Thorns & Roses: The Worst, Best and Most Absurd - The 2017 Edition

Dec 13, 2017 at 11:34 am
Thorns & Roses

2017 has been a negative-news-heavy year, what with our tornadic Gov. Matt Bevin wreaking damage in state government, recognition finally that UofL’s sportsball kings are naked liars, an eruption of Facebook allegations against a certain bar owner and a certain city councilman losing his pants and his seat. Wow... And there was more. But there also was plenty on which to heap praise. And a bit to look at and just shake your head over the absurdity... We even let the Courier Journal take shots at us... So with that, we give you an encore presentation of our weekly column: Thorns & Roses — The Worst, Best and Most Absurd.”

UofL, a gallery of rogues

Bring Back the Bribery  |  Rose & Thorn As a fan of UofL athletics, I’m giving a rose and a thorn to UofL for cleaning up its athletic department. The rose is for firing men’s basketball Coach Rick Pitino and Athletic Director Tom Jurich. But I have to give a thorn to UofL for doing too good of a job in cleaning up! The men’s basketball team has let go its star recruit (for whom we paid good money to get!) and already lost two games to unranked opponents. NCAA sports are notoriously corrupt, so if we don’t get back to our cheating ways soon, we probably won’t be competitive for a while. So purely from a fan’s perspective, can we please bring back the bribery? —Ethan Smith

Master’s in Malfeasance  |  Thorn When UofL President James Ramsey resigned in 2016 he touted his record of raising academic standards, joining the ACC and converting a commuter school into a research university. Over the course of 2017, his real legacy was revealed. The dysfunctional board of trustees he left behind was dissolved by the governor, which created an accreditation crisis. A basketball team already under NCAA investigation for sex parties was referenced in a federal indictment. And the new interim president found the university budget built on funny math and a foundation in financial shambles. Meanwhile, Ramsey lounged, unindicted, on sunny beaches enjoying the fruits of his $690,000 severance payment and the savings from his former $2.8 million salary. The only financial opportunity he had neglected was to load the “Thinker” into his university-provided SUV and haul it down to River Metals Recycling to be sold for scrap. —Kurt Metzmeier

Food, Drink and... scandal!

hot chef, no tipping  |  Rose Ryan Rogers, a young chef who opened two iterations of Feast BBQ, hopped on the Nashville hot chicken train with Royals Hot Chicken in NuLu, and he now moves upscale with his exciting, new bar Vetti in the 800 Building. Will the next generation look back on this guy with the same grateful praise we now hold for those who kicked off Louisville’s dining boom a generation ago? Add an extra rose for an exciting policy: There’s no tipping at bar Vetti. Rogers pays staff a living wage instead. —Robin Garr

The enemy of your enemy is...?  |  Absurd We were going to give a thorn the hipster bartender whose name has been dragged through social media lately over allegations of sexual abuse (which he has denied). Nasty. Traditional media held off on the story, appropriately, until someone filed charges or a lawsuit. Standards have never held back the kids at Eater, though, which quickly ran a story. And worse yet, the Daily Stormer, vile organ of the neo-Nazi movement, has now come down hard on the barman for being Jewish and “Milhouse Van Houten meets Sideshow Bob.” Well. It’s enough to make us almost, but not quite, feel sorry for the guy. —Robin Garr

Real food, faux blood  |  Rose A rose goes to Stanley Chase, vegan butcher and owner of Morels Cafe, the popular vegan cafe on Baxter Avenue. Chase is known for wacky, offbeat meat-free takes on popular carnivorous fast-food items: The Farby and the Chick-faux-le, not to mention kimchee hot dogs, seitan chicken wings and more. Food-trend followers will be fascinated to learn, though, that Chase has snagged some of the city’s first samples of The Impossible Burger, a faux burger made of wheat and potato protein, coconut oil and a plant-based substance called Leghemoglobin that makes it bleed like rare ... well, you know. —Robin Garr

