Friday, May 29, 2009

Still Fringeing

If you wondered where I've been, then head over to

Christian Moerlein Commericial

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

CincyFringe Kicks Off

Here is my first on the spot blog report from the Cincinnati Fringe Festival. The crowd is starting to wonder over from the Visual Fringe opening. The early word is that the Fringe Action News will premier to night.

Fringe Action News!

Something new at this year's Cincinnati Fringe Festival will be a nightly news cast brought to you live at 10:30PM at the Know Theatre's Underground (1120 Jackson St.). The hard hitting team of Fringe Journalists will be on the prowl for every bit of Fringe News. The Fringe Blog will surely be a source of tons and tons of leads, but if you have leads yourself, email the crack Fringe Action News Staff: with your leads, stories, gossip, secret documents you want to leak, or just funny stuff you think other blokes might find kinda funny.

Fringe Day One: Kickoff Party Tonight!

The Cincinnati Fringe Festival is here! Get your ass to the Know Theatre tonight for the Kickoff Party! It features music from Eclipse, food from Mixx Ultra Lounge and Venice on Vine, finally beer specials from Christian Moerlein! The party begins at 9 PM at 1120 Jackson Street, after the Visual Fringe opening (6 PM - 8 PM) at Art Academy of Cincinnati. Suggested donation is $5.

There is still time to volunteer for the festival and get free tickets. Get the info here.

If you can't pick the shows you want to see, you can see them all! I am!

Finally, for Review of shows, behind the scenes posts from Staff, and all around bloggy good times at Fringe, check out the Fringe Blog at

Monday, May 25, 2009

Milton Dohoney: Too Far Ahead of Us?

Last week, City Manager Milton Dohoney announced that he was appointing a non-resident of Cincinnati to a vacant spot on the Cincinnati Metropolitan Housing Authority, or CMHA. The choice raised a few eyebrows, since the vast majority of public housing in this county is located within the city limits.

But the pick is more surprising given the way the Board is constituted. Of the five managers, the City Manager picks only two. The HamCo Board of Commissioners, the HamCo Common Pleas Court, and the HamCo Probate Court each pick one other member. The selection process itself, then, would seem to guarantee a city/suburb equity of sorts in board membership. Looking at the break-down of who gets to appoint board members, one would think that whoever came up with the system assumed that the city manager would choose city residents. (In contrast, if the city manager picked all five board members, one would hope he would include at least one or two non-city residents in his choices.)

Dohoney's pick is, perhaps, part of a broader policy agenda. Since being named Cincinnati's city manager, Dohoney has made it clear that he favors regionalism. This latest nomination supports that goal; Dohoney believes good government happens when communities work together across municipal lines and leave old-fashioned turf wars behind. Perhaps the best example of this view is his commitment to the creation of a regional water authority. He'd seen such a system work in Louisville, and now wishes to bring it to Cincinnati.

I'm not sure, though, that Dohoney has made his case for regionalism to the rest of us. Particularly with respect to transfer of Cincinnati Water Works to a regional authority, both City Council and Cincinnatians in general are skeptical. The Water Works is probably the most reliable part of City government and operations. We're never sure when our streets will be plowed when it snows, but we know we'll have pleasant-tasting water at good rates.

Dohoney hasn't yet done the work needed to sell the public on the benefits of regionalism. (I'm certainly not sold, but what do I know?) I suspect this is in part due to our form of government. We've put major policy decisions in the hands of an unelected city manager. Dohoney doesn't campaign and doesn't worry about gaining broad-based community support; instead, to keep his job, he needs only to keep the mayor and the nine members of Council happy. Mayor Mallory has not made the creation of a water authority part of his election campaign, leaving him room to distance himself from Dohoney's work on the issue. He also can't be held responsible for the latest CMHA pick. As always, our "stronger mayor" form of government permits our elected leaders to use the city manager as a trial balloon and scapegoat.

Maybe regionalism really is the right way to go. Maybe it will bring us better, more cost-efficient government. But the City Manager hasn't been busy enough selling City residents on this premise. And until he does, he's going to continue to run into brick walls (and petition drives).

