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December 5, 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.CorrectionA news item about the Kentucky Theater in last week’s issue incorrectly said the theater was largely unused from the mid-1980s until the mid-1990s. For a few years in the 1990s (’91-’92), a film collective led by Ben Daughtrey, Chris Iovenko and Jonathan Palmer showed foreign and alternative films there nightly and on weekends. LEO regrets the error.Duck and CoverAnyone who gives foie gras as a holiday gift deserves a lump of coal in their stocking (regarding LEO’s “Third Annual Highly Useful Eccentric Holiday Gift Guide,” Nov. 22). Foie gras isn’t just eccentric, it’s egregiously cruel. Investigations at every foie gras farm in the United States and throughout Europe have documented sick, dead and dying animals, some with holes in their necks from pipe injuries. One investigation in New York found ducks with bloody beaks and their wings twisted together, jammed into wire cages. At another farm, birds were dangling by wires as blood spilled from their neck wounds onto live birds beneath them.Ducks raised for foie gras commonly suffer from internal hemorrhaging, fungal and bacterial infections, and hepatic encephalopathy, a brain ailment caused when their livers fail. Marcia Keith, a spokeswoman for the Oregon Veterinary Medical Association, has stated that “forcing animals to overeat to the extent that their livers are expanded to 10 to 12 times the normal size and then feeding those livers to humans as a delicacy seems barbaric, senseless and clearly unnecessary.” Watch the undercover video footage at www.GoVeg.com, and you’ll understand why the Chicago City Council, the Israeli Supreme Court, His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI, and caring people everywhere are opposed to foie gras.Heather Moore, senior writer, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA)Goosebumps I am not pleased with the article by Robin Garr on foie gras. Louisville should be banning this product. Please do some reading on how foie gras is obtained. I will also not patronize Creation Gardens as much as I can, although many local restaurants use their products.Sheila MeadGander at an AlternativeWhen I spotted foie gras in your gift idea section, I thought it was a bad joke. It is a sad day for anyone who is against cruelty to animals when you and Robin Garr have to resort to suggesting this abhorrence as a “gift.” Is it ignorance and/or callousness? What will you promote next? Killing an elephant for a nifty ivory necklace? I think we need a progressive-minded alternative to LEO.Rose SchuhmannFoie Gras Was Faux PasRegarding your suggestion in the Nov. 22 edition that foie gras is an appropriate holiday gift, I say major FAUX PAS!Despite what Creation Gardens president Ron Tournier believes, there are many compassionate Louisvillians who consider foie gras the ultimate in animal abuse. Foie gras is produced from the diseased, fattened liver of a duck or goose. The defenseless birds are force fed to enlarge their liver up to 10 times the normal size, causing the birds lacerations, sores and even organ rupture. Typically the birds are crammed into small cages, denied the luxury of even turning around or spreading their wings. For Tournier and his co-owner to mock this inhumane practice by being photographed smugly holding a live duck illustrates their total lack of compassion and true understanding of this practice.Pity — before this callous and pompous display, I actually had quite a high impression of Creation Gardens. For those readers who may want to learn more about the unspeakable cruelty of foie gras and get some unique and thoughtful gift ideas to benefit the welfare of animals, visit the Humane Society of the United States at www.hsus.org.Mary K. KorfhageGift of GivingI’d like to make a nomination for the LEO Eccentric Holiday Guide — The Louisville Calendar! We call it TLC for the ACM (Association of Community Ministries).Cost: $13 plus handling and postage.Where to find it: www.theLouisvilleCompany.com, Save-A-Lot, 4148 Taylor Blvd., and at several of the community ministries.Why buy it: It’s the gift that gives twice — once as a Christmas present and once as a donation to the 15 ecumenical community ministries in Jefferson County (90 percent of the net proceeds benefit the ministries).Each ministry serves a defined geographic area and provides programs targeted to the needs of that specific area. Currently, the needs of families at risk far outweigh the resources available through our supporting churches and other community resources. Thus, we are selling the beautiful and useful calendars to raise additional, much-needed funds.Who will most appreciate it: Those who love Louisville, want to celebrate its weirdness, and also want to help their neighbors in need. That’s all of us, isn’t it?Thank you for the entertaining guide to gifts.Michael JupinMaudlin Indeed!I write to comment on Paul Kopasz’s review of “Bobby” (LEO, Nov. 29). I do not agree with the negative aspects of his review. What is really appalling, though, is his characterization of the final speech (Kennedy delivered it in Cleveland on April 5, 1968, a few days after the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr.) as maudlin, showing “how facile Estevez’s political understanding is.”Here is how the speech ended: “But we can perhaps remember, if only for a time, that those who live with us are our brothers, that they share with us the same short moment of life; that they seek, as do we, nothing but the chance to live out their lives in purpose and in happiness, winning what satisfaction and fulfillment they can. Surely, this bond of common faith, this bond of common goal, can begin to teach us something. Surely, we can learn, at least, to look at those around us as fellow men, and surely we can begin to work a little harder to bind up the wounds among us and to become in our own hearts brothers and countrymen once again.”“Maudlin” and “facile” are not the words that come to mind. What I think of is a time in this country when there was a person who spoke to our hopes and dreams and who seemed capable of bringing this country together. One of the achievements of this movie is to bring this time to life and to give a new generation a sense of what it was like.Maureen O’ConnorEditor’s note: For the record, the review passage read: “The interwoven stories are crafted well enough, but the conclusion to which they lead is one that will be expected by almost every viewer (of almost any age). Not everyone can take the Altman multiplot formula and make it work. Estevez gives it a good shot, but with decidedly mixed results. The final maudlin speech about the horror and illogic of violence is meant to resonate with events of today, but all it really does is point out how facile Estevez’s political understanding is. Nevertheless, he has made a heartfelt film with surprising emotional impact.”Favorite Things(Regarding the “My favorite things” Bar Belle column in the Nov. 29 LEO) — As a beer snob: Rich-O’s, Browning’s and Cumberland, in addition to BBC; Irish Rover; Party Mart. As a bourbonite: Bourbons Bistro; the bar at 21C. As a reader: The Bar Belle, of course!Robert Lutz