March 19th, 2002



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(no subject)

When the SF Chronicle stopped running "Family Circus" a month or two ago, it lead to a major uproar. The paper was inundated with outraged letters from readers who were upset that they would no longer be able to track Billy's long walks home, Not Me's playful mistakes, and the grandparents wisdom and help from their cloudy perch in heaven. One letter which ran actually said that while Bill Keane's "doctrinaire Maoist propaganda" was troubling, this reader would miss its alternative vision. He then asked (something to the effect of), "isn't that what a newspaper in a democracy all about?".

He was my response:

"Editor -- How typically Berkeley that Jeff Carlock ("Letter of the Week" 1/8/02) thinks The Chronicle should continue to provide Bill Keane a forum for his twisted views. Your editors had no choice in dropping Family Circus if they wanted to maintain a family newspaper.

Keane, always pushing the boundaries of decency, went miles too far with his, now infamous, depiction of Billy naked in the tub, asking his mother to "find my battleship" that ran in its last week in the Chronicle. Only Family Circus's cancellation kept many of us from cancelling our subscriptions to the Chron. That filth has no place in MY home. Thank you for taking appropriate action.

Gordon Zola
San Francisco"

They refused to print my letter.

Yes, the comic I am referring to is real.