Last Call For Vitriol

Well, it looks like 2014 is almost history, and good riddance, says I. It’s not that it was a particularly bad year, as years go. No, the only noteworthy thing about 2014 was an overbearing repetition of rhetoric; the unyielding temptation to continue fighting the same battles over and over ad infinitum. This has been especially true here in Nevada County Blogdom, notably on the Sierra Foothill Report and the Sierra Dragon’s Breath.  When I looked at the stuff that was being posted a few days before Christmas, it inspired my cartoon of 12/22. If you bother to read those blogs you know what I mean.

Being a cartoonist who opines on the human condition, the ongoing diatribes of the two blogs in question have been fertile ground for me. Hardly a day goes by without one or the other hurling insults into the ether. You’d hardly believe that one is an award-winning journalist and the other a former county supervisor. Laurel and Hardy760It’s the kind of stuff  you usually see on an elementary school playground; the dumb jock and the nerdy fat kid in the eternal struggle to look cool and save face in front of your peers.

After I posted my “Yule Blog” cartoon, I went back to Christmas business and ignored the blogs for a week. It was nice, like a breath of fresh air. Until today, anyway, when I saw Scoopy’s latest account of how he saved me from the wolves.

This is not the first time he’s told this story. If it really matters to anyone, you could dig through his archives and find two or three similar posts and comments. I’m not going there, but I will say what I’ve said many times before. Yeah, Scoopy stood up for me when the evil paper-pushing accountants wanted to drop the strip and go to cheapo syndicate cartoons, or maybe someone desperate enough to do local cartoons “for the exposure.”  So thanks, but my criticism has never been about what transpired between us at The Union.

If you live in a small town, you have to be careful about who you pick fights with. I know, I’ve picked some doozies over the decades. I even wrote a book about a few of them. Some of the people I’ve harpooned are friends today, even a few that were exceptionally bitter. When I joined the online conversation at SFR over five years ago, I was happy to contribute to Scoopy’s forum. It was fun for the most part, but between the nasty remarks aimed at me from some of his pals and the unending diatribes against The Union, I had to drop out. Without any prompting from anyone at the paper, I used my own blog to counter some of his one-sided bullshit.

In a rational world, Scoopy might have let go of his hatred for his former employer and added to the voices searching for truth in our little community, but it’s obvious that his ego can never recover from the slight of being let go. When you look at the other news sources in the western county (Yubanet, KNCO, and even the Scooper) there is a rivalry, but a friendly kind of rivalry. You never see the kind of mean-spirited slurs that Scoopy wallows in. Don’t take my word for it, go read his rants. One of the reasons I’ve continued with my criticism is the support I get from people who agree with me but don’t want to say so publicly.

And as for the whining about me drawing him fat, I have never exaggerated his proportions. If anything, I’ve slimmed him down. If it bothers him that much, he ought to go on a fucking diet or shut up.

With our former supervisor, it’s much the same. Some liberals were mean to him when he was in office way back in the 20th century, and he’s carried a chip on his shoulder as big as an oak tree  ever since. He believes anything that Sean Hannity whispers into his ear, and regurgitates it onto his blog for the benefit of his buddies, most of whom aren’t brave enough to sign their real names.

Crabb gives raspberries571But who am I to complain? I’ve been just as bad as they are, and I’ve wasted altogether too much time and energy pointing out the obvious. Like I said, the last week has been a breath of fresh air, and I kind of enjoyed it. In that spirit, my New Year’s resolution is to delete these assholes from my bookmarks. There are plenty of subjects (or targets, as the case may be) to lampoon, and plenty of stories to tell. I’ll let this photo (at left) be my parting shot at the purveyors of hate. Raspberries, chumps.

It would be nice if the other fellows would follow suit, and maybe see this as an opportunity to start over, but I wouldn’t count on it. Old wounds will never heal when you keep picking at them.


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15 Responses to Last Call For Vitriol

  1. Barry Pruett says:

    Personally, I liked the cartoon that you did that I was in. Parody is an incredible way to make your point when done well. Crabb, you do it well.

  2. Michael Anderson says:

    Great comments, Earl. Hopefully 2015 will see a lot less of this nonsense. We have a lot of work to do in our tiny little abode, and we can’t afford the distraction.

    The days are getting longer, and pitchers & catchers report in 48 days. Life is good.

  3. Chris Peterson says:

    Asinine as their comments appear, they are but brief vocal twerks on the cosmic bus.