State and City (im)Politics

Bevin tackles opioid epidemic With crafts!  |  Thorn Opioids have become a serious issue in every corner of the nation because the problem is simply staggering. Louisville saw 151 overdoses in a four-day stretch last February. Civic leaders have called it “a public health catastrophe.” How does an elected official tackle such a multifaceted, nuanced challenge? Reallocation of public funds to health services? Reformation of the criminal justice system? Increases in needle exchange programs coupled with robust educational campaigns statewide? For normal lawmakers, yes, logical first steps. But not Matt Bevin, baby. It’s arts and crafts time. In August, Bevin’s office, though its “Don’t Let Them Die” campaign, launched “Message of Hope” by dropping painted rocks in every county throughout the Commonwealth. “The concept is simple: volunteers paint and decorate rocks, then place them for others to find,” said Amanda Stamper, director of communications. “When one finds a painted rock they can photograph themselves with it and then post the photo to their social media outlet of choice. Finders are encouraged to then hide the rock for others to find. The goal is not to find and keep the rocks, but to continue placing them for others to discover.” This sort of initiative could provide a positive educational opportunity and unique project were it to be coupled with some sort of meaningful efforts to address the problem. But given Bevin abolished the state’s insurance marketplace, spreads malicious misinformation about marijuana, plans to eradicate Medicaid expansion, and addresses violence in The West End by asking residents to go pray block-to-block, the optics of painting rocks as a response to a tragic health crisis is comically ridiculous. And I haven’t found one yet in the wild. Four months into the campaign, only three people on Twitter have shared their rocks with the official #DLTD hashtag. One of them was me, and I’m pretty sure this was the offending tweet that Governor Selfie blocked me for. Fortunately, overdoses have followed a downward trend in the second half of the year. Bevin’s crafts are most likely not the responsible agent. —Michael C. Powell

Redefining Compassion  |  Thorn Compassionate [adjective kuh m-pash-uh-nit] 1) favoring developers over human beings (e.g. Louisville is a compassionate city) “Being a compassionate city is both the right thing and the necessary thing to do to ensure that we take care of all of our citizens,” Mayor Greg Fischer said introducing his campaign to make Louisville a “Compassionate City” in 2011. “There’s a role for all of us in making sure no one is left behind or goes wanting.” Fast forward to 2017. Louisville City FC is getting a new stadium, luxury condos and hotels are rising among a sea of construction cranes, and the most vulnerable population is getting the boot. On Dec. 8, the city bulldozed various downtown-adjacent homeless encampments, with nary a thought on where people might go. Welcome to the Compassionate City, a place where public leaders are OK with widening Spaghetti Junction to 40 lanes or whatever, engulfing an entire neighborhood, but decidedly less so with folks finding shelter under these massive concrete bridges. For extra compassion, the city opted to destroy the camps right before Christmas. You don’t need to be completely destitute to feel unwelcome in the Compassionate City. Two blocks south of a Butchertown homeless encampment, the upscale, $56-million project at Main and Clay streets almost came to a halt because the out-of-state developers did not want to allocate 18 of their 275 as affordable “workforce units” — 6 percent — for rents just a hair under $1,000, according to a Business First report in March. If the city’s idea of keeping Louisville weird and compassionate, and whatever other cool branding birthed from an office whiteboard somewhere, is tax breaks for unaffordable housing and destroying homeless camps, somebody may want to get Fischer on the horn. With 2018 coming up, and opponents such as Ryan Fenwick putting forth proposals to address homelessness and affordable housing in a rapidly gentrifying city, Fischer may want to crack open the dictionary before concocting new plans. —Michael C. Powell