Looking For the Modern Rock 500 on

Have no fear, the Modern Rock 500 will be going on this week, but this year they are moving to weekdays so more listeners can hear it online at WOXY Vintage. Here are the times:

Tues, May 26 @ 9am #500 - 376
Weds, May 27 @ 9am #375 - 251
Thurs, May 28 @ 9am #250 – 126
Friday, May 29 @ 9am #125 - 1

Each segment will be immediately repeated. Even modern rock traditions live on, just in new and improved ways. Now you can listen during Fringe!

Streetcars and Taste

I'd been trying to figure out what would happen to a Cincinnati streetcar during Taste of Cincinnati (and Oktoberfest).  The streetcar would cross Fifth Street twice, on Walnut (going south) and on Main (going north).  Both of these intersections are closed this weekend and during Oktoberfest.  Here's the answer from the feasibility study:

How will the system operate when there are street closures for special events?
The system will continue to run according to its normal route and schedule, except in areas that are temporarily closed. As the design progresses, optional turnouts may be designed to accommodate special event street closures. This will enable the streetcar to maintain service in the rest of the system during these brief special events.
How will that work, though?  Does this mean building a line connecting Walnut and Main via Sixth, Seventh, or another street north of Fifth?  The streetcars are designed to only travel one way on a particular track; you can't just have the streetcar come down Walnut to Fifth, stop, and reverse course.  (And even if you could, it would run into another southbound streetcar in a few minutes).

Anyone have a better handle on this?

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Cole Case Also Shows Dual Justice System

You've heard by now that Cincinnati councilmember Laketa Cole was recently involved in a traffic stop while riding her motorcycle and that during the stop, she contacted the City Manager and an assistant chief of police regarding the conduct of the police officers' who were issuing her and her companion tickets.  The media has insinuated that Cole abused her position in making these calls.

I'll accept as true the statements by Cole and Milton Dohoney that Cole sought no favors during her phone calls.  She got a ticket and her companion's motorcycle was impounded (and he was cited for a first-degree misdemeanor traffic offense).  I'll accept that Cole did not attempt in any way to improve her position or avoid a ticket.  But the case still illustrates that there's two justice systems:  one for a very small percentage with some sort of admission ticket to it, and one for the rest of us.

Being stopped by the police, even for a traffic offense, makes many people quite nervous.  A lot of people, armed with cell phones, will call someone during the stop.  Usually, though, it's family or friends.  Some will even call an attorney.  Cole, though, is lucky.  She's part of Cincinnati's power structure, and had other members of the power structure on speed dial.

Sure, the average citizen could dial 411 during a stop, get the number to City Hall, and try to get the City Manager, an assistant chief, or even the mayor on the line to talk about what was happening.  But would their call be taken at the particular moment?  Probably not.  Once again, we see that people with money or power (and my sense is that Cole primarily has the latter) are able to access resources unavailable to the rest of us.  Cole wanted to make sure officers called the right kind of tow truck to haul away her friend's motorcycle (other than with a flatbed, how can you tow a crotch rocket?).  She made a call to make sure that happened.  It was a natural reaction.  But the rest of us would have simply been at the mercy of police to do their jobs properly (which, quite frankly, they generally do).

Was Cole wrong to make the calls she made that day?  I don't know.  Probably not.  But it's telling that she was able to get attention to which 98 percent of motorists in a similar predicament wouldn't have been entitled.  This isn't about a particular city official or politician, but is instead about our system of government and justice.  Such access should be available to everyone or no one.  I'm not sure how to fix the disparity--or even that it's fixable--but I'm quite sure it's not one we should be proud of.

Widmer Case Illustrates Dual System of Justice

When former Bearcats coach Andy Kennedy was arrested late last year, I argued that the manner in which the case was proceeding was an excellent demonstration of justice for sale in America:  in other words, people in the criminal justice system often get exactly as much justice as they can afford.

To an extent, the Ryan Widmer case also serves as a stark example of our dual system of justice.  Leave aside the pre-trial and trial proceedings.  Widmer was able to afford high-priced private counsel, as well as a nationally-known forensics expert.  (Indigent defendants only get access to such experts when the court approves it, and then must sometimes demonstrate to the court a "need" for such experts.)  Forget all that, for the moment.  Focus instead on what's happened since Widmer's conviction.

