October 17, 2006

Erosia: Letters to the Editor

LEO welcomes letters that are brief (250 words max) and thoughtful. Ad hominem attacks will be ignored, and we need your name and a daytime phone number. Send snail mail to EROSIA, 640 S. Fourth St., Louisville, Ky. 40202. Fax to 895-9779 or e-mail to leo@leoweekly.com. We may edit for length, grammar and clarity.Protect and Serve What?The first weekend in October finds one of the largest regional art and craft fairs, St. James, in one of America’s oldest and largest Victorian neighborhoods. From Hill to Park streets and from Sixth to Second, you can find all shapes and sizes of arts and crafts, creating an explosion in pedestrian activity, and while for many it’s a walk in the park, for residents it’s a headache that doesn’t go away until the trophy wives and SUVs do.I’ve lived in Old Louisville for three years now, and every year I have to go through the same dance. No parking, crowds, trash … but these are only minor annoyances. The issue I am really attempting to get to is the police officers guarding the entrance, which is near where I live. Walking to my door well after dark I was stopped by two very rude officers. “Stop right there, boy!” the officer yells. “Can I help you,” I reply. “Yeah, you can stop when I tell you to,” the officer shoots back. I’m thinking, “Great, the same police force that tased a man to death and shot an unarmed boy in the back is now boxing me into a corner.”“To Protect and Serve” is their motto, but I pose this question for your consideration: to protect and serve what? Not who, but what? Since living in Old Louisville I’ve been jumped while walking home from work and I’ve had my car broken into twice. How long do you think it took the police to arrive at my front door on these occasions? Three hours! Let me see if I have this straight? While walking to my door during the St. James Art Fair: half a second. Waiting for the police to arrive after being victimized: three hours! Pathetic.Ricky WoodsonThe LMPD Responds: I am sorry to hear of Mr. Woodson’s encounter with security personnel during the Art Fair. Organizers with the St. James Art Fair contract with a private security firm, which employs off-duty officers from several public safety agencies along with security guards. Employees of the security firm were posted at all entry points into the Art Show and on mobile patrol from 7 p.m. until 8 a.m. daily. Only two of our Metro Police officers were employed off duty by this company.We certainly regret that Mr. Woodson had such a negative experience with the security personnel, and if he believes the men he encountered were employed by the Louisville Metro Police Department, we would encourage him to contact our Professional Standards Unit to file a formal complaint at 574-7144.Regarding the three-hour delay in responding to Mr. Woodson’s criminal complaint, again, he may contact our office at 574-7660 so we can work with MetroSafe to better determine what, if any problems may exist.Major David Ray, Commander, Fourth DivisionCheck It OutThe feature article by Stephen George (LEO, Sept. 27) concerning 8664 asks two poignant questions: 1) “With so much at stake, though, isn’t an open mind, at the very least, prudent?”; and 2) “When suggesting an alternative to a $2.5 billion transportation project with so much potential for both efficiency and disaster, is considered an impediment, do we not proceed then, at our own peril?”I believe George is correct. The ramifications of this project will affect Louisville Metro for generations. Please take a few minutes and visit www.8664.org. Click to view the presentation. I further believe this concept is a better vision for the River City.Perry Clark, state senator, District 37Science of a ReviewI am writing in regards to the film review of “The Science of Sleep” by Jamie Peters (LEO, Oct. 4). To quote art critic E.H. Gombrich, consider “the harm that may be done by those who dislike and criticize works of art for wrong reasons.” Peters refers to Michel Gondry’s animation as “intentionally tacky” and that “retro special effects hover just below the danger zone of annoyingly quirky indie cinema.” However, Peters fails to offer any insight as to why it is tacky or what is retro about it. To simply insult a filmmaker’s stylistic choices without ample explanation is the equivalent of a sucker punch.Furthermore, Peters claims Gondry’s film is “too ramshackle and free associative to have any firm dramatic structure” and “that Gondry could care less about narrative arcs.” A narrative arc is the principal plot of an ongoing storyline in the episodes of a narrative. Perhaps Peters was thinking of George Lucas’ “Star Wars” when considering “The Science of Sleep.” As far as dramatic structure is concerned, Aristotle defines this as a beginning, a middle and an end. The German dramatist Gustav Freytag took this a step further with his modern application of five-act structure: exposition, rising action, climax, falling action, denouement. In “The Science of Sleep,” the exposition occurs in the first 15 minutes: boy meets girl. The rising action occupies the next hour and 15 minutes: boy lives next door to girl, girl doesn’t know this, girl finds out, boy leaves note, etc. The climax occurs in the hour and 30-minute slot: Stephane achieves a level of success and then witnesses, what he believes, the girl of his desire with another man. The falling action: Stephane’s apparent move back to Mexico. Finally, the denouement: the animated horse sequence at the end. Clearly, Gondry understands these principals and applies them quite effectively. Perhaps, it is Peters who doesn’t understand the medium, or even the nature of a review. E.H. Gombrich said: “To talk cleverly about art is not very difficult, because the words critics use have been employed in so many different contexts that they have lost all precision.”Ryan DalyFailing MediaMark Nickolas’ column about the milquetoast media (LEO, Sept. 27) should be directed to national media and not just print media. Both sources will refer to the Iraq War as the “War for Iraqi Freedom,” even though it’s just a Republican slogan and has nothing to do with why the war was begun. In recent days we have been overwhelmed by questions of “WHY?” Not about why a war that has taken thousands of lives was started, but why two madmen killed innocent young girls.In the June 25 C-J, there was a story about how the CIA tried to stop Colin Powell and Bush from using a fake story to drum up support for attacking Iraq. The source of the fake story was an Iraqi defector named “Curveball” by the CIA, who considered him mentally unfit and a liar. There has been no clamor by the media as to why the Republicans insisted on using this liar to support their lie. If they had asked why and were willing to tell the story, they might find the Feb. 27, 1992 New York Times column where William Safire said the first Bush administration was planning to “zap” a dictator to win re-election. A historian will eventually put the story together about why we rushed to war in Iraq, but the present media has no interest in asking why thousands are dying there, but want to know why madmen kill the innocent a few at a time. Both the media and the Republicans in government are failing the nation. Jason J. KeslerHonesty Gone MissingWhat would happen if firefighters fought fire with fire? Everyone knows that you fight fire with water. What I mean by that is do something so radically different in political campaigning that the voters cannot help but take notice. Do not, John Yarmuth, as c d kaplan suggests in his Oct. 4 column, “fight fire with fire.” Please do not insert yourself into the played-out modern election cycle in which both candidates agree to run a clean campaign; one breaks that agreement, attacks, then misrepresents their opponent’s position, then, as we all know, the whole thing degrades into mud-slinging, and the voters get screwed out of any real debate. Please don’t go there, John! If you do, I, for one, will feel more compelled to stay home on election day than to go to the polls and vote for you. Instead, point out to the public what your opponent is doing (running a negative campaign that attempts to divert attention from the issues) and go directly to discussing YOUR views on the issues. Run the clean campaign you said you would simply because that is what you said you would do. I believe voters are ready for an honest campaign and an honest candidate. After all, isn’t honesty what’s really missing in Washington today?Phil Marshall