As an American ex pat in Italy, here is what confuses me about Italy’s recent electing of a far right party that traces its roots to fascism; In the US, the Nazis/fascists proudly proclaim themselves in their red hats with their guns and rallies, where they eagerly lap up lies spewed by a traitorous con man who grifts their money and for some reason is still walking free. In Italy, we’ve travelled north, south, east, west and met only outwardly kind, loving, helpful people. We moved here because of the PEOPLE. From old weathered men to young tattooed groups of guys, everyone stops to say “Buona Sera” as you pass. Everyone helps you with your language, packages, directions, car, everything everywhere. We have never gotten a dirty look or a brushoff in two partial years here. I’m not talking about tourist hot spots where it benefits them to be nice for profit. I am talking about us living here, when we’re in the hardware stores needing help, supermarkets, where we don’t know we weigh the produce ourselves and hold up lines at checkout, furniture stores, flower nurseries, outdoor markets, local restaurants, car mechanics. We’re shown only patience and kindness. Everywhere working people work, in local neighborhoods, where you would expect to see any evidence of dissatisfaction and anger, hate, prejudice, we have not. You put a Euro in the slot to get your supermarket cart unchained; when you come out of the market there is usually an immigrant waiting to “help” you unload your grocery bags and return your cart for you, meaning they get the Euro back. We and most people give them the carts, and always with a little extra money. When people ask us “Di dove sei?” (Where are you from?) and we answer “California” they beam in awe. Hollywood has done its job well.
If Italy was anti-immigrant, why offer one Euro houses to anyone who wanted to come here and help re-populate the country? Isn’t that the opposite of xenophobia? Italy is a Catholic country. The Vatican is here, the Pope lives here, yet abortion has been legal here since 1978. Divorce has been legal here since 1970. That is because there is respect for what the people want and need for quality of life. America is trying to be a christian country by outlawing the very things the most catholic country in the world protects for its citizens.
This election is a total surprise to us and a horrible face for Italy to present to the world. It doesn’t seem to us to be the real Italy and yet, it must be. Where were these many many voters? Who are they? I guess time will tell. I hope we don’t have to move again but we will if we must. It is very sad. But move where? With long time far right candidate Marine Le Pen coming in just behind Emmanuel Macron with 21.3% of the French vote in April, it seems like the whole world is moving to the right. Yet at least, unlike America, civilized countries still apply the law to criminals in their government. Silvio Berlusconi ran in this Italian election and got 7% of the vote. In 2013, at age 76, Berlusconi was convicted of tax fraud by the Supreme Court of Cassation. His four-year prison sentence was confirmed, and he was banned from holding public office for two years. When will America deal with its most dangerous traitor since Aldrich Ames? Why will an insurrectionist, unbelievably, possibly be allowed to run for president again? More than anything else; more than Mitch McConnell being America’s dictator, holding up legislation the majority of Americans support, more than fake christians hiding their hateful politics behind a bible whose tenets they have no knowledge of, more than women and marginalized groups having to re-fight the old fights, it is the spectre of TFG going unpunished, going free, continuing to spread his poison and wield control of the crooked, America destroying GOP that keeps us living happily far away. The GOP is America’s fascist party. The Nazis rounded up the Jews, Gypsies, homosexuals, political opponents, asocials, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Poles, Soviet soldiers. The GOP with their illegitimate supreme court appointed by a traitor/insurrectionist and stacked by an illegally stonewalling Mitch McConnell is hell bent on turning America into a christian country, governed by the bible. They have already done more harm to the US than anyone can imagine Italy’s new government getting done with the time they will have in office. Do you know what it’s like to walk past a schoolyard full of children playing, yelling, laughing, knowing they have zero chance of being shot today? Do you know what it’s like to go to a theater, a mall, a concert, and have zero fear for your life? To drive on the highways and not fear being shot through your car window randomly? No you don’t, not any more. Okay, so some of our boxes from America “fell off the back of a truck”. Ya gotta pay some dues to your new country. We live with peace of mind every day. This election robs some of that, but all we can do is wait and see. In comedy and dictatorships, timing is everything.