Look at recent events.  The press coverage has been extraordinarily sympathetic to Widmer, who is now a convicted murderer.  (It helps, perhaps, that Sarah's family seems to have no interest in engaging the media.)  Hundreds have attended a candlelight vigil to "support" Ryan.  One expects, of course, Ryan's family and close friends to be heartbroken and moved to action by the verdict.  But people who have no discernible connection to Widmer and who certainly didn't sit through the trial or read the transcript are publicly lamenting the verdict as well.  What's more, before the ink was even dry on the verdict form, two high-powered appellate attorneys (including the director of the Ohio Innocence Project) had signed on to the defense team.

If Widmer weren't so upper-middle class, young, attractive, and white, would we see this outpouring of support for him?  I certainly don't mean to make race the sole factor here, as this is probably driven at least as much, if not more, by economic and social class.  (No one showed any sympathy a few years ago for Liz Carroll, although there was evidence that of the three involved in her foster-son's death, she was the least culpable yet received the harshest result; Liz was poor and white.)  And I don't mean to question the appellate attorneys' motives (OIP has been a tremendous force for reversing wrongful convictions in its few years of existence, and the other attorney involved devotes a significant portion of his practice to indigent criminal appeals).   But would the media coverage have been quite so favorable if the alleged murderer were poor or black (or both)?  Would the injustice of the conviction even showed up on the community's radar screen?

I have no idea whether Ryan Widmer murdered his wife.  I didn't sit through the trial and didn't read a transcript of it.  I'm bothered by the revelation of juror experimentation.  But the case leaves me wishing that the State was subject to such scrutiny in all criminal cases, not just the ones where the defendant is a young, affluent, white suburbanite.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Haap and Jeffre Alter Position on Anti-Streetcar Petition

In a surprise move, Jason Haap and Justin Jeffre have published a blog post where they state they believe the language of the existing petition to amend the City Charter to force a public vote on all passenger rail transit goes too far. I guess Haap and Jeffre didn't read the language before they threw their support behind it. Recent reports, including an opinion from Hamilton County Commissioner Todd Portune, believe that the language on the ballot measure would prevent the city from participating in the high speed rail plan put forth by the Federal Government.

Due Diligence is far too often skipped when emotion and ego are the guiding force of action.

Cincinnati Will Miss Pierce, Even If It Doesn't Know It Yet

I was disappointed to see Griff's post reporting on Margo Pierce's upcoming departure from CityBeat.  For some time, Ms. Pierce has been writing on issues in Cincinnati that no one else is bringing to light.

I've not always agreed with Ms. Pierce, but I will certainly notice her absence.  Of all the reporters in Cincinnati, she's the only one who regularly writes in-depth stories on our criminal justice system--and she does so with a keen insight lacking in the "mainstream media."

Writing for print publication is tough.  (I should know....I was recently invited to write for a print publication, and crapped out.  I've apparently gotten too used to this blog and legal briefs to write anything that is (a) longer than a few sentences, and (b) of even moderate interest to a general audience.)  But Ms. Pierce does so with much skill, and her voice will be missed in Cincinnati.

Margo Pierce Leaving CityBeat

News writer Margo Pierce has announced she is leaving CityBeat. No word on her next step or the paper's plan to replace her, or not.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Know Founder to Leave Company

Know Theatre Founder Jay Kalagayan will leave the company by Fall. This is sad news for the theatre community and those of us who have been fans and supporters of the Know Theatre for many years.

Jay is the Know the Theatre. His commitment to it over 12 years is an amazing testament to him as a person. He took a small troop and built it up into an institution. I can't look past the many times I spent drinking a beer with Jay and his conversation went to the theatre, either promoting the next show, seeking volunteers, or looking for something he could procure for the actors/staff. A joke often shared amongst his friends was that Jay was able to feed some of his staff, particularity a skinny technical director, who was keep alive with the endless Chipotle free burrito coupons Jay was able to collect.

Jay has wonderful family who will really enjoy more time with him. I expect Jay will move on to new exciting things, but he'll still end up at the theater for a show or just to check on his creation. I personally want to wish Jay the best of luck.

For more check out this from the Dayton Daily News.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Widmer Decision Due

The decision on Ryan Widmer's motion for a new trial is due out any minute.

My prediction: the motion will be denied. I'll explain my reasoning a little later, once the decision is out.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

That Explains It....