Get Off The Bus  |  Thorn Talk to him, and state Rep. Kevin D. Bratcher will sing you a song about his long bus ride to school every morning, apparently the biggest trauma he’s ever faced. The Louisville Republican proposed House Bill 151, which intended to end busing. The thing is, kids benefit from access to better public schools. I know we’ve got the Secretary of Education Betsy Devoses of the world pissing in our ears that private school is the way, and while that merits consideration, it’s not within reach for all. Bratcher would have you believe it’s all about long bus rides, or some family values nonsense, which is politician for bullshit, but whatever his motives, it’s lower-income people who get hurt. If students have the chops, get them into the best school. Don’t relegate them to whatever school happens to be near, because that removes a powerful incentive for upward mobility. —Syd Bishop

Liquor is quicker, $ is sweeter  |  Thorn Our state legislature has so many thorns sticking out of its side that it looks like a porcupine. This well-earned thorn is given because Kentucky is one of only six states that continues to block us from using the internet to buy wine, beer and liquor and having it shipped directly to our homes. Why can’t we have the nice UPS man deliver our choice of Cotes-du-Rhone? Lobbying money from the liquor wholesalers, who are dead-set against losing their distribution monopoly. The other 44 states and Washington, D.C. are fine with this practice, but why should our solons approve a likker bill when there’s sweet, sweet campaign contributions talking the other way? —Robin Garr

LEO, in trouble again

At least they spelled our name right  |  Thorn Well, you could say this little, free, weekly paper had a pretty big year, getting attention from the most-powerful crooked circles in the country… nay, the world. First, earlier in the year, we received an email from the attorney for someone under investigation in connection with the Trump campaign and Russia (Hint: It rhymes with Manaschmort). The story, “Manafort and Me… or the Manafort you do not know” by Kurt Metzmeier, got picked up by political journalism website Talking Points Memo. Presumably, this is how the attorney thought to reach out to us. Sorry folks, the conversation was off the record. Honestly, though, it wasn’t interesting and had no effect. Then, there was the time LEO went viral. “White People” by Black Lives Matter Louisville cofounder and core organizer Chanelle Helm has nearly 750,000 views, our top-read story for 17 weeks! Most of that is because it got picked up by the white nationalist website Breitbart and Russian media — RT News, including an interview with Helm. Ipso facto, Putin reads LEO… Unbelievable! Even Snopes did a story on the story. More recently, political trickster Roger Stone responded to Pip Pullen and Andrew Dewson’s Two Brits in the Lou’s Nov. 22 column. Yes, Roger-freakin’ Stone, who also happens to have a tattoo of Richard Nixon on his back, which normally isn’t worth mentioning, but if you’re going to mix it up with some Brits, at least bring Washington or Adams to the fight. What does all this unsolicited attention mean? Well, the old saying goes: “I don’t care what they say about me as long as they spell my name right.” Your move, Pootin. —Aaron Yarmuth

Nobody’s happy  |  Absurd LEO was kicked out of a local coffee shop in February. As per usual, we did some soul searching, and (seconds later) decided: Not our fault. But, hey, we’ve been bounced from local establishments before, and this won’t be the last time (…we promise). Unfortunately for the coffee shop, it kicked us out just as we published our Valentine’s Day issue, with a cover showing two women in a loving kiss. Advocates of LGBTQ rights swiftly accused the shop of having an anti-gay agenda. The outcry was so vociferous that the shop owner called to ask if we would explain his position that it wasn’t this cover that got us kicked out, but rather it had been a decision in the making for months. (Oh, now we feel better.) We published a response, disagreeing with the shop’s decision to boot us, while defending its right to make that decision… as well as explaining the shop’s assertion about the cover. Then, in the irony of ironies, LEO was accused of attacking a small business! In the end, it was a demonstration of the amazing speed and power of social media… where there is a mob ready to rally to your cause, and another mob ready to argue against it… or whatever cause the Russians tell us to care about; kognitivnyy dissonans. —Aaron Yarmuth

