June 18, 2024

It was bad, but trust the Internet to make it worse. Sonoma County band Frankie Boots and the County Line had finished playing the Twin Oaks Tavern in Penngrove when one punch outside the bar went viral. By the time the story reached Hicks with Sticks the whole band had been beaten up by a bunch of Twin Oaks regulars, the barmaid, who knew the assailants, did nothing except welcome the louts back into the bar, and they (yes, the infamous “they”) are calling for a full boycott of the Twin Oaks and other Hopmonk venues in Sonoma, Sebastapol and Novato.

Boots’ wife, Hannah Wycoff, started a GoFundMe page explaining that he “was sucker punched in front of a bar on 7/15 by a complete stranger. This attack resulted in a shattered nose and a fractured cheekbone, as well as a massive amount of stress and pain and the inability to work.” At this writing, the appeal has collected over $20,000, which is above their $10,000 goal, so see, the Internet can be a force for good too. The Sonoma County Sheriff is on this and the perp is known. Justice is already being served.

Don’t expect bitterness from Frankie; he’s not that kind of guy. His Instagram post after the attack is a picture followed by his words of wisdom, and there’s no blame or call for boycott directed at the Hopmonk companies. Meanwhile, Dan Biersch, the managing partner of Hopmonk posted his regrets on Twin Oaks’ Facebook page. The comments following that post are full of misplaced blame and boycott screeds. That’s the emotional reaction that viral outrages encourage; whether they make any sense is, as you know, irrelevant.

Hicks with Sticks commented, “All the venom being directed at Hopmonk/TwinOaks is misplaced. Frankie Boots thinks so too as noted in his well-thought-out post on Instagram. Sure the business could have handled things better. But isn’t that always the case after any outcome — good or bad? So Internet mobsters and ex-post-facto analysts take caution: you are closer to the problem than you are to the solution.” Amen.

Comments are open, so rage away, or, well, think if you must…

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