). </span>They're calling it an equal rights issue, and support is coming from surprising people in surprising places, including Republicans and the banking industry with, it must be said, an "assist" from the courts.<p>Updated: Fri Jun 14, 2019</p> ac1ea2368140a9e619c45c9595c90983 When Democratic Candidates Talk Sense for 06/07/2019 Fri, 07 Jun 2019 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>When the sacred cow is a pet and you twist her tail, you can expect booing, not mooing, from the cow's friends. That's what happened at the California Democratic Party State Convention in San Francisco over the weekend when two presidential candidates took a turn twisting the cow's tail.</p> <p>John Hickenlooper, the former governor of Colorado, and John Delaney, a former congressman from Maryland, learned that anyone trying to inform and persuade best be careful in such a crowd. They misjudged their audience by a mile.<p>Updated: Fri Jun 07, 2019</p> de302ad4ac92da822c89e7c64b0a0107 The Catcher Behind Home Plate Was a Spy for 05/31/2019 Fri, 31 May 2019 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Once upon a time in America, baseball was not only the National Pastime but also the national obsession, an idyl of summer. Every town and city had a team. Abbott and Costello made their bones with their classic routine "Who's on First?" Baseball was the great equalizer on sandlot and ballpark. Everybody knew the words to "Take Me Out to the Ball Game," and everybody shared in the enthusiasm for the home team.</p> <p>Baseball was the great equalizer for Jews in the common excitement of the sports culture, as it eventually would be for blacks and Hispanics. But Detroit fans threw pork chops at Hank Greenberg, the Jewish first baseman for the Tigers who came close to breaking Babe Ruth's home run record that everyone thought would stand forever. He was admired by Jews and Christians alike when he declined, on religious principle, to play on Yom Kippur during a close pennant race.<p>Updated: Fri May 31, 2019</p> e891dedba61febec3483d0405ef30535 Pomp, Circumstance and Cash for 05/25/2019 Sat, 25 May 2019 00:00:00 -0700 <p>Pomp and circumstance depends a lot more on circumstance than pomp. The 396 graduates of Morehouse College in Atlanta learned that in an unforgettable way the other day at their commencement ceremony. The graduates whooped it up with their families and friends, with plenty to whoop it up for. The commencement speaker surprised them with the announcement that he was going to pay off all their student loans.</p> <p>Robert F. Smith, a billionaire investor, certainly deserved his honorary degree, and the Class of '19 was suddenly freed from burdensome college debt, relieved of monthly payments on their loans. They could now change their calculations for the future. </p> <p>"We're going to put a little fuel in your bus," he told them, and suddenly, the sun was providing not so much heat as light, a source of driving energy. "Let's make sure every class has the same opportunity going forward," he said, "because we are enough to take care of our own community." <p>Updated: Sat May 25, 2019</p> b12702c63ecdfc5bb665608bd7c2a8ca Doris Day Did it Her Way for 05/17/2019 Fri, 17 May 2019 00:00:00 -0700 <p>Doris Day, who died this week at age 97, was a revolutionary who did it her way. She was the buttery blond beauty with the tantalizing, silken voice that could light up lyrics with seductive directness. Hard-core feminists hated her for how she did it, and have been trying to bury her image for years.</p> <p>The leading men in her movies, with a macho come-on baked into their characters, never noticed how smoothly she slashed them with her razor-like femininity. Oscar Levant, whose bitter wit was unique in Hollywood, said he "knew Doris Day before she was a virgin." Her timid bedroom scenes were once considered shocking, but innocent and playful coupling on the screen was quickly vulgarized, politicized or rendered absurd. And the days and nights for romantic comedy, as the critic Wesley Morris observed in The New York Times magazine, were over.</p> <p>A decade ago, seven of the 50 highest-grossing films in America were romantic comedy, and last year none were. Gone, too, were ordinary people &#8212; "no capes, no spaceships, no infinite sequels" &#8212; trying to figure out how to deal meaningfully with another human being and make it funny.<p>Updated: Fri May 17, 2019</p> b33a40632325adf80a5993e0854b515d Derby Loser Offers a Model for Angry Democrats for 05/10/2019 Fri, 10 May 2019 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>The less imaginative among us are calling it "Gait-gate." Not as clever as "Watergate" &#8212; derivatives never are &#8212; but it's about horses, not humans. Jonathan Swift might have included this story in "Gulliver's Travels." A horse goofs; humans whine; and the Kentucky Derby disqualifies the winner for the first time in its 145 years.