White tears harvested by Chanelle Helm  |  Rose Black Lives Matter Louisville cofounder and core organizer Chanelle Helm lit a fire this summer with her LEO column entitled “White people, here are 10 requests from a Black Lives Matter leader.” The column contains a series of if-then statements, but many white folks (and some black folks) took them as demands. Helm earned the ire of, among many, Breitbart and received death threats. People across the political spectrum began questioning the value of her words. Some saw it as a PR disaster for BLM. White people talked to white people ad nauseum about the best way to react to this, and how it should have been written. But they missed the point of the BLM movement — it is a voice for the African-American community. Want to help BLM, my fellow white people? Listen to black voices. And maybe don’t help the boobs at Breitbart with their heinous agenda. —Syd Bishop

Louisville politics and culture

Speeding ticket  |  Thorn Let’s travel back to March 1984, when Ronald Reagan was President, gas was $1.20 a gallon and Jesse (Jay) G. Wright Jr. was director of the Speed Art Museum. A little more than a year later he was asked to resign and, for all practical purposes, was erased from the Speed’s history. Wright is not mentioned on their website’s history page (all other directors are listed). While researching my article on him (“Speed Art Museum Director Erased from History No More,” May 10, 2017), I was told the website would be updated. That hasn’t happened yet. All because Wright clashed with the Board of Trustees? Someone has a long memory. Or is it because it’s not a priority? The online timeline, which includes the directors, is what the public knows. Errors are perpetuated, as in “The Encyclopedia of Louisville” and 2016 Courier Journal story on the museum’s reopening after renovation. It reflects badly on the Speed when there is a glaring error on their website, especially when it is something as important as the history of the museum. —Jo Anne Triplett

Purple Reign!  |  Rose After only three seasons as a club, Louisville City FC won a USL championship in front of a record 14,456 fans. This is even more impressive when you consider that the game was held in a baseball stadium, which creates awful angles for viewing a soccer game. Lou City has proven itself a winning pro-sports team in a city dominated by questionable college athletics. In that context, we wish the team future success with its new stadium. While LEO advocated for the stadium to be built in The West End, plans to transform 40 acres in Butchertown into a 10,000-seat, soccer-specific stadium with space for offices, hotels and retail sound promising — especially if it helps ween Louisville off UofL as our only local source of competitive sports entertainment. —Ethan Smith

They fought the Law  |  Rose Much to the chagrin of neck-beard and MRA enthusiasts, the #MeToo movement marks a moment when enough is enough, and women and men are coming forward with their stories of being sexually harassed. Statistically speaking, it was no surprise, then, when allegations arose locally on social media, this time leveled against the owner of a popular bar. The accused has denied the allegations and filed a lawsuit against the women, claiming they defamed him. So it was a light in the darkness when the Craig Henry law firm tweeted out its offer to provide free legal aid. Now, that’s magical. —Syd Bishop

Remains of racism  |  Thorn After the Charlottesville protests, the John B. Castleman statue in Cherokee Triangle was vandalized with orange paint. The event led to a lot of hand wringing and debate about the historical necessity of statues in general, particularly given Castleman’s role in segregating the city’s parks. The city paid $8,200 to remove the paint. The mayor said an inventory of public art would be taken and decisions made about the Castleman statue, yet this caustic reminder of a polarizing piece of art remains. So, we guess racism was solved? —Syd Bishop

The (he)artless CJ  |  Thorn Since September, when it laid off its last remaining dedicated arts reporter, Courier Journal has mostly abandoned covering the fine and performing arts. This fall, during the peak of the city’s rich, culturally and economically important arts season, the paper’s Sunday Arts section has been stocked almost exclusively with wire service pieces on topics like plays opening in South Africa, tips on making faux Halloween pumpkins, flea market shopping strategies, museum exhibits elsewhere and reviews of coffee table books. Thus, it was exciting to find a local piece, “Breaking Down ‘The Nutcracker’” in the Dec. 3 arts section. The story described the Frazier History Museum’s current show focused on Louisville Ballet’s 60 years of presenting the beloved ballet. The piece was detailed and well-informed. It was also written by “the public relations writer for the Frazier History Museum.” In fact, the piece had been posted a month earlier, nearly word for word, on the museum website and sent out in press releases. Journalists refer to ads and PR pieces presented as editorial content as “Advertorials.” Most newspapers label them as such. Courier Journal’s mission statement asserts that it’s on “a relentless quest to provide trusted news and information and to actively support the people and businesses of Louisville and Southern Indiana.” Louisville’s arts scene has a glorious tradition, a vibrant present and an inspiring future. Louisvillians hope that Courier Journal decides to be a part of that. In the meantime, the paper gets a thorn for relenting on its support for the arts. —Marty Rosen

