Inbox — July 15, 2009
Letters to the Editor
Regarding Jim Welp’s “Sixty-seven ways to feel alive” column last week: Thanks, LEO, for printing this good-humored, thoughtful reminder that there is a world of experience just waiting to be tapped into. Here’s one I’m adding to the list: Learn to juggle. Wish me luck!
Dennis Bell, Lyndon
I laughed out loud at the Fake Issue! As a native of Whitesburg, I really enjoyed the fake letter from the July 1 issue, too! The one from Mr. Hall about eastern Kentucky — you know, us “hicks” and “what’s left of [our] teeth”? It has to be fake, because the open-minded, educated, intelligent readers of LEO certainly don’t buy into stereotypes like that, right?
Angela Boggs, Clifton
East of the City
A few issues ago (LEO Weekly, July 1), eastern Kentucky was attacked with hatred by an inconsiderate reader (Mike Hall). I’m a little bothered that it got printed. It’s important that eastern Kentucky and the rest of the state does not think everyone in this city is full of narrow-minded, ego-driven intolerance.
As far as insulting lifestyles of non-Louisvillians for lack of high-rises — living simply with the land is sustainable well into the future; living in packed cities is not. Period. Take any of the realistic issues looming in the foreseeable future (disease pandemic, peak of global oil production, extended economic depression, major earthquake at New Madrid, etc.), and tightly packed cities are screwed and would not survive/recover without major rescue packages billed to our descendants.
Tony Hammond, South End
Mike Hall of Old Louisville cautions that the words in his July 1 letter to LEO “may sound harsh,” then launches into a mindless rant against eastern Kentucky, the vitriol of which is exceeded only by its complete absence of any factual basis.
Citing no statistics on substandard housing or per capita educational or income levels (which would have been easily available to Hall on census.gov and other sites), he contrasts Louisville’s supposed preponderance of high-rises with the “shacks” he claims “the hicks of eastern Kentucky” live in.
As a freelance journalist who has covered many parts of Appalachia off and on since the late 1980s — and who lived in Hall’s Old Louisville for about two years — I invite Hall to get out what, based on his words, I would venture to call his urban backwoods and experience eastern Kentucky and West Virginia intimately and beyond the common sweeping and defamatory images of which his July 1 letter reeks.
I’m so used to saying this about Louisville’s black community, which suffers from just that type of unfair overgeneralization by unknowing outsiders, but this plea is just as valid aimed toward our neighbors to the east as west.
George Morrison, Original Highlands
Poison Ivy Spreads
I had to laugh when I read Stephen George’s recent editorial “Justice and the menace” (LEO Weekly, July 1). It was clear that he could not see what he was doing. With sarcasm, he said, “... I like politicians who puff their chests about as much as I like poison ivy.” Yet, he was puffing out his chest with pride as he recounted how things played out with the incident between J.D. Sparks and Leo reporter Jonathan Meador. Mr. George, do you need a little calamine lotion for that poison ivy?
Bob Lee, South End
In regards to Joe Manning’s column “On Dependence” (LEO Weekly, July 1):
I have enjoyed most of Joe Manning’s work, and he has certainly proved himself a gifted writer who can churn out a thought-provoking, entertaining and (sometimes) iconoclastic column on a regular basis. That said, though he makes implications that the holiday is disingenuous, the critique of what Independence Day means is pretty timid, especially for someone as thoughtful as Manning.
I find it surprising that Manning didn’t acknowledge the Native Americans (to whom this land rightfully belongs, many believe) or the Africans that the writers of the Declaration of Independence saw as possessions when they spoke and wrote so eloquently about “freedom.” I find it shocking that Manning didn’t mention that perhaps these men, who James Madison called the “minority of the opulent,” had ulterior motives — i.e., protecting property owners, or wealthy white men, from the majority. (I know … this is just preposterous assumption!)
A common liberal and progressive pitfall is the catch-22 of thinking outside the box when it comes to social problems, and then playing it safe when criticizing American hegemony for fear of appearing “unpatriotic.” The truth is this: America was founded by greedy, genocidal white men who cared little or nothing of “democracy” and “liberty,” and could justify just about any crime against humanity so as long as it appeared “patriotic.” Perhaps human progress is inhibited as long as we have a day to honor these wretched practices. This, I argue, is what we should reflect upon on so-called Independence Day, not another Orwellian revisionist history course.
Alex Bradshaw, Highlands
Protect the Peace
Thank you for your July 1 article regarding our rally held on June 26 in downtown Louisville, during which we urged the citizens of the world and their governments to not recognize any new government in Iran until the Iranian people’s rights to peaceful protest, justice and democratic process are protected. More than 100 persons attended this rally, and 234 people signed our petition, which we are sending to governments around the world.
Your article quoted attendees who did not organize this event. Their statements could give the wrong impression of the views of the Iranian people and of the rally itself. The people of Iran are not against the American people. Further, no one at the event threatened anyone else at the event, nor did they curse each other. There was a dispute regarding the use, and possible misinterpretation by viewers, of the flag, which was shown in your photos. That flag was used during the time of the Shah. We want to make clear that we are not desirous of a return to the prior monarchy, but rather support fair elections, regardless of who wins.
Ken Nevitt, Crescent Hill