Creators of the Hollywood comedy The Oh in Ohio caused a flap in 2004 when they filmed scenes inside Cleveland Heights High School. It seems the filmmakers neglected to tell school officials that the movie chronicled a woman's quest for an orgasm, which, in schoolmarm vernacular, would make the theme like totally inappropriate.
The Oh will finally premiere July 14 in Cleveland, New York, and California. Parker Posey plays a publicist for the City of Cleveland/frigid wife who eventually finds sexual gratification via 1) her vibrating cell phone and 2) Danny DeVito.
Early buzz is encouraging: The movie won the audience award at the Brooklyn International Film Festival and was named Best Comedy at the Vail Film Festival. Daily Variety says it's often hilarious, and a packed house at a Los Angeles screening loved the vibrator jokes.
As for its depiction of Cleveland?
"The fact that the story hinges on Ohio's age of consent being 16 is a better ad for the state than anything Parker Posey's publicist character comes up with," says Scene film critic Luke Thompson. "The movie offers no negative consequences whatsoever for a teacher having sex with a student that young."
Now that's truly a reason to Believe in Cleveland.
God bless Iran
For most Americans, Iran is synonymous with terrorism, hostages, and that weird little dude who keeps threatening to nuke us. Harlen Rife wants to change that perception.
The 19-year-old from Avon Lake was recently sent to Iran by Global Exchange, an international human-rights organization, in hopes of convincing Iranians that Americans don't suck. Yet Rife was shocked to discover he had little work to do. "They actually love Americans," he says. "People would cross busy streets just to come up to me and say that they didn't hate me just because they hated my government."
He claims that being American in Iran is like being Paris Hilton at an L.A. nightclub. "When you haggle in the markets, they actually give Americans steeper discounts," says Rife, though he wasn't even wearing Axe body spray while shopping in Tehran. "A lot of people would go out of their way just to say hi to me."
Now Rife's goal in life is to convince Americans that Iranians don't suck. In fact, they're just like us.
Iranians also hate their president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. His nickname in Farsi is "idiot," but if anyone is caught saying that in public, the government will tap their phones, claiming it's for the safety of all Iranians.
More important, Iranians love to party. Though liquor is illegal, they have a decent underground supply of English whiskey and grape-flavored Smirnoff Ice, which they consume while listening to Kelly Clarkson, who is also illegal.
Though we'll have to work on the Kelly Clarkson and fruity vodka, this definitely has the sound of a lasting friendship.
Gay Day at the Jake
Each summer, flocks of gays descend on the nation's baseball parks. Gay leaders throw out ceremonial first pitches. Gay choirs sing the national anthem. Figure skaters show up. And, suddenly, the bleachers look way more fashionable.
They're known as "gay baseball days," and 14 major league clubs have hosted them in recent years. The Cubs had Out at the Ball Game day last month, their sixth gay day. The Blue Jays have "Pride Night." In San Francisco, the Giants will have two gay days. Barry Bonds is expected to be a prick during both.
But in Cleveland, nothing. Kids, ladies, frat boys, seniors, veterans -- they've all been celebrated by the Tribe in recent years. But you won't find any Mr. Mrs. Sizemore sections at the Jake this summer.
Though it would be way more fun to blame this disturbing omission on the gay-bashing tendencies of mascot Slider, this one's actually on the homos. No team throws a gay day on its own, says Cyd Zeigler, co-founder of outsports.com, a gay sports website. They're usually prompted by the local gay community reaching out to the team.
In Cleveland, this hasn't happened. "We have never asked," says Sue Doerfer, director of LGBT Cleveland. In fact, Doerfer says, the gay community does little outreach with any of the teams.
"It just hasn't been on our agenda," she says. "It's not that we wouldn't want to. It's certainly something we would be interested in."
It's probably too late for this baseball season. However, there are still a few months before football season. Gay Day in the Dawg Pound, anyone?
Okay, maybe that's not such a good idea.
After multiple reports of athletes baring their souls, hearts, and, um, asses on popular web networking sites, Kent State became the latest university to bar athletes from posting on Facebook.com.
The school claims it's protecting students, but it's more likely protecting itself. After all, some of the personal sites aren't exactly testaments to higher learning. One football player's page declares: "I set my standards low so I am never disappointed," adding, "[I don't] even know how to fucking read."
The former comment may explain why the Golden Flashes finished 1-10 last year, while the latter seems to belie Kent's official position that its football team always sucks because the school is more interested in "academics."
Jim Petro working?
Please sit down, dear reader. We have some shocking news: Attorney General Jim Petro is actually working on behalf of Ohioans. We have proof.
Last week, the Laziest Man in Law Enforcement sued Superb Solutions for ripping off Ohioans in a locksmithing scam ["Gypsies, Tramps & Thieves," January 11].
The company pretended to be local by registering dozens of fake addresses in the phone book. However, calls were really routed to New York City, then dispatched to local locksmiths willing to rip off their customers. Callers would be quoted low prices over the phone, but when the work was done, the locksmiths would present bills for hundreds of dollars over the estimate.
Eileen Cleary called the company last Thanksgiving after locking herself out of her condo. The operator quoted her $55 over the phone, but the final bill came to $287.
So Petro -- gasp! -- actually sued the company for deceptive practices. Since losing the gubernatorial primary, it appears he now has time to occasionally do his job.
"It's about time people stand up and do something about it," says Cleary.
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