Singing a different 'toon

SINGING A DIFFERENT 'TOON Newspaper cartoonist John Sherffius, whose work graced the pages of the Newport Beach/Costa Mesa Daily Pilot and OC Weeklyfor a brief period during our early years, abruptly resigned from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch on Dec. 10. Sherffius, who won the Scripps Howard Foundation National Journalism Award for Editorial Cartooning in 2002, told the newspaper trade publication Editor & Publisherthat he enjoyed his five years at the Post-Dispatch, but that his work was no longer a good fit there. Sherffius and the paper's editorial page both lean left, and his drawings are particularly critical of the Bush administration, something that didn't sit well with at least one Post-Dispatch reader. "His point of view was frequently biased and mean-spirited," Richard H. Gerdingof Concord Village wrote in a Dec. 11 letter to the editor. "I suspect he generated a backlash of opposition simply because of these characteristics." Sherffius' ex-bosses say the parting was amicable. "Even though we ribbed John constantly about being a jogging, tofu-eating, Prius-driving So. Cal. transplant, he was also a terrific guy," editorial page editor Christy Bertelson wrote in a memo to staffers. Sherffius says he'll continue syndicating his 'toons to other papers, work on other art-related projects and remain in the St. Louis area with his wife, Los Angeles TimesMidwest correspondent Stephanie Simon, and their two young children.

MMINENTLY QUOTABLE "You don't need experience to do this. We even have online video that takes you step-by-step." Michael Hayes, vice president of AdultWebmasterSchool.com, a Newport Beach-based school that teaches its students how to make it in the online porn business. On CNN.com, Dec. 11. SHOULD I STAY OR SHOULD I GO?After all was said and done, the great Our Lady of Guadalupe Day Protest—in which Latinoswere urged to stay home from work and school on Dec. 12 to demonstrate their economic impact on a state that's reneging on an agreement to allow undocumented workers the opportunity to get driver's licenses—was no big whup. Nativo Lopez, executive director of the immigration rights group Hermandad Mexicana Nacional de Santa Ana, called for the boycott, and some Latinos no doubt came down with timely sniffles. There were also enthusiastic if lightly attended protests up and down California, including one at the Costa Mesa office of Assemblyman Ken Maddox(R-Garden Grove). However, the sky did not fall, the Golden State did not grind to a screeching halt and an image of Ma Virgin did not miraculously appear on a cookie. But Lopez's protest won a surprise endorsement from archnemesis Barbara Coeof the immigrant-bashing California Coalition for Immigration Reform. "[W]e look forward to your giving us a day off from being surrounded by the illegal aliens who will abide by your order," Coe wrote mockingly to Lopez in an e-mail dispersed to her nutty supporters. She urged her minions to flood local shopping malls, since fewer brown people would likely translate into fewer illegal immigrants. But it was impossible to gauge the success of Coe's counterprotest, because all you ever see are honkies shopping at local malls—except South Coast Plaza, where only Asians can afford to shop. We blame the Swedes. LICENSE TO ILL Clockwork hereby calls on John Ashcroft, Homeland Security chief Tom Ridgeand whoever else to arrest—under the Patriot Act—foes of driver's licenses for the undocumented. The Barbara Coes and Republican parties and Fox Newsesobviously aren't real patriots. Sure, they whine about loose borders compromising national security and that it's much too easy for terrorists to walk freely among us. So they should want—nay—DEMAND that every driver, despite their immigration status, possess a valid operator's permit. That would give us the address, fingerprints and accurate description (except for the height and weight, which everyone lies about) of every licensed driver in America. Then all it would take is some random checkpoints where those who fail to produce licenses on demand will be shuttled to the nearest airport and placed on the next plane bound for Bin Laden Landbecause—even if you're white, drive a Beamer and respond to the name Brad—you obviously don't belong here, bucko. THE BIG EDUARDO Despite the rhetoric of the Barbara Coes and Republican parties and Fox Newses, it's not menial jobs, government aid or driver's licenses that are drawing more Hispanics to Orange County. Ladies and gentlemen, it is your Anaheim Angels! Look at the facts: the ball club is owned by Arte Moreno. A Mexican. Through a sweetheart deal with the Orange Country Transportation Authority, Hispanics—a fancy word for Mexicans—are bused in from Santa Ana on game days for free. And on Dec. 9, the Halos signed Bartolo Colón, one of the hardest throwers in the game, to a four-year, $51 million contract, giving us the Latinest starting rotation in baseball. Colón is from the Dominican Republic, which, if you look on a map, is nowhere near Mexico, but don't let that fool you. If, as expected, Jarrod Washburnis dealt, the Angels will have Colón, Kelvim Escobar, Ramon Ortizand John Lackeyas their starters. And don't forget Frankie Rodriguezin the bullpen, or the fact that all these guys bring it to catcher Benjie Molina. More evidence: besides the nice weather, large crowds and nascent winning tradition, Hispanic players say they consider being traded to Anaheim a promotion because of the large Spanish-speaking population here. Clockwork has it on good authority that Tecateis getting the new beer concession, the seventh-inning stretch will include bullfights and the Jumbotron will now flash images of the Rally Monkeyfighting a live chicken. GERM WARFARE We watch Fox Newswith the mute button on at Hacienda de Clockwork, so we couldn't tell during the Dec. 14 morning newscast whether we'd just captured Saddam Husseinor a really filthy Santa Clausin Anaheim. Whoever the guy in the long beard was, why the hell was someone sticking their finger in his mouth? Do you know where that mouth's been? Do you kiss your mother with that finger? Can you guess how much bacteria festers in the saliva of mass-murdering, titty-twisting, rape-room-romping Iraqi dictators? Jeez, and they wonder how flu epidemics spread these days.

CLOCKWORK HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDEAnother in our continuing series of holiday gift ideas. MUST-OWN DOCUMENTARIESThe Backyard, Paul Hough's video chronicle of the backyard-wrestling subculture, is so disturbing, so chilling and so life-unaffirming that you really must see it to witness mankind's devolution. It's a tough call who's more fucked up here: the kids who beat one another bloody with bats wrapped in barbed wire or the parents, teachers and principals who give their blessings. To make things right with your world again, pop in Nihi: A Biography of Titus Nihi Kinimaka, which was produced by Laguna Beach-based Aloha Films. While we highly recommend last summer's Step Into Liquid and Billabong Odyssey, neither surf flick dwelled much on the sport's Hawaiian origins. Nihimakes up for it by following the exploits of the Kauai monster-wave rider who embodies his island home's clashing cultures, breathtakingly dangerous environment and mythical aloha spirit. The Backyardis available through www.image-entertainment.com. DVD, $19.99 ; VHS, $14.98; Nihi: A Biography of Titus Nihi Kinimaka. www.alohafilms. com. DVD, $24.95; VHS, $19.95.
 
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