Thursday, May 31, 2012

Maija Zummo Wanted a BLUE Pony, Cincinnati!

Get out the big box of tissues! CityBeat's Maija Zummo is upset about the Pony she got. Her pony, in this case, is the vibrant Downtown/OTR we had last weekend, with about a thousand things to do. She had two things she wanted to do and didn't seem to be aware of the other 998 things going on, and therefore is pissed that traffic and parking were problems for her.

She lammented that it's fine if you live Downtown, but she doesn't, and appears to have no plans of moving here. I sensed a longing for a pity party was just beneath the surface of her words.

Maija wanted a blue pony and is mad. She didn't ask for just any old pony, she wanted one that was just for her. Damn all others to hell, as long as she gets her blue pony.

I find this type of attitude about as disappointing as it is unsurprising. Far too many people want the place they live to be cool and vibrant, but as soon as it starts to get that way...BAM...they complain about it being too much. This is what I would call My Little Hipster Pony Syndrome. A younger hipster wants things to be "cool" and dare I say "hip," but as soon as the cultural engine starts moving a fast pace, they want to jump ship, because its not what they wanted. To this type of person things are only cool as long as they are exclusive and admired. As soon as the exclusivity wears off, it sucks. Trendy for Trendiness's sake is no way to experience life.

This article comes on the heels of the Bill Cunningham's comments about OTR recently. I find the juxtaposition of opinions very interesting. I really don't like whinny rants about the personal inability to stay informed about ongoing events masquerading as column. I hope Maija instead takes the leap of moving downtown, gets used to mass transit, or buys a bike. That's the future of America and she can't drag her feet in the Suburbite lifestyle and still maintain credibilty in a Urban centric newsweekly.

CincyFringe Day Number Two!

Opening Night was an amazing success for the Cincinnati Fringe Festival.  Two shows sold out on their opening opening. That is a record for the first night of shows at the CincyFringe Festival.  Normally shows take a little bit of buzz to sell out.  Not this year. Grim and Fischer: a deathly comedy in full-face mask and The Sweet, Burning Yonder sold out last night.

Tonight's line-up:
Grim and Fischer at Know Theatre Time: 07:00 PM
Cecily and Gwendolyn at 1425 Main Time: 07:15 PM
Latitude at Hanke 1 Time: 07:15 PM
Storms Beneath Her Skin at Hanke 2 Time: 07:30 PM
Methtacular! at Art Academy Time: 08:30 PM
Where Is My Mind? at 1317 Main Time: 08:45 PM
Don't Cross the Streams at Know Theatre Time: 09:00 PM
Screw You Revue at 1425 Main Time: 09:15 PM
Trapped in a Box at Hanke 2 Time: 09:15 PM

To buy tickets go online to Grim and Fischer will sell out, so get your tickets Now!

At the bar series tonight it is Game Night, so bring your Candyland, Monopoly, Risk, or just a plain old deck of cards. If you being a role playing game, be prepared to share and be prepared to be mocked, slightly.

I saw two shows last night that were both good. I will doing reviews on, but have not yet completed any. They'll be up as soon as possible.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

CincyFringe Day One

What shows are you going to see tonight?  Here's a list of the Cincinnati Fringe Festival day one schedule.  For the full 11 days of shows, please check out

Breaking Rank! at 1317 Main Time: 07:15 PM
Rodney Rumple at Know Theatre Time: 07:15 PM
Blown Up at SCPA Time: 07:30 PM
Methtacular! at Art Academy Time: 08:45 PM
Sweet, Burning Yonder at 1317 Main Time: 08:45 PM
Grim and Fischer at Know Theatre Time: 09:00 PM
Twenty-Five Minutes at SCPA Time: 09:00 PM
Quake at Hanke 1 Time: 09:15 PM

Be sure to stay around for Fringe Previews at the Underground at 10:30 PM, where all of the productions get the chance to give a taste of their performance in front of the Bar Series crowd.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

CincyFringe Kickoff Party Tonight!!!!!!!!

Head out TONIGHT to the 2012 CityBeat Fringe Kick-Off Party! Doors open at 7PM at the Know Theatre (Fringe HQ) located at 1120 Jackson Street in OTR.  Fun will include a show by The Dukes Are Dead as well as the premier of Channel Fringe Hard Hitting Action News Update.