Another great has passed, and though we will always have his body of work to enjoy, there is nothing like seeing a master comedian at work. If you never had the chance to see Louis Anderson weave comedy gossamer live on a stage, you really missed something.
Comedy can be many things, but in my forty-nine years as a comedian I have never seen anyone do comedy the way Louis did. He gently, unhurriedly, delivered the most poignant, incisive, empathetic, hilarious, honest comedy I’ve ever seen. He was so gentle the harsh truths of his and all our lives didn’t sting. But they certainly hit their mark. He took his time onstage, as if spontaneously thinking of what to say next, yet the show was so beautifully written, so well reasoned, it surprised and delighted at every turn.
Louis could play anywhere, because his act was so human, so humane. He could probably do the same show at a retirement home he’d do to Hell’s Angels and get a standing ovation in both places (okay, maybe not a full standing ovation at a retirement home). We worked outdoor, out of control, wide open county fairs together back in the day. Open air stages in the bright sunlight of late afternoon. Motorcycles speeding by right in front of us, laughter, eating, running, shouting, music; I don’t remember but I think the money must have been great for us to venture into that comedy hell. And yet there was Louis, as quiet as ever onstage, having faith that they’d come around, lean in, start to listen, always triumphing in the end. He emanated vulnerability, the seeming opposite of much comedy, but it made people love him.
I loved the show “Baskets”, where Louie played Christine, a character based on his mother. Not a moment’s hesitation for the audience to suspend disbelief. His Christine was so real, so believable as a put upon woman dealing with two sons and romance and life, and never once gave us a distorted parody of what someone who had no idea of women’s lives thought a woman should be. What a heart he had! There was a scene at the end of one of the episodes where Louis as Christine puts on her black bathing suit and all alone, walks into the water, finally enjoying the relief of it, looking at the lights, breathing out, and I cried my eyes out. I wished she was my mother.
He was so full of love, onstage and off. He never walked by a panhandler without giving, he never left a waiting fan without an autograph or photo no matter how many he’d already done. He kept in touch with friends and went above and beyond. The last time I saw Louie was right before the pandemic when our mutual friend Doug Kleiman took me to New York’s Cutting Room to see Louie’s act. That show blew me away. To have been in comedy that long and still come up with a show as strong and stunning as in the beginning is no easy thing. I was floored. He was fantastic.
Please don’t say to me “Sorry for your loss”. We weren’t close friends, but part of the comedy family where we all seem to keep tabs on each other. With his voice silenced, I would say to you rather, “Sorry for our loss”.
Funny Jean Smart very smart for playing wisecracking lady comic in “Hacks.” Now Emmy nominated she cites a few other female funny gals she’s fond of.
Jean Smart: “I’ve always loved watching comedians, Roseanne Barr was hilarious, loved Phyllis Diller as a kid, I remember Ellen DeGeneres’ first appearance on the Johnny Carson show and of course Joan Rivers, especially the early stuff. But of any woman I think my character is closer to Elayne Boosler in terms of rhythms and things like that. I like playing a comedian without the real risks of being a stand-up.”
Your intrepid tale teller and humble hilarity hounder found Boosler, a ‘Tonight Show’ regular over the last 30 years vacationing in Italy. It was late there. She was still funny.
Elayne Boosler: “I am thinking of suing Jean Smart. I cannot believe she is using my name to further her career.” Bawdy Boosler guffawed and then got serious. Elayne Boosler: “I can’t believe she even KNOWS my name! I am beyond fatutsed–that’s flattered in Brooklyn–that she knows my work and beyond that, that it has even one teensy molecule of contributing to the outstanding character she plays on one of the best, funniest and most enjoyable shows ever.”
Also Emmy bound, Smart’s also smart costar Hannah Einbinder. She was already a comic. On the show she’s brought in to punch up Smart’s punchless punchlines. Elayne Boosler: “I think the dynamic between Hannah Einbinder’s character as an ‘alternative’ comedian, and Ms. Smart’s character as a comedian, is brilliant. I look forward to having my name mentioned at least eight to eleven more times. Not many people know this, but Ms. Smart also based her character in ‘Mare of Easttown’ on me. I am thinking of living in Italy. I would only come back to hand Ms. Smart her Emmy for Hacks.”
