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 [email protected] We may edit for length, grammar and clarity.
Last week’s film review of “The Pursuit of Happyness” incorrectly stated that Will Smith was in “Collateral.” Jamie Foxx and Tom Cruise were, in fact, the stars of “Collateral.” LEO regrets the error.
Curb the Council
Question: What’s the difference between the Taliban and Louisville’s Metro Council?
Answer: Not much
OK. Sharpen your weapons and start picking out the big stone to throw my way. I realize I’ve strayed far into the land of Not-Politically-Correct but, then, so has the Metro Council, and it’s about time somebody called them out.
First, we have their arena decision. Why, in God’s name, would they stick a huge arena and all that traffic right in the middle of downtown rather than build it at the Fairgrounds, which has plenty of access and parking? Maybe parking was the issue. Gee, I wonder who owns most of the parking in Louisville, and who would benefit mo$t from the arena being downtown? Funny that issue never came up in any of the Council debates.
Next, they want to ban smoking. Everywhere except Churchill Downs. Apparently, laws are OK so long as they don’t apply to everyone. Where did these people get their civics education? Do they think the Constitution was just a three-masted sailing ship? Can they even remember the name of their American History teacher from high school?
Trans-fats are not healthy. We all know that. Do we need our government to legislate what’s good for us, as though we’re incapable of determining that for ourselves? What’s next? Making it illegal to be overweight? Outlawing pizza or hamburgers? Where are they willing to draw the line — is there a line at all?
Somebody wants to go down in history as renaming a major thoroughfare after a renowned Civil Rights leader. No matter that there’s already a street named after him, or that a big gesture is decades late in coming, or that the local residents don’t want their street name changed. It’s not about what their constituents want, anyway. Democracy? That’s old-school. Of the peeps, by the peeps and for the peeps? Those little marshmallow chickens don’t vote anyway, so who cares?
And now, at 4 a.m. last Wednesday morning, they decided how many pets we can own, and of what kind. And they all have to be spayed and neutered because lord knows how incompetent we are when it comes to taking care of ourselves (those trans-fats must have altered our ability to think), much less our pets. Every animal is potentially dangerous or a nuisance, and we’re going to have to pay mightily for the privilege of keeping our dogs and cats. This law, which was originally designed to protect the population from truly dangerous dogs allowed to roam free, is totally unnecessary. If LMAS did their job as allowed under the previous law, we would all be protected. Now we’re all criminals, and our pets are, too.
And what have they done to control the violence that has resulted in 51 homicides this year, and more than 60 last year? Hello? Is there an echo in here? Anyone?
Yep. We’re all trans-fat eatin’, pit-bull lovin’, smokin’ gangstas in the ’Ville! Oh, and unlike those squishy yellow chickens, we do vote. So maybe it’s time we voted for some common sense and kicked most of the Metro Council back to the curb, where they belong.
Long Live OLCH!
I just read about the issues that Peter Berkowitz, proprietor of the ONLY coffee shop in Old Louisville, is experiencing with a disgruntled neighbor, and I wanted to add my two cents to this pile of change that doesn’t even amount to a Wendy’s crispy chicken sandwich (LEO, Dec. 20). I’ve lived above the “OLCH” (as the kids call it) for two years now and just signed on for a third. I think it’s a shame what this stubborn neighbor is attempting to do, which, in effect, is harass and distract honest business from the coffee shop and deprive a younger generation from having a place of their own. Mr. Berkowitz should be free to run his coffee shop as he sees fit. It seems to me like Mr. John Glenn is being an old curmudgeon — if he did half the things for the neighborhood and community that OLCH does, then he wouldn’t have time to call the police and complain. Besides, we’re talking about tastes: One man’s noise is another’s music, and just because one disagrees with something does not give one the right to snuff it out.
We’re all in this game of life together, and I’d rather listen to live music from local or out-of-town acts (which people complain about never getting, yet the Old Louisville Coffeehouse has groups from all around the country and world play there each and every week). Keep Louisville Weird and support the Old Louisville Coffeehouse.
No More Movies
Paul Kopasz must stop writing movie reviews. His knowledge of film is tragically limited. Even worse, he doesn’t like movies. Kopasz takes such a condescending tone toward the movies he “reviews,” as if he’s ever so superior. All the great film critics — e.g., Pauline Kael, Roger Ebert, Peter Travers — share a love, even a passion, for movies. Kopasz is contemptuous of nearly every film he reviews, usually for the flimsiest of reasons. I thought last year’s racist, homophobic review of “Brokeback Mountain” was as unprofessional as he could get. Last week’s “Blood Diamond” teardown may be even worse. When one has a clear prejudice against a certain type of film or a certain actor, when one goes in with a closed heart and mind, why bother? Give someone the gig who might actually enjoy watching movies. Twice this year, he has spat upon Leo DiCaprio, blaming him for performances he gave when he was but a boy, not acknowledging or recognizing DiCaprio’s growth as an actor. I hated “The Beach,” too, but that was some time ago. Look at the last few flicks he’s done: “Gangs of New York,” “Catch Me If You Can,” “The Aviator,” “The Departed” and now “Blood Diamond.” They’ve all been great movies, and Leo’s done a damn fine job in every one of them. Apparently, the Hollywood Press Association agrees with me, since they’ve nominated him not once but twice this year for Best Actor. Mr. Kopasz, I beseech you, please get another gig. You don’t seem to enjoy your work.
Feet to the Fire
The Iraq Study Group’s recommendation for broad regional diplomacy — including with Iran and Syria — is a necessary step toward bringing our troops home from Iraq. This is Bush’s big mistake and where he must change first.
The ball is in President Bush’s court now — he needs to start the diplomacy, and soon. Only the president can engage in diplomacy. If he fails to act, it will be harder to bring our troops home, and the loss of life will get worse.
The United States has always engaged in diplomacy — we talked with the USSR all the time during the Cold War. We talked with China. James Baker, the Republican co-chair of the Iraq Study Group, got it right when he said, “You talk with your enemies.”
If President Bush doesn’t act, the new Congress should hold his feet to the fire. Democrats were elected with a mandate to figure out how to bring our troops home. Diplomacy is an essential part of making that happen.
Time to Leave
The problem with Iraq is that we went there, and the solution is to leave there. Bush needs to tell the world and country that he made a huge mistake in Iraq, and then start fixing the problem. He needs to fire the senior military and defense department civilian leadership for failure and begin a phased withdrawal. He needs to let the Iraqis solve their own problems while using our financial, diplomatic, educational, economic and other instruments of national power to affect the survival of some type of government in Iraq.
While there may be some internal and regional fighting, countries like Syria, Iran, Jordan and Saudi Arabia will find a way to turn Iraq around. It just will be without our military. We must face the fact that our Middle East leverage and power have been lost because of Bush and Cheney. We may have won the war in the initial invasion, but we lost the peace. We cannot afford to lose any more troops because of Bush’s mistake and the ineffectiveness of our senior military.