It's society's fault: Thank you so much for your article on Joel Rose ["The Unusual Suspect," October 5]. This whole story broke out while I was visiting my mother in Cleveland, and I was completely shocked! "Joel Rose shoots himself in the head?" . . . I couldn't believe it. Although I left Cleveland in 1989, I grew up watching him on the news and on The Morning Exchange. The thing that is so upsetting is that a person would actually end his life because of bad PR! (Clinton remained President of the United States during the entire humiliating Monica scandal.) Whether or not he sent those letters, so what? What's the legal penalty for that, anyway? I'm not implying that I think it's a great thing to do, but hey -- if he did do it, why not just admit it and deal with it? Why does anything dealing with sexuality in our culture have to be so taboo? It's ridiculous, absurd, and utterly unhealthy! Sex is as natural as breathing. Whatever the truth is about Joel Rose, I feel for his friends and family for having to live with this loss. People who care can forgive, and people who don't care are certainly not worth dying for!
There's no reason to take rape lightly: Dan Savage made light of an extremely serious and devastating crime by stating in his column that women are encouraged to deal with regret and hangovers by reporting rape to the police ["Owe No!" October 5]. His comment would lead me to believe that rape accusations should not be taken seriously. I hope this wasn't his intent. The man who wrote the letter about his drunken date on her 21st birthday never said she accused him of rape. There are many uncouth behaviors and ways to betray someone that are short of rape. It seems that Mr. Savage jumped to this conclusion solely to make a statement about something that the man didn't even address or question in his letter.
Women are not encouraged to deal with humiliation and regret by accusing someone of rape or reporting rape to the police. Furthermore, going to the police is not a way to deal with regret and humiliation. In many instances, it is a good way to have more humiliation heaped on oneself. This is, in part, why rape is so underreported.
Mr. Savage makes it sound as if rape accusations are made lightly. I don't appreciate his making light of such a serious crime with a flippant comment that is obviously based more on personal resentments and experiences than on any serious research or knowledge of the subject.
Help yourself to the complimentary nuts: I am here to tell you a portion of your job. I have been monitoring the success of many clubs in the area for many years. It seems to me that there are political aspects in your magazine for editor's picks [Best of Cleveland 2000, September 28]. There is a full-page color advertisement on a beautiful new club called Time Warp. It is very interesting to me that this club has been in your magazine since its introduction. However, you choose not to talk or write about it. In addition, the editor's pick is some stiff that nobody has heard of. How much money did they have to pay to give it to the obvious Readers' Poll pick? Do you enjoy the bullshit that you print? It's too bad you're too focused on politics to realize that a club that advertises every week in your paper is the best thing in a long time. Thank God your paper is free. Do you have the nuts to print this in your paper?
SouthPark Mauled: I recently read your Best of Cleveland Scene, and I was urinated off (to say the least) on your choice of Best Shopping Mall. You named SouthPark the best. How could you? What is there at SouthPark besides a bunch of stuck-up Abercrombie & Fitch-wearing anorexic teenagers, who walk around swinging their hips at the numerous football players while they window-shop and then leave to have a cigarette? I think that you named it because it was newer than Parmatown or Great Northern.
I can't count the times that I've made the 45-minute trip to Great Northern, when SouthPark is less than 15 minutes away. I've been reading your mag for a while, and I'm very disappointed in the corporatization of it. If that's not a word, it is now. Scene used to be great to pick up in a bar and take home to read about all the bands. Now I take it home, and I can't even find a review of a concert that I was hoping you'd have. Do you even care about music anymore? It's bad when a teenager complains about your magazine, isn't it?
Vanessa Goth (15 years old)
Editor's note: It's bad when a teenager complains, but it's worse when 15-year-olds can't find suitable reading material at their local bars.