By the way, schlepping to Italy, was Boosler visiting ruins? In a small local cafe sipping espresso? No. Her very ciao Bella behavior. Elayne Boosler: “I just finished watching Friday’s Mets game.”
Come back Elayne, the Mets play on TV here too.
When I started performing at The Comedy Store in 1976, Paul Mooney was already a star there, leaving audiences exhausted from laughter. I remember so many of his great bits. They were always funny first, but also always packed with cultural awareness and justifiable anger. Paul was a justice crusader his entire life. He was funny, smart and fierce; scary if you didn’t know him and sometimes scary even if you did.
One day I ran into Mooney down my street at Ralph’s grocery store (comics are always amazed to see each other in daylight). I invited him up the block to my house for coffee.
“I don’t drink coffee.” (And remember, he really liked me.)
“Well how about a cup of tea?”
“Oh, you wanna bring a black man up to a fancy white neighborhood to see a fancy white people’s house you think he’s never seen before?” That was Mooney’s first response to everything and anything you might say to him.
“Paul, let’s go to the movies.”
“Oh, you think a black man never saw a movie before? He needs a white lady to get him into the movies?”
He agrees to come over for tea. In those days, I drank only one kind of tea. I thought it was the most special delicious tea I’d ever had. So Paul’s sitting at the kitchen table and we’re talking, and I’m boiling the kettle and putting the cups on the table. And he’s talking and I put the box of tea on the table and go back to the sink, and I realize I don’t hear him talking any more.
“Paul? Paul?” He’s nowhere to be found. I hear his car pull out of the driveway. I don’t know what happened. Then I see it. There on the table is the box of tea: “Plantation Mint”.
I love tv shows about the apocalypse, the dystopian future, contagions; the end of the world. Since I have been staying home to stop the spread of Covid, it’s become all the more real. I have no trouble believing flesh eating zombies exist. I can buy into space creatures, time jumping, intergalactic wars, islands disappearing and reappearing, dead characters showing up again, erudite chimps and Fish Men. I love it. And just when I am IN 100%, a fierce woman in a desolate landscape raises an arm, and BOOM! Her shaved armpits break the spell and ruin the whole construct. In the midst of all that Emmy winning great dusty deconstructed set decoration, they are startling. I can’t get past it. It’s like that Starbucks cup in Game of Thrones.
Somehow, no matter how many years we’re expected to believe it’s been since the world ended, or the cast has been stranded on an island, or in space, no matter how dirty people have become, or how many zombies are banging at the gates, women on tv still shave their pits… What are they shaving with? Clam shells? Covid has kept women like me home indoors for a year. I have running water and fifty kinds of soap yet I’m sure I’m not the only woman who now ignores her Lady Schick. And I’m not even fighting for my life in hostile territory with murderous predators at my heels. I have leisure time.
I can accept everything else; Zombies all wearing jeans because it seems the world ended on casual Friday. Fine. New fair Hollywood hiring practices that put overweight women four years into the apocalypse despite there having been no food for the last two. I’ll buy it. No candles in the apocalypse despite there having been five Pier I stores in every city in the world. Why aren’t the suburbs buried ten feet deep under Cinnamon Arugula wax? But okay. Still buying. Everyone on tv knows how to start a generator with a shoelace and a toothpick. No doctors survived but any grocer can take out a bullet, sew you up and you’ll be just fine. Why not? I love it! Even the women’s hair, except for one fine character whose hair looks like mine at home these days, is all pretty awesome. Symmetrical spiraling curls. Soho worthy cuts that definitely demand product long since discontinued. Shiny curtains of gossamer tresses. All teeth are whiter than white. Sure, I can go there. But no hairy pits? How fragile do you think we are?
And this my friends is why we need more women behind the cameras in Hollywood. This pits business is all because men can’t handle the truth. Men will show the Real Housewives getting their tushies bleached and waxed on tv, because, well, tushies! But hairy pits? No, man. You want ratings like in the old days? ONE show where the women have hairy armpits would be written about non- stop for a year. They’d all win Emmys and they’d raise their arms in an apocalyptic salute and get a standing ovation from the whole world. Especially Italy.