Local arts get political  |  Rose Bravo! A number of local art organizations addressed social ills during the current season. The Louisville Ballet’s new version of “Firebird” focused on the refugee crisis. That led them to partner with Kentucky Refugee Ministries. The Speed Art Museum recently exhibited “Southern Accent: Seeking the American South in Contemporary Art” and “Southern Elegy: Photography from the Stephen Reily Collection.” The shows’ programing included a symposium on the current public discussion about Confederate monuments and flags. The Louisville Orchestra’s performance of Teddy Abrams’ composition, “The Greatest: Muhammad Ali,” was a tribute to the athlete who became an African-American activist and humanitarian. —Jo Anne Triplett


More talent than luck  |  Rose The creation of the Louisville Rock Lottery — which groups 25 musicians into five bands at 10 a.m., and asks them to come back with three songs at 10 p.m. to perform at Headliners Music Hall — was one of the most interesting and important things to hit the music scene in 2017. First, the event itself was great: It put on display the wealth of talent in the community, because the bands showed up that night with material that was much better than I thought possible to create in just 12 hours. And, second: It’s a solid scene-building, cross-current of collaboration that has a wider impact. Sure Louisville is small enough that a good percentage of local musicians know each other, but, after talking to people who were involved, it seemed to spark quite a bit of creativity and excitement. Don’t miss the second annual Louisville Rock Lottery on Saturday, Jan. 13. —Scott Recker

A Colossal Set  |  Rose This last April, Chauncy Graves, otherwise known as DJ Colossus, saw an opportunity to cement his place in history: crush it with the longest DJ set in the world and get in the Guinness Book of World Records. He found the perfect venue with Spinelli’s Pizzeria, which hosted the 10-day event, during which Graves spun records nonstop, earning five minutes per every hour to catch some sleep or use the restroom. Subsisting on a diet of water, oranges and, of course, pizza, Graves’ biggest problem was in staving off boredom; taking the temperature in the room to keep a 240-hour party going, even when guests weren’t present is no small task. Graves endured mind-numbing stretches of confusion, hallucinating by the third day, and on through the week. But he brought the beats hard and kept at it, connecting with the music, even if he couldn’t form a full sentence to make it into World Record history. —Syd Bishop

Zanzabar’s new digs  |  Rose Zanzabar was outgrowing its stage, and not only did it fix that, but it created one of the best rooms in town. The owners knocked out some of the patio and created a whole new room, separating the music from the dining room and arcade games, all while upping capacity significantly, and creating a space and a stage that completely reinvented the bar’s live music potential. It creates another layer in local venues, sliding between Headliners and Kaiju as a beacon for the mid-level indie rock circuit. Beach Slang, Waxahatchee, Tyler Childers, Cherry Glazerr and White Reaper have all performed there since the remodel. —Scott Recker

A few bad apples  |  Thorn In my three years in town, I’ve seen the Louisville music scene as a vibrant, creative pulse that celebrates diversity. So, this isn’t a call out of any sort, but more of a reminder that hatred and bigotry and terrible behavior unfortunately trickle into everything, especially with a dipshit president that has emboldened his fellow dipshits. Last week, transphobic comments were made on the Louisville Death Fest’s Facebook page, and a few weeks back, there was a situation that resulted in harassment/hate speech at a GRLwood concert in Cincinnati. Also, a woman running sound was inappropriately touched at a venue in Louisville a month go. All of these situations were met with people stepping in to combat these wrongs, but these sort of things still frequently happen. —Scott Recker

From the archives!

