“If there is such a thing as the single most important cartoon in California history, it may well have been ‘The Curse Of California’ by Edward Keller in The Wasp dated August 19, 1882. It uses the symbol of the octopus to describe the stranglehold the (Southern Pacific) railroad barons held on the economic and political life of the state.”  – Ed Salzman and Ann Leigh Brown, “The Cartoon History of California”

Keller’s cartoon may have not been the first use of the multi-armed cephalopod , and it certainly wasn’t the last. Robert Bastian of The San Francisco Chronicle used the octo-metaphor to describe Governor Pat Brown’s controversial water projects (including the Oroville Dam) in the early 1960’s.

Carrying on the tradition, I’ve used the octopus several times to lampoon the ever-sucking tentacles of the state and it’s hold over the citizenry.


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10 Responses to Sactopus

  1. Steven Frisch says:

    I would be the first to not just say but work for California bringing more prosperity to rural regions, but we are not doing too badly on the old “economic powerhouse” meter.

  2. rl crabb says:

    It’s a booming money smorgasbord for some, but far too many are priced out. The state rakes in the cash, but somehow still needs to nickel and dime us into the poorhouse. (Gas tax – NID rate increase – PG&E bankruptcy and more rate increases – Rural home insurance doubling in the last year. ) Poverty and homelessness are on full display in the cities. Yeah, as long as the one percenters keep their noses tilted skyward, it all looks and smells great.

  3. rl crabb says:

    And as ever, drooling politicians thought the legal cannabis market would create another big bureaucracy and slush fund for their pet projects. Unfortunately, they’ve had to backtrack after the black market undercut the price of bud.

  4. Chris Peterson says:

    With the death of the unions at the hands of the upper echelon, the phrase “As Above, So Below” definitely only applies to plants these days and anyone who views the state of our economy as healthy and robust has a myopic perspective devoid of sustainable fundamentals.
    Don of Iniquity is merely a Sideshow Bob in the grand scheme of things; our ship of state being entirely top-heavy, we are destined to capsize again, and again.

    • Steven Frisch says:

      That would be disconcerting if it were not for the fact that revenue has exceeded original expectations in the budget by more than $3 billion and that the May revise dedicated $15 billion in debt reduction and reserves.

      “This includes $4.5 billion to eliminate budgetary debts and reverse deferrals, $5.7 billion to build reserves, and $4.8 billion to pay down unfunded retirement liabilities.

      Specifically, the state will continue to build reserves. The revised budget includes an additional $1.2 billion deposit into the Rainy Day Fund, bringing the reserve to $16.5 billion in 2019-20.

      The Rainy Day Fund is now expected to reach its constitutional cap of 10 percent of General Fund Revenues in 2020-21, two years earlier than predicted in January.

      The May Revision also seeks to eliminate state budgetary debts and reverse funding deferrals. This marks the first time in over a decade that all budgetary debts are completely paid off.”

      So pot may not be doing well, but….

      • Chris Peterson says:

        In the first half of the Governor’s letter you quote, he accurately uses the word “crisis” 7 times when it comes to the effect of the cavernous debt on average CA families; a mere $3 billion more in the CA coffer that is in debt up to $2.3 TRILLION by some accounts. Then he, and you, focus on the $15 billion that is nothing but his reshuffling the cards he was dealt and more politics than substance.

        But, that’s his job, as the new uber-slick head of the largest state economy; he is, after all, 100% politician. Thank goodness we don’t see a lot of that BS here on Bob’s blog, where we can talk honestly about such issues. Anyone here that explains it any other way than straight up and honest, from Bernie’s boys to red hat republicans, could be seen as nothing but a partisan hack and of no particular interest to an intellectual conversation.

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