Mensa Minds

Letters published December 14, 2005

Keep up the good work: As a member of Cleveland Area Mensa, I must respond to the First Punch item "Brainiacs for Nudity" in your December 7 edition.

1. Chaos theory is so passé. String theory is the latest rage.

2. My glasses are not taped (new prescription)! However, when I wear my contact lenses, I also wear a Breathe Right strip to maintain the image.

3. "Mensa people are really, really horny." Well, you nailed that one.

4. It's good to know that I'm not the only Mensan whose parents made him study Latin.

Anyway, thanks for the laughs, and remember: "Age Quod Agis."

Jim Szirony
South Euclid

A no-brainer: Why am I not surprised that in a publication of such little substance, your First Punch included a lowly item spewing multiple anti-Mensa/nerd stereotypes that have nothing to do with the reason your writer was present at our meeting? Was this a sad attempt by your staff member to convince himself that he really is cooler than people who managed to learn a second language -- other than pig Latin -- in school?

Nice comment on Mensans being overly horny. Then again, we are not the ones who admitted in a newspaper column to spending Wednesday nights at the strip clubs. Good luck trying to attain the holy grail of sex one day, by using your job description as a pickup line in order to wake up with Alexis or Bambi. I'd rather claim to be a genius than claim to work for Scene magazine.

Shawn Kenney

Missed the Point
Chronic-pain patients deserve better:
Your recent cover story smearing Dr. Jorge Martinez ["On Pills and Needles," December 7] is the most irresponsible piece of journalism I have ever seen. Convicting him while he is standing trial in Cleveland, your article utterly failed to provide any sort of balanced reporting.

The U.S. Department of Justice has been engaged in a reprehensible national campaign of prosecuting physicians who treat pain, which has made pain relief unavailable to those in severe pain. Our group, the Pain Relief Network, has been confronting the government and working to support the defendants and their patients, ill Americans who are suffering outrageous oppression.

That your magazine would print such a one-sided and inflammatory article, while failing to seek out the other side, bespeaks a lack of journalistic integrity that your entire organization ought to be ashamed of.

Dr. Martinez has been held in jail for more than a year because the U.S. attorneys have successfully argued that the doctor is a flight risk -- this on the basis that he is originally from Costa Rica. The government has seized all his patients' medical charts and has pawed over them. Moreover, it has tape-recorded and watched nude patients receiving medical treatment.

Contrary to the DEA's claim that it attacks only a minuscule number of doctors who treat pain, the truth is that it investigates a whopping 17 percent. In order to cover up its outrageous conduct, the government enlists reporters like Josh Mound to smear the doctor on trial so as to incite a mob response against him in the community.

It seems to me incumbent upon your organization to right this wrong in a timely fashion. You should run another article, this time in a light favorable to the defendant and his patients.

Siobhan Reynolds
New York City

Drastic undertreatment is the real story: Josh Mound's piece on Dr. Jorge Martinez is the worst type of journalism. Reporters are supposed to be skeptical. Instead, Mound parrots weak circumstantial evidence as if this were meaningful. He is apparently oblivious to the fact that this is exactly the way witch-hunts are conducted.

Mound's failure to acknowledge the fact that the undertreatment of pain is an ongoing public-health disaster is irresponsible and a disservice to society. At the very least, he should have obtained a statement from any pain-treatment organization about this terrible problem.

Frank B. Fisher, M.D.
El Cerrito, California

You Go, Joe!
Cheers for the little guy in the back:
Joe Tone: I just had to tell you that your piece in Scene last week ["You Are All Witnesses," December 7] was superb! I was having a terrible morning. I went down to the lobby of my office building downtown for a cup of ambition (aka coffee) and grabbed Scene. I was flipping through and my eye was caught by the picture of two NBA-looking types and a guy in the back a good foot shorter. So I read the article.

Absolutely priceless! I couldn't stop reading. The article was captivating, mesmerizing (like a car crash that you cannot look away from), and incredibly, humorously self-effacing. I loved it. It reminds me why I read Scene.

Thank you for cheering me up today.

Amy Miller

Old Timer's Corner
From the closet at 79 Wistful Vista:
Leave it to Scene. You cannot be old enough to remember those old radio days when there was real humor. "T'ain't funny, McGee" was a laugh line on Fibber McGee and Molly, one of the old shows. To a bunch of Beacon Journal retirees, your funny piece ["Save the Pencils," December 7] left nothing to provoke laughter.

Harry Liggett

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