Tuesday, May 31, 2011

CincyFringe 2011 Nine Don't Miss Shows

Until I see a play, I can't really tell you if it is good or not. For the Cincinnati Fringe Festival, there are 33 performances, including FringeNext, and several other special events. Based on show descriptions, prior experiences with the performers and producers, I've come up with nine shows that would advise that are don't miss shows. If you have a particular preference for a type of show, you may want to do a little more research yourself. This takes my tastes in play and my tastes are not going to be compatible with everyone. In something akin to alphabetical order, here they are:

101 Rules for Dating, of Which You Will Hear 20 or So...
Curriculum Vitae
Headscarf and the Angry Bitch
I Love You (We're Fucked)
Peyote Business Lunch
The VindleVoss Family Circus Spectacular!
Tooth and 'Nuckle
You Only Live Forever Once

Don't shy away from any of the other performances.  There are always some surprise hits, so pay attention to the buzz every night at the Fringe Bar Series.  The back-room gossip from audience members can be very interesting and very contradictory.  If you don't like any of these shows, please let me know why.  I learn nearly as much from seeing a show as discussing the show with someone else who say it and comparing our opinions.  That's the part of all forms of art that we don't do often enough.  Art is both an emotional and intellectual experience.  We need to exercise the latter more often than we do.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Ladies & Gentleman: The VindleVoss Family Circus Spectacular!

See The VindleVoss Family Circus Spectacular! at the Cincinnati Fringe Festival. This show opens on June 2nd. Go to www.cincyfringe.com for tickets and a listing of over 30 other productions.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Chapter 1 of Sir Derek of Snow vs. The Blue Suite #CincyFringe

Somewhere in this dazzling serial there rests a mystery that can only be solved by seeking out a web browser, going to www.cincyfringe.com, and buying as many tickets to Fringes shows as your credit card allows.

If you don't buy them, don't hold anyone but yourself responsible for what might happen...

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Council Member Wayne Lippert Supports COAST

Cincinnati council member Wayne Lippert is set to be a "co-host" of a fundraiser for COAST's political action committee for a June event featuring national conservative-activist Grover Norquist.

Yes, that is "the" COAST.

That is the COAST bent on doing what ever it can to block any type of progress and development the City is trying to push forward.

That is the same COAST that mocks people who live anywhere in the City of Cincinnati that isn't either majority white or majority upper-middle class.

That is the same COAST that has no known members who actually live in the City of Cincinnati.

That is the same COAST that purports lies about anyone and everyone that dares speak out against their vitriol.

You may be wondering why a member of Cincinnati City Council would support a group like COAST. I'm wondering the same thing.  COAST represents the mindset that has been holding Cincinnati back.  What possible reason would any member of council support this group?  Sure, there is the political angle, which likely is part of the game here.  There is suburbanite money to be gained, and COAST has some far right-ring surban money out to keep the city down.  There has to be more to it than that.  Ok, fine, Grover Norquist is a well know speaker to Conservatives.  If one wants to go the event as a Republican, I can comprehend doing so.  I don't get "co-hosting" the event to benefit a group like COAST.  That ties Lippert to the group more than just attending the event.  This links Lippert to everything COAST has done.

When COAST wastes tax payer money to file a nuisance lawsuit against the City and the Mayor because they seek to harm the Mayor's personal financial income, that is something that will be linked to Lippert.

Some would ask how I can claim Lippert is going to be linked to everything COAST or a member of COAST does.  Well, that is rather easy.  Lippert will be linked to COAST because he chose to support them and every time he does not voice his disagreement with a position or action they take, I believe it's fair game to assume he concurs with it.  When they do something outrageous and offensive and Lippert does not denounce it, then his silence is a clear sign of agreement.  That is the bargain made when you "co-sponsor" an event and willfully show your support for a political organization.  You buy it, you own it.  Those who get into bed with the Local NAACP, for example, are burdened with the selfishness that is Chris Smitherman, so this fits along the same lines.  The problem here is that the local NAACP is in bed with COAST, so that type of mutual opportunism reeks of hazing at a really dreadful frat house, but that's a whole different topic.

What I am seeing Lippert and nearly all of the other Republican candidates for city council do is play politics like this is Washington, D.C.  They are playing alliances like they are either running for a Federal level office or for a suburban township board of trustees.  We live in a city.  It is a real place. We have Democrats here that make up a majority of populace.  We also have citizens who mostly believe in reality.  COAST lives in a fantasy land with an antebellum political philosophy that ignores the reality of the last 150 years.  Over that time cities were and are the center of progress.  We didn't win two world wars from ideas formed on farms or cul-de-sacs, we won them from the ideas born in urban areas.  Cities foster ideas on how to live with each other, not on ideas on how to live apart.  If Lippert wants to be a leader, he needs to lead the GOP and himself away from the nut-cases like COAST.  If not, he's going to end up another nut-case.

