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The Matrix
Scene Fails Its Bar Examination
Thanks for finding a couple of jerks to whine to us about their jobs as bartenders ["Beer and Loathing," June 3]. Yes, it is difficult to deal with the public, but millions do it every day and don't paint themselves as martyrs. One piece ["How to Get a Bartender's Attention"] says that the proper tip for something like a martini should be a "couple of dollars." Bull! I was taught that greed is the desire to get rich at the expense of others, and ambition is the desire to get rich at the service of others. They have definitely shot clear past ambition if that is the tip scale they expect. When you consider that most of their tip income goes unreported and untaxed, they are expecting the equivalent hourly wage of a highly skilled professional!

I enjoy tipping someone who is doing a good job and has a good attitude. However, bad attitudes like that show through and get rewarded appropriately. The other piece ["Why They Secretly Despise You"] lists childish things bartenders do to get back at customers. Congratulations, you must be very proud of yourself. If the job sucks so bad, why are you doing it? Is it because you realize the fair market value for your time is actually a lot less than what you are making, so there is no way you could get this kind of money elsewhere? If so, stop whining and consider yourself lucky! If you can make more elsewhere, then go do it. And again, stop whining!

John Sullivan
Cuyahoga Falls

We, the brewers at Northern Ohio Craft Brewers Association, are insulted and incensed at the recent article titled "Microbrew Mayhem" [June 3]. Mayhem the article was; accurate and intelligent it was not. This was not so much a review as it was a slam on the current craft-brewing trend, attacking some of the most award-winning breweries this state has to offer. It seems that Kuznik and his buddies must neither drink good beer very often nor know much about it. Cleveland microbreweries and brewpubs have strived to expose Clevelanders to styles of beer that are not only unusual and complex, but also broaden the concept of beer.

The fact that Kuznik et al seem to only enjoy mainstream beers says more about their sophistication (or lack thereof) than about the quality of Cleveland brews. Way to go, Kuznik, helping the industry back to the dark ages, where flavor in beer was as hard to find as a good newspaper. Learn from the Duke, learn to write. Perhaps the Scene doesn't quite know where the scene really is. Learn about beer before you spew your ignorance in the paper. Please!

Chris Alltmont
President, NOCBA

Editor's note: How about a little bile with your brew? Just to set the record straight, the article in question stated, "Virtually any microbrew is preferable to the mass-produced swill of Bud nation." Call us when you cool off; we'd like to buy a round and try to broaden your concept of social satire.

Beware of Potty-Mouthed Politicos
The most remarkable aspect of "Boss From the 'Burbs" [May 20] is that Mike White and Jimmy Dimora call each other "motherfuckers." Now, I am usually gleeful whenever Democrats reveal their true infantile nature. But White's and Dimora's crudeness indicates their hubris. No one seems to care that White and Dimora are more focused on their power base than what is best for their electorate.

This is what the people of Cuyahoga County have as a result of forty years of one-party (Democrat) rule. Five elected Republicans during this time span represent mere blips (there would be no way for them to impose any reform). Because of Democrat rule, the people of Cuyahoga County are more dependent on government than ever before. Thanks to Democrat rule, the people of Cleveland have forgotten self-reliance.

People who live in the outer suburbs should be on the alert whenever they hear or read the phrase "urban sprawl." Cleveland and the inner suburbs are rapidly losing their tax base; implosion is inevitable. The outer suburbs are a fat, slow-moving target that will fuel the urban center's insatiable appetite for dependence and power.

The fact that White and Dimora regard each other as "motherfuckers" is an amusing anecdote. But it signifies an ominous symptom, which is: The statists who rule Cuyahoga County can say and do anything, since they have no credible political balance. Cuyahoga County's gravity well is about to suck in the outer suburbs. You'll know that your community is doomed when your political leaders start calling each other "motherfuckers." Beware.

John H. Olson

Can't Get Over Undercurrents
[Regarding "Soundbites," May 27] Why did Scene decline sponsoring Undercurrents this year? Could it be that Scene is no longer a supporter of the local music scene? I think that sums it up right there. Scene is not what it used to be! I used to religiously pick up the magazine every Thursday just to see what was happening around town and to see what local people had to say about what was happening. Now that some out-of-town corporation owns Scene, I might as well pick up The Plain Dealer to see what's happening. The new Scene sucks.

Back to the Undercurrents thing. Yes, it was a disappointment to many, and it didn't have the pizzazz of past years, but it can survive.

I feel you have unfairly blamed John Latimer for this year's poor turnout. I don't know the man, but it appeared that, considering one person put Undercurrents together, it was well done. I lay blame on the sponsors that pulled out: Scene and 107.9. As I read the article, I felt it was a personal attack on Latimer. Cleveland has a thriving local music scene, it just needs local support. When that happens, then maybe Cleveland and Undercurrents can be what they used to be.

Brian Kaczmarski

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