Issue September 18, 2007

Connected Diss: CAUTION: Merging musings

It’s Time to Pave the Ohio: There are many things I am grateful for, none more than that I am not a Hoosier who has to commute over the Kennedy Bridge every day. Are we truly to believe that we are not taking our lives in our hands when we cross a bridge with cracked girders and missing bolts? Sounds more like a plot to get us to pony up a few million more dollars for new bridges.

There is another option — we could just pave the Ohio River. Granted it would be a bit of a problem for the barges, but hey, we could run roads to wherever with plenty of room for bike trails and light rail (which, given the number of air quality alerts this last summer, should be seriously reconsidered). The Steamboat Race is toast, so this would open up space for a new event, call it Derby Drag Racing. The best part? Not only could we 8664, but we could 8665 before it 86’s us.

Urban Developments: It was a glorious day in the ’Ville when Hizzoner announced that the Cordish Company is going to Fourth Street Live-ify yet more of our downtown, including (please contain your excitement) a boutique hotel. In the meantime … Artspace opened its doors with “donated carpet and hand-me-down furniture,” according to The Courier-Journal. But perhaps that is just until the new arts complex that looks like a horse’s behind can be built.

August Heat: You would think that the sizzling August temperatures would have given us a better understanding of the living hell that is Iraq, but apparently not if the Iraq Summer campaign’s focus on supporting the troops by ending the war is any indication. It is the epitome of American arrogance that the plight of the Iraqis, particularly the 4 million of whom are now refugees, is rarely mentioned any more in antiwar rhetoric, that the suffering we have inflicted upon ourselves is more important than the suffering we have inflicted upon others.

Be that as it may, while one would think that having a viable candidate to take on McConnell might be helpful at this point, our normally unflappable senator appears to be flapping. His recent whining about political ads that he doesn’t like makes him sound like an Anne Northup wannabe. Memo to the senator: When your friend Ernie runs a Photoshopped “The Gambler” ad, it’s open season. As for the ad that asks “How long will Sen. Mitch McConnell keep us stuck in Iraq?,” it’s a legitimate question as long as you keep supporting the war, and I’m sure the folks at MoveOn.org are rolling on the floor laughing at your characterization of them as “Washington insiders.” If they have indeed reached that status, you may want to think about making retirement plans.

Take Back the Night: Many thanks to The C-J’s ever wonderful Bob Hill for recently pointing out that while the number of UK co-eds who feel very safe on campus has doubled, that still leaves 68 percent who feel less than very safe. Closer to home, the annual Take Back the Night event will kick off Domestic Violence Awareness Month at the Red Barn at U of L at 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 25. For more information, contact PEACC at U of L at 852-7014.

HotSpot Low Spot: It seems LEO’s daily sister has lately been suffering from a glut of Features stories, forcing them to place the overflow on the front page of the paper. As a result, hard news is being shunted off to the sidebars or into the bowels of the first section, if not cut altogether.

As for the Sunday and Monday Op-Ed faux blog look, since when do literally sophomoric essays about using sex appeal to get into a bar without proper ID and how bad it is to lie take the place of comprehensive news analysis? While it is laudable to reach out to younger readers, as my son, a communications major, points out, there is nothing there that would distract anyone from MySpace or Facebook. Where have you gone, Barry Bingham?

Lucinda Marshall is a feminist artist, writer, activist and founder of the Feminist Peace Network, www.feministpeacenetwork.org. She blogs at WIMN Online and writes this monthly column for LEO. Contact her at lucindamarshall@feministpeacenetwork.org