Letters published January 14, 2004

Letters to the Editor 

Letters published January 14, 2004

Score One for Dan
They skipped the vote and missed the boat: Where were all these people on voting day when "Big Dan" [DiLiberto] ran for reelection ["City on the Brink," December 17]? The ballfield was one of the biggest campaign issues. It was evident that no matter how half-assed the stadium plan was, Dan was going to make it happen.

The city council is a bunch of yes-men. They were then, and they still are now.

It would be great if the mayor and the city council would apologize and fix the city. We didn't need a ball team. We need businesses to move into the city. Hey, we now have a gigantic Wal-Mart; however, it will be had at the loss of Super K (check the parking lot).

Thomas Trautman
Mayfield Heights

Some Nerve
Let them drink pee: Craig Lindsey's article about R. Kelly's continued success despite the allegations against him (which I wholeheartedly believe occurred), was on the money, but definitely failed to mention some of the more relevant issues ["Freak Nasty," December 10].

After months of media scrutiny and national humiliation, R. Kelly never seemed to back down. For Kelly and his fans, whether he's guilty or not was never the issue. White fans and black fans are pretty aware that R. Kelly has a lot of sex with women on tour. I'm not sure who is denying this. Half the reason that Chris Rock's joke at Kelly's expense was so popular was because Kelly is a respected talent who was caught doing something that many other acts have admitted to doing (not the watersports, but c'mon, Def Leppard talked about orgies with mothers and daughters). Sure, the laughs were made under their breath, but that's only because R. Kelly remains a successful singer, unlike the guy who sang "Thriller."

And why is he still successful? It's not because people refuse to believe he's guilty. White people know he has sex with 16-year-old girls. Black people know he has sex with 16-year-old girls. Sixteen-year-old girls know that R. Kelly, like many other rock stars, is available for a one-night stand, if you make it beyond the velvet rope. Everybody knows what's going on behind the curtain. To say that this girl is any sort of "victim" is ridiculously naive.

Maybe you weren't listening to R&B/ pop stations during most of 2002 and 2003. A certain track called "Ignition" and its subsequent remix were probably two of the hottest singles of the year. Kelly isn't riding high on anything but absolute talent. The disc jockeys, comedians, and everyone else in the media wanted Kelly's music to flop. Kelly was the joke of the world. Then, nobody could believe he had the audacity to maintain his artistic credibility and continue making sultry, sexy soul ballads. When "The Chocolate Factory" dropped at the start of 2003, it let its music do the talking.

I think it's obvious that R. Kelly engaged in lewd sexual acts. Similar stories pop up with all sorts of bands. I'd say Kelly isn't doing anything Led Zeppelin didn't try back in '71, and those guys are put on a huge altar (i.e., they get more spin in Cleveland than a dreidel during Hanukkah).

So enough of the R. Kelly blaming. Sure, he's probably guilty of statutory rape (who isn't?). But he's a celebrity, one of the few that can back it up with actual musical ability and talent. Even if it was against her will, which I sincerely doubt, we are just talking about a little bit of urine. It's 90 percent water. You can drink it. Didn't anyone see Waterworld? Oh wait, no, just me.

Josh Goldberg
Beachwood

Critical Praise
Keep those barbs and plaudits coming: I just wanted to take a moment to thank Christine Howey for the article "We Laughed, We Cried, We Puked" [December 31]. For such a long time, the Cleveland arts scene has suffered from an inferiority complex. Having "vigorous, informed" criticism, coupled with your sheer delight in our regional theater scene, is not only refreshing, it is sorely needed! I know and have worked with many of the people you write about and recommend. I can tell you that it is much appreciated.

Tom Fulton
Cleveland

Watterson's Chagrin
Locals, take note: I truly enjoyed "Missing!" [November 26], having been a huge Calvin and Hobbes fan since the beginning. I would like to add two facts that the author may already know, but didn't include in the article. The coolest one is that downtown Chagrin Falls is featured on the back of The Essential Calvin and Hobbes treasury. My then-five-year-old son noticed it one day when he was looking at the book.

The second one, common knowledge around town, is that Bill Watterson's mother used to work at Fireside Books.

Thanks again for the great article. I love Frazz as well and enjoyed Jef Mallett's illustrations.

Jean Connolly
Chagrin Falls

C&H was as good as it got: I am writing to James Renner in appreciation of his article on Bill Watterson. When I first discovered Calvin and Hobbes in 1994, I found a truly imaginative cartoon.

Like a lot of Calvin and Hobbes fans, I miss the comic strip. I don't read the comics page anymore, simply because I don't see anything worth reading. Just wanted to let Renner know my appreciation as a C & H fan.

Stephen Kenney
Victoria, BC, Canada

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