Hi My Peeps,
Thank you for all the loving posts, texts, phone messages, e-cards, and donations to Tails of Joy wishing me a happy birthday yesterday. I have not heard/seen any of them yet but I will later today.
I had a nice, low-key birthday planned. I was going to swim my usual mile in the pool. I swim a mile every day but always make sure to do it on my birthday to prove to myself I am not getting old. Then I was going to cook some great fish for my nephew and me, and we’d watch the Mets together and drink some champagne. I quit drinking a month ago after becoming an alcoholic during the first few months of lockdown. My hubby had already given me the greatest gift; solitude. He’s off with two friends on a bucket list motorcycle odyssey across the west, giving me the space I always crave and never get enough of. He sent pictures of Old Faithful spouting; gorgeous.
I woke up in the LA heat to find my never-sick-a-day-in-his-life younger dog pretty much paralyzed. Actually, I could not wake him. He was rigid and cold and locked in sleeping position. I tried and tried with no luck, but finally, after yelling loud enough for several minutes, maybe his soul heard me and came back into his body? (I know many of you will stop reading now lol. Pet owners “know” and will continue..) The vet was fully booked but I could drop him off and they’d get to him. On the 405 Fwy by 9am, speeding crosstown to the westside, immobile dog next to me. Dropped him off, headed back. For those who don’t know the 405 Fwy, it is what hell will be if we get there. You sit for hours to go one inch an hour. The heat had already hit 100°.
Rushed home to meet a workman who was coming to fix a phone problem. By then it was mid-afternoon. I rushed to Costco to buy the fish & champagne. I splurged and bought one I didn’t know but looked great for $19.99. I felt guilty spending that. I used to buy expensive bottles, but Tails of Joy cured me of that. Not buying a $50 bottle of the good stuff is a dog or two cats saved. The heat was stifling. As I left Costco I saw two incredibly handsome, fit, young black men rolling their cart to their car. They both wore t-shirts with stark black and white thick print so you could not miss the words if you were coming at them, “UNARMED“. I burst into tears.
I got into the car and the thermometer showed 111°, an unbelievable first. Thank dog global warming is only a hoax or I’d be worried. I was supposed to stop at a stranger’s house to pick up Bill’s lost cell phone, which he lost the day before his trip and this person just found, but she did not answer so I headed home instead. Thank goodness I did; as I pulled into the driveway, the car exploded in steam. The coolant tank just split in half and coolant was spewing all over the engine. I had my own Old Faithful!!
Luckily my nephew had arrived. So we could get back on the 405 to pick up the dog. If we didn’t have to drive, I might have downed the whole bottle of bubbly right then, but oblivion would have to wait. So we finally get to the vet and okay, it was most probably a disk in Beau’s back. He came out so stoned it was like trying to talk to Robert Downey Jr. in the ’80s. But he certainly looked $567.42 better, and that’s with a rescue discount. Important Note: I never, ever, EVER use Tails of Joy money for my own dogs. That would be a SCROTUS move. We run a clean ship.
We get home and fuzzy Keith Richards is able to walk from the car, yay! My other dog and my nephew’s dog whom I love love love come out to greet him and they run into the house happy. We crack open the champagne and both take one sip and spit it out. Tasteless bad fizz like putting an Alka Seltzer tablet into your mouth. We’re too tired to cook the fish so we take out leftovers. We bring them to the outdoor tv at the pool and turn on the Mets game (mlb.tv, watch the game any time you want). And there, umpiring at first base, is my Sheepshead Bay High School buddy Steve’s son. Steve had texted me it was happening but during this day I forgot. I realize I don’t feel even a little bad about the day. Why?
Because these “problems” were the whitest, most first world problems anyone could have, and I am one of the luckiest people in the world. “Bad champagne”? LOLOL. “Outdoor tv by the pool”, not “bleeding and sweeping up shrapnel in any one of a score of countries”. And all day there was a solution available at every turn: I had the money to help my dog, a vet who knows us, a beautiful car that has run well for 20 years and deserves to let off steam, a wonderful nephew who loves the Mets like I do, and shares fish with me that my husband won’t touch. And I am not forced to wear a t-shirt that says “UNARMED”. My friend’s son is a Major League umpire because we were not shot in school. My dog will probably be okay, and I have the money to send him to drug rehab after the medicine is gone because right now he’s smoking a Marlboro and listening to the Stones. I am waiting for a tow truck, and it’s only 105° today so things are looking up. On the shallow end, I weigh exactly 38 pounds less than on my birthday last year. And hey, the Mets WON!!! Plus, my nephew brought us a flan from the most delicious little taco joint on Sunset, and my great friends Penny and Dewey Bunnell sent a birthday cake all the way from Wisconsin.
