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Worst Week Ever!: June 26-July 2

By Danny Cross · July 3rd, 2013 · Worst Week Ever!
wweThanks, Netflix!


It’s been an emotional few years for gay people and gay marriage supporters — first California legalized gay marriage, then a bunch of jerks in Utah got it overturned; Portia de Rossi and Ellen DeGeneres got married while it was still legal, then de Rossi got mass plastic surgery and made the return of Arrested Development all weird. Some of these wrongs were righted today when the Supreme Court ruled the Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutional (plus, Netflix made up for AD by letting people use their friends’ accounts to watch House of Cards for free). In a 5-4 vote, the court determined that DOMA’s principal effect was to make a subset of state-sanctioned marriages unequal, which is pretty much imposing inequality upon us. Writing for the majority, Justice Anthony Kennedy said DOMA violates the Constitution’s equal protection clause, noting the egregiousness of such discrimination considering that this country has more bumper stickers about freedom than any other place in the world.


Most people don’t go around talking about how cool their gym is — if you need to tell people you work out then you probably need to do more lifting and less swimming and Zumba. Today all the old guys who go to the Cincinnati Athletic Club got to frame the Cincinnati Enquirers their bosses make them subscribe to because the newspaper profiled the historical downtown gym, which was important because most people aren’t actually allowed inside because it’s for (male) members only. The Cincinnati Athletic Club, located in an alley off Race Street right over by the Walgreens, is like 160 years old and its members included Rutherford B. Hayes, who apparently was a U.S. president (a good one, too, if the pictures of his beard on the Internet are any indication). The story noted that the CAC was first organized in 1853 by Thomas and Joseph Emery as the Young Men’s Gymnastic Association, which became famous for a lavish marble stair-climber machine no one knew how to operate.  


They say politics makes strange bedfellows, and even though no one really knows who “they” are (probably a someone kind of pretentious with an English degree and no job), the idiom rung true today when City Council voted to approve additional streetcar funding and also the emergency clause it needed to go into effect immediately.

The funding measure, which allocated an additional $17.4 million, passed 5-4, but when it came time to vote on the emergency ordinance allowing the funding to be immediately available, Councilwoman Pam Thomas switched up and gave the urbanites the sixth vote they needed to avoid a 30-day waiting period, saying that delaying the funding would only cost taxpayers more. Thomas was not asked whether voting against the streetcar would help her gain traction with East Side voters, although the others who voted against the funding — P.G. Sittenfeld, Christopher Smitherman and Charlie Winburn — were reportedly in the background discussing ways to make “boondoggle” fit on a campaign sign. 


We at WWE! are suckers for a great gimmick — when Papa John’s offers unlimited toppings on medium pizzas we pick up the phone and dial 347-1111 with a quickness. Same thing goes for any story The Enquirer designates an “ENQUIRER EXCLUSIVE” — time to point, click, read and get mad at the IRS. Today’s iteration strayed slightly from the typical interview with a corporate executive The Enquirer’s publisher is friends with, instead entering the realm of the stinky local business. This iteration involved Marvin’s Organic Gardens in Warren County being sued for a variety of issues, starting with zoning issues but really because the composting facility is MAKING THE ENTIRE NEIGHBORHOOD SMELL GROSS. One individual who lives nearby on U.S. 42 described an overpowering stench during days when the wind blows just right, though he asked to remain anonymous because his friends already call his condo “The Vom-do” because it smells like vomit and they are very childish.


Sometimes a journalist’s notes are difficult to read, a combination of shorthand and crappy handwriting only legible to the nerd who had to listen to the governor talk about why he allowed Ohio’s women’s health policies to go back to what people knew was wrong 50 years ago (“Excuse me, govenah, it is in the public’s interest that I ask you why a fetus looks so weird...”). If readers could get past reason No. 543 why newspapers need copy editors (The Enquirer’s early online version of the story included an unattributed quote with mass typos that ended in a sentence fragment), they found an explanation of Gov. John Kasich refusing to veto any anti-abortion measures in the state budget, along with news that he actually did draw a line through the part blocking billions of federal dollars to help poor people get insurance coverage because it will help him get reelected next year. 


Anyone who has a little brother understands a couple of key facts about someone tired of living in your shadow — he will always be prepared to take you down with a karate chop you had no idea he learned on the Internet. That’s essentially the type of takedown Xavier University celebrated today at a Fountain Square rally marking the school’s entrance into the new Big East Conference, the name of which was ripped from the cold, dead hands of the University of Cincinnati. Left behind with UC is the University of Connecticut, which is expected to compete with UC for the new American Athletic Conference championships as long as they take place outside of Oklahoma because no young person wants to go there for anything. 


The Enquirer today continued its “Tim Mara Mad” series, quoting the Over-the-Rhine resident-complainer regarding 3CDC receiving more time to fix up a vacant building near his home. The story was about the city’s Board of Housing Appeals fining 3CDC for similar issues but offering 60 more days to clean up a property at 1416 Elm St. that has a big hole in the back of it. The piece included a photo provided by Mara, who used to be known for fighting against terrible stadium tax deals but last fall became “the guy who complains to The Enquirer and gets mass coverage” when the MidPoint Music Festival drew thousands of patrons to Over-the-Rhine and a few jokers peed in the alley behind his house. 3CDC says it will reorganize its staff to take better care of vacant properties but that anything near Mara’s condo is going to be last on the list. 

SEND DANNY CROSS AN INSTAGRAM: dcross@citybeat.com