Our union, right or wrong: So, Cleveland Police union boss Bob Beck can only see the color blue -- that is, he takes the side of the cops no matter what ["Beck's Last Stand," January 5]. In this regard, toughie Beck reminds me somewhat of the late Albert Shanker, former president of the American Federation of Teachers (AFT).
As Shanker and his union were busy trashing the then-functioning New York City public-school system in the 1970s, critics asked him, "What about the children?" As I recall, Shanker answered that he and his union would start worrying about the children when they started paying union dues. Aren't unionized public "servants" something to behold?
A Word to the Wise
Don't leave home without it: Elaine Cicora's "The Field Guide to Bad Service" [December 29] was excellent, very insightful, and entertaining. I was just discussing these very types of servers with my sister the other day. We were both rolling as we read. Thank you!
Ship of Fools
At sea with Joe and Betty: Pete Kotz's article, "The 2004 Art Modell Awards" [December 22], was both humorous and sad. The humor was in the writing -- it had wit, it was very funny, and it was well written. The sad part was that these individuals actually earned their trophies.
I wonder whether Joe and Betty Public will remember who received an award and why. Will Joe and Betty vote again for such strong political timber as Kucinich, Deters, and Hicks? Will Joe and Betty continue to tune to Fantasyland TV, Channel 19, for the news? Will Joe and Betty continue to watch Fox 8 to see another newscaster go punk? Will Joe and Betty continue to believe that the title "professor" implies honesty?
If Joe and Betty do not remember who received an Art Modell Award in 2004 and why, then politicians, newscasters, and professors will continue to put one over on them. There is a saying: "Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me." Joe and Betty should not let it be "shame on me."
No ego on our Dennis: I enjoyed "The 2004 Art Modell Awards" and laughed heartily at portions of it. Just wanted to let you know that I failed to see the humor in roasting Dennis Kucinich. When I think of Art Modell, I think of greed, spite, ego, etc. Dennis is the antithesis of this. I don't see why he was included, especially to be put on the cover.
He probably voted for Dennis: My friends and I have been reading your paper for years. We take it to work and look at it on our lunch break. You can find it everywhere, which means it's socially acceptable. But something very disturbing happened to a good friend a few weeks ago.
He always picks up your mag on East 12th and Chester, from a bin at the Atlanta Bread Company, which is located on the ground floor of the building where he works for a major bank. While reading Scene, he was told by our manager to put it away, and he was never to see it again. Meanwhile, this same manager allows Harley-Davidson magazines to be read by others. Is this not a violation of our right to read what we want as American citizens? How is Scene banned, but motorcycle magazines allowed? Can a bank manager do that?
We are all upset over this, as our friend is a great worker and would not do anything wrong. We are most confused as to what to do. Can you respond?
Editor's note: After consulting our in-house team of crack scientists, we've concluded that your friend's boss is suffering from advanced sphincterism, the symptoms of which include general tight-assedness, poor fashion sense, and an unwillingness to let adults make their own reading choices. The banking industry has a particularly high affliction rate.
Unfortunately, the Constitution has not applied to the workplace since about 1982. There are remedies, however. Your friend could start a union. (The AFL-CIO can be reached at 216-881-7200.) He or she may also consider approaching the boss in a cordial but firm manner to let him know that his sphincterism is totally inappropriate for a professional work environment. If this doesn't work, try punching him really hard in the face and setting his car on fire. This will help him understand that if he continues to make literary decrees, he will always have a sore face and drive a burned-up car.
We hope this helps, but if you have further questions, our Reader Hotline is open 24 hours a day -- except for a lot of days -- at 216-802-7207.
Getcher great sounds and no abuse: I'm confused by Alan Scott's reply to the Glenn Schwartz article ["Lord of the Strings," December 8]. Shut up and listen to what? A crazed Jesus freak? Even Scott admits that Glenn is "whacked" and "unpleasant to be around."
There's plenty of music to be heard around town without all his bullshit.
Also, Scott states that "if there's a better area guitarist, I don't know who it is" and "Schwartz has no peer in this town." Are you insane? Check out Wally Bryson, Butch Armstrong, Sy Sulack, and Billy Morris for starters. Get out, give a listen, and learn, baby, learn!