Worst Week Ever!: Sept. 18-24

It’s difficult to consider the Cincinnati Bengals to be one of the NFL’s more innovative franchises — aside from winning the most lopsided stadium deal in the history of football and then hiring the guy who negotiated it for the county, the team is reall

click to enlarge Welcome to the jungle, Steelers!
Welcome to the jungle, Steelers!

Duke Energy Stops Insuring Retirees, Still Appreciates Life’s Work

Remember when Cincinnatians owned their own electric company? What a hassle that was trying to keep track of which publicly employed official was jamming us up with the rates! Today we have no such problem, as Duke Energy’s executives go straight to the state’s Public Utilities Commission to secure rate increases, leaving most of Cincinnati with no one to be mad at (except Obama) over monthly $25 service charges. Duke today went ahead and told other people who have no power against it (its own retirees) that the company will soon no longer provide health insurance (except for union members in Florida who

are ruining the free market

made the company sign a contract saying it would never screw them over when they’re old). Instead, retirees will receive a yearly stipend they can spend however they like, so long as it is with UnitedHealthcare, a Minnesota-based company that provided so little coverage in 2011 that it made $5 billion (that’s how insurance works, right?). The move is part of a growing trend among giant, publicly traded companies such as IBM, Time Warner, General Electric and DuPont, although their business models are considerably more complicated because they actually make things.  

Bengals Fans Angry Over Katy Perry Song, Culture of Sucking 

It’s difficult to consider the Cincinnati Bengals to be one of the NFL’s more innovative franchises — aside from winning the most lopsided stadium deal in the history of football and then hiring the guy who negotiated it for the county, the team is really only known for losing Super Bowls to the 49ers and a funny 1990s touchdown dance. Even this year — when the team is good for once — Bengals executives have managed to embarrass themselves with what one would assume is a fairly easy part of the team-building process: choosing motivational music for the players to hear while they run onto the field super mad (ever hearda Slayer?!?). Bengals fans presumably enjoyed the team’s Monday Night Football win against the Pittsburgh Steelers Sept. 16, except for the part where the team played Katy Perry’s Pop song “Roar” during breaks, causing fans to blast the team on social media for turning the Bengals into Perry and making the Steelers John Mayer in this complicated, homoerotic metaphor. Bengals Director of Sales and Public Affairs Jeff Berding — also a former Cincinnati politician/Katy Perry superfan — told the Wall Street Journal that the team was surprised by the backlash because “the lyrics are sort of on the mark and we thought it was a good song.” Berding also noted that the team first considered using Twisted Sister’s “We’re Not Gonna Take It” but was afraid it would rile Pacman Jones up too much and he’d do something crazy. 

JobsOhio: Sex Toys Are Too Weird for Ohio 

Early this month the chairman of JobsOhio, the secretive private company with which Gov. John Kasich replaced the Department of Development and then used a UPS slogan he saw during a golf tournament to sell it to the public (“Moving at the speed of business — John Kasich and UPS will bring you stuff”), admitted that his company had a “public-image problem.” In addition to being criticized for giving taxpayer money to businesses connected to Kasich and other high-ranking officials while refusing to disclose details of the process, JobsOhio last week rejected tax credits for Loveland-based Pure Romance to expand its operation in Cincinnati and create more sex toys and jobs here. Ohio’s top development official, David Goodman, said the company didn’t fit within the nine targeted industries the state wants to invest in, guidelines which The Enquirer pointed out didn’t stop Kroger or an auto glass company called Safelite from getting credits this year. Pure Romance ended up deciding to move to Cincinnati anyway, citing the city’s recent urban development and various other ways Cincinnati is bettering itself despite Kasich’s attempts to ruin the streetcar, let growing businesses leave the state and make all of Ohio seem like the backwoods towns from Footloose most of the GOP-controlled legislature represents.    

Pope Uses Big Words to Say Catholics Should Chill on Gay Marriage, Abortion

Sometimes when one belief is pretty clearly becoming the minority, leaders have no choice but to do the opposite (unless you’re a rural Ohio Republican and just want to go down with the ship because you’re old enough that you’ll be dead before it sinks all the way). The big man over at the Catholic Church sees so many leaking holes in the church’s contemporary teachings that he’s reversing course (or maybe lightening the load; plugging cracks where water is coming in?) on the religion’s concerns over gay marriage and abortion. Six months into his papacy, Pope Francis today said that the church has been too “obsessed” with these divisive issues and that if it doesn’t find balance it will “fall like a house of cards, losing the freshness and fragrance of the Gospel.” The story was published by a Jesuit reporter whose work had to be approved by the Pope, which is why no follow-up questions were asked about how the Gospel got so fresh and/or what it smelled like before social conservatives got ahold of it.  

Article: Teens Will Do Everything Wrong

No one enjoys being mocked by a teenager — they talk super loudly, use weird new words and can run really fast once they make you mad enough to consider committing a felony to make them stop hurting your feelings. Luckily for old people around the Tristate, The Enquirer spent some time last week investigating just what these little bastards are talking about when they say things like “red devils,” “Robo” or “Skittles” (all mean getting wasted on cough syrup; maybe swimming through walls for a couple hours) and the potentially “deadly” results of substance and Internet abuse. The story advises parents to be nosy even though it will make a teenager hate you, put the computer in a public space even though he or she will use a cellphone instead and don’t let your kid have any alcohol or drugs while hiding the fact that you probably did some when you were that age and it was fun. The report concludes that teenagers are natural risk-takers because of brain development and that parents should be particularly concerned if their kids become overly interested in social media, Rap music or the movie Dazed and Confused.

CONTACT DANNY CROSS: [email protected]

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