Issue January 26, 2006

Erosia

Kindred Spirits?

For Bill Doolittle, Billy Reed c d Kaplan and the LEO staff in general:

 I’m in Seattle and I happened upon your Web site through a fit of link-clicking, compliments of Wikipedia. Lord knows how, but I was reading about the grand city of Louisville (which I have decided is like a Portland, Ore., of Appalachia. And it seems you have your own Portland out there anyway. This has nothing to do with anything. And, now I remember how I got to reading about Louisville — I was reading about your local band VHS or Beta).

 Anyhoo, reading about Louisville led me to a link on a paper called Velocity, which led me to a link for the LEO. It took me about two seconds to realize that if I were instantly transported against my will to Louisville, I would be a LEO reader over the Velocity. We have much the same competition here in Seattle with our free urban weeklies, the Seattle Weekly and The Stranger. (FYI, the Stranger is the good one.) So, yeah, I ended up discovering the LEO today and couldn’t help reading your Super Bowl coverage. I thoroughly understand your “support-by-proximity” for Pittsburgh and the Ohio River connection. Or any various grandmother/relative connections you may have. But let me tell you why it’s OK, nay essential, to support your Seattle Seahawks:

 1) First, the Geographic Factor. Sad to say it, but Louisville is more of a kindred spirit to Seattle than to Pittsburgh, and it’s all about geography! You see, with Seattle being tucked way up in the corner of the map, the rest of the country tends to forget we’re up here. A kind of out-of-sight-out-of-mind thing. Somehow that rationale apparently carries over to our sports teams. The Seahawks had an amazing winning season ALL DAMN SEASON … and still they’re underdogs to the sixth-seeded Steelers?! Why? Simple geography.

 This isn’t an “NFC is lower class football than AFC” thing. This is simply an out-of-sight-out-of-mind ideology. Seattle doesn’t register on the national radar, the Seahawks don’t register on the national radar, and so when something that doesn’t register gets thrust into the limelight — no matter how good it is or what it has achieved — it just doesn’t register. This leads us to point 2 …

 2) The Underdog Factor. How cool is it to stand up for the underdog? Be they Democrats, minorities or Seahawks, let’s face it. Underdogs rock!

 3) Louisville should appreciate the combo of the 1-2 punch listed above. I spent my formative years on the East Coast, in Pennsylvania of all places, and I can tell you, the Eastern Seaboard AND its major media outlets have Louisville on their geographic radar about as bright as they have Seattle. (Read: NOT AT ALL). Let’s face it, Louisville is a Seattle … Out-of-sight-out-of-mind. But the good thing about that is that it makes Louisville … drumroll … an Underdog! You gotta love yourself when you’re the underdog. And underdog cities should support underdog cities.

 Although Pittsburgh is an underdog of sorts, having fallen on hard times since its heyday of around 1890 … I’ve been to Pittsburgh. It is the rudest, dirtiest, most Rick Santorum-loving place that ever needed to be wiped off a map! It would behoove Louisville to side with its fellow geographic “also-ran,” Seattle.
 Also, that tricky East Coast Bias
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/East_coast_bias) — their sports media are pushing for the Steelers, and now they have swept LEO along in the excitement! Louisville of all places! Diamond-in-the-rough Louisville is following the herd. Tsk — Say it isn’t so?!

 I could go on all day about why the Seahawks should win this thing or your support at the very least (Shaun Alexander?! Kentucky native?! Is that meaningless?!), but I am at work, so I should go do something to pay for my $6 coffee.

 In all seriousness — you do have a kick-ass little paper going. I’m glad I found out about the LEO. Have fun on Sunday, whoever you root for!

 Goodbye from Seattle — and go Seahawks!

Scot Trescot

Before the ‘Oops’
Attn: Stephen George:
I have a few comments to make about your recent article, “Save it for the morning after” (Jan. 18 LEO). Your fictional woman “Lucy” is an educated person and presumably represents the majority of the women you would like to see Plan B readily available for. I have a question for you and “Lucy.” Why don’t the women who do not want to become pregnant use the birth control that has been available (with a doctor’s prescription) to all women in the United States, for decades? Is the only birth control available now condoms? Relying only on Plan B for birth control is a little like closing the door after the cows have gotten out (oops!). I have a few other things I could say, but it would be strident, squabbling or moral.
Roxy Lentz

