Letter
October 12, 2016

My three R’s, riposte to a ridiculous response

Dear Editor,
The other day I googled “Killington cartoons” and an interesting link came up. It was about the cartoonist Tim Newcombe, who drew a cartoon in the 80s lampooning Killington Resort’s quest to alter Vermont laws to allow it to use recycled sewage to make snow. Killington sued him and the papers that printed the cartoon. That action by the resort resulted in so much attention that even the Wall Street Journal had a story about it and printed the cartoon. It was a historical moment, as according to Newcombe it was the first cartoon ever printed in the journal. A local gallery in Rutland then asked Newcombe if he would display the original cartoon artwork in a showcase with other cartoonists. Killington then sued him personally and got the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) involved. The suit was dropped and Killington lost in the Vermont Supreme Court in the original suit.
In the aftermath Newcombe stated, “I had no idea what a bunch of nuts they were. I can’t believe they made such a fuss over it.”
Well, frankly, I believe history is repeating itself with the current controversy over banishment of cartoons in the Mountain Times.
So within this context, here is my response to Patty McGrath’s “calling for a return to the ‘three Rs,’” my three R’s, riposte to a ridiculous response.
Stop with this male bovine excrement that anyone is hiding who is responsible for the cartoons —it’s Jim Haff, period! No one is hiding behind him. As for the “Justice League,” first of all it’s the “Killington Justice League” and all it is, is a fictitious moniker in the cartoon purely in Haff’s imagination. I’m sure “Killington’s beloved ‘K-Man’ is one of its members. The Killington Justice League members cannot reveal their identities because as superheroes they need to hide their true identities because villains can only hurt them by going after their family, friends and associates, sort of what certain parties in town are trying to do by insisting on getting the artist’s identities.
It screams of borderline obsessive psychosis that one would insist on finding out who the “Justice League” is.
I guess we won’t find out now that the cartoons are banished and the universe that K-Man and his minions at the Killington Justice League inhabit is forever exiled into literary oblivion.
I wondered whether the story of Tim Newcombe’s cartoon was relevant to this current controversy.
I can now truly state that the more things change the more they stay the same. I can’t believe “what a bunch of nuts” the reactionaries to these cartoons are. By extorting the Mountain Times into not carrying the cartoons they called more attention to them and fed the beast. Instead of letting the cartoons be (and I’ll tell you there are plenty of people who get a kick out of them) they caused them to be disseminated more widely and the questions they raised reached a much greater audience.
Vito Rasenas, Killington

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