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Letters to the Editor 

Letters for March 2, 2000

Loving Our Well-Toned Smartass

Read your article ["Fat City," by Laura Putre, February 24] a couple of days ago and really laughed. Felt my own blubber jiggle ever so slightly when I laughed -- and ordered a salad.

I just moved here from Los Angeles a few months ago, and I really am astounded by the differences, not in any superior, rollerbladey way, but in a social studies sort of way.

Anyway, you have a great, smart-ass tone that I enjoy reading. Keep up the good work.

Jessica Schickel
via the Internet

Ample-Breasted Man Lashes Out

As one of the "men with breasts" so derided by Laura Putre in her offering of dreck "Fat City," I took it as just another jab from the cadre of sanctimonious, health-Nazi types from out of town who have taken over Scene.

But when I realized who had written this drivel, I could not let it pass unremarked. I remember the author well from her Kent State days. The gangly, intermittently blond Ms. Putre slouched and shrugged her six-foot, 90-pound frame through a couple of journalism classes I shared, looking for all the world like an advertisement for pituitary disorders. Now, surrounded by the vain and self-obsessed carpetbaggers from Denver Westword, she has the gall to find fault with the bodies of middle-aged men with dirt under their fingernails?

Ms. Putre also shares the parochial Midwesterner's obsession with all things Californian, specifically the (allegedly) Beautiful People. Having lived five years in The Land of Fruits and Nuts (and let me tell you what a pleasure it was to get out of there!), I can assure you that, statistics notwithstanding, there are plenty of plumpers in the Golden State. They're just not within focus of the TV cameras, that's all. The idea that people out west are healthier because there's more sun is ludicrous. There is [more sun] . . . but there's also more beach lounging, more automobile travel, and more breakfast burritos, to name just a few sins.

Something your staff may want to remember, if Scene wishes to avoid alienating its readership and disappearing altogether: Cleveland is not Southern California (Thank God for that!), and their values are not our values. Most of us place more emphasis on the very real joy of a dinner table stocked with our favorite foods, shared with those near and dear, to any reality-denying fantasy that we can look like our adolescent children. And to tell us to change our way of living, for reasons superficial and based in vanity, is about as pointless, unproductive, and flat-out silly as . . . well, as telling a California beach boy to get a job.

C.E.Richards
Lakewood

Laura Putre's response: I don't remember Mr. Richards in any of my classes. I do recall a short, chubby, toadlike dirtball who used to park his fat ass near the vending machines outside the Daily Kent Stater offices and whack off to Screw magazine. But I'm sure that wasn't you.

Try 10 Reps to the Fridge

Where there is a will, there is a way. Being a somewhat fairly heavy person for a few years of my life and now being a very fit, large runner, I can only say that most of the comments from heavy people in the article are made by people who must be satisfied being overweight and don't really care if they are shortening their lives and risking tons of health problems.

Food can be an addiction. Hiding behind it does nothing for a person's self-esteem. If someone does not want to be physically active, why can he or she always make it to the refrigerator? Recently, Jack LaLane was on 20/20, and he probably will still be around long after some of the big people in your article have heart attacks. If you remember, he had a morning television show in the '60s, and encouraged exercise and healthy living. I don't remember him saying that you needed expensive equipment, club memberships, or anything other than the will to take care of yourself. The whole issue is about self-control and nothing else.

Joe Novicky
Youngstown

America: Remember the Fatties

I believe that the problem Cleveland faces with fat people is the same that is across this whole country: We, as a society, cater to obese people. Just take, for example, plus-size clothing stores, countless fast-food restaurants, and more cable channels than one knows what to do with. Felonies do not happen on a frequent basis, due to them being seen as "bad" in the public eye. But for some strange reason, being fat is seen as "good" in the eye of the American market. I think it's time to draw the line between making a buck and laziness. Hey, guess what's the number-one thing that foreigners remember the most about this country. That's right: obesity.

Marc C. Fatica
Kent

Unpaid Political Endorsement

After reading your article on Kevin Kelley ["Running on Empty," February 17], I certainly feel a kinship and admire his tenacity. Like Kelley, I have a strong political opponent who is part of the hierarchy of the Democratic Party. I have the arduous task of trying to convince the voters of Cuyahoga County that it's time to forget "frolitics" as usual and vote for the right candidate based upon who is better prepared to head a law enforcement agency.

Unlike Mr. Kelley, I have the endorsement of the Republican Party.

Valarie Wilson
Candidate for the office of Sheriff, Cuyahoga County

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