Being part of Jacqueline Marino's story about Ben Lackey ["God and Man in Medina," April 15], I couldn't help but remain amazed at how absurd and malicious the article turned out to be. I was amazed at the misrepresentation of the reporting. First, the comments about the "totalitarian island," in which people were systematically reprogrammed and deported, was a joke--a ridiculous fantasy concocted on an overdose of caffeine and slap-happy fatigue--never meant to be taken seriously. The comments about Hitler were intended in the same way. If Ben and I are as intelligent as she claims us to be, then even if we held those beliefs, we would not be stupid enough to reveal them in such a way!
What I find most disturbing, however, is the rather scandalous way in which the article was written regarding the church and the priesthood. By portraying Ben and me as religious fanatics, Marino seeks to scandalize the church and God's beloved priests. The true intention of the article has less to do with Ben Lackey, but rather the portrayal of Catholics as naive, childish fools who are bent on conquering the world. Everyone knows better than that.
Marino's biblical language and mocking tone only help to illustrate the acerbic tone of her article--not meant to capture the true spirit of Ben, but rather her own contrived version that fits her negative stereotype toward orthodox, believing Catholics and others who have made genuine mistakes and are trying to amend by an increase of religious devotion. The only problem with Ben and me is that she doesn't like our Catholic beliefs, and for that we are demonized. But this demon will not be condemning her, but rather praying for her.
Denis J. Kucharski
Hedonism Begins at Home
It seems that Ben Lackey gets his disillusionment about money from his parents. Lackey is a perfect example of a child raised by parents who fail to take responsibility for their children. He might be bright, but he is ill-equipped to deal with reality or take responsibility for himself.
His parents are at the root of how he is today. What kind of responsible parent lets a child ride around on a tricycle in a parking lot? What kind of message are they sending when they sue the truck driver and the manufacturer? And what fourteen/fifteen-year-old really understands a financial settlement--no matter how clear the terms are? And why didn't the family stop him from buying BMWs if he was living at home?
I think the lawsuit against Ben should include his parents; maybe then the whole family could learn about taking responsibility for themselves.
Tia Marie Kavadas
Think of the Outrage
Thank you for your coverage of the Wahoo protesters ["Wahoo Chic," April 15]. People who fight a corporate giant are always deserving of respect. The problem is that we only read The Plain Dealer's sucking up to corporate Cleveland propaganda. Try reading some papers that aren't influenced by Dick Jacobs's money. I think Terry Pluto of The Beacon Journal said it best: I'll believe that Chief Wahoo isn't racist if Dick Jacobs has the guts to wear a Chief Wahoo T-shirt and cap on a visit to Wounded Knee or some other sites where genocide against Native American populations occurred.
The reaction of the "serious-looking white woman" belies the American attitude that such things have never happened here. Replace the word "concentration camps" with the word "reservation" and you'll see it did.
Opening Day Observations, Pt. II
Regarding the article "Wahoo Chic" by Mike Tobin:
Overall reporting was refreshing in the fact that it presented the issue of Chief Wahoo and the name of the team from a fairly neutral viewpoint, instead of the usual biased coverage or denial of the issue from no coverage. Viewpoints from both sides of the issue gave a fairly good understanding of what it's like in a day in the life of institutionalized America.
The article presented a motley collection of the conditions and the mindset of racism and why change is much needed. Also, what is needed is for someone to do some writing on the realms of racist thought, actions, and its intents. Perhaps then we could have a more in-depth understanding of what was occurring on Opening Day. Perhaps then we could come to more peaceful solutions than "Get a fucking job, you asshole."
The American Indian Movement
in Northeast Ohio
Ordinary Average Oversight
I just wanted to inform David Martin and Scene that the information in the article about Al Kooper ["Here, There, and Everywhere," April 15] was slightly incorrect. It is not true that "he basically retired in 1990" and that his latest appearance in Cleveland was the first in twenty years. Al Kooper performed in Cleveland with Joe Walsh in July 1991 for the Ordinary Average Guy tour on the Nautica Stage.
C-Town Jokes Traced to Al's Gig
Al Kooper was in great form Saturday night in the intimate atmosphere of Wilbert's. Kooper graced the audience with his wisdom and shared enjoyable short stories between songs. Unfortunately, a few loud-mouthed jerks, who should have been bounced, disrupted his performance. I now see why Cleveland is the butt of jokes nationwide. I am ashamed that those people behaved that way. I would like to apologize to Al Kooper. Thanks to a few rowdies, Kooper probably has a bad impression of Cleveland.