If Greater Cincinnati is a conservative region filled with tight-ass people, the Cincy Fringe Festival is a laxative. It loosens us up, gets things moving a little better and smoother. Maybe the Fringe Festival is fiber in our otherwise meat-and-potatoes cultural diet. The annual event helps balance out the rest of our stodgy, by-the-book year.
I got to thinking recently of Cincinnati archetypes. Let's start with Creative People Who Make Interesting Things, since they basically make life worth living. Some of them host a music/art "campout" in an Over-the-Rhine building (see our Bunk Warehouse report), some start bands to play in bars around town and some work with teenagers to host a temporary Outdoor Museum in Eden Park.
Americans proudly believe we live in a nation of laws where no one — not corporate executives, celebrities or presidents — is above the law. A place where justice is applied evenly and consistently regardless of class, wealth, race, gender or any other factor.
Restaurants serve important functions in society in addition to serving us food. We celebrate the big moments of our lives in restaurants, from birthdays and new jobs to wedding receptions and anniversaries. Getting dressed up, spending money and being treated well at a top-notch restaurant makes any special occasion more special.
As Earth Day arrives once again, it's comforting to know that our political leaders are safeguarding the environment for future generations. Take U.S. Rep. John Boehner, the pride of Southwestern Ohio. He says the climate changes all the time, people breathe and cows do what they do. Hey, shit happens — literally — so stop worrying.
Is your company going to be receiving stimulus money? Will you be partnering with the state or local government to build something for your community? What, you don’t know how to become part of the stimulus program? You don’t have connections with legislators to get your idea funded? You’re not part of the club? State Sen. Eric Kearney (D-Avondale) feels your pain.
What's always impressed me about Cincinnati, as someone who didn't grow up here, is how the whole city embraces baseball and the Reds on Opening Day. It's another of those small ways that locals have stubbornly held on to a collective individuality, as quirky as three-way chili and "Please?" Baseball is the only American sport with any romance, so it's not surprising that Cincinnatians bond with the Reds.
The race for Cincinnati Mayor and City Council inches forward as the calendar turns to April, though we're far from shifting into full campaign mode. Still, signs of life are peeking up as surely as the crabgrass in my front yard — yet no one has emerged yet to challenge Mayor Mark Mallory.
Outraged at the continuing financial meltdown and flailing government fixes, the American public has once again formed a circular firing squad and started shooting. We can't help ourselves. In our heavily partisan political climate, we're conditioned to fight our neighbors, whom we refer to as "rivals" and "enemies."
News about death keeps piling up. Anyone perusing the daily newspaper or the 11 p.m. TV newscasts lately knows about the 13-year-old SCPA student killed while jogging and the 11-day-old baby squeezed to death by his young parents in Batavia. My eye happened on a small item in The Enquirer about a 16-year-old in Over-the- Rhine arrested on suspicion of committing two murders 10 days apart.
They say everyone is Irish on St. Patrick’s Day. You should be so lucky. Being of Irish descent myself, I suppose pretending you’re Irish one day a year is better than nothing at all. But it’s not the same as the real thing, now is it? Ha, there’s nothing like a little ethnic smack talk to get the party going.
Al Franken was correct back in 1996 when he said Rush Limbaugh was a big fat idiot. A lot has changed in 13 years; Franken, for instance, is one court ruling away from becoming the junior U.S. Senator from Minnesota. Limbaugh, however, has remained consistently big, fat and idiotic. Maybe even more so.
Here's a challenge: Check out CityBeat's Swizzle Guide this week (a rundown of more than 200 great local spots) and think about how many of your life's moments are associated with a bar. Me? My wedding reception was in a bar, spilling out onto the decks on a beautiful September afternoon. And I just got back from New Orleans and spent some quality time at Pat O'Brien's, a place I associate with wonderful Mardi Gras trips throughout the years.
Over the past month my wife and I have spent a lot of time analyzing our household budget. We've started collecting every receipt and allotting certain amounts for groceries, restaurants and entertainment. We've always lived frugally, but we've never counted pennies the way we are now.
So I was sorting through a folder of paperwork last weekend in order to get an early jump on my tax return. Taxes, what a joke. Barack Obama ran his campaign on the themes of 'hope' and 'change,' and he was pretty convincing. Hope? Change? Nah, sounds like too much work. I prefer to just sit around, bitch, moan and be cynical. After all, a cynic is never disappointed.