The Mayoral Ferris Wheel

Letters published September 21-September 27, 2000

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Almost Famous
White Disney World is what we need: The Lakefront Carnival article written by Jacqueline Marino [September 7] was exceptional and straightforward. As a Clevelander, I can only hope to one day see such a development on Cleveland's shoreline.

It seems to me to be a truly visionary plan by the greatest and most noble mayor the city has ever had. An attraction of this scope would rival the most scenic amusements in the United States.

I'll never forget the thrill of overlooking the beach in Wildwood, New Jersey, and its boardwalk Ferris wheel. Let's finish the job and get this done. Let's do this.

Daniel Baka

Seeking security in an insecure concert club: What do the clubs in Cleveland have security for? Is it to keep people from getting hurt, or is it to beat up kids? I frequently attend concerts at the Odeon, and I have to say that I normally have a good time, but sometimes some of their bouncers are way over the line. I was at the Less Than Jake show on September 7. It started out bad. One of the security guys was grabbing kids by their shirts and pushing them after they were crowd-surfing. Later, the band had to stop the show to tell the security to chill a bit, and eventually they told one of the guys to leave. It was ridiculous. The kids at those shows pay for those guys to be there. I don't think that they deserve to be pushed around. I admit that, every once in a while, a kid gets out of control, but this time they were not doing anything wrong. I hope the guy they threw out gets fired, but I'm sure he won't, because what do we know? We're just stupid kids.

Sarah Miller

Superheroes need super PR lackeys: Thanks for printing the article on the dying comic-book industry ["Ink-Stained Wretches," August 31]. The only way to save it? Publicity. And I mean good publicity, not the kind it received back when DC killed off Superman. Comics aren't just for kids.

There is a wide variety of titles out there to suit a lot of people's tastes. Superheroes aren't the only ones that inhabit comics. Anything by the Vertigo line of comics by DC is very high-brow and very thought-provoking, and they're aimed at the adult audience. The stories aren't dumbed down or filled with big-chinned do-gooders. But hey, by that same token, some of the industry's best titles are indeed superhero titles. Top Ten, Tom Strong, and the rest of the "America's Best Comics" line are probably the best written comics on the market.

What I'm trying to say is that comics are diverse. There's something for everyone, and don't dismiss them because they aren't movies or TV. The comics industry is going through a change -- a change for the better. Better quality, better art, and better stories. Too bad no one's finding out about it.

Paul Skowronski
Maple Hts.

*Winning entry in our Chuck E. Cheese essay contest: Three rusted, broke-down, busted-out chords. A sweatsoaked, axle-greased, fat-assed workin' stiff punishing a barstool. Matted hair on crack-'o-the-plumber, decaying in the murk of a dark city tavern. Reeking of pierogis and gulping mouthfuls of cheap draught beer. Slurring come-on lines to a barely legal with a face like a hangover in the mirror.

This is the Chargers SG at their worst.

In the recording studio, umpteenth take.

But F that. My perfect world: Sitting at my barstool, bullshitting with a flirty barkeep. Bottom-shelf attitude exuding from the woodwork, jars of pickled and jerked whatnots, a dingy beer-stained pool table, some fanciful clydesdale doohickeys (circa 1970) thrown in for good measure. It's the happiest of happy hours. I'm prepping. The Chargers are playing tonight. These muthas break the sweat. They ain't earnin' off this shit, but they sho playin' like they do. This is the physicality of R'n'R. Ain't no Chuck E. Cheese hippo Elvis with one automated onstage move in the bag-o-tricks. This is the feeling in your gut after a double shot of bourbon.

So, I ask you, Cleveland. When some N'Yawka or LAngeleno asks, "Why F'n Cleveland? What claim to the R'n'R H-o'-F does your little burg hold?" Well, I'll tell you. It sure the F ain't Michael "Morning Exchange" Stanley. It's in the attitude. After all, what else is R'n'R about -- really?

A coupla years ago, I up and moved to L.A. Now, every time I go to some hipster-infested rawk show (where I pay $5 for a shit beer with a slice o' friggin' fruit in it), I stand and watch as the local scenedroids play it so coooool and casual. They could care less if a band were playing, as long as their denim jackets look used enough. Makes me miss the Gen-u-ine Article.

That's the Chargers, and that's Cleveland.

John "Johnny Cleveland" Nemeth
Los Angeles

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