For some time, the Enquirer has been holding up as its "poster child" of deferred sentences due to jail overcrowding a woman convicted of leaving the scene of an accident and driving under a suspended license.  Several months ago, she was sentenced to serve 180 days in jail.  Because of the lack of jail space, she was released and told to come back later.  

During her release, she's apparently been charged with driving under a suspended license.  That was a dumb thing to do--especially because under the rules about the way cases are assigned, she ends up back in front of the same judge that wanted her to do six months in jail.  (He made sure she stayed locked up today.)

I haven't understood why this is the case the Enquirer decided needed so much attention.  Yes, the woman drove without a license, hit and injured a bicyclist (unintentionally), and left the scene of the accident.  But there have been people convicted of arguably more serious offenses (at least to the extent they involve assault, an intentionally violent offense) who have been released despite being ordered to serve time.  Why not pick out one of those cases?

The answer, perhaps, comes in today's story.  For the first time (or at least the first time I've noticed), the Enquirer offers a little bit of a description of the bicyclist who was injured in the car accident:

He or she is a photographer for the Enquirer.

I guess maybe it's not so hard to figure out why that case is garnering so much ink, after all.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Cincinnati Acclaim Awards: May 21st

Come out and support Cincinnati Theatre by attending the Cincinnati Acclaim Awards:

2009 Acclaim Awards
Celebrating the Best of Cincinnati's 2008-2009 Theatre Season

Presented By
The Enquirer with the League of Cincinnati Theatres

Hosted by Cincinnati Arts Association

Aronoff Center for the Arts
650 Walnut Street
Cincinnati, OH 45202

MONDAY, MAY 18, 2009

6:30 PM
Pre-Show reception for Host Level and Higher
By-the-bite appetizers by Bootsy's, JeanRo Bistro, McCormick & Schmick's,
Morton's, Nicholson's, Oceanaire, Washington Platform and Via Vite.

7:30 PM
Acclaim Awards Program
See a list of category winners to date

9:00 PM
After-Party for Acclaim winners and supporters

General Admission: $25
Theatre Artists: $10
Host/Hostess: $100 includes pre-show reception

(513) 621-2787

David Pepper's Hat Is In the Ring

Hamilton County Commissioner David Pepper is running for State Auditor. He is not is not running for reelection to the County Comission. Who will run for that seat? Do I really need to say anyone else's name other than John Cranley?

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Dogs and Cats Living Together

First we had the civil union between Chris and Chris, Smitherman of the NAACP and Finney of COAST. Now we have Simon Leis coming to the defense of David Pepper.

Larry Flynt and Phil Burress better stay away from each other or the world will end.

And furthermore:
Dr. Egon Spengler: There's something very important I forgot to tell you.
Dr. Peter Venkman: What?
Dr. Egon Spengler: Don't cross the streams.
Dr. Peter Venkman: Why?
Dr. Egon Spengler: It would be bad.
Dr. Peter Venkman: I'm fuzzy on the whole good/bad thing. What do you mean, "bad"?
Dr. Egon Spengler: Try to imagine all life as you know it stopping instantaneously and every molecule in your body exploding at the speed of light.
Dr Ray Stantz: Total protonic reversal.
Dr. Peter Venkman: Right. That's bad. Okay. All right. Important safety tip. Thanks, Egon.

Paying Your Dues

Here is how council candidates do it. You start off by running an independent campaign for council. You don't win, but you show what you have to run a campaign. If you do well enough, in two years you get an endorsement for a party, which gives you a real chance for getting on council. You most likely lose again, unless you organize/fundraise extremely well, but then you get appointed or elected the third time.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Downtown Lunch Spots

Where are the best or most unique Lunch spots in the Downtown/OTR area? I normally don't get a chance to eat lunch during the week Downtown, but I have a week off in early June, so I am planning on going out for lunch often (I'm on vacation after all), but want to try new places. So, what are you suggestions?

Saturday, May 09, 2009

CincyFringe - Pick Your Shows!

What shows are you going to see at this year's Cincinnati Fringe Festival? A full list is here.

