Nope, they ain't gold bricks. These are paving bricks to place around Cleveland Browns Stadium. That's the new name for the place we know as Megasaurassic Park. Yep, owner Al Lerner blew off selling naming rights to some corporate acronym. For that, Mouth sends out a contented belch.
Instead of stadium naming, you get naming rights for 84,000 separate bricks. What an egalitarian opportunity for the peasants of Bucharest! For $100, you get three lines, at up to sixteen characters per line, chiseled into a ten-inch paving brick. If they'd let you use "Nitwits, Frauds, and Liars" or "No more Federally subsidized luxury boxes," a few of Mouth's teeth might buy in. But we can't see such freedom of speech passing inspection here behind the Iron Curtain.
Still, there's definitely a market. And here's what makes this a great socialist indoctrination tool for the mentally lazy part of the market. See, Hizzoner's not really selling these bricks. Visit the website set up for this sale at www.brownsbricks.com, and you'll find the disclaimer: "Each brick costs $100 and remains the sole property of the City of Cleveland, and the purchaser claims no ownership." Hey, it's that old socialist ploy where government "sells" you property, but they still own it! Comrades, somewhere in hell, Joe Stalin is smiling.
Here's the best part for those of us with the ability to think for ourselves. If enough airheads buy these bricks, it can be a great voluntary method for shifting the stadium tax burden from the informed to the gullible. And, comrades, the overruns have only just begun. Natch, Hizzoner refused to say where this money's going, but you know the sovereign sultan of secrecy is merely waiting for his lawyers to prepare the proper legal spin.
By the way, what happened to those North Coast Harbor naming bricks that were uprooted when the Rock Hall was built? Some were relocated, but a lot of brick buyers can't find their names down there anymore. Hmm, maybe Hizzoner's planning to flip 'em over for reuse.
Hey, there's a new name for that $200 million development proposed for Akron's Main and Market intersection. It's the "Akron Cultural District," and the "public input" phase has begun. Last week's public hearing at the historic Akron Civic Theatre was supposed to be about the whole project. It includes an eighteen-screen movie multiplex, an IMAX theater, "upscale housing," and new headquarters for the Akron Art Museum, the Akron-Summit County Library, and the Civic. Ah, but the three hundred citizens in attendance turned it into a "don't move the Civic" forum.
The government gang brought in a Boston consultant to gather insider input, host this shindig, and then turn in a report on March 10. He said he's never seen such public opposition to a downtown development before. Ah, but the Bostonian also met with corporate movers, city and county officials, and reps of the library, museum, and Civic, and they're all for it. Hey, did ya think they wouldn't want to spend other people's tax money?
Mayor Don Plusquellic was a bit frosted by the cool response at the hearing. Shucks, when the Bostonian asked for everyone's "wish list," some taxpayers had the gall to say, "I wish we knew where the money was coming from." Tongue-in-cheek, of course, since we all know it's another wealth transfer from the overtaxed masses to the elites. They'll decide what's best for the proletariat in secretive Politburo-styled meetings. And then they'll dole out the dough to their fave contractors. Hey, Mouth can't wait to hear why the "upscale" need taxpayer-subsidized housing.
The Mayor Don did make one good point. If the Civic doesn't raise some dough, it's going down anyway. Heck, we'd donate a few bucks to save it. Instead of the usual Big Brother-knows-best coercion, how about the Mayor leading a fund-raising campaign to save this unique, seventy-year-old structure? He can start by passing the hat at the next closed-door planning session.
Teacher's Little Helper
Comrades, it's amazing what our public schools are doing these days. Reading and writing may not be high on the agenda anymore. But hey, there are new duties for teachers to master. Like being a student's pharmaceutical advisor.
Mouth must salute WKYC-TV/Channel 3 reporter Phil Hayes for digging up this trend. He turned up parents who said teachers and administrators (at over twenty area schools!) urged them to put their kids on Ritalin. That's a trade name for methylphenidate, a central nervous system stimulant. Speed tends to mellow out the hyperkinetic, and this drug has long been prescribed for hyper kids. But since when is it the public schools' job to determine who's to be mellowed? Gee, couldn't a vigorous daily gym class accomplish the same thing?
The Power Chord Police
It's good to see some students learning how our government works. Even though schools have no time to cover the Bill of Rights anymore, occasionally a politico steps in and provides a pertinent lesson. Last week, students at Streetsboro High School got a lesson from Mayor Sally Henzel. She decreed that the April 24 Spring Mosh '99 featuring Mushroomhead was officially canceled.
Why? The security and firefighters couldn't react to a fire in time, since they'd have to drag the fire hoses too far. Yeah, right. So what would they do if a fire broke out during bingo night or the PTA pierogi sale? Obviously, student comrades, this is another case where the laws apply differently to different people. Hey, you've already seen cops in the trees on the way to Blossom rock shows. But when the elites show up for a classical concert, it's bring-whatever-you-want-in-your-picnic-basket time.
School station staffers at WSTB/88.9-FM (catch their website on the Scene site's HotLinks page) showed good initiative and responsibility in working to set up this show. And for that, Big Brother steps in and pre-judges you and your crowd as irresponsible and not to be trusted. Is it any wonder schools won't teach the Bill of Rights