In the year since her death, I've been grappling with how to feel about this, and I can't help but feel only boiling anger for Jack Thompson. I find it deplorable that he can diminish the brutal murder of my friend for the purposes of his own personal crusade by saying, "Oh, it's not Dustin's fault; the video game made him do it." What's worse, he's even convinced her father that the blame lies with entertainment. It's a game, not a blueprint for brutality.
If you ask me, Jack Thompson is as despicable a person as Dustin Lynch. I can only feel utter sorrow that something as solemn as the murder of my friend can be tarnished and trivialized by this attack on entertainment.
People kill people: Jack Thompson is wasting valuable judicial time by taking video-game makers to court. If he goes after game makers and succeeds, honest, well-adjusted, and good people who enjoy playing these games are inequitably deprived of something pleasurable.
GTA III and its producers aren't responsible for the atrocity this child has committed. This child alone is responsible. The letter he wrote speaks for itself. If Thompson wants to hold somebody besides this child responsible, then perhaps he should look at our child-rearing. He should look at our public education system. He should see how many mothers slap their children for being too loud or impatient. He should see how many fathers beat mothers in front of their children.
What this child was exposed to when he was younger is far more influential than TV and video games. Mr. Thompson, you're fighting the right war, but you're waging the wrong battle.
Playing the daily degenerate-dodgem: I am disgusted by Jimi Izrael's article, "A Holiday Guide to Downtown Panhandlers" [December 17]. As someone who works downtown, I have to dodge these degenerates daily. I have never given one of them money, because I don't want my money going to drugs and booze.
I am not a regular reader of Scene, but because I am very vocal about panhandlers, someone who does read your rag made sure it ended up on my desk. I will make sure I do read the next issue, in hopes that your next article is this funny. Are you kidding me? "Sweet Spot," "Daily Take," and my favorite, "Preferred Cup." Hilarious, fucking hilarious.
I will at least have a chuckle in the back of my head the next time I am shaken down by one of these bums. Thank you, and keep up the fine work.
R. J. Blair
Get downtown while it's still around: While I wait each week to read what Elaine Cicora has to say about good places to eat in the city, Mayor Jane Campbell is trying to keep me -- a suburbanite with disposable income -- out of Cleveland. How could anyone consider a two percent tax on restaurants? Thank goodness that was put to rest.
Free parking is a start, but to save and nurture the infant nightlife and restaurant scene in Cleveland, everyone needs to wake up and go downtown now. Our city is almost gone.
So good to be understood: Thank you so much for the insightful review of our Bliss Out series ["Bastard Sons of Brian Eno," December 17]. It means a lot to us when a listener (and especially a music critic) finds some meaning and coherence in the records we release and is able to share that enjoyment so eloquently. Thanks again!
A robust tradition of unrobed busts: More bouquets than brickbats should descend upon the pretty heads of the Babes Against Bush calendar girls ["First Punch," December 17]. There's no reason why the various plunders and blunders of the Bush administration shouldn't be told along with images of attractive female anatomy.
Ever since Lady Godiva rode through Coventry, ladies have used stark carnality to effect political ends. The woman in your photo, clutching a flag around her bosom, personifies a tradition as robust and as old as the French Revolution.
Still, one is reminded of the attention-grabbing antics of, for example, the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. It's too bad that cheesecake is still a prime means for gaining the alertness of the general population.
Stadium Side Effects
The mess keeps on spreading: Looks like Tom Francis's story "City on the Brink" [December 17] pushed Eastlake's law director over the edge. One day after this Scene article hit the streets, Joe Gibson handed in his resignation. After only 10 months on the job, he appears to be just another casualty of "Money Pit Park" [April 30].
When you add his name to the 20 or so other city employees being laid off, the reduction of city services, and a proposed tax increase, not to mention a $3.2 million deficit, you're damn right people are angry. For those who don't know the real story, here it is.
Back in 1994 and again in 1996, Buckeye Extravaganza Inc. floated an initiative called Issue 1. They wanted to amend the Ohio Constitution to legalize riverboat gambling. This is where the idea to build a stadium in Lake County came from. Part of the firm's plan involved taking a 20 percent tax on the gross revenues generated by gambling to build stadiums throughout Ohio.
In 1996, Ohio voters rejected this idea, which should have ended the story. But no. In 2000, the original site in Fairport Harbor was switched to Eastlake. The story was sanitized and repackaged. Financing by gambling dollars was switched to local, state, and federal dollars. People lost their homes by eminent domain. The public lost its right to vote on this issue, amid allegations of missing and misappropriated city funds. The cost for the stadium rose from $15 to $24 million. The stadium opened, and the bills started pouring in.
Now the city can't pay its debts, and people are losing their jobs. City Council is scrambling to find a scapegoat. So, what's the solution? Let's just say it doesn't include Mayor Dan Diliberto or the News-Herald.
Down the river with Dan: Reading "City on the Brink" brought back a lot of bad memories. My wife and I moved out of Eastlake eight months ago because of the way "King Dan" runs the city. City Council is nothing but a band of stooges. We were lucky to see this coming and get out at the right time.
When the mayor decided to build the stadium, we knew there were going to be problems. He said he'd let residents vote on the project. That was hogwash. He sent a card to each house. Only one card, no matter how many voters lived there. If this was a legitimate vote, why not let everyone vote? He didn't care what the outcome was. This was his way of shutting up the critics.
My only hope is that he does not get away with trashing the city. I pity the next guy who becomes mayor. Trying to correct all the wrongs of an administration gone wild will be nearly impossible. I hope Diliberto will be held criminally responsible for what he has done. The City Council is as much at fault.
I also found it hard to believe that the finance director "didn't know" he couldn't transfer funds from the road-repair budget to the general fund. Is he incompetent, or just covering his ass? Diliberto is a very convincing person. He could sell anything. He really sold Eastlake a bill of goods and now is selling them down the river. I just hope someone makes him pay the bill.
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