My Goal for this year's CincyFringe is to gain a mention on Channel Fringe Hard Hitting Action News.  As I will be missing several days of the festival, I would think this fact by itself would be news worthy.  I am going to need a press agent to get this mention.  The crack staff of the Fringe News Division is a hard team to understand. Here's hoping a few bribes or constant annoyance wears them down.

If you can't make it to the opening party, don't make me drive to your house to give you a postcard that highlights the 11 days of theatre that can't be missed!  Go to to find the full schedule and to buy tickets.  Buying tickets online ahead of time, is the best way to reserve your tickets to the hottest shows.

Stay tuned to this blog to find out the hottest shows.  As of now, you can assume they are all hot and a buy a ticket to all of them, just be sure.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

World Choir Games Song

Not my personal taste, but what do you think?

Some more previews of the games:

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Ten Years Of The Cincinnati Blog: A Damn Long Time

Ten years ago today, I posted my first blog entry here at the Cincinnati Blog. This wasn't my first blog, nor was it my first foray into web publishing, but this blog has become part of my identity.

I've been thinking for some time what I would write about on my tenth anniversary.  I thought of writing a retrospective of my best blog posts over the years.  I even looked back through many of my old posts.  I was surprised how harsh I was.  I was also surprised how independent I was in the beginning.  I would criticize leftist Greg Flannery almost as much as I would mock Conservative Peter Bronson.  I looked at some of my posts during the Iraq War.  I looked at the varied political races I followed.  It was a strange experience.  I like looking at  history and I found it fascinating to read about the past.  I didn't find it worth a blog post.  Current events are.....current.  My blog posts from the past doesn't hold up unless they can relate to the present.  Most of the time they can't.

Instead of looking back on what I wrote, I thought more about myself.  Call me an ego-maniac, but for me in my life the timing of this anniversary could not be more poignant. I turned 40 years old this year.  This is in part funny to some long time readers, who always called me a kid.  I used to chaff at that.  Now I welcome any youthful mentions I can get.  Blogging throughout my 30's was an amazing experience.  It gave me the chance to voice my views to a connected audience.  This blog never had an audience on the scale of the Enquirer or any other professional news outlet, but I was proud that it was read by people who were involved.  I was able to make an impact on the city.  People would sometimes actually read and respond to what I wrote.  A few minds were changed.  Not many, but a few.  For a guy doing this on the side while holding down a full time job, that's not bad.

What kept creeping into my mind most when I was thinking of my ten year anniversary was where I go next.  I seriously considered quitting.  I thought about writing a pithy post and signing off.  I'm not going to do that.  This blog will not see a 20 year anniversary, but it will not end today.  It is too much part of who I am.  I am changing, however, and writing about politics and the media don't put the fire in my belly as much as they used too.  Part of the reason is that I am getting older.  The other reason, honestly, is that the City is doing so much better than is was in 2002.  At that point we were lost in the wilderness.  We have come a long way in ten years.  I am proud of this city and while there are still many issues to write about, they don't fall of the tree like they used to do.

I will press on blogging.  It will be about like it has been this year, a little sparser.  If I get a bee in my bonnet, I may suddenly spew a swarm of posts.  If there is a battle to wage, I will suit up my armor and charge out there without looking back.  I have recognized that blogging today, as opposed to ten years earlier, is more about longer form ideas, not about posting a few sentences and a link to the latest news story. Social media (Facebook and Twitter) are doing what I used to do on this blog, just shorter.  You can get the latest links to news stories 100 times faster in your social media feeds than you can on blog.  Most don't recall that blogs were doing that and that's really how they started.  That's the only way you can do it day after day, link to someone else's longer posts.

I hope to be more thoughtful.  I no longer can post on the breaking news story.  I am reading it in my Twitter  feed at the same time 80% of my audience is reading it in their Twitter feed.  Maybe my Twitter feed will light up more.  I don't know.  I like have options, however.  I like having the chance to grow.

