Hello, Everybody--Nice Seeing You Again.
The good news this week is that our friend Dave just got a new dayjob. You may have seen Dave at some of the WFMU record fairs, selling his nifty Savage Monsters posters and puppets, and if you haven’t seen him, you’re just gonna have to buy his merch online, ‘cause we probably won’t be seeing him again. The good news is his new job sounds really interesting and lets him use all his creative talents and pays really, really well. The bad news is that it’s in Cleveland and he’s gonna have to move there.
“Cleveland, city of light, city of magic,” I hear Randy Newman singing in my head, and if I weren’t writing this to you on a Civil War-era iMac running OS 1⁄3 I would hook you up with the mp3 file so you could hear it, too. It’s a song called “Burn On,” about the Cuyahoga River—the river that runs through Cleveland—bursting into flame back in 1969. But that river is always burning. Good old Time magazine once said, “The Cuyahoga oozes rather than flows.”
Cleveland, city of light and the Cleveland Indians. Nice logo, Cleveland! I have never thought of myself as being a politically correct person, but even I find the Cleveland Indians logo appalling, that Sambo-ized Red Man with the shit-eating grin. If you wear a Cleveland Indians cap in New York, you might get away with claiming it’s an ironic gesture, but it you wear one in Cleveland, you mean it.
Ohio was in the news last week when their Governor, Bob Taft, became a convicted criminal. Convicted Criminal Taft is the great-grandson of Fat Stuck-in-the-Bathtub President Taft. (When I was trapped at the dogfood factory in Dayton last June, I saw an awful lot of Taft-sized people in Ohio. I don’t know what’s going on there, but the people are enormous.) Great-grandson Criminal Taft is the first Ohio Governor to be either charged with or convicted of a crime. After pleading “no contest” to charges of failing to report gifts and golf outings, he was convicted of four misdemeanor violations of state ethics laws, fined $4000, and ordered to write e-mail apology notes to state employees and newspapers to say he’s sorry for his behavior. This is probably the harshest part of the sentence, because Convicted Criminal Taft doesn’t use e-mail. Back in 2002, when he was pushing his Third Frontier project to turn Ohio into “a hub of new technology,” Not-Yet-Convicted-at-That-Time Governor Taft admitted to the Associated Press that he had never sent an e-mail and didn’t even have a computer on his desk. He said he preferred hand-written notes and telephone calls.
I don’t understand getting caught taking golf outings. Golf outings! Is that a euphemism for something else? If I were in a position of power, I would not be selling out my office for a golf outing. At least the Convicted Criminal Governor of Connecticut got some nice home repairs. I think he also got jail time, though, and Convicted Criminal Taft did not. In fact, Taft isn’t even going to leave office. Although in the past he’s forced out some of his minions for ethics offenses, he says those cases were different. Well, they were different—they didn’t involve him. He says he still has important work to do. Maybe he has to go door-to-door with O.J., looking for the missing $300,000 coins.
The State of Ohio, in its infinite wisdom, gave $50 million dollars from its investment fund to a well-connected Republican named Tom Noe so he could invest the money in rare coins and baseball cards. (Baseball cards! Too bad they weren’t looking to invest in comic books, ‘cause I’ve got some old issues of Catwoman I’d be happy to sell to any savvy Republican investor.) Alas, it turns out that $300,000 worth of gold coins have been lost in the mail. Don’t you hate when that happens? And then about $12 million is just missing, and nobody knows where it is. Tom Noe—whose strip-mall coin shop went under in 1992, leaving him $16,500 in debt—was contacted at his million-dollar Florida home, but he said he doesn’t know where the money is, either. I wouldn't put my savings (which currently total $204) into rare coins, so how could the state of Ohio think it was a good place to put their $50 million? Why didn't they just buy 50 million dollars’ worth of lottery tickets? Or they could have bought 50 millions dollars’ worth of Amway products and gone state-to-state, selling them to Missouri and Nebraska.
But don’t worry, Ohio—President Bush is there for you. He’s reported to have reacted calmly to Criminal Governor Taft’s conviction, just as he reacted calmly to the results of his personal friend Rafael Palmiero’s drug test. “Governor Taft apologized today, he has paid the fine and said it was a serious mistake, and the President accepts that,'' White House spokeswoman Dana Perino said. So there. And remember which state put Bush over the top in the 2004 election—because he certainly hasn’t forgotten. As our friends Pizzicato Five say: “OHIO!”
Thanks for reading my blog entry, and may God bless.