The trust, intimacy, respect, and affection absent from their childhoods, which a real relationship might require, is apparently more frightening to those bisexual drunks than a syringe full of steroids. My heart goes out to all of them and the ex-fan in his lonely trailer, as well as the sad woman with the low self-esteem. Don't expect anything from the Browns management, which is entirely mercenary.
And now, a word for the strikebreakers: Twice now, Scene has used "scab" to refer to replacement workers at Youngstown's Vindicator newspaper [First Punch, March 16]. This slur is offensive, and it's time to end its use. The replacement workers at the Vindicator are human beings who bravely asserted their right to freely enter into employment contracts. They needed no one's permission; they've done nothing wrong.
This issue is not merely academic, for use of the "S" word has been linked with violence directed at replacement workers. During a labor dispute at AK Steel in Mansfield, replacement workers were sent to a hospital after being attacked by union members and their supporters. A union spokesman told a Cincinnati newspaper, "Yeah, we did send eight scabs and goons to the hospital."
It's easier for some to justify violence, once someone has been dehumanized with a slur. Like slurs for gays or blacks, the "S" word is a term of hate used only by bullies.
Michael G. McFeely
How Loud Was It?
A survivor testifies: Your article brought back one of the most memorable concert experiences I've ever had ["Surviving the Game," March 16]. It's true -- Motörhead literally brought down the ceiling at the Variety Theatre.
Having seen Slayer several times and other intensely loud bands, I know loud. There's no contest: This was the loudest show in my 25 years of concert-going. It was a relief between songs when they stopped playing. I was waiting to hear one of my favorite songs, "Motörhead," only to discover when I read the review that they had played it. I couldn't tell; the volume took away my ability to discern which songs were which.
I remember plaster falling and the plug being pulled on them in the middle of a song. Suddenly, all that could be heard was Lemmy singing and the drummer playing. The band shouted to the audience (no P.A.) that it wasn't their idea to stop. I guess the Variety management decided for them.
The only thing close to that was when Primus fans at the Babylon A Go-Go broke the floor -- and the ceiling above the bathrooms downstairs -- by bouncing up and down in unison.
Anyway, thanks for stirring up memories of a time when shows were cheap, at intimate clubs, and you walked away feeling like "I'll never forget that."
A Cavs fave forevermore: I just read your article about Bobby "Bingo" Smith ["Waking Up Bingo," March 9]. It was excellent. I feel real bad that these last several years have not been very pleasant for Bingo. He was and always will be one of my all-time favorite Cavs.
Alan J. Groveman
The New Order
What's not forbidden will be compulsory: The smoking issue started on airlines ["Dead Men Drinking," February 9]. It has now grown to the point where politicians want to order establishments to ban smoking.
Why a law? If you own a business, people who don't like smoke don't have to eat or work there. Simple as that -- responsibility for your own actions. Instead of working on laws to punish taxpayers, why not work on getting new business and industry?
America was founded on our ability to make these decisions. We don't need more laws to tell us how to live our lives. What next? Scales at restaurants, and if you weigh in over your average weight, you are given a special menu, or the restaurant would be cited? Hope I didn't give some politicians a new idea!
William H. Sindelar
All this from "Amish build Cleveland house": Maybe partying as if it's 1699 did the Amish some good [First Punch, March 23]. All it takes is one instance of loosening those bonnet laces, and all hell breaks loose. Next thing you know, we'll be seeing some ankle or plumber butt.
I heard about that teenage coming-of-age ritual where they can choose a life worth living or sentence themselves to remain in the Amish community, but who knew they would embrace progress the way they apparently have? I guess a dollar is a dollar, and they have to do what they can to get by like everyone else.
I was always a little suspicious about their capitalizing on Amish-fare restaurants and gift shops. I don't think they're as quaint and modest as everyone thinks they are. My brother in Wellington hired an Amish crew to build his pole barn, but he didn't relate any tales of bold and daring 20th-century high jinks.
Michael A. Miller