Evolution as a writer is not the sign of getting old, it is sign of getting a little bit wiser.  The wise man knows when to change.  In my personal life, I really hate change.  In my writing, I'm getting better at changing.  I can see how I have changed.  It just takes time.  I am getting better at letting myself change a little faster these days.  This blog will eventually end, but not before I take it to new places.  Stay tuned and find out where I go.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

CincyFringe Buzz: Four Humors Returns With Bombus and Berrylinne

The gang from Minneapolis are returning to the Cincinnati Fringe Festival this year with Bombus and Berrylinne, or the Bumblebee and the Hummingbird. This will, if nothing else, compete for one of the longest titles of a CincyFringe performance ever. The show is the brain child of Rachel Petrie and Ryan Lear (The Finkles), who are newer to the Four Humors, but have brought a fresh energy to the group which was evident in last year's performance of You Only Live Forever Once:

The Show takes place at the Know Theatre and the performance schedule is:
Monday, June 4: 7:00 pm
Wednesday, June 6: 9:15 pm
Thursday, June 7: 7:00 pm
Saturday, June 9: 2:00 pm

Cincinnati Unemployment Rate Drops to 7.1%

So, what will it take for people to have a more positive attitude about Cincinnati's Economy? If you would say the fact that the Local unemployment rate fell to 7.1%, then you should hear the smiles starting to crack. Unfortunately, since much of the Cincinnati mindset is to be negative until someone else makes something happen for you, I expect people to complain about the job numbers. Nothing short of a million dollars in every Westside or Exurban household bank account will bring a positive attitude on the Cincinnati Metro area's economy, at least as long as the President is from the Democratic Party.

Monday, May 21, 2012

CincyFringe Buzz: Must See Radio Star

We are just over a week away from the start of the Cincinnati Fringe Festival, so it is time to start planning your schedule. I'll be giving some must-see shows I am recommending throughout the week. Please note that I haven't seen any of the shows in the festival. I've completed a vast three year research project that combined buzz, reputation of the producers/actors, and coffee to come upw with a short list of shows I am not going to miss. This means my knowledge should not be questioned and all theatre goers should head my advice.  Or they could just see every show.
Today's show is Radio Star by Tanya O'Debra of NYC. Radio Star was voted Best of Fringe at the 2011 San Francisco Fringe Festival.
The Schedule:
Friday June 1 @ 7:15 pm
Saturday June 2 @ 8:45 pm
Tuesday June 5 @ 9:15 pm
Wednesday June 6 @ 7:15 pm
Friday June 8 @ 7:15 pm
at Hanke 2.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Bunbury Video: Vote For Your Pick

Here's my choice for the Bunbury Music Festival video:

Go Here to vote for your pick on what video the festival will use to promote the event.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

CityBeat News Editor Kevin Osborne No Longer Working for Alt Weekly

Based on this week's masthead and his Facebook Page, Kevin Osborne is no longer working for CityBeat. A request for comment on the reasons for Kevin leaving the paper from CityBeat has yet to be answered.

The long running Porkopolis news/political column, authored by Osborne, was missing from this week's edition of the newspaper. In its place is apparently "The Alternative" written by TT Stern-Enzi. The article implies that this is a reborn column or project for Stern-Enzi and I can only surmise that this is the replacement for Porkopolis.

CityBeat was sold back in March to SouthComm of Nashville, Tennessee. Earlier this year significant staffing changes where made at the paper, including a new Managing editor.

I will update this story if new information arises.

Tuesday, May 08, 2012

Where's the News?

Sorry of the lack of blogging over the last week.  I've not been inspired to write much.  Is it the lack of news happening or my lack of finding anything interesting to say about the news that is going on?  I am approaching my 10 year blogging anniversary.  Yes, 10 years.  The fire has been burning low.  My taste for politics has not been what it once was.  I can throw a rhetorical bomb, but it doesn't have the same meaning or value it once had.

I was thinking of ways to celebrate my 10 years of blogging about Cincinnati.  I wanted to go through the past and find the posts I am most proud of or brought me the most infamy. Some of it is so long ago and the meanings are so far in the past that except for the few long time readers, it would not make much sense.

