Issue August 14, 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.

Correction
In the “Paprika” film review last week, the writer incorrectly said director Zoe Cassavetes is the daughter of director Nick Cassavetes and actress Gena Rowlands. She is, in fact, the daughter of Rowlands and actor-director John Cassavetes. LEO regrets the error.

Free Your Frugality
As someone who works not only with the Forecastle Festival but with numerous other musically-related businesses and individuals, I find it sadly ironic that one of the performing musicians from this year’s festival should complain about the cost of the event (LEO, Erosia, Aug. 8).
Even if one attended on that Saturday only, and strictly for the musical component of a festival, which also focuses on environmental activism and art, the $15 admission averaged out to a measly 84 cents apiece for each of the 18 bands performing that day, including the two nationally-known headliners.
Has music been so systematically devalued by our society in this age of downloading that 84 cents to hear a live band is considered exorbitant? Has our tendency to drop music and art programs from the schools whenever budgets get tight and test scores get low resulted in such cultural ignorance that even musicians themselves don’t recognize the value of their art, nor the value of such a performance opportunity in the face of rapidly dwindling venues for original music?
Forecastle is a work in progress, and we learn valuable lessons from each year’s event, but it would be incorrect to label this year’s festival a “flop” of any sort — we had more than 3,000 paid admissions to this year’s festival in spite of the bad weather conditions. And almost all of the feedback we’ve received from festival-goers, sponsors and participants alike has been overwhelmingly positive, including enthusiastic responses from several out-of-town bands who are eagerly anticipating a return visit to Louisville based on their Forecastle experience.
If Mr. Mancini earnestly wants to help Forecastle succeed, I suggest he consider rolling up his sleeves and joining our other 200 volunteers for the 2008 event. Perhaps then he’ll have a better idea of the costs and logistics involved in staging such a festival in the first place.
Leslie Stewart,
Forecastle Festival publicist

People-Power
As Scott Robinson pointed in the Aug. 8 LEO, the CNN-YouTube debates of the 2008 Democratic presidential candidates are breaking through the layers of media insulation that would ordinarily give these candidates the power to equivocate, dissemble and control the public dialogue.
This technology is bringing the candidates face to face with real people. In so doing, it’s stripping away some of the candidates’ power over the process. The obvious result is more power to the people.
Boy, could we use more of that! More people-power in our elections. Less money-power.
Tom Louderback, Louisville

Makes Me Ill
I was once an employee of Mr. McAllister’s organization. My entire division was laid off (they called it “rightsizing”) in February 2004 after the Medicare Reform Act. The layoff was not due to the projection of lost revenue due to the Act; rather it was based on the need to strategically place Humana in the right position to capitalize on the revenue it would receive due to that Act. Indeed, Humana was projecting its profit due to the Act, and happy for the initiative it created for the organization. However, I need not digress by pointing out what financial failure that legislation will produce in the future, nor how confusing the myriad list of plans is for seniors now. I would know, because I was in a senior products division and a licensed agent with years of experience.
After about an eight-month hiatus, Humana replaced my division with new titles and lesser pay — something Humana excels at doing. So, my name was added to a long list of ex-Humana employees who found themselves “rightsized.” It is my experience that Humana is about the profit that can be found in such moves.
Let us not forget the nature of a corporation that sells insurance: It is their bet that you will not get ill, it is your bet that you will; and that is why you have coverage. Yet if you do get ill, it impacts profitability for Humana.
An example of how Humana counts on such a scenario is HumanaOne, its individual health insurance policy. Sure it is cheap — if you are a non-smoker, male and 26. However, add a few bad habits to the equation, or the need for medication for which there is no generic drug, then you had better shop anywhere else for coverage. Oh, and by the way, females of childbearing age had better not even call for coverage, because it will be unaffordable. If anyone doubts me, pick up the phone and comparison shop.
I met a member of the Cherry family about two months before I was laid off. She told me I would regret the day I went to Humana. I actually do not regret that day, and any anger due to the layoff has long since fallen away. However, there are times when one must speak out. I just find it ironic that a homegrown company that prides itself on acts of philanthropy and support of the arts thinks that no one is aware of what is going on. That type of smugness makes me feel “Sicko.”
Andrew Yunt, Louisville

My Chad is for Fred

I’m so tired of the old blah-blah-blah from political candidates. It seemed it really didn’t matter who won or lost — they are all the same.  
But hope is renewed since Fred Thompson (possible GOP presidential candidate and former “Law and Order” star) came on the scene. His name isn’t presidential, but everything else about him sure is. Finally, someone is making sense and making me believe there is a chance to get out of the mess our country is in. In listening to him, I feel comfortable again being an American. His Ronald Reagan style inspires confidence and creates a sense of security.
Sheree Lally, Louisville