May 022012

By Joseph Anthony

Al’s Bar has gentrified Limestone.

For years I’d drive up Limestone on my way home, turning left on Sixth. But it got too depressing, and the ladies of the night (and day), loitering in front of the bar on the corner, trying to catch the eye of passing motorists, too sad looking. The city’s annual sting operation, where it would replace the regulars with fairly attractive police women, would boost the scenery for a few days. But when the police had finished gleaning the low end of the John-gene-pool, it was back to the regular routine.

The transformed Al’s Bar has changed all that. And now that the liquor store across the street from Al’s, (another fountain of drugs and prostitution) has been replaced by the Home-Grown Press, good old fashioned vice has had to go looking for greener (browner?) fields.  I know Studs Terkel, a writer who celebrated the vitality of urban grit, wouldn’t like it. But I’m a bit more ambiguous.

It’s very hard to think intelligently and objectively about gentrification. Continue reading »

Sep 292010

By Joe Anthony

“What,” asks Shakespeare’s Falstaff, “is honor?” There is no practicality to it. It “hath no skill in surgery,” he discovers. It is a mere word. Air. “Honor is a mere scutcheon,” he concludes, prompted mainly, it’s true, by his cowardice. Honor breaks bones though it does not set them. He will have none of it.

Falstaff’s quest for a definition of honor comes to mind because I, too, have been wondering lately about this word “honor.” It’s in the news so much lately. What is its substance? In particular, what do the tea-partiers and Glenn Beck have in mind when they say things like , “Let’s bring back honor and let’s take back the country”? Continue reading »

Jun 092010

Mighty Wurlitzer also a part of KY Theatre experience

After reading Colleen Glenn’s informative article (“Kentucky Theatre Summer Classic Movies Series returns May 26,” May 19) about nearly all aspects of the 2010 Kentucky Theatre’s Summer Series—including the anticipation of the series, assemblage of the movies, people involved, Flash Gordon Series, and a synopsis of each feature film—were covered. However, there was no mention of one very essential item which is experienced before each matinee and evening feature picture, and has been a part of the Classic Series Film Series since 2001!

Kentucky’s Mighty Wurlitzer-Theatre Organ Project, Inc continues each Series with pre-show mini-concerts on the 2-Manual Conn Theatre Organ (a 1959 tube model), which recreates the movie patron’s experience of the “Golden Age of the movie palace,and at no cost to the Kentucky Theatre Group, Inc or movie patrons. Continue reading »

May 202010

By Joe Anthony

Perhaps presidents should avoid White House correspondents’ dinners. I know. We need to smile at our foibles, lighten up. And laughter can bring a certain comfort. Who hasn’t laughed, laughed hard sometimes, at a funeral? Still, the skit where W. Bush searched all over—under tables, behind doors— looking for those pesky Weapons of Mass Destruction left me cold. And the moment when President Obama threatened tween idols the Jonas brothers with predator drones if they went over the line with his daughters went over the line with me. I don’t mean I was put off by the clichéd humor of the overbearing father; I mean the realization came to me as he said it: Wait: real boys are being killed, real little girls, too. By predator drones. It may be militarily necessary to get at those terrorists. I don’t know. But this man is ordering these attacks. Is it something to joke about at a dinner? Continue reading »

Apr 222010

By Joe Anthony

Like many people, I’ve been surprised and dismayed by the depth of the rage exhibited by the tea party group. It has confused me, too. What is it all about? Today’s Lexington Herald-Leader had a Washington Post column by Norman Ornstein, a resident scholar from the very conservative American Enterprise Institute summing up Obama as left of center, certainly not a radical president by any means. The column talks about the dismay many of Obama’s base, me included, have felt at many of his very moderate initiatives. So even conservatives, in moments of clarity, see that this president is about as far from being a socialist as Gerald Ford was, maybe not as near to it as Richard Nixon. So again the question: why all the rage?

I’ve thought about it and come up with a few tentative answers. Continue reading »