October 2, 2007

Erosia

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.CorrectionLast week’s review of Le Petomane Theatre Ensemble’s “Next Show: A Festival of Shorts” misidentified Kristie Rolape as Kyle Ware. LEO regrets the error.Branded(Regarding “Got a song to go with that?” in Sept. 19 LEO): Let me see if I have this right: Louisville is trying to brand itself with a new image. Gill Holland is trying to promote the NuLu name (which you never even explained is derived from “New Lou(isville)”) for the East Market Gallery District. You call people up, clearly hoping to find them pissed off with juicy quotes for your article. You don’t find any (lol). You just find a couple of indifferent people who (when coaxed) say something sarcastic about the idea. You don’t state anywhere that you even made an attempt to get a comment from Holland’s side. You say it should be up to the public to decide. (Let’s see now, which Kentucky hunting call would you prefer we use? Maybe we could try “ahoy”? Or maybe just a rebel yell?)Did I get the gist? Oh, the conspiracy! Run for the hills, a greedy ART GALLERY OWNER (lol) is trying to take over the city with a BRAND! Next thing you know, we’ll have only “big-box” art galleries that will drive the poor mom-and-pop art galleries out of business! Oh, woe is me: the downfall of civilization blamed on the ART LOBBY! Ha ha. I sincerely hope you find a different outlet for your frustration in the future rather than bashing someone who is trying to encourage some sort of culture to take root downtown.Stephen Meadows, LouisvilleWhat’s in a Name?If East Market needs to be called something other than East Market, why not “Hertzburg” in honor of the pioneer who got the whole thing going?Also, note to wealthy landlords: If the rent keeps going up, the golden goose will be dead, and there will be no need to call the area anything but “the slums east of downtown.”Ed Willard, LouisvilleRiver Writers(Regarding LEO’s “48½ things we love about Louisville” list, Sept. 19): In point about the Ohio River, the writer concluded, “You’d be hard-pressed to name a great city that’s not near a significant body of water.” I am not that hard-pressed to name Atlanta, Dallas, Denver and Phoenix. I guess if you consider lakes outside of those towns significant, I stand corrected. I am sure there are a few other cities Louisville’s size that also don’t have significant bodies of water. I think maybe writers should think through what they say a little more; just because it sounds good does not make it true. But many writers are guilty of this ploy. I do love Louisville best though.Donald Hensley, LouisvilleEditor’s note: Busted. What we meant to say is that the Ohio River makes our city a lot cooler than it would be without it.Inspired PragmatistI read the critical remarks in Lucinda Marshall’s column (LEO, Sept. 19), and Marcia Schneider’s letter (LEO, Sept. 26), concerning the Iraq Summer campaign. Marshall complained that the plight of the Iraqis is rarely mentioned in antiwar rhetoric. I attended the Iraq Summer event at Bellarmine, where many speakers spoke of the suffering of the Iraqi people and our obligations to them. Schneider complains that the Iraq Summer group focused on stopping the escalation of the war, rather than on “getting out now,” even though their signs read “Support the Troops, End the War.” Schneider also complains that the Iraq Summer campaign is more about “electing Democrats” than it is antiwar. But this campaign is mainly organized against pre-emptive, unilateral and imperialistic wars as a means to solve world crises. The Iraq Summer campaign is made up of local progressives and previously non-active persons, rather than simply an outside group trying to promote the Democratic party. Marshall, Schneider and I are all progressives, but unlike them, I am also a pragmatist. The rest of our country does not yet agree with our values. So what do we do until that day arrives? The Marshalls and Schneiders of the USA tell us to be purists, tell us to not vote and tell us that there are no differences between the Democrats and Republicans. Granted, neither of these parties represents all of our progressive values. But there is a difference, and if we simply stand on the sidelines and wait for candidates and parties that agree totally with us, we will be long gone before we become involved in the process. Would we be in Iraq now had Gore been elected president? I think not. Was there a difference between Kerry and Bush, or Yarmuth and Northup, or now between McConnell and whomever is his opponent? I think so. Support the troops. End the war. Help the Iraqi people. Help each other. Vote. Peace. Ken Nevitt, LouisvilleOff ScriptI think bicycles remind us of how fragile we are. In a car, we are cocooned away from our fragility, surrounded by seatbelts, airbags and reliable structural integrity. The irony is that, statistically, cyclists are not in much more danger than someone in a car. “The odds of dying from a bicycle crash are one in 71. This compares to one in 75 for a light truck (pickup truck, SUV, van), one in 108 for a car. In other words, the odds of dying in a bike crash are about the same as the odds of dying in an SUV crash” (raisethehammer.org). The plain fact is that motor vehicles are deadly to drivers, passengers, pedestrians, squirrels and cyclists. Laurence Gonzales wrote “Deep Survival” and talked about it at the IdeaFestival last month. He said smart people do stupid, deadly things because we go through our days following behavioral scripts (e.g. “I drive my car home at a speed that is comfortable to me, and I travel streets I know well. This is rote and I am on autopilot.”). Danger arises when our script doesn’t match the world around us; we don’t expect to see a much slower bicycle taking up space. So for me, a cyclist, disrupting a driver’s behavioral script is essential to stay alive. I wear a dorky reflective vest, and my bike has three blinking lights (two in back, one up front). I ride far enough into the lane that cars can’t scoot past me. I thank the city for the signs, sharrows and bike lanes that I hope make me more visible (imperfect though they may be). I pray Hail Mary’s across the Second Street Bridge and back, and thank Chips Cronen for helping to keep me alive.Jennifer Hester, Louisville