A first step for Wayne is to voice why he's supporting COAST (or denounce them for their tactics).  I'll open up my blog for a response from him or his campaign, published without alteration. Drop me a line and I'll get it up as quickly as I can.  I want to understand why a Cincinnati council member supports COAST and I believe the rest of you out there want to know the same thing, so I look forward to a retort of my comments.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Enquirer Still Lacking on Analysis, Producing More Bias

It is not new for the Enquirer to specially highlight crime in OTR over other areas, but when they do, it would be less biased if they did a few things.

  1. Know the neighborhood better: Do the analysis and show where in OTR the crimes have taken place. You could answer better why something is happening statistically if you know where in the neighborhood these crimes are taken place. There are a couple of hot spots.  Then you might answer why police don't target those areas.
  2. Before putting of this type of news report, tell us who is publishing it and why they are doing this know. Are council members using this for political gain?
  3. If you are going to talk about increases, why not share the attention where shootings have risen at as high or higher rates, like in Northside, Lower Price Hill, Madisonville, North Avondale, and Bond Hill.
  4. Why does the article address why Avondale's rate fell so much? In 2010 Avondale had almost twice as many shootings. In 2011 it had about half as many.
  5. Why weren't any residents who live say North of Liberty in OTR interviewed, or not included in the article? I guess that get's back to my first point, something Journalist no longer do: know the people and areas they cover.
  6. Why not ask why police don't patrol OTR as much anymore?  Are shootings up in one place and down in other because of where police patrol and the drug dealing and criminal element go where the police are not?

WLWT recently focused on a why the recent anti-crime blitz of OTR failed, but their story covering the same story the Enquirer covered instead focued on the overall murder rate and police calls for more resources. They didn't target OTR the same way, they lumped the whole city together, a different type of bias. WKRC has similar story to WLWT.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Live Penguins at the Know Theatre!!!!!!!

DougScout out did himself for the final installment of the the Saga of DougScout.

Help the Know Theatre keep DougScout and the rest of the staff and company continuing to make amazing theatre right here in Over-the-Rhine. Head to their donate now page, click on the donate Today button and give what you can. The more you give, the happier you will feel, guaranteed!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Data Comparisons Can Due Wonders

I don't know how long it would have taken, but some Cincinnati City Official found out that 400+ City of Cincinnati Employees have outstanding parking tickets to the City.  I can personally attest that a comparison like this wouldn't take long.  Say 15 minutes if you have two lists with compatible indexes.  A little longer if reformatting would be involved, but any database software and/or a spreadsheet tool would due.  Why wasn't this done before?  Why just now?  I think it would be a good idea for any government to compare any list of individuals who owe it money to those who are employees by such government. There may be laws against this in some jurisdictions, but if there are, they should be repealed immediately.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Kasich Is Waxing His Pinto

Prince John Kasich, Governor of Ohio, is playing chicken with Casino developers and they just gunned their muscle car directly at Kasich's Pinto. He really might want to consider swerving his Pinto out of the way or he will end up as roadkill.

Winburn Stunt Backfires: Streetcar Support Shines!

Cincinnati City Council Member Charlie Winburn's stunt backfired Wednesday night when Cincy Streetcar supports turned out in great numbers to politely voice their support for the Streetcar and for the city as special council session called by Winburn and other Council Republicans. Social media reports indicated that 40 out of 45 citizen speakers were in favor of the Streetcar project. Several attendees reported on Twitter that many of the the small number of Streetcar opponents were disruptive and all anti-streetcar speakers yelled into the microphone and spoke longer than the two minutes alloted.

Another report indicated that alleged candidate for Cincinnati City Council and local NAACP president Chris Smitherman had a confrontation of some type, possibly with security in council chambers.  If the political reporters are not paying attention and don't report on his antics, then they are propping up his candidacy just to attract readers or viewers.

The clear message was the Streetcar has strong support from Cincinnati and the handful of people who are against it couldn't muster up enough suburbanites to drive downtown at 6PM on a Wednesday. We also saw Charlie Winburn comes across like a fool, playing a game instead of doing his job. All that's left to see how the mainstream media butchers the story in favor of the nut cases (like COAST and Smitherman) or of the Republican Council members who played more for contributions and Westside votes than they did actually constructively discussing the issue.

UPDATE:  Here's the Enquirer Story with more on Smitherman's apparent angry reaction to getting his picture taken.  Other than covering the Smitherman outburst, the article gives the usual bias against the Streetcar by given the opposition to the Streetcar more ink than to view of supporters the overwhelming number in attendance.  It isn't balanced when you report the number of supporters, but quote a small percentage of them, while giving 2 of 5 of the anti-streetcar speakers opinions in the article, adding to it the anti-streetcar Republicans comments and you get a biased story.  What we have come to expect from the Enquirer on this topic.

Golf Rankings Clearly Are Worth the Time of a Political Reporter

I for one am 'totally ecstatic' that the Enquirer's Washington based political reporter blogged about the golf handicap of John Boehner. That has relevance, surely it does. Golf handicaps are a 'true' measure of political power and everyone in the world knows this. How do you think the seating arrangements work at GOP National convention!

