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November 21, 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.Break the Chains!Your so-called “Best of Louisville” feature made me do a spit-take into my Highland Coffee mug and simultaneously re-evaluate my choice of residence. What a sad comment on our city it is, when the list of organizations that Louisvillians consider to be quintessential contains a litany of scary pre-packaged bleached-bland franchised zombie-corporations? Fourth Street Live? Dillard’s? Buffalo Wild Wings? Victoria’s Secret? Starbucks? Blockbuster? Hooters? Southeast Christian Church? Are you f*cking kidding me? I’m surprised Wal-Mart didn’t make the cut.I take small comfort in the fact that few of these organizations actually placed first, but the fact that they were mentioned at all makes my skin crawl. What does it say about us that we think two of the best live-theater groups in the city, after Actors Theatre, are Derby Dinner Playhouse (in Indiana) and the Palace (which is not even a performing organization so much as a really attractive rental hall)? Are we that bereft of culture? At least Squallis Puppeteers made the cut, but what about the 30 or so other theater groups that perform locally? How humiliating. Come on Louisville ... we can do better.Robert McFarlandPunk’dWhile it’s nice to see the recognition of a “post-punk” classic 26 years after, Kim Sorise should have noted the incredible influence of the German group Can (in her Nov. 1 music column). It’s impossible to listen to Metal Box without hearing Jaki Leibezeit’s drum patterns all over, not to mention Jah Wobble’s purposeful collaborations with Leibezeit in later years acknowledging the influence. Further, and more important to the classification of “post-punk,” was the recognition of punk’s aesthetic limitations. XTC, the Clash, Bad Brains and others all realized the fashion gimmick that punk had been pigeonholed into, hence the excursion into rhythm as a means of tapping into the revolutionary consciousness. Thomas OwensPoems for Pay?To review music inhaiku is lame, you paypeople to do that?Kurt WimpeThe Voice was Heard“How do we get out of this hell to see the stars again?” The Election Day outcome here provides the opportunity. Too often Rahm Emanuel-types have suppressed authentic Democratic voices and fielded imposter candidates who are advised to stay silent or mushy on war, healthcare and just wages and tax policy. Thankfully, John Yarmuth stepped up to the plate. Thanks for the VOICE lesson, John.Mark McKinleyGoats Got PassionNow that Yarmuth is headed to the Capitol, it’s safe to say a foregone conclusion of mine rings true: Issues do not decide elections. Instead, interests carry the day, and not necessarily special interests, but rather personal, vested and “me and my own” interests. It’s a sad state of affairs in American politics. We trumpet the value of democracy and free elections across the globe, yet here elections are decided by the desire for personal wealth. Yarmuth’s policies did not win the election, and it disgusts me to admit as much. If we split Louisville near Fern Creek, with some pockets of defection, this will show the voter bases. I was reminded of the Iron Curtain after checking out a demographic map of Northup and Yarmuth voters. Bottom line, what we’re seeing in modern politics is akin to ships passing in the night. Ricky Jones was right in berating the lack of clash and genuine passion in politics. Transparent politicians like Northup wouldn’t last two days in the first Continental Congress. But “safe” wins re-election. What this tells me is that people voted for her with their wallets in mind. Hell, a one-eyed billy goat blessed with the gift of speech could win Republican votes if it knew the words “tax cuts” and “less public spending.” When a candidate with no stances and no real ideas who sides with Bush nearly wins, something is amiss. At some point in time we made the jump from being a community of people to opponents on I-65, in a rush to reach the Watterson first and collect bigger checks. When they cast their lot with a rubber stamp, Bible thumpers attending the Six Flags forgot their “love thy neighbor” morals. Oh, the power of money.  Matt MattinglyA Hot IssueThe election results demonstrate that the American people want Congress to take action now to move Americans toward a new, cleaner energy future.In the 50 key races targeted by the New Energy Future campaign, 38 major party candidates endorsed the New Energy Future platform committing to reduce U.S. dependence on oil; harness clean, renewable, homegrown energy sources; save energy with high performance homes, buildings and appliances; and invest in a New Energy Future by tripling research and development funding for energy-saving and renewable technologies. Candidates who endorsed the platform include progressive Democrats like California’s Lynn Woolsey and Maryland’s Ben Cardin, Republican conservatives like Pennsylvania’s Rick Santorum, Illinois’ Peter Roskam and Georgia’s Mac Collins, and moderates of both parties like Georgia’s Sanford Bishop and Connecticut’s Chris Shays.While we are disappointed that Rep.-elect Yarmuth chose not to endorse the New Energy Future platform during the campaign, we hope that in office he will work to move America in a new direction that puts our national security, our environment, the global climate and our children’s futures above Big Oil and other powerful interests.Maryelizabeth PopeAll Fired UpTo Meredith Wickliffe:I noted with great interest the report (LEO, Oct. 25) about your “fiery e-mail” accusing 8th District Councilman Tom Owen of trying to put you (Wick’s Pizza on Baxter) out of business.I also note that you and your husband spent two years — or more — trashing Bill Allison with the worst kind of invective and lies that, without doubt, contributed to Tom Owen’s victory over Bill in the 2002 Democratic Primary election for the 8th District Metro Council seat.I recommend that you and your husband reflect carefully on two tried and true and proven political aphorisms. The first is, “What goes around comes around,” and the second is, “You better be careful of what you ask for, because you might get it.”If you want to trash me with a fiery e-mail in response, please feel free to do so at: billwarner@bellsouth.net.Bill WarnerArena for Deep PocketsThanks to a back-page article in the Oct. 17 C-J Metro section, we begin to see how our great arena debacle is playing out. The headline reads that Humana is to be paid $11 million “plus other incentives” for their two-acre Riverview Square building. The “other incentives” as far as one can tell from this article amount to $3 million in moving costs, $1.8 million in free advertising, whatever amount 10 years use of corporate arena boxes is, and the yet-to-be-determined cost of providing 265 comparable parking spaces for employees. That grand total will likely be somewhere in the vicinity of $15 million.One might still find it odd that the arena “authority” had no interest in the vacant four and one-half acres on Main Street, just west of the Ninth Street interchange. They were informed early in their “hearings” this land was (and still is) FOR SALE for less than $1 million. Just imagine what $14 million could have done to support business development around “our” new arena at 15th and Main. Just imagine what that business would have done for the west side of downtown just as Slugger Field has done for the east side of downtown. Just imagine what our city and state leaders would/could have done for the good of greater Louisville had they a broader vision rather than a narrow view of how our city should build to be inclusive, rather than benefit a few already deep pockets.Stay tuned for more developments on how “our” arena millions continue to be buried at Second and Main.James McMillin