Curly tales of the city


Besides, It Might Put Out Your Eye
A Hamilton County jury's acquittal of Elyse Metcalf on obscenity charges, for selling naughty movies, is not the end of anti-pornography cases in Greater Cincinnati. For example, the Butler County Prosecutor's Office, whose success rate is even lower than Hamilton County's, has launched a new task force on obscenity.

Seeking to be careful, adult stores in the area are circulating a list of topics to keep out of one's video inventory. Our favorite is, "No slapping of the face with a penis."

The American Civil Liberties Union of Ohio filed suit May 25 over a new state law restricting beer sales. The Ohio Liquor Control Commission has adopted a regulation requiring people who buy five or more kegs of beer to sign affidavits telling liquor-control authorities when and where they will drink it and agreeing to let law enforcement enter their property at that time. (See "They Can Take My Beer From My Cold, Dead Hands," issue of Aug. 17-23, 2000.) In a complaint in U.S. District Court in Columbus, the ACLU says the rules are unconstitutional violations of privacy.

Beer booths were the targets of the most imaginative boycotters at Taste of Cincinnati. A group called the Penny Brigade sent protesters incognito to stand in line and slowly count pennies, one by one, to pay for their purchases.

The idea was to tie up the beer lines and slow down business. One protester, ordered to move on, made a mock complaint to a nearby cop that she suspected someone had taken some of her pennies. No one was charged.

Let Them Eat Succotash
Speaking of Taste of Cincinnati, the event wasn't without consideration for the poor. Here and there among the booths charging $3 for a nibble of Cajun catfish or $4 for a 12-ounce beer were barrels to collect canned food for FreeStore-FoodBank. We think this is the part Mayor Charlie Luken referred to when he said the festival was a chance for the city to "come together" — even if we can't all afford to eat together.

Luken is a Democrat. Remember the Democrats — party of the little guy and all that? John Gilligan, governor of Ohio from 1971 to 1975, remembers. Gilligan is one of the speakers for the March for Justice this Saturday, protesting racism and police violence in a city run by his own party.

"As a Democrat, I've been disappointed to see the party uninvolved in a number of issues around here," Gilligan says. "I'd like to see members of the party more vocal in this matter, and more active."

Justice Is Blind — and Deaf
Let's say you're a prisoner at the Hamilton County Justice Center and you don't have a lawyer, nor money to hire one. You call the Hamilton County Public Defender, right? Wrong.

"Inmates in the housing units can only make outgoing collect calls," says attorney Robert Newman. "The public defender's office does not accept collect calls."

A Clifton nightclub has banned the band NoGood Heroes because of its messages against police brutality, according to band member Shane Johnson. Club management allegedly told the band the club is "pro-police," Johnson says. But turnabout seems fair play. Johnson was one of the 200 or so protesters delighting in James Brown's quick departure from the stage May 26 at Taste of Cincinnati.

"You saw collective power in action right on that corner," Johnson says. "James Brown left."

Porkopolis TIP LINES: 513-665-4700 (ext. 23) or [email protected]

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