Wish we were wrong  |  Thorn Two conventions scrapped visits here because of the California ban on state-funded travel to the state, city officials claim. The ban centers on a new law that could exclude LGTBQ students from joining school clubs. Cost of the cancellations to the city: $2 million. Especially telling was that UPS and Brown-Forman representatives were at the news conference when this was announced. We predicted the state’s social agenda would cost it business. (July 5)

Bevin’s bull… er… hockey  |  Thorn Speaking of Bevin’s battle with the media, Forrest Berkshire, editor of The Kentucky Standard in Bardstown, bit back at Blake Brickman, who penned an op-ed denouncing the state’s two largest newspapers. “Nearly every one of Kentucky’s 120 counties has a local newspaper. We might not cover state politics on a regular basis. But that doesn’t mean we are going to help sling the governor’s bull hockey at reporters covering his administration in Frankfort.” Bravo, Berkshire, on blasting Bevin’s Brickman. (July 5)

Junction dysfunction  |  Thorn Following two truck crashes involving pigs and glue, the state is investigating whether the newly-redone Spaghetti Junction needs even more work. Like Courier-Journal editorial cartoonist Marc Murphy said: “You had one job.” (Aug. 30)

Confederate statue cleaned, sidewalks still broken  |  Rose We reserve a rose for state Rep. Attica Scott for adding a bit of context to the Castleman statue Confederate contro. She wrote on Facebook: “I struggle with understanding political priorities in Louisville. We can quickly find $8,200 to clear off paint from a statue in The East End, but people in The West End have lived for years with broken sidewalks.” (Aug. 30)

Mitch could manage only the reich thing  |  Thorn While tRump bathes in the putrid swamp of moral relativism, even U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell knows not to side with Nazis. “There are no good neo-Nazis, and those who espouse their views are not supporters of American ideals and freedoms,” he said, but… alas, no mention of tRump’s encouragement of neo-Nazis. (Aug. 23)

Awwwwkward!  |  Absurd Speaking of Mitch, we wonder what he and wife Elaine Chao talked about after she came home from tRump’s horrific news conference. You know, before they retired to separate wings of their house. (Aug. 23)

If erections persist for more than…  |  Thorn No, no and no. A developer with a history of proposing awkward, inappropriate erections now wants to erect three towers rising 28, 29 and 34 stories. The project would be next to Cherokee Park, between Lexington Road, Grinstead Drive and Etley Avenue. The Courier-Journal reported it would include 743 apartments and condominiums. Has the developer ever driven through that intersection? Apparently not. Keep your erections to yourself. (Aug. 16)

Put that junk in your trunk  |   Thorn Carrying giant batons makes the Louisville police look fat — like fat heads. We know the police insist it was for the safety of the protesters who marched up Broadway over the weekend, but… seriously? Mayor Greg Fischer said the batons were to be used “in the event that a horizontal police barricade is required in situations like this.” Really? Given the tension between police and the community, couldn’t you have kept your big sticks in the trunks of your cruisers until needed, if ever… (Aug. 16)

New York times to Louisville: you are eclipsed  |  Absurd The New York Times’ section on the great solar eclipse (Aug. 21) has a map that includes Indianapolis, Cincinnati and Nashville as reference points. But no Louisville… Also, no Hopkinsville, Kentucky, which misses best viewing spot by a fraction of a second. (Aug. 9)

Council members gone bad  |  Thorn After learning more about the sordid claims against Metro Councilman Dan “Accidentally Airing Out My” Johnson, we now learn that Council President David Yates escaped indictment on an allegation of assault — it was self-defense when a man’s face was broken, he says. Don’t forget Councilman David James, the “sex club” and an ID he… uh, found. (June 28)

UofL piggy bank for the rich  |  Thorn The forensic audit of the UofL Foundation is shocking and validating. It uncovered a culture of deception, disastrous investments, excessive spending, self-dealing payouts and awards of sportsball tickets. Most shocking: Auditors identified no crimes, but the attorney general says he is investigating. (June 14)