</p> <p>In contemporary America, where everyone has an opinion and the means to shout it out, the Derby is an occasion when men and horses in their prime play to the best of form. The president of the United States tweets on the outcome as if remarking on a foreign policy failure: "The best horse did NOT win the Kentucky Derby &#8212; not even close."<p>Updated: Fri May 10, 2019</p> 7957404c4f500169a1a3e9ad16bf737c The Affluent Woman Falls Into a New Gender Gap for 05/03/2019 Fri, 03 May 2019 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Freud was supposed to be a wise man, but he could never answer the question "What do women want?" When he suggested that women who want the power and authority to be like men suffer "penis envy," he coined a modern myth. He didn't get it quite right, but the meaning behind his diagnosis became a driving force of modern feminism. (You could ask the women running for president.)</p> <p>A half-century after Freud, ambitious women saw their chance. With the pill, affirmative action, college education and careers, they felt free not to marry. And today, they're marrying later and marrying less. Fertility doctors increasingly treat women in their 40s who delayed having children because they wanted to establish careers first and are terrified they waited too late.<p>Updated: Fri May 03, 2019</p> 19eb779af5c3e59cd15d035fa0934b04 Taming Men from Toxic to Timid for 04/26/2019 Fri, 26 Apr 2019 00:00:00 -0700 <p>Identity politics revives sexist stereotypes, and like most stereotypes, they diminish us all to a multitude of prejudices. Generalizations seek the simplest common denominator and usually sink to the lowest.</p> <p>In conversations about manhood, which, in certain circles, is regarded as something like the black plague of the 14th century, we're reduced to talking about the toxic male as the key to understanding the nature of men. We know that not all men suffer the curse of venomous aggressiveness, but the popular media version of the male animal makes the slightest aggression &#8212; hugs, flirtatious banter and harmless hand and neck touches, once regarded as gentle gestures of affection &#8212; the weapons of masculine armament. They must be eradicated to save the male-female relationship. The race, after all, must stumble on. You could ask an old codger like former Vice President Joe Biden. He's having to learn that what once worked as an affectionate gesture doesn't work in the time warp where old codgers live. </p> <p>Thus the overdone toxic male &#8212; crusty on the outside, tough on the inside &#8212; is evolving into the timid guy, afraid of his shadow, something like the groundhog. But unlike the groundhog, he must test things every day. Life is a fearsome thing for Generation Z. Boston College now offers course lessons in "social courage" to help the frightened male find romance.<p>Updated: Fri Apr 26, 2019</p> 43ed25ceb85c8f935b19510182e3d354 A Crucial Election in Israel for 04/19/2019 Fri, 19 Apr 2019 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Benjamin Netanyahu won his fifth term as prime minister of Israel. He's not the most beloved in the pantheon of Israeli leaders. As a patriarch, he has no aura. In this re-election he was haunted by allegations of corruption, and his political rhetoric of expediency lacks trustworthiness. He's not loved, or even that well-liked.</p> <p>The election was close, with diminished jubilation. But if you talk to Israelis and read what they write, there's a great sense of gratitude that he's still standing tall. <span class="column--highlighted-text">You can hear sighs of relief from many of his countrymen and from Jews around the world because he's a man who can keep Israel safe.</span><p>Updated: Fri Apr 19, 2019</p> 17403a2cfbec0d7f785f4850ea47411e Unexpected Costs of Total War Between the Sexes for 04/12/2019 Fri, 12 Apr 2019 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Between the sexual revolution of the 1960s and the #MeToo movement of the present day lies a battlefield strewn with bodies and minds battered by the changing weapons of physical and psychological destruction. The war between the sexes, like all wars, exacts an unexpected price.</p> <p>Between stories of John F. Kennedy skinny-dipping in the White House swimming pool with two interns code-named Fiddle and Faddle, titillating capital gossips and former Vice President Joe Biden's nude swimming freaking out women in his security detail lies a sea change of aquatic moral attitudes.<p>Updated: Fri Apr 12, 2019</p> 9b6ec964ae89e563761834e4c610f6d7 Caught in a Time Warp for 04/05/2019 Fri, 05 Apr 2019 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Generation gaps become generation ditches &#8212; with glitches.</p> <p>Former Vice President Joe Biden has transitioned through headlines and photographs from affectionate Uncle Joe to Creepy Joe, shorn of sympathy and solicitude. The cuddly, warm guy who came of age in the '60s, when touchy-feely expressions of warmth were the stuff of polymorphous pleasing, has been caught in the revival of a puritanical code of conduct associated with our pre-suffragette heritage. Time warps pinch.<p>Updated: Fri Apr 05, 2019</p>