This is a big election year and I should normally be gearing up to write about it, but it is a national election.  The local races, with few exceptions, are not competitive.  The county races will be interesting, but so much of what happens in November will depend on the Presidential race.  This will, in my opinion, be a coat-tail election year.  That makes it a little difficult to write about.

I will try.  The frequency of posts may not change much, but I hope to make up for it in quality.  I also hope to make sure people know about more things going on around town.  Any attention I can give to events and groups, the better.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Delusions of Grandeur Continue to Flow From Smitherman Like a River

Today's article from the Enquirer's Jane Prendergast on Cincinnati Council Member Chris Smitherman was an interest read. I say that because my blog (and myself) were quoted and I represented the face of Criticism of Smitherman. I take that as a compliment. I try to give voice to issues and topics that don't get lots of press. Criticism of Chris Smitherman does not get much media attention. I am glad it got some today.

The other more entertaining portion of the article comes from a direct quote from Smitherman himself:
“I will become the mayor one day,” he says, though he won’t run in 2013 when Mallory leaves.
I don't know what planet Smitherman is living on, but it appears to be akin more of an alternative-reality than anything resembling the actual Earth, where the rest of us reside. Smitherman at best has a niche voter base that he segments more each time he opens his mouth in public. Unless he plans a cultural revolution to drive out everyone in the City who disagrees with him, then I don't see him winning an election for Mayor against nearly any other remotely credible candidate.

Those of us in the political opinion world would love to see him run someday, just to watch him lose in the primary. How a man who wants nothing more than the destruction of the urban core could think he could be mayor is beyond my comprehension. I guess that's why I can't see it as anything other than a delusion of grandeur. One thing I don't doubt about Smitherman: he has a high opinion of himself. That doesn't translate to anything unless you can make stuff happen. The only stuff he can make happen is gettting in the newspaper by making outlandish comments. Negative press attention in the end might earn you a day old bag of doughnuts, but little else.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Wendell Young Sums Up Smitherman's 'Meeting'

Cincinnati City Council Member Wendell Young summed up the problem with fellow Council Member Chris Smitherman's special council meeting held last night. From the Enquirer Article:
“It is wonderful that we care,” he said, but it’s wrong to imply that this is the first time council and others have been interested in this topic.
Additionally in the Enquirer Blog post about the meeting, Young's comments were described as this:
People were deluded, he said, into thinking they would hear something new tonight.
This meeting was nothing but a show. It was a stunt to gain attention and make people believe that Smitherman and Winburn are doing something for black people. It was also a political tactic. The most brilliant aspect was to use the "black on black crime" terminology in the media. This gives Winburn something to appeal to the conservative, mostly White voters, that Republicans rely on for votes. Both Winburn and Smitherman have built narrowly defined voting blocks. Winburn's has more of a Coalition than Smitherman, so he needs to appeal to multiple angles of this issue.

No matter what, they got their media attention (yes including me). That gives them a slight boost to their reelection efforts. Each have to continue to walk the tight-rope of appealing to both Republicans and the Black Community.  Neither one will ever be able to totally rely on Republican votes alone, so they must play this game and it is sickening.

Quimbob over at Blogging Isn't Cool has more on the 'Meeting.'

Monday, April 23, 2012

Bunbury Music Festival Announces Set Times and Stages

The Bunbury Music Festival has announced the set times and stages for the three day event in July.

The five stages to cover the Sawyer Point & Yeatman's cove area are listed as:
Yeatman's Lawn
Serpentine Wall
L&N Bridge
Sawyer Lawn

Sunday, April 22, 2012

2012 Second Sunday Schedule Announced

The Second Sundays on Main Street Festival returns this year and the dates and themes have been announced:

June 10th: Main St. Menagerie
July 8th: Music on Main
August 12th: Growth & Wellness
September 9th: Dance on Main
October 14th: Harvest Fest

For a detailed events schedule, check back here in the coming couple of months..

Friday, April 20, 2012

WLWT Has a Slide Show of People Arrested and Not Yet Convicted

WLWT has a slideshow on its website which is titled See Who Got Arrested - Photos: This consists of a slideshow, like you might see on the Enquirer's Metromix, with a caption listing the crime for which they were arrested. They've only been arrested, not convicted, and they have their pictures up. Most of the crimes are more serious crimes (murder, rape, assault) and a large number I've seen covered previously in the Enquirer with the same arrest photo.

