Well, my ex-freelance client ran a semi-apologetic letter this weekend to cover my cartoon with the local gentry. A letter also ran condemning the cartoon as offensive. I think that's awesome, because this offensive cartoon hit at the heart of a discussion that should have been going on anyway - and that conversation should include plugging budgetary holes, at all levels of School Government. I have yet to hear even one commissioner volunteer this on the student's behalf, but they will not hesitate to mention how they are going to eliminate others bonuses and pay raises or even where they are going to have to fire employees. From grounds crews to libraries, to the Arts; they are all on the chopping block, admit it or not. And it's not just in St. Johns County, it's going on all over Florida. The final malfeasance would be to go to a four day school week, something that I would have never dreamed we'd see in our lifetime. With that we will continue to fall further and further behind developing nations in our children's education. BTW, most of this mess can be traced back to our "wonderful" Governor, Charlie Crist and his hideous Amendment One, but don't get me started on that - just another, larger level of bloat.
At the same time, this weekend, a local online publication wrote a short column praising my work, and asking why I should be let go for doing my job. The irony here of course is that I'm not even a staffer at this paper. I provide them with INEXPENSIVE, quality local commentary that they can't get from any syndicate.
Here's my favorite comment by Joe in St. Augustine who wrote in online:
Why are you surprised? This is the Record. A newspaper run by people with limited intelligence and world experience. The news is controlled and slanted because they are beholden to various and sundry old guard controllers of the county who haven't the savvy to understand that political satire by cartoonists has been allowed and appreciated for centuries. It is indeed chilling when a satirist is censured and punished for his creations.
I don't really give a sh*t if they decide to continue to use my cartoons or not. If one teacher benefits from the dialogue or one commissioner comes to his or her senses and finds a creative way to fund education in our County, then I can sleep well at night knowing that I tried to say something about that. As this article, (which actually inspired the cartoon) asks, "What's left to Cut?" I'll tell you what's left to cut - any School Board salary that remains bloated (including the superintendent's). In tough times, we all have to sacrifice for the good of our students. The title of this cartoon is "Keep Trimming." That should answer any and all questions regarding it's original intent and target.