At least the reporter mentioned that although Boehner has a much better handicap than President Obama, VP Joe Biden crushes them both. Gotta be impartial, exept when it comes to the focus of the story, because it appears people in West Chester want to read about the Speaker of the House only in a positive or human interest sort of a way. Gotta be a 'Homer" after all and you can't make the Speaker of the House look worse than the VP, except in the order of succession.

I think the Enquirer can just fire all of its Sport reporters, since they were scooped by the political beat with this Earth shattering blog post.

I am so much better off for knowing all of this. I can't count the ways that my political knowledge has grown. I can't think of any other political stories that could possibly be more important. Zero. None. Nada.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

DougScout Of The Dance...

Help the Know Theatre pay for DougScout's dance classes or he's going to dance at your wedding and he's not going to be drunk!

Winburn Uses Council Meeting For Campaign Stunt

Council member Charlie Winburn wants to have a Council Meeting during his Campaign Stunt. So he's gotten the two appointed Republican council members to help him create a faux council meeting to use a prop in his Campaign for city council. This meeting takes place Wednesday evening (May 11th) at 6PM, so if you have time, go down and ask Charlie Winburn why he is using a council meeting as a prop in his Campaign stunt. I'd also advise asking him why he sent out a pdf flier about his campaign stunt disguised as a Council meeting with his picture on it with a doozy of a quote, which reads:
“Although I do not support the streetcar, I think we need to hold the Mayor, City Manager, and City Council accountable for wasting $99 million of taxpayer money.
So, first, what a poorly written quote. It reminds me of using the same word more than once in a sentence. Like: The fast lemming moved really fast over the cliff. Secondly, what kind of an ass emails this kind of thing from his council email? It is tacky. It is a waste of time and resources and it's only purpose is to give Winburn (and his GOP accomplices) a platform to campaign for council.  It doesn't appear to break any obvious rules, but it certainly was designed to skirt the law and promote his candidacy.  Here's what it looked like:
A classless act, but it's nothing new from Winburn.

Monday, May 09, 2011

Slow Local News Day or is WCPO Just Saving Money?

This morning I opened WCPO's Website and found that four of the seven top stories on their Front Page were Not local stories. Here's how it looked:
The three local stories are:
  1.  A weather story
  2. A wedding story with a Royal Tie in
  3. A story about the report that a bid move is to be filmed in the Cincinnati area
So, nothing important appears to be happening in Ohio or the Cincinnati area that is not the weather, human interest, or entertainment.  We must have a perfectly run State Government that is not trying to gut funding for a huge list of schools.  We must not have an election for City Council taking place in a few months.  We must not have a search going on for a new Police Chief.  We must not have a Casino project under threat from the Governor.
    Those stories may have a story buried on the website, but they are not important enough to have stories on the front page to get your attention.  Instead, you get weather, fluff, and stories with good pictures or about something that may in some minor way affect your kids.  Exurbanites appear to be kid obsessed, so get their attention and you have them hooked. None of these non-local stories cost anything extra to WCPO because they were written by a non-local journalist.  They are cheap and catch the eyes of the non-engaged reader who might care about reading topics that they could get on many national news outlets.

    Yes, local TV news sucks.  This isn't a rarity, this is what it does.  If a local story is big enough, it takes the lead, otherwise the rest if filler from affiliates with stories that matter more other places or belong on national outlets.  This is NOT a plot to keep people ignorant, this is what the masses consume.  You, the reader, don't care much about local news, so no one tries to sell you on it very often.  Our willful desire to be ignorant about what is happening in our communities helps create horrible local journalism.  If you want Walmart, that is what you will get.

    Wednesday, May 04, 2011

    Chris Bortz Is Running For Council

    Cincinnati City Council Member Chris Bortz will seek another term on council, his last before being term-limited.

    The Charter Committee endorsed candidate had been on the fence about running, but has publicly made his decision to run.

    Bortz has strong backing and likely will do well in the election. He puts a dent into the chance of adding new faces to City Council. All current officer holders are running, so no open seats are up for grabs, but three current officer holders are unelected appointees and will face stiff challenge from several candidates.

    Monday, May 02, 2011

    Osama Bin Laden Is Dead: Justice.

    The criminal Osama Bin Laden has been killed by American forces. The death of any human being is never something to be joyous about, but this is justice. This was necessary. This was an honorable act. The horror this man caused was unfathomable by most people, less the few who lived through it or had a relative or friend killed by this murderer. The only thing more satisfying than his death would have been to parade this criminal into a courtroom to put him on trial for his crimes against humanity, but this evil man likely would never have been taken alive.

    I applaud our government and the American forces who took action to ride the world of this criminal.

    Bin Laden's death will not end terrorism in the world and will not end al Qaeda, but this is a blow to those who seek to murder the innocent in a delusional effort to push forth a twisted ideological/religious stance on the world.