Do show titles affect your pick? This year a few titles will either stiffen your attention or repel you completely. For example:
Assholes and Aureoles, presented by InterAction Theater, Inc. (Bloomington, IN)

Also, you know Ken Ham (of the Creation Museum) has to see Brother Bailey's Pageant of Moral Superiority and Creation Science Jamboree, presented by Ornamental Messiah Productions. (Jackson, TN)

Thursday, May 07, 2009

It Looks Bad For Portman and DeWine

Poll results show a clear problem for Republicans in Ohio.

Ohio is a fickle state, but at the present, the Dems have a statewide dominance. It will only take a drop in Obama's poll number to drag down Ohio Dems, but that is all that will make it possible (outside of individual candidates screwing up). The Ohio GOP can try a culture war, but I think they will loose. Portman and DeWine are not culture warriors and wouldn't be able to stomach it. At this very early point, I don't see a way to win that doesn't involve the totally collapse of the support for the President.

Kevin Osborne Appears To Be Bored

CityBeat Reporter Kevin Osborne appears to have little else to do except waste his time by feeding the ego that has taken human form in that of Jason Haap, aka the "Dean of Cincinnati."

Does anyone truthfully not understand why any political or civic organization would question the honesty and intentions of a Jason Haap or Justin Jeffery membership request? They are out for attention in any form possible (yes, I know I am giving them more) and their apparent goal of adhering to principle is about as honest a quest as the CityBeat News reporters claiming they operate without a massive political and often personal bias toward their journalistic subjects.

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

CincyFringe BigBrainer - THE END?

Is this the End of BigBrainer? Will our heroic scientists survive love, sex, drinking, and slapstick hilarity?

If you wan to find out if this is the real end of series, you will have to get your Full Frontal Pass for the Cincinnati Fringe Festival. They are for sale now on the fringe website:

The festival and your road to hilarity starts on May 26th!

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

New United Way Campaign

Kate the Great needs a diaper.

Err, no, that's not quite right. She just wants a diaper. Or she wants you to buy other people a diaper.

Seriously....the United Way has a new campaign: the Give 5 -- Diaper Drive. The idea is to give five bucks, which the Greater Cincinnati United Way will then spend on diapers. The diapers will be given to a bunch of local agencies who will distribute them to needy families in Cincinnati.

It's not a need that people like me (single and childless) typically think about, but it makes sense that this is an unmet-need for poor families. So go check out KRM or the United Way site for the details. There's also some sort of twitter thing, but not being hip enough for that, I'm sticking with the websites.

Off With Our Noses!

I have to admit: I haven't followed the whole "Let's Dissolve Amelia" thing terribly closely. I know it began when Amelia leaders proposed a village income tax. But I never understood why the solution was to disband the entire village, rather than to just exact revenge (at the polls) on the mayor and others.

Will Amelians really get better representation as township members? Won't their votes be diluted if the village is swallowed by two larger political subdivisions? It just seems a little bit like voting for dissolution is cutting off voters' noses to spite their faces....

The Race Is On

The Hamilton County GOP has announced that it is endorsing Brad Wenstrup for Cincinnati mayor. His resume is interesting, although unconventional. He's an Iraq war veteran who's never held elected office. Currently, he's a podiatrist.

The only thing that I know about his take on any issues, based on the Enquirer's coverage and his own website, is that he opposes the streetcar proposal. That'll turn about ten percent of City residents (and 90% of this blog's readership) into rabid opponents and another ten percent into faithful supporters. Most people (me, for instance) aren't going to be driven to the polls based on a candidate's stance on the streetcar (I'm just not going to get worked up over a proposal that has little chance of coming into fruition, given the difficulty of finding private investment dollars in the current economic climate).

I'm not sure that Dr. Wenstrup's lack of experience is a critical issue, given the relative weakness of the mayor under the current charter. Day-to-day, nuts-and-bolts executive operations are really handled by the city manager. So it'll be interesting to see what Wenstrup's positions on various issues are, and what he sees as the mayor's top priorities over the next four years.

So unless another candidate comes forward, it looks like the mayor's race will be Wenstrup vs. Mallory. Mallory is the clear favorite at this early stage, but I hope the election will at least provide the opportunity for interesting debate regarding competing visions for the city.

Monday, May 04, 2009

Best of Taste Awards

Polly Campbell has the round-up on the 2009 "Best of Taste" winners. You may remember that last year, we (well, Julie, really, but I agreed) were off-put by awards taken by national chain restaurants. That's not a problem this year: all of the winning dishes are from local restaurants.