    Consider that the Earth is traveling around the sun at 67,000 mph, while spinning at 1070 mph, while the Milky Way is traveling through space at 568,000 mph and gaining speed, according to Hubble’s Law. Light, which was emitted from the farthest known quasar, and only took 4 billion light years to get here back closer to the big bang, now takes 28 billion light years to travel the distance. (And yes, that means that the universe is expanding faster than the speed of light.)

    All of which goes to prove that their respective comments are but cosmic farts in the wind, in the grand scale of things, filling less than a nanosecond in historical context, and meaning even less.

    Enjoy 2015 while you can; it will be over in a cosmic blink of an eye, and we will all be a gazillion miles from where we are when it’s over.

  4. george rebane says:

    Enjoyable as always Bob. Thank you again for sharing your memories during this year. Jo Ann and I wish you and MaryAnn good health and contentment in 2015 – possibly a little less of the latter since we want you to maintain that gimlet eye, along with a sharp point on your wit and crayons.

  5. Well you hit the nail on the head RL. There are plenty of things to rant about with real meaning instead of meaningless. Problems to solve and people and places to poke fun at. When you can laugh at yourself then we have created a better world. Just keep on doing what you do. For some your pictures are the only news they get because they can’t read.

  6. steve cottrell says:


    Since this was the 100th anniversary of the Christmas Truce, when German and British troops put down their rifles long enough to crawl out of their rat-infested trenches and engage in a friendly soccer match, I was hoping you and Jeff might have gotten together for a mug or three of holiday cheer. Obviously, that didn’t happen.

    Guess seeing the two of you next to each other on barstools, joshing and joking, is as likely as me having a beer with the likes of former city manager Mark Miller –– a jerk who made my life as miserable as he could for as long as he could.

    I recall an editorial Jeff wrote a few years ago claiming that I had thrown Mark “under the bus.” On that count, he was dead wrong. The reverse was true, and I know because I was there. Jeff’ had well-placed sources inside 317 Broad Street, for sure, but they weren’t exactly impartial observers.

    When the history of Nevada City politics in the early part of the 21st century is written, people will realize that Mark Miller effectively lynched Cathy Wilcox-Barnes. And in doing so, he had most of the town (and city council) convinced that she was evil incarnate. He was a smooth, persuasive talker, no denying that, but he was determined to destroy Cathy’s public and professional life –– and he got away with it.

    But enough about the past, huh? It’s nearly 2015 and time to look forward. For me, I especially look forward to following this blog, (and Jeff’s and Todd’s as well), and imagine that a new community crisis will soon appear to be followed by a new spitting match of some sort. That kind of cycle is inevitable and keeps all of us on our toes.

    Keep doing what you do, Bob –– it helps shine a light of truth on the community.

    • fish says:

      …….I sense a disturbance in the force™!

      Stay tuned for a big old tantrum… 4, 3, 2…….

      In happier news though!

      R.L. Crabb, the Scooper’s patron saint and local cartoon legend is currently:

      Still Causing Trouble

      Updated Daily:

      December 30, 2014 05:58pm GMT,
      that’s like England

  7. Chris Gulick says:

    That is hysterical!

  8. Jeff says:

    Hey, Crabb Man. Glad you are still having fun! The NC Scooplet is my new source for news and information! I hadn’t heard that Pelline was headed back to The Union, but let’s hope he’s not too late to rescue it. After all…the Internet is changing the way we communicate, right? I hope he continues his blog, though. It’s so informative and easy on the eyes. And…who knew you could microwave pork chops?

  9. fish says:

    ….3, 2, 1…..!

    Maybe Jim Hemig can get his friends at the parody website NC Scooper — where he likes comment despite a busy workday — to investigate this issue, or perhaps he could get his staff cartoonist RL Crabb to draw a cartoon about it.

  10. PeteK says:

    Bob, I think you have the best blog going. You let everyone speak their mind (as long as they are civil) and that creates a good dialog that keeps us laughing at each other and more importantly ourselves. Happy New Year to you and your lovely wife Maryanne, My the new year bring more civility, Peace and kindness so we can all work together to make this a better place to live.

    • rlcrabb says:

      Thanks, Pete, and the rest of the peanut gallery. May 2015 bring us all opportunity, prosperity, and peace.

      • Chris Peterson says:

        War brings opportunity and prosperity to the few, peace brings it to all.
        Can’t help thinking of the old poster, “What if they gave a war and nobody came?” Let’s try that for a while. Let’s let the little countries fight among themselves for a while. We’ve got our own country to rebuild.

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