Issue April 11, 2006

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.

Correction
The exhibit “Ordinary People, Extraordinary Courage: Men and Women of the Underground Railroad” is on permanent display at the Carnegie Center for Art and History. It does not close on April 15, as stated in the April 5 LEO. The exhibit “Threads of Strength and Fortitude: Penny Sisto’s Slavery Quilts” closes on April 15. LEO regrets the error.

That’s Just Wrong
To our friends in the Glenmary subdivision:
It has come to my attention that copies of our April 5 issue were deposited on your lawns wrapped in Satanic literature, thereby creating the impression that LEO is somehow affiliated with the “Covenant of Satan.” The newspaper is not, in any way, associated with this movement, or Satan. Nor, for that matter, would LEO use certain vulgar phrases without first hyphenating them. LEO regrets that you had to deal with this silliness and appreciates your understanding. —Michael Steiger, LEO Circulation Manager

Love on the Sunnyside
Someone the other night pointed out to me the angry letter in the March 29 Erosia over my Come Back Inn review, and I just wanted to point out a couple of things: 1) Yes, this was perhaps too ambiguous — “Maybe people think the attitudes and people in Southern Indiana are a little backward, a little stuck in 50 years ago, and maybe in some ways they might be right.” — but if the reader had continued to read closely, he might have noticed the next sentence: “But the part of the region that makes this area Kentuckiana also has a lot to offer and some surprising treats.”
2) It’s unfortunate when someone assumes that you’re simply being negative. Saying somewhere is in some ways stuck in 50 years ago isn’t entirely a bad thing. In some ways it is, and in some ways, as I think many Southern Indiana residents — of which I was for many years one — would agree, it isn’t.
I’m a big fan of Southern Indiana, and I have, for years in my work in several publications, tried to focus a positive light on the good things it has to offer. That doesn’t mean I’m blind to some of the bad things, but on the whole I’d say most people I know in Southern Indiana like the fact that they frequently can leave their cars and homes unlocked without too much fear, just like most people could, oh, say 50 years ago.
Christopher Hall

Bingham a Legend
Having lived in Louisville for just over four years, I know little of Barry Bingham Jr.’s family legacy in Kentucky. What I do know of Bingham Jr. has been gathered from his periodic admissions to my patient care unit at Jewish Hospital. Even in his weakest and most uncomfortable moments, he was incredibly kind and warm. Among my co-workers I half-jokingly referred to him as “my good friend Barry Bingham,” although in his presence I was often timid and spoke very little. I did, however, have the opportunity to chat with him one afternoon while his wife, Edie, fetched the car upon his discharge from the hospital. I walked away feeling privileged to have had his attention for just 10 minutes. The love he had for his wife was straight out of a storybook. The love he had for Kentucky and its people was just as obvious. His passion for life was contagious. Barry Bingham Jr. was as close to royalty as I will ever come. I will remember him often.
Briana Passo

Sweet Home, Alabama
A couple of weeks ago, I was all too happy to retrieve my weekly edition of the LEO and thumb through it while waiting for some friends at a coffee shop. I came to the review section where I noticed the country band, Alabama, was releasing yet another compilation album. I mean, I grew up on country and evolved into indie rock, but Alabama holds a “special” place for me.
Much to my surprise and disapproval, the reviewer saw it upon herself to offer some lame whit and give readers an educational lament about the state and history of Alabama. No doubt, it sounded clever to those readers who knew little about the band or could have cared less, but it was clear that she had not listened to the CD.
Now, obviously a compilation album does not warrant supreme attention to vocals, musical arrangement, purposes of song, etc., but there is an art to a GOOD compilation album. The arrangement and song choice is important. Obviously, this reviewer was too busy making funny whit while recalling facts from an eighth grade history class. Now, while many of us rely on our friends’ strong ears to offer new music, there are those crazy people who look for a good review to purchase an album. They did not really get that option with this review, but if they were looking for clever history amusement, they hit a gold mine.
Melinda L. Townsend

Beckett’s Birthday
April 13 marks the centenary of author Samuel Beckett’s birth. Time for a morsel from the master: “Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.”
Scott Varland

Quit ’em
On April 4, “Brokeback Mountain” was released on DVD. I went to an area store, and as I stood before the movie’s display, a female customer asked if “Brokeback Mountain” and “The Chronicles of Narnia” were the only new releases. Regarding “Brokeback Mountain,” the customer stated more than once, “No, I don’t want to see that movie,” as though she wouldn’t be caught dead watching it. I made my own opinion known by grabbing up a copy right in front of her (if she even noticed) and buying it on the spot.
I guess she’s not alone in her opinion. I would have expected this kind of attitude from Wal-Mart. Yeah, I was surprised, too, when I found out they were selling it. But it appears “Brokeback” has found an ally, so to speak, in this corporate giant. Controversy with retail stores just won’t do anymore. It takes a whole country to make things interesting, and the Bahamas has certainly delivered by banning this amazing story, apparently because the main characters come out of the closet.
Aside from people who are too prejudiced toward this love story that they’ll never give it a chance, there’s only one thing that annoys me just as much. I hope everyone will quit the gay cowboy jokes. Oh, yes! I used the word QUIT! I wish we knew how to quit ’em!
Lesley Blakley

Dinosaurs Exist
First off, congratulations are in accord for Eustace Durrett and Ike M. Thacker IV (in a March 22 letter) for refusing to be “Harpo Marxists,” that is believers in Marxism who won’t speak for fear of vilification and ridicule — the kind expressed in three response letters April 5 calling socialism a dinosaur and likening its espousers to members of the Flat Earth Society.
I would urge letter writers Christopher M. Spellman, John Gamel and Edwin Hurt to read the news out of Latin America. Freely elected socialist governments of various types have come to power in recent years by the will of the people in Venezuela, Chile, Brazil, Ecuador, Bolivia, Uruguay, Argentina and Mexico (at last count), each nonviolently and without resorting to the totalitarianism one of the letter writers insisted is the fate of all socialist states.
Grassroots increases in participation in the political process — not centralized dictatorships and labor camps — accompanied the rise of most these leftist governments. Also, contrary to the idea of socialism as a brutal and militaristic force, it is interesting to note that Argentina and Uruguay recently joined Venezuela in announcing it would stop sending soldiers to train at the successor academy of the U.S. School of the Americas at Ft. Benning, Ga., where extremely violent and inhumane tactics were taught in order to keep regimes in power espousing U.S.-style capitalism. Anyone so unaware of this trend that they would still dismiss socialism as a philosophy that died with the Soviet Union is the dinosaur.
George Morrison