I got into bed and saw the beautiful, proud, loving people in all fifty states nominate Joe Biden for president at the Democratic National Convention. I feel sure that the people who vote for Biden will help change the soul of this country so that, one day, no one in America will have to wear a t-shirt that says “UNARMED”. I drifted off to the righteous indignation of John Kerry expressing the anger that all decent human beings feel at what has been done to our country, our people, our system of justice, our constitution. I drifted off feeling there will be better days ahead.
I am waiting for the tow truck. I will then read and enjoy the many many good wishes everyone posted, texted, phone messaged to me yesterday. I will then get back to work sending out help for pets and homeless animals all across the country, as I see Tails of Joy has received about thirty new hopeful emails, asking for the help I was lucky enough to be able to afford for my own dog yesterday. I know I have made it, I am lucky, I am here.
What a great, great birthday.
Boosler and Little Richard at Florida Sunfest
Years ago, I was hired to emcee a three day music festival in Fort Lauderdale. I ran back and forth between multiple stages all day and all night. All the concert goers were seeing me constantly, over and over again, and I had to keep it fresh, so I did. Comics will tell you the crowd gets restless when waiting for the music act they came to see, so I had to be funny/honest; when an act was delayed, I told them I wished I would get off too, but we were all waiting for the music, right?
Sunday night, Little Richard was to be the closing act on one of the main stages. Anticipation was high of course. By now the audiences and I were old friends, so it was going well, but Richard just never came out, and the crowd was getting restless. So I turned it all into a bit, “I’m gonna run backstage to see what’s what”, and I’d bring them updates when I ran back out. “Ten minutes tops. Want to just talk to each other and I’ll come back to introduce him?” “No! Stay!” “Okay.” Ten minutes, twenty, thirty. Again, the crowd wanted answers. “I’m going backstage, be right back.” I did and came back out. “He’s coming! I actually saw him leave his dressing room and start to walk the hallway, he’s coming!!” Everyone clapped and whooped and I was so relieved. And then: nothing. No Little Richard. Nothing. “I’m gonna go backstage and see what’s what.” I went all the way back to his dressing room, passing a phalanx of Little Richard bodyguards in suits, all speaking into their walkie-talkies as I made my way down the line, one after another relaying the information: “Little Richard doesn’t like his pants.” “Little Richard doesn’t like his pants.” “Little Richard doesn’t like his pants….”
I went back onstage and said the only thing I could, “Little Richard doesn’t like his pants”… to the sounds of agonized groans. To this day when my husband yells to me “Come on! We’re gonna be late!” I yell back, “Little Richard doesn’t like his pants!”
This Little Richard story comes from John Brower.
“Toronto September 13, 1969; “The Rock and Roll Revival”. Little Richard, Chuck Berry, Jerry Lee, Gene Vincent and Bo Diddley, with a few other acts thrown in: The Doors, John Lennon with the first iteration of The Plastic Ono Band, Alice Cooper (who brought a chicken), Chicago and a few others I’m missing.
Lennon was a late addition, The Doors were booked to close, but outside John’s dressing room Jim, and Bill Siddons, were trying to explain to John that The Doors wanted him to close. Backstory, the Saturday show was a ticket sales bomb on the Monday, it was almost cancelled and everyone but John knew it. He had been signed on at the last minute and agreed to come only if they could play, brought Eric, Klaus and Alan White on drums. Siddons and Jim were afraid everyone would leave after John, who was incredulous and kept saying, “But you’re the headliners. I’m worried everyone will leave after you if we close”. Richard was within earshot in a narrow hallway under the bleachers and came over in his most regal and commanding presence and proclaimed, “I will close the show, the way it should be closed by me The King. You know that Mr Doors, you know that Mr Promoter, you know that Mr Lennon.”
