I am a hippie myself, and no way could these people be actual hippies. We would never repeatedly draw swastikas, no matter how drunk we were. This story is a rare, extreme example that does not negate the norm.
Just as the examples of Scott Peterson and Ted Bundy don't stop racist white people from thinking that most criminals are minorities, the Wooster incident won't make normal people stop thinking that most racists are white and usually male.
Justice for jock frat boys: I'm glad you had the guts to expose this. Seems that today's academic world accepts with a few tut-tuts bigotry and totalitarianism from leftists, but is strictly PC regarding jock frat boys. I knew the article had a twist early on. "Vote Goldwater" isn't something a frat boy would have written. Keep up the good work.
Lynn Scott Hamilton,
Former Jock Frat Boy
College of Wooster '73
The hunting of the snark: It must have been a slow week if a supposed hate crime that turned out to be nothing of the sort was the best you could come up with for a cover story.
I understand your dilemma. If only the vandalism incidents had played out the way many on campus assumed they would, with white jocks as the heavies, rather than a diverse group of self-described "leftists," you could have treated your readers to 2,000 words of righteous indignation. If the president had let the students' expulsions stand, at least you could have condemned his heavy-handedness. But deprived of any opportunity for outrage, all you could fall back on was reflexive alt-weekly snarkiness.
That alone wouldn't warrant a letter to the editor. But coupling it with mendacious cover art, whose only purpose is to lure readers to a minor story in an editorial version of bait-and-switch, does. It trivializes genuine incidents of intolerance and betrays your own juvenile lack of seriousness.
John L. Hopkins, Assistant Vice President
The College of Wooster
Tell 'Em Again
Up against the Wal-Mart: As a longtime opponent of Wal-Mart, I love seeing the truth put out there for all the lemmings to see ["Leeches at the Gate," January 19]. People need to understand what we're up against with this company and its loathsome business practices. Though I don't understand why people can't figure out that a company with rock-bottom prices and soaring profits is screwing its employees, we need to be reminded of the facts constantly, so that eventually they will sink in.
The local Wal-Mart is the only place I can find a lot of necessary items. I often go out of my way to get them elsewhere, and I will continue to do so until my neighbors see the truth.
Michael E. Quigg
Dennis and Goliath: Great article! I grew up in Rocky River, and sadly, many of the great mom-and-pop stores are gone. Perhaps we can enlist the help of Dennis Kucinich -- that is, if he's not in Hawaii campaigning for 2008.
Get the Picture
An electrician sheds some light: James Renner's article about the Cleveland Film Commission ["The Last Picture Show," January 26] betrays either a willful effort to blame the commission for things wholly beyond its control or a lack of understanding about decision-making in both film production and state legislation.
When I moved from Chicago to Cleveland as a film electrician three years ago, Cleveland production was booming and Chicago was dead. Chicago Mayor Daley and Illinois Governor Blagoyovich, outraged by the fact that the film Chicago had been shot almost exclusively in Toronto, convinced downstate legislators that a package of incentives could stimulate Illinois' once-thriving industry.
While there is not an immediate or automatic correlation between incentives and productions pulling into town, Chicago has been booming for the past year -- and it is hardly the only success story. It is clear that state incentives help film commissions focus on selling out-of-town producers on area locations, talent, and crews.
Even without competitive incentives in Ohio, the relatively modest annual cost of the Cleveland commission seems like a deal for taxpayers, as it brings in $5 million annually in spending. The wages I earn are spent in Cleveland on groceries, my mortgage, tools, fuel, and, of course, my income and real-estate taxes.
Finally, the rate for my work as a union electrician is negotiated not by the Cleveland Film Commission, as the article implies, but by the union that represents me.
Last week's First Punch incorrectly reported that Jared Markowitz had spent more than $7,000 at Stone Model & Talent Agency. In fact, Markowitz was asked to spend the money but declined. Scene regrets the error.