I just finished reading your article on Jimmy Jackson ["Fade Away," February 22], and I must say it made a person who never responds to anything run to the computer. The article is one hell of a good piece of writing! I know it must have taken a lot for you to interview a "star" who is no longer a star. For his entire life, J.J. was the best, and now it is painful to watch him try to hold his own, night after night. On a team that wants him to be a scorer, he can't even give them 15 every night.
I have a question for you: When you look into his eyes, can you see that he knows he is not the best anymore, or does he think with the next shot he can get it all back? Did you tell him what type of story you were going to write, or did the story just happen as you were looking for the Jimmy Jackson of old? As an old hoopster, I know it must be painful for him to know his game is not even close to some of the younger guys. Thank you for handling J.J. with the same amount of class on the way down as most of the ass-kissers did on the way up.
One bad Applegate spoils the bunch
How appropriate is the praise of Bill Applegate by a former staffer, gushing that he is "incredible" ["Satan or Savior?" March 1]? The line began to blur between credible news and entertainment when hucksters like Applegate were allowed free rein by station owners to redefine the medium into what we now call infotainment. I will forever disagree with the notion that tabloid journalism was spawned by what the common person wants to see and hear. I believe that, over the last decade and a half, the media conglomerates purposely dumbed-down programming and news, knowing that an informed public acts and a misinformed public can easily be manipulated. Where have you gone, Edward R. Murrow?
The inside look at Channels 19 and 43 news was very interesting ["Satan or Savior?" March 1]. As a supporter of working people, I fould only one part of your story that was not news to me: how the negotiations have recently stalled. The workers at 19 and 43 organized with the National Association of Broadcast Employees and Technicians/Communication Workers of America [NABET/CWA] because they knew they could not achieve justice as individuals; that a collective voice will make a difference in the quality of their lives through contract negotiations.
Organizing also provides the new members of NABET/CWA support from the community through the campaign of Cleveland Jobs With Justice. This nonprofit coalition includes over 80 labor unions, faith-based groups, and community organizations that advocate workers' rights. We will stand with the workers at 19 and 43 until they win a contract. Station management -- and advertisers, if need be -- will understand that the workers at 19 and 43 are not negotiating alone; the community cares about working standards in our community.
Rev. Robert T. Strommen
Co-Chair, Cleveland Jobs With Justice
Another year, another pissed-off reader
When you get an extra 10 minutes, pull your head out of your ass. Never in my years of reading Scene (and I have been with you from the start) have I been as disgusted with a review of a show as I was with your review of the James Gang reunion [Soundbites, March 1].
I attended the Rock Hall show as well as the Saturday night Allen Theatre show and cannot identify with anything you mentioned in your review. Both shows were fantastic musically, and if you had half of the talent that was on those stages, you would be playing music rather than writing about it.
I have followed Joe Walsh's career from the beginning, and he and the rest of the James Gang were in fantastic form these nights. As a semiprofessional musician who has been playing for close to 30 years, I am very critical of acts that I see live, but I (along with the 200 people at the Hall and 2,500 at the Allen) couldn't find much wrong with the James Gang performances. With the plethora of crap music invading the radio airwaves these days, it's refreshing to see a band that plays good old kick-ass rock and roll -- even if they are 50-plus years old.
With the poor job you did on this review, I can hardly wait for more. I am sure it will be on how fantastic the 'N Sync or Backstreet Boys shows were. Please stick to discussing something you know and leave the reviews of real music to someone who knows.
The kids are all right; politicians are the problem
As a lifelong resident of Lakewood, I read your article "Torture Town" [March 8] with interest and have only two points to make. One, these "kids" -- i.e., the proprietors of Tyr, Chain Link Addiction, the Mission, Chris' Warped Records, et al. -- built the Madison Village commercial district entirely with their own hands and without the aid or advice of any of Lakewood's politicos. They, and nobody else, created an arguably more vital and interesting business district than Lakewood's self-anointeds (or their consultants) have created in the past 10 years.
Two, while technically not in the Madison Village district, my wife's family owns a restaurant/tavern within spitting distance of Tyr, and we have never had a problem with any of their spillover clientele or activities -- an assertion that seems largely reinforced by Lakewood's own law enforcement representatives and others. I find it incredible that Lakewood -- a town with a diverse and tolerant population -- would have as many seemingly hostile politicians and community "leaders." There are apparently no violations of law (and the "community standard" argument is a crock), so the objections appear to be without foundation.
In the end, it isn't simply a matter of "to each his own." It isn't even simply a matter of commerce. It's freedom, dammit! Leave 'em alone and let freedom ring!
Torture's only part of Lakewood's appeal
Was it really necessary to slap "Torture Town" on your front cover, referring to Lakewood? It makes it sound as if people are having nipple-twisting parties on their front lawns and City Hall has foot-worship days.
The fetish scene in Lakewood is pretty isolated at best. For all those who have orgy pictures swimming through their heads, the entire fetish thing is more power play than sexual play. When you think about it, the people involved aren't hurting anyone who, well, doesn't want to be hurt. If people like their feet licked or their ears pinched, more power to them. At least it's safe, and they aren't running around breaking any laws or harassing people.
As far as being primarily in Lakewood, that is basically a bunch of rubbish. It's simply that in Lakewood, people feel free to express themselves -- which says a lot about the city. I know of a dungeon exactly a two-minute walk from Public Square, complete with shackles and bars. I also know of neighborhoods on the East Side where people should be asking themselves exactly what their neighbors are doing in their basements. If fetish bars or parties bother people, well, just don't go to them, and the problem is solved. Why don't you do a cover on the wonderful aspects of Lakewood, about how the diversity makes the city a great place to live and people feel free to just be themselves?
Randy Sindelar Corturillo