The four of us stood speechless and I saw in Jim and John’s faces a reverence and respect that they most likely would not muster up for few if any others. Rock and roll had been called, claimed and owned by Little Richard. He was due on next and graciously agreed to do so but as he walked down the canopy towards the stage, in his lilting falsetto he almost sang. “I am The King.” The Doors did close, no one left after John played and the rest is history. Richard gave a performance that many publications acknowledged owned the festival and some said it relaunched a career that as we know never ended.
I have seen some things in my time but this moment of Little Richard getting Jim and John to almost bow their heads in respect and stand in star-struck silence was the best. You can see his performance and the other original rock legends in the doc Sweet Toronto by Pennebaker. It’s worth it to see Little Richard who knew that both John and Jim were in the wings watching, give a performance that left fans and critics alike on their feet the whole time and in the palm of the hand of a master.”
Twitter users seem to come in these flavors; outrageous or outraged, educated/helpful, smart/reasonable, idiots/trolls, funny. Being a comedian, I always tried to lead with comedy. Now after eleven years of providing comedy on twitter, I have been banned.
On March 24th, in the midst of a raging pandemic where social distancing and home quarantine were our best bets to prevent even larger scale death and illness, ImpeachedSCROTUS declared he “wants the churches opened up and raring to go by Easter”. Many of his supporters celebrated. Most reasonable people were horrified. Twitter, rightly so, exploded in rage and incredulity. I too was incensed, but so tired of feeling incensed by his daily insanity, and I didn’t want to add to the vitriol. Suddenly, my darling Andy Kaufman tapped me on the shoulder and I realized I could go completely in the opposite direction and it would be sublime. I do love satire. I tweeted:
“Listen libtards, u’ve got it all wrong. This country needs to stay strong & show the world we know what’s best! I agree with r president & encourage every #MAGA supporter to lock arms, get out there & go back 2 work together asap! @realDonaldTrump #NotDying4WallStreet #HugMitch”.
It could not have been any clearer that this was satire. “Libtards” is what the “right” calls us on twitter, so coming from a known comedian with forty plus years of democratic activism and material, it was funny. In case it wasn’t clear enough, the hashtags were there as a confirming wink. Yet liberals attacked. When you’re that incensed, you cannot see. The comments were hilarious, the threads so entertaining, I doubled down to the point of ridiculousness until people “got it”. The “right” continued to tweet “no one was going to prevent them filling their churches”, “God was bigger than Covid”, the virus was “a hoax”, etc., and I went right along with them, tweeting:
“Put on those red hats and spit in each other’s faces, just to show the world we are men and we are not afraid. Ha!”
I mean, could you get any sillier? Yet those are the two tweets, posted on March 24th, for which I was banned on April 6th. I had posted seventy subsequent tweets, so someone had to comb through those and work pretty hard to “find something” on me. But what? Those tweets were clearly comedy from a comedian and echoed exactly what the “right” was tweeting.
Twitter gives you no specifics, just cuts you dead and says you violated their rules. The only rule I could find that they, unbelievable as it is to me, might have applied, is against “encouraging self-harm or suicide”. Yet ever since, against the recommendations of every medical professional in government, The Impeached has incited his followers to “open up the country”. Hundreds if not thousands of people left their homes weeks ago and gathered closely together, most without masks or protective gear, to demand cities re-open. The coming weeks will no doubt reap the deadly results of this reckless “encouraging of self-harm or suicide”, yet SCROTUS’ and the republicans’ twitter accounts are doing just fine.
Everyone is trying to define comedy’s place in the new world. Twitter told me to delete my tweets to keep my account. I would never sell out my comedy heroes or comedy that way. Twitter deleted my tweets anyway. And yet, I remain banned, over nothing. All comedians should chafe at censorship that is ignorant at best, arbitrary at worst. We should all object to the hypocrisy of a platform that bans the comedy so needed today, but freely allows deadly misinformation, incitement of harm and encouragement of hate while claiming it doesn’t. I am thanked every day on all other social media for providing laughter during this awful time. So if this banning badge of honor means I have to find a two bedroom to share with Captain Crozier, then I am proud to do so.
