Best of “What They Said” 

Our favorite illustrations, website comments, and reader letters of 2015

The comment section on most newspaper websites often brings out the worst in people. But sometimes, it brings out the funniest. We like to think (most of) our readers are just a little bit smarter (and a lot bit funnier) than the average daily paper commenter. So each week, we have cartoonist Greg Cravens illustrate a comment or reader letter. We've chosen our favorite Cravens illustrations of 2015 and the comments that go along with them.

click to enlarge ILLUSTRATIONS BY GREG CRAVENS
  • Illustrations by Greg Cravens

About Bruce VanWyngarden's Letter From the Editor on the Civil War (and civil rights), in which he said that the fight over Confederate symbols was more about preserving the racist ideals of the 1960s than remembering Civil War history: "Man, it's great to see someone grab a machete and hack through the thick brush of douchebaggery. Splendid!"  — DaveC

click to enlarge 1391_whattheysaid_wharton.jpg

About Tim Sampson's column, "Thanks, Mayor Wharton," in which Sampson thanked Wharton after he lost the mayoral election:

"Time and history will record his name, not only as a footnote as mayor, but as a kind-hearted man who loved his adopted city more than some of us who were born at John Gaston Hospital. Take your rest, Mr. Mayor. You are mighty deserving." — DeeCee

click to enlarge 1395_whattheysaid_beertasting.jpg

About "The Dark Side," our cover story on fall beers. One reader ruminated on what staffers might have said after we'd had a few too many porters and IPAs:

"The Flyer staff at the end of the day's tasting:

'I think I can see the air.' CM

'Who knew the asphalt was so soft? I mean, I'm lying here and it is sooooo sofffftttt.' AP

'I'M KING OF THE WORLD!!!' CS

'I could take down Ronda Rousey. She ain't nothing!' BP

'F**kin' lightweights.' BV

— Charlie Eppes

click to enlarge 1369_whattheysaid_greensword.jpg

On Bianca Phillips' post, "Citizens Make Demands of Memphis Zoo in Petition." One of those demands was an end to zoo patrons parking on the Overton Park Greensward:

"The Greensward is for ass-parking only."

Scott Banbury

click to enlarge 1362_whattheysaid_smallbrewersbw.jpg

About the Flyer's cover story, "Spring Brews." A letter-writer chose our spring beer guide as a time to bring up the Fair BEER Act, which would cut taxes for small brewers:

"The Fair BEER Act will help small craft breweries survive and grow and will make it easier for future entrepreneurs to pursue their craft-beer dreams. If you love local beer, then it is time to support your local breweries and encourage Tennessee's delegation to cosponsor and support the Fair BEER Act." — Brandon Chase Goldsmith

click to enlarge 1381_whattheysaid_notransdon.jpg

About Bianca Phillips' cover story, "Transgender in Memphis." One particularly bigoted comment from Screamer15 said something about transgender people being a sin and abomination and then asked God to have mercy on their souls:

"Screamer15 seems to think he knows more about God's plan than God does. But that's okay. Someone who must rely on religious nonsense to hide their fear, hatred, and bigotry is obviously not someone who has any sort of ability for rational thought."

— GoProtege

click to enlarge 1355_whattheysaid_kelseytrifecta.jpg

About Jackson Baker's post, "Haslam's Medicaid Expansion Bill 'Hanging by a Thread,'" in which Senator Brian Kelsey spoke out against Insure Tennessee:

"Kelsey is a fool, a traitor, and a moron! The trifecta, as it were."

Tennessee Waltzer

click to enlarge 1393_whattheysaid_treypiedoll.jpg

About Randy Haspel's column, "Give 'Em Hill," about the GOP's failed attempts to bring Hillary Clinton down in the Benghazi committee hearings, which were led by Representative Trey Gowdy:

"Oh look, Hillary won a Kewpie doll. Oh wait, that's Trey Gowdy. Make it a Kreepie doll." — Jeff

click to enlarge 1356_whattheysaid_sexysmitty.jpg

About Bianca Phillips' "Hotties" story. Every year, commenter Smitty Patterson laments not making the cut:

"Man, I tried every trendy thing I could think of to make this year's Hotties list. Liposuction. A personal trainer. L.L. Bean duck boots. I hung around the Ashley Madison website. Leased a Prius. Reactivated my old StarTAC.

No call from the Flyer. And when I was tipped about the "Puppy Love" theme, I immediately had my beloved Puckered Spaniel groomed.

But, no. Maybe next year. In the meantime I've had cosmetic surgery to display a permanent look of shock and disbelief on my face. Maybe that'll make the Flyer feel guilty about the snub." — Smitty Patterson

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