Word for Word

Letters published July 14, 2004

Word for Word
Reviewer lays an egg:
First, the good news: Congratulations to Christine Howey on her recent award for review and criticism at the annual Ohio Excellence in Journalism Awards dinner. And congratulations to her award-winning colleagues, with Scene writers garnering a total of 20-plus awards for the third straight year.

Now for the bad news: Being a long-time "radical anti-choice zealot," to use Ms. Howey's words, I'm afraid I must take issue with her statement that an abortion "does in fact end a potential life," as she claimed in "Femme Inanity: Abortion controversy goes bland at Red Hen" [June 23].

Strike one. An abortion ends an actual life -- not a potential life -- since a fertilized egg meets the classic scientific definition of life. Further, a recordable heartbeat becomes manifest in the unborn son or daughter within days after intercourse and recordable brain waves can be detected a few weeks later.

Second, Ms. Howey accuses us of thinking that "any fertilized egg has more rights than its host female."

Strike two. We do not believe any such nonsense. What we believe is that an unborn son or daughter deserves the same basic right to his or her own life as the prospective mother enjoys. Is that really too much to ask?

As with gays who are victims of discrimination, we are not seeking special rights for the unborn -- only equal rights.

Also, I was a bit taken aback by Ms. Howey's comment that women at the abortion clinic in the play are there "for treatment" -- as if an unwanted pregnancy is a disease. Since when does the deliberate, needless slaying of an unborn child constitute "treatment"?

That's weird. Really weird.

Louis Pumphrey
Shaker Heights

Hate Songs
Oops -- should've invoked a lower power:
Loved "Take This Love and Shove It" [June 23]. One criticism, though: How could you have forgotten Shellac's "Prayer to God" from One Thousand Hurts? That might be the best breakup song ever. Great column, though.

Jarrod Zickefoose

More contributions to the greater bad: It seems that Dan LeRoy must've been born in 1993, as he missed some of the greatest breakup songs of all time.

The Song: "You're Breakin' My Heart," by Nilsson, 1972.
The Story: From Son of Schmilsson, a very simple song.
The Kiss-Off: "You're breakin' my heart, you're tearing me apart, so fuck you." How simple could that be?
The Song: "H-A-T-R-E-D," by Tonio K, 1978.
The Story: From what the world's greatest rock critic, Steve Simels, called "The Greatest Album Ever," Life in the Foodchain, this song ends the catharsis in grand style and euphoric bombast.
The Kiss-Off: "H-A-T-R-E-D, I'm bitter and benign, You got me P-I-S-S-E-D off, I'm angry most of the time. Why don't you G-O-T-O-H-E-L-L, you tramp, you philandering bitch, I'm gonna K-I-L-L one of us, baby: When I'm sober, I'll decide on which."
I feel better already, don't you?

Greg Schmid
Olmsted Falls

Insights on View
More to see than met the eye:
Just to let you know how much I enjoyed your review of The Terminal ["Playing on Fear," June 16]. I happened to have seen the movie already and thought it was quite good. But your review gave me new insights into its depths.

Art Merims
Shaker Heights

Punk Politics
Assholes for Bush:
In "Rebels of the Right" [June 23], D.X. Ferris introduces us to would-be and used-to-be punk rockers who think that accepting the Bush administration's version of history and current events is in keeping with the punk ethos.

One such badass is former Misfits singer Michale Graves, co-founder of the online magazine Conservative Punk.

I checked out their website and found it to be predictably inane, full of stories defending Bush and portraying John Kerry as a liar. It features links to the right-wing sites NewsMax.com and FrontPage Magazine.com, both notorious for featuring wholly inaccurate stories by crackpots.

Paul Hooper, guitarist for the band Dropgun, had this to say: "Maybe these conservative punks are the most rebellious punkers of all."

Maybe so. And maybe they're just a bunch of ill-informed, confused assholes. I guess it could go either way.

Vern Morrison

Get Real
Teens should tear tickets for less:
I was amazed to read your article on the recent picketing by union members outside the Cedar Lee Theater ["Rat Bastards," First Punch, June 23]. Although I realize that some unions have done a great deal for the American worker, doesn't everyone agree that they may be a little out of touch?

Cleveland Cinemas was able to cut the average wage from $15 an hour down to between $7 and $10 an hour. That seems a fair wage for someone to make for tearing ticket stubs in half or making popcorn. These jobs are typically held by high school students. I can't help but wonder how much of my $8.50 ticket goes to the extreme wages some of these cinemas have to pay. Let's get real here.

Michael Yopko