Friends, and Lovers of Truth, Justice, Freedom and Comedy,
The great, multi-award winning cartoon strip, Non Sequitur, by humanitarian and genius Wiley Miller, has been canceled by over 100 newspapers this week over last Sunday’s cartoon. After decades of award winning genius, and producing over 9,896 funny, brilliant and touching cartoons, last Sunday Wiley included a “wink” to the Resistance in the strip. Though invisible to the naked eye, a reader caught it and a swift mobilization by the haters who cheer when reporters are attacked and beaten at Trump rallies led these newspapers to cancel him. Even though the comments in the papers were pro-Wiley 10 to 1, emails hold more weight. That is why I am asking you to send an email to save Non Sequitur (info below).
Wiley had put “F Trump” in one of the scribbles (cartoon on the right, click it for full size), invisible to the naked eye, yet someone found it and mobilized their troops. The haters seem to act more quickly and vehemently than the left, and editors consider one email represents a hundred or so. If you care about supporting artists who hold government’s feet to the flame, artists who create with heart, love, and truth, as well as gorgeous physical art, please take five minutes to email the newspapers below, who canceled this strip. Our voices are slowly being shut down. We cannot let them destroy one of the bravest, smartest and best. Feel free to use any of the points in my letter below when you write your emails.
To the right is the Sunday, Feb 10, 2019 cartoon which led to 100 newspapers canceling the brilliant Wiley Miller strip, Non Sequitur. Click or tap it to zoom in. Can you even find the word that caused this?
I am writing to vehemently state my objection to the canceling of the cartoon strip “Non Sequitur”, and to appeal to your better angels and responsibility to serve the public. The “offending” word in Sunday’s cartoon was basically invisible, yet became a cause celeb by the same people who cheer when reporters are physically attacked and beaten at Trump rallies.
You decide to destroy a man’s career over one hidden word in a cartoon out of 9896 brilliant previous Wiley cartoons over thirty years, yet you print “shithole” countries, “grab ‘em by the pussy”, etc., though that causes pain and incites hatred and violence. What hypocrisy. One man has blithely coarsened America’s language and character, but you decide to punish a man who has daily brought America laughter, compassion, love and brilliance. Wiley included a subtle wink for anyone being driven mad by this administration. He deserves an award, not cancellation.
You do the public a great disservice by shutting down Non Sequitur, a champion for smart, caring, involved readers. This strip mercifully prevents our hair from bursting into flames from the news. It shows us we are heard, understood and not alone. Please look back upon Mr. Miller’s body of multi-award winning work. He is the invaluable American artist we desperately need right now. Don’t destroy a life for a minuscule lapse. I would be the first to e-subscribe to your paper, and spread the word to my followers, when Non Sequitur is restored. You cannot just erase this artist, when we see daily the second chances given to people far less deserving.
Thank you for your consideration.
The newspapers that answer you will say exactly the following (collusion much?) “That language has no place in the comics, and Wiley betrayed our trust.”
That is when you answer with your own version of the following:
It’s the 27th anniversary of Non Sequitur. Mr. Miller has provided your paper, and all papers, with just short of TEN THOUSAND Non Sequitur comic strips, where he indeed proved his trustworthiness, as well as provided your readers with humor, joy, heart, humanity, and laughter. If you withdraw your “trust” for one gaffe out of TEN THOUSAND perfect strips, where is your humanity, and what kind of arbiter are you? Is cartooning the only job in America with one strike and you’re out? Athletes, celebrities, the public, abuse drugs, women, work, trust, laws, and are given chance after chance; suspended and then reinstated. This punishment you have inflicted on Wiley does NOT fit the crime. As for inappropriate language; first, no one saw the language upon reading Wiley’s strip, I still can’t see it. It was illegible. Second, you have no trouble clearly printing in your paper “Grab em by the pussy, shithole countries”, etc. etc. RESTORE THE STRIP. Show that people who actually DESERVE second chances are accorded such by fair, decent newspaper people. You owe him, and your readers, that much and more.
This article contains the list of newspapers that canceled Wiley. Please choose as many as you can and send an email in support of reinstatement. (And isn’t Charlie Hebdo shaking its head in sorrow and amazement at America?)