Protect the Children

Make no mistake, based on Larry Gross' description in his Living Out Loud column ("A Slap in the Face," issue of Dec. 14-20), what he witnessed was a crime, possibly even a felony. How do I know? Si

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Make no mistake, based on Larry Gross' description in his Living Out Loud column ("A Slap in the Face," issue of Dec. 14-20), what he witnessed was a crime, possibly even a felony. How do I know? Simple.

When you, or anyone, witnesses such an act of aggression perpetrated by a parent on a child, ask yourself, "If the person being beaten was an adult rather than the parent's child, could it reasonably be interpreted as assault?" If the answer is "yes" — and in this case I believe it is — a crime has been committed. I'm sure Gross would've done something if it appeared that the man's wife was the beating victim.

Though, as he states, he's now aware and ready to intervene in similar situations in the future, it's sad to think that we bestow upon parents, through our inaction, the right to assault their children in public when, in all likelihood, if that same parent accosted another adult in the same manner we'd be more likely to intervene to stop the violence. I find this ironic, when most likely it would be the child victim, not the adult victim, who needs our protection more.

By failing to notify the police, take names, license plate numbers, etc., Gross might have let a habitual child abuser continue his abuse. At the very least, a public record of the incident would be on file and might have been only the latest of several reported instances of abuse.

Yes, if he'd chosen to call the police, who knows? That incident might have been the one to have finally given good cause for social service to remove the child from a dangerous environment.

— Drew Abas, Loveland

Still Regret Not Doing Something
I appreciated Larry Gross' column about the parent slapping his son in public ("A Slap in the Face," issue of Dec. 14-20).

I share some of his same feelings of regret. I worked at a tuxedo shop as a teenager and one day witnessed a grandmother repeatedly beat/spank her tiny grandson for no reason. He looked so downtrodden and hopeless. This was more than just a spanking for bad behavior.

I think about that scene often and wish I would've done something. A call to the police that day could have meant a different future for that child.

Thanks for bringing more awareness to the problem of child abuse.

— Denae D'Arcy, Mount Auburn

Critic Was Unhappy Child
My husband and I live in Northern Kentucky and were taken aback by Anne Mitchell's appalling food review of the new Mike and Jimmy's Chop House Grill at the Crestview Towne Center ("Identity Crisis," issue of Dec. 14-20). As is so often the case with a vitriolic and careless food critic, it seemed that either Mitchell or us had apparently dined at two vastly different restaurants.

We have already been to Mike and Jimmy's a number of times since the opening of the restaurant in late October. We find it the perfect, casually upscale, albeit noisy and rambunctious neighborhood eatery. While we're not certain if Mitchell has spent too much time sharpening her restaurant critic knives being mollycoddled and suckled in places like The Maisonette or The Seelbach in Louisville, she has a long way to go to try and understand conceptually what she is even reviewing.

Mitchell expresses confusion and puzzlement that there are 25- to 35-year-olds, "all white, mostly couples, many with an infant in a car seat." What kind of psychobabble is this? A screed, perhaps, on racism, thinly veiled as a restaurant review or as what pertains to be a restaurant review???!!!! To say something this outrageous and back it up with the following: "Maybe they grew up on McDonalds, graduated to TGI Fridays and now expected TV with their pommes Lyonnaise. " Well, let's just say that Mitchell appears to be a few sandwiches short of a picnic.

If she wants the unique sort of urban blend of diversity and, say, racial skin tones, she'd best keep herself positioned at her downtown dives, where she can weigh in on such matters to a clientele that might give a damn. Personally, I believe strongly that both black and white people like McDonald's, TGI Friday's, sports on television and fried potatoes.

Furthermore, that Mitchell would devote paragraph after paragraph to her scathing indictment of the front desk hostessing staff seems, at least to us, to speak volumes about her own lack of self-esteem. Perhaps she was the kid who was never picked to be on the team in her formative years. Maybe she was left out on the playground away from the other children whilst trying desperately to belong.

Our take as to her being ignored on a busy Saturday night at a bustling, convivial new restaurant is simply this: Somebody must be having a good time. Maybe she felt that she should have been "recognized" as the definitive authority on All Things Food and Wine — she's the CityBeat Food Critic, for God's sake!!! Whatever happened to anonymity in food reviewing???

Please find us a restaurant critic that can portray a restaurant in an accurate, factual light and not one that obviously bespeaks of the writer's own ineptitude and deprived childhood.

— Carol J. Williams, Walton

Editor Responds: CityBeat restaurant writers always dine anonymously when reviewing. Anne Mitchell reports that she had a wonderful childhood but thanks you for your concern.

Stupidity Lasts Forever
Congratulations on Laura Leffler James' wonderful review of Borrowed Time at the Cincinnati Art Museum. ("Looks Like Music," issue of Nov. 23-29). This is the kind of writing the town has been waiting for in the vacuum of intelligent discourse and idea-generating in the arts. James has added a wonderful writing skill to challenge the reader/viewer to get out and experience the quality art that is being shown in this town.

I was particularly taken by her response to the Art Museum's terrible and offensive education department, which can kill any exhibition or lecture by asking insane questions of the viewer or giving handouts after lectures that challenge even the minimal mantra of "creative visual thinking." The museum's director should put a stop to this lowering of any rational human being's art experience to not include these awful questions, either on educational panels, handouts or printed materials.

One of the supreme joys of any museum is to experience the art first, do your research on your own, get up from the TV, read a book, visit the library, start a collection.

There should just be a boatload of outrage at the museums in this town and the dumbing down of some educational protoplasm brain idiot who thinks this will generate anything positive in a viewer! Art moves on; stupidity lasts forever.

— Cal Kowal, Cincinnati

Bush = Murder
In an ancient episode of Happy Days, the Fonz tried to practice saying he was "wr-wr-wr-wrong" in front of a mirror. He couldn't do it ... couldn't say the word. I was reminded of that when George Bush admitted that the intelligence he used to justify invading Iraq was "wrong" (duh) and that he was responsible (double duh).

OK, he got the word out. He even accepted responsibility (sort of). But the underlying message of the speech was that invading Iraq was still the right thing to do (what?!).

Allow me to translate: President George Bush wrongfully invaded Iraq and caused the wrongful deaths of many thousands of people. But he wasn't wrong. Oh, I see.

Yet my layman's understanding of the law is that causing a death while acting in a wrongful manner — e.g., driving under the influence — is often considered murder. Third degree. Manslaughter. Whatever. But murder.

As a result of the decision to invade Iraq based on intelligence that turned out to be "wrong," people were killed. A great many people. But that's not murder. Welcome to Bushworld.

— James Byrnes, Hyde Park

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