I don't like this photo montage. I don't like it because it's tone is tabloid. It is like a raw dump of crime thrown on the floor for a rabid pack of viewers to consume. There's nothing unethical or knowingly false about what they reported, just how they are reporting it. If the television station wants to write a story about each person's alleged crime, many of which they have, then fine. Just throwing up a photo and adding a sentence below is not journalism and does a dis-service to the public.

What also is very disappointing is that this slideshow made editorial choices not based on a reasonable requirements of content, structure or relevance, but instead on marketing. This a group of people who got arrestest and that WLWT wanted to show in hopes of gaining a wider set of viewers looking for pictures to look at, not because they want to consume news. It is not even a full list of everyone arrested. The only definition listed of the group is this:
" posts some notable mugshots from across the Tri-State. An arrest does not mean anyone has been convicted of a crime."
Notable in this instance I believe means tawdry or what ever will get more eyeballs. Yes, I'm helping get more eyeballs, however I will suggest to WLWT that if they are going to do a police blotter style story, do it right or just don't do it. We don't need the pictures. Yes, pictures get you more web hits, but it is not journalism, it is exploitation.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Surprise! The Enquirer Ran a Puff Piece on an Anti-Abortion Group

You are totally shocked, I am sure, to find out that the Cincinnati Enquirer ran an "In-depth" puff piece on an anti-abortion extremist group. The paper even has a photo collection so you can "meet" them.

This is nothing new for the newspaper. The Enquirer must appease the Westside and Conservative readers or they risk losing circulation.  Is that what they really risk? I am beginning to wonder if this is about business or about ideology of some editors.  For what ever reason, it has been come pathetic. Whether it is a puff piece on bus rides to Washington DC anti abortion rallies or blog posts on political tactics, the Enquirer has an anti-abortion bias in the newsroom. Yes, in the newsroom, not just the editorial page. The paper has a soft spot for the anti-abortion crowd and they don't disparage them.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Horstman's Anti-Streetcar Bias Continues

Enquirer Reporter Barry Horstman continues to push an anti-streetcar bias in his reporting and this simple article about the locaion of the streetcar maintenance facility is his latest example. The story is straighforward, the city announced the exact location of where the Streetcars will be maintained, about two blocks north of Findlay Market. Horstman just had to add this stand alone sentence:
"On Monday afternoon, the only sign of commerce on the quiet block was an apparent prostitute trying to flag down passing drivers."
First, it is not even factual, it is supposition, unless he was the personal flagged down by the prostitute. There is no valid reason to include this comment. It has no relevance to article and is put there on purpose to disparage the project. There is no other explanation, and it is really disappointing that his editor let this get through. Horstman is far to biased to be reporting on the Streetcar, he can't even write a simple article about it without adding in bias. This needs to be addressed by the Enquirer management, or it will just get worse.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Rich Patrons Don't Rule the World, Even the Arts World

Reading this article from the Enquirer on a 'protest' at the Cincinnati Art Museum, I come up with many points lost in the article and on the people protesting:

  1. This article would not have been written if someone with pull hadn't tipped off the Enquirer that this was going to happen.  I really hope it wasn't the rich patron who appears to pushing the issue with the Museum, but it was likely someone connected to that person.
  2. The issue isn't about money, it is about power within the Museum.  It appears to me that this curator wants a promotion and wants more control over what goes on at the museum.  What has he done to warrant that? Whose job would be lost for him? Does the rich patron care about that?
  3. It this curator is so great, why did his exhibit get the criticism from one of the article's author's blog? If he were to counter and say that the elements criticized were beyond his control, well, then if he wants to move up in management, he needs to make
I really enjoy the Art Museum and I hope patrons continue to support it, but staging a stunt like this makes people look foolish and ignorant. I would instead hope they use their time lobbying their elected officials to fund the arts.  If they don't want to do that, I suggest spending more time just raising more money to help the Museum be able to afford new cutting age art exhibits.  Money is the main factor in getting new and vibrant art at the Museum, not just one curator.