Like your cards now?  |  Thorn Among the audit’s findings is that the UofL Sportsball Kingdom was suckling on the foundation’s teat at the expense of real students, you know — not so-called student athletes, but the ones who are there to learn.  Perhaps WDRB’s Eric Crawford said it best: “Instead of a self-sustaining athletic department, the picture of athletics that emerges in this audit is of a department that leaned heavily on the university’s fund-raising arm for some salary and facilities’ needs so that it could continue to spend more each year on its own operations, even as the university itself struggled to cope with shrinking state appropriations.” (June 14)

Amanda stamps her feet  |  Thorn Bevin’s vestigial press secretary Amanda Stamper threw a hissy fit in response to the latest ethics complaint filed over Gated Mansion-Gate by warning about the seriousness of perjury for false claims. But no mention of what was false. Like tRump, she knows the best defense is to be most offensive. (June 7)

Creepy, Louisville Magazine  |  Absurd What is up with Louisville Magazine’s creepy, horsey-cosplay Derby covers and photo essays? Since 2015, it has featured humans wearing horse heads, including one full-page photo in April 2016 that showed a drunk horse-woman puking into a toilet. (April 26)

Play one on TV…  |  Rose For the second time, LEO Weekly’s founder, U.S. Rep. John Yarmuth, has questioned President tRump’s mental state. “We have a president who’s up all night, who’s tweeting at all kinds of crazy hours, who’s making unsubstantiated claims that are really dangerous, who’s concerned himself with trivial matters like the ratings of ‘The Apprentice.’ This is not somebody, in my mind, who is emotionally stable enough to be president of the United States.” Mike Pence over tRump for president? “From a policy perspective, it would be worse. From a sanity perspective, it would be better. And right now, I would vote for sanity over policy.” (March 22)

Gill — no NuWood, please  |  Rose NuLu brander Gill Holland is executive producer on “Most Beautiful Island,” which took the top Grand Jury Prize for best narrative feature film at South By Southwest. It also includes music from locals Nerves Junior and Lucky Pineapple, he told Insider Louisville. (March 22)

Proof Pitino is full of shit  |  Absurd Overpaid, under-managed UofL Coach Rick Pitino is selling his 5,100-square-foot house. It has five full bathrooms and a half bath, The CJ reported. (Oct. 18)

Freddie’s 220 no more  |  Thorn To mourn the closure of Freddie’s 220, a haiku: Freddie’s dark and cool Cheap whiskey, Sinatra vibe Found me there, no more (Oct. 25)

We can drink ourselves smart  |  Absurd Louisville is the drunkest city in Kentucky: 16.3 percent of adults drink “excessively,” compared to the nation’s 18 percent, making us 14th lowest, the blog 24/7 Wall St. reported. The bad news: “Heavy drinking cities tend to have better educated, higher earning, and — counterintuitively — healthier populations than cities with the lowest excessive drinking rates.” (Nov. 29)

Key$tone cops  |  Thorn The city gave the police $1.2 million for overtime to boost patrols in the face of an unabated homicide surge. But the department had used more than half of the allotted overtime money in the first six weeks, a WDRB investigation found. One officer worked 196 hours — 116 hours of overtime — including a 19-hour day and two 17-hour days. No policies force officers to rest or avoid relentless shifts. Did violent crime go down with all of this OT? Went up… (Nov. 29)

Can you say: narcissist?  |  Absurd In a disappointing, absurd turn of events, Haymarket Whiskey Bar reopened last week, with owner Matthew Landan behind the stick and protesters marching outside. About the same time, his attorney filed a lawsuit stemming from allegations on Facebook that Landan had raped women. Landan has denied any wrongdoing, and he may prevail in court, but we have to wonder: What makes him think his bar could succeed now that the court of public opinion has ruled against him? (Dec. 6)