Can someone tell me how I've been oblivious to Vitor's Bistro, which apparently has the most decadent French toast on the planet?

Saturday, May 02, 2009

Back To Blogging, And A Shout-Out

Those of you who pay attention to who posts what know that I've not blogged much (if at all) in the last week or so.  That's because for most of that time, I've been feeling pretty sick.  We don't do much personal blogging here, but I wanted to share what's been up, and also to thank a very talented group of people who are responsible for me being back to the blog.

Since last weekend (at least), I'd not been feeling well at all.  I'd tried to convince myself it was the flu or a cold (or even the bubonic plague), but by this past Thursday, I finally had to get real about what was going on.  My heart was constantly racing, and walking more than a few yards at a time made me short of breath (by which I mean feel-like-you've-run-a-mile-short-of-breath).  And finally Thursday, I thought I felt a couple of twinges of chest pain.  That's what finally sent me where I should have gone days earlier--to the emergency room at UC Hospital.

Going to the hospital was the right thing to do.  But it also initiated what was the scariest couple of hours of my life.  When you walk into the ER of a major, urban hospital, you're supposed to have to wait for a bit.  But upon hearing my complaints, taking my pulse, and noting how pale I was, the nurses took me right back (in a wheelchair, no less).  I was immediately connected to a heart monitor.  More scariness:  the alarm on the monitor was going off.  And I'm far from a medical expert, but I knew a pulse of 165 was a bad thing.  My mind wasn't put at ease when I realized that "pacing pads" were stuck to my chest, just in case my heart needed to be shocked back to health.  And having oxygen administered (just the tube that runs into your nose, not the full mask) doesn't exactly make one feel healthy.

Through it all, though, the amazing group of doctors and nurses on duty that day made the situation bearable.  They explained to me what was going on, what was concerning to them, and what they thought might be wrong.  And when they decided on a course of treatment (an intravenous medicine designed to "reset" the heart rate), a cardiologist explained the reasons for the decision, the possible side effects (hearing the words "shockable rhythm" applied to yourself is a singular experience), and exactly what was about to happen.  Just in case that "shockable rhythm" came about, a team of at least six doctors and nurses was standing by.  Knowing that was in equal measures terrifying and comforting.

It turned out that I was suffering from a cardiac arrythmia.  It's not life-threatening.  It'll probably recur, and usually it will fix itself.  (And when it doesn't, it's unwise to wait several days to see a doctor:  I realize now I'm quite lucky I didn't pass out.)  The doctors and nurses had me fixed up and back on my feet in a few hours.  I was able to walk back to my friend's car without having to stop to catch my breath.  And that night, I slept amazingly well.  (I hadn't during the time I was in the arrythmia--imagine trying to sleep with your heart beating about twice as fast as it should.)  And finding out that I hadn't had a heart attack (a blood test of my "cardiac enzymes" was fine, as was my blood pressure) was a tremendous relief.

Early into my ER visit, I'd become convinced I was gravely ill, given my symptoms and the attention of the staff.  I wasn't.  But I could have been.  And if I were, I cannot imagine a place I'd rather receive medical care.  The doctors and nurses were great.  They treated me (and all the patients with whom I saw them interact) with a great deal of respect and compassion, even laughing at my truly lame jokes.  After a normal heart rate had been restored, an ER doc and two cardiologists each took the time to explain my condition, what to do about it in the future, and preventative treatment options.  Thanks to all of them, I've been able to spend the last couple days making up for lost sleep.  (I'd almost forgotten what it was like to sleep for more than an hour at a time without waking up to your own heartbeat.)

I also need to thank a couple of very good friends who helped pick up some slack at work for me over the last week (even though I was in denial about my health), and who were responsible for getting me to and from the hospital.  You guys know who you are.  Thank you, thank you, thank you.

So this weekend, I'm grateful to have some great friends who were looking out for me.  I'm also pleased to be living just minutes away from UC Hospital, where a bunch of people are always looking out for all of us.

Friday, May 01, 2009

CincyFringe - Big Brainer IV is Here

There is no Time to not waste on this, but Your Future depends on going back and there is no escape from this really unfunny comment.