Bridging Troubled Waters
To John Yarmuth — writing a column in an alternative newspaper is all about idealism and lifting the people to the ethical high ground. Serving in Congress is about pandering to popular misconceptions and bringing money home for new bridges while voting to cut taxes, then denying any blame for the deficit (at least you get a bridge named for you).
To Billy Reed — regarding your assertion that “The next thing you know, somebody in the national media will be calling for Lexington to rename Rupp Arena because it honors a racist. Don’t laugh. This is the sort of ‘cause’ that the politically-correct crowd dearly loves.”
Since you didn’t name any names among the politically-correct crowd, I can only assume you mean me, since I have protested racism and tried for a couple of decades to live in opposition to it.
You’ve called for fairness for Adolph Rupp, now I ask you to be fair to those involved in anti-racist work. You will note during your many visits to Rupp the absence of picketers calling for a name change despite the perception that its namesake was a racist. This should clear up the misconception that we PC-ers don’t do our homework and operate with a lynch mob mentality.
Who knows, however? Someday we Hoosiers could cross the John Yarmuth bridge and take I-64 to Alan Alda Arena.
George Morrison

Continue the Attack
Dear John Yarmuth:
My family and I have been fans of yours (and LEO) from the beginning. We tend to agree with your politics and enjoy your turn of phrase and the energy reflected in the paper as a whole.
But I can’t get behind you in your possible announcement for a bid for 3rd District U.S. Representative. You are a powerful and gifted gadfly, but I don’t know if I’d call you a unifying political force in the community. Moreover, I’ve always found it deeply discomfiting when members of the press flirt with (or court outright) political office.
Play to your strengths, Mr. Yarmuth. Please don’t run in this race. Instead, use the bully pulpit you HAVE to organize and lend energy to a fractured, disorganized 3rd District citizenry that yearns for something better than Karl Rove’s vision of Politics Republican Style.
If you want to get your hat in somebody’s ring, Jefferson County’s Democratic leadership doesn’t look like it could organize a dog show, let alone a grassroots push to get a quality, progressive U.S. Representative in place. Maybe you could lend your considerable skills to that noble (and desperately needed) effort.
Sarah Causey

No Arena on My List
The last thing the taxpayers of Metro Louisville need is an expensive, new downtown arena in a flood zone. Freedom Hall is accessible, centrally located, has plenty of great parking and it’s paid for.
The powers that be tell us not to worry about a mere $450 million; that’s pocket change. The state will kick in $75 million from taxes, business will entertain clients, and we can issue bonds for the rest. In the meantime, Louisville will become rich and famous and the arena will pay for itself! But that’s highly unlikely.
Common sense says that if there was profit to be made in a new arena, private business would have built one long ago, no public funding necessary. The bottom line is, if Kentucky government has so much money that it can finance sports and entertainment, lawmakers should lower taxes and leave the money in the hands of the people who earned it! We taxpayers have our own needs and priorities. Arenas are not on my list!
Donna Mancini

Set the Record Straight
Dear Billy Reed:
On behalf of the Greater Louisville UK Alumni Club, I would like to thank you for your excellent article in LEO (“Tainted Glory,” Jan. 11 issue).
Our local Alumni Board of Directors has been debating for the past year and a half on the best way to deal with the movie “Glory Road,” knowing that the university and Coach Rupp would not be presented in a truthful and historically accurate way.
Your excellent article certainly gives the public an accurate and actual account of the 1965-66 UK basketball season, the actual team members and most importantly Coach Rupp himself from one who was actually there before and during that magical season. We appreciate your fine journalism and almost defy some of the revisionist sports writers to challenge your reporting of the facts. Your writing accomplished everything that our Board desired and was the simple presentation of the truth to those fortunate enough to have read it.
Thanks again for your fine work.
George A. Ochs, president of Greater Louisville UK Alumni Club Inc.

Was It Good for You?
I just want to let the powers that be know that Bradford Cummings’ article on the “American Idol” madness was orgasmically refreshing. His writing skills are excellent, his insights poignant and his wit scathingly genuine. I’ve been a loyal reader of LEO for several years now, and I have never been so delighted with an article as I was with Cummings’. Please, oh please, feature him more often. I would love it if his writing contributions became a regular feature in your fine newspaper. I think Cummings is what LEO’s been missing. Thanks for your time, and I’ll look forward to his next piece.
Leah Roberts

Step up, McConnell
Dear Sen. McConnell,
Please, for an exercise, reconcile your opposition to flag-burning laws or amendments, a clear defense of the First Amendment of the Constitution, and your support for Samuel Alito, who is clearly a proponent of a unitary executive, which is roundly considered by legal scholars to be an extraconstitutional concept. The three branches of government were originally meant to be co-equal, checking and balancing each other continuously — you are smart enough to know this.
You know in your heart that President Bush’s warrantless wiretaps, not to mention his declaration on this subject and others that the president is above the law, is extraconstitutional, and this behavior conclusively makes Bush a traitor to the republic.
Let me be clear: President Bush is not my king and I am not his subject. Bush is beholden to the Constitution the same way you and I are. We, the citizens of the republic, deserve a law-abiding president. Please VOTE NO on Alito, and support the Democrats’ filibuster.
Steve Magruder