copyright Bill Widener 2000

Every Sperm is Sacred

Let the heathen spill theirs/On the dusty ground/God shall make them pay for/Each sperm that can't be found.

-Michael Palin/Terry Jones

In response to Vera Kennedy's email about the Kentucky Theatre calendar [Letters, Jun 1], I would have to vehemently agree that I miss it too. I, however, am privy to the ever elusive reason for its disappearance.

It's not a co-conspiracy with the Herald-Leader to sell papers for movie listings, and it's not due to lack of advertisers or interest from the public. The reason for the loss of the calendar did come down to a matter of "flexibility." This story was covered by ACE, the Herald-Leader, local news, and even the last printed calendar.

Flexibility, in this case, addressed the steadily declining attendance for indie, art house, and foreign films, as well as classics like Casablanca. After the initial nostalgia wore off after the Theatre's reopening in 92, people stopped turning out like they used to, and the business suffered...

Without too many unnecessary details, the Kentucky couldn't continue to lose potential bookings because its hands were tied by the two-month advance commitments to the distributors. These advance bookings, necessitated by the calendar, were unfortunately making it increasingly difficult to continue bringing the same quality films to the Theatre. Joseph Heller himself couldn't contrive a more frustrating Catch-22...

If you think the Kentucky Theatre is a shadow of its old self and important films are missed if you blink then I suggest you take a closer look and don't blink so much.


Jeff Barnett

assistant manager, Kentucky Theatre

letter edited for space

I enjoyed reading about the proposed Lexington dog park in "The Horse's Mouth" in the 6/1/00 issue of your magazine. You raise many important issues about responsible pet ownership. Thanks for continuing to run photos of the animals available for adoption at the Home At Last sanctuary in Salvisa.


Philip Goodman, M.D.

Lexington, KY

I've lived in L.A., Minneapolis, Chicago, New Orleans, and other places - now Lexington. Growth is killing the bluegrass everywhere.

What's the cause of growth? Babies! The planet is way over full. Stop making babies. Now!

It's pathetic seeing a growth bumper sticker on a car with a child car seat.

Men - get vasectomies or bag it! Don't fear it, everything gets better afterward...

Women, find out what that guy is really about before you say yes.

If you absolutely have to have a child, make sure you're ready for that lifetime commitment, and consider adoption.

There are many children waiting for your love.

Please think about it.

Mark Wolf


I am very disappointed by the omission of the Arts and Entertainment section from the online version of ACE. Some of us only read the online version of your paper, especially those who have moved away and want to keep up with Horseytown from afar.

ACE (Arts, Culture and Entertainment?) has always been the best source for incisive coverage and criticism of Lexington's arts scene. Please let us read what you write.


Rob Hulsman

[ACE alum]

PS: Could you make Widener's brilliant cartoons a bit more readable online as well?

Letters Policy: Ace LOVES to publish our mail (250 words or less please); please include name and daytime phone. No photocopies. No bulk mail. First come, first served. We may edit for space and grammar; we will limit frequency; and, on popular issues, we may print one or two letters to represent a segment of public opinion. Private correspondence should be labeled “NOT FOR PUBLICATION.”

Mail: 263 N. Limestone, Lexington, Ky 40507


Chew on This

I'd love to have a cook because I'm very interested in eating but not in cooking. And I don't like to eat in restaurants where the general public is so often to be found. I would really prefer to eat at home, except there's no food there.

-Fran Leibowitz

"Five months after I moved into my place the air conditioner was clogged with mashed potatoes." That was Rob Bricken's confession after inspecting the spotless environs of Tony and Ellen Cortez (of the Homestead) - who insisted they'd only moved in a few months ago.

For our sequel to the "Fridges of Fayette County," we sent Bricken out to interview local chefs in their natural habitats.

As for the selection process? Simple. We picked a sampling we knew could really cook.

Although we mostly hoped for an entertaining look inside their fridges, we actually got some insightful commentary about what's right and wrong with the food industry these days.

Chef Ouita Michel, for example, goes on an impassioned, articulate rant about a particular chain: "Their architecture ruins the landscape, their stores dominate the market. They have money for ads that brainwash the community. Their food comes from outside, and the money goes out, while many small restaurants have to declare bankruptcy."

We couldn't have put that better ourselves.

Still, as much as we all want to support local restaurants, and discourage the monolithic spread of chains like a culinary cancer across the bluegrass - well, there are times when the mom and pop shops in this town don't exactly make it easy. (We're not naming names or pointing fingers, just observing some trends.)

For example, why are some local restaurants (ones that serve real food, not burger-matics) using cueball tomatoes, shipped here from God-knows-where, at this time of year?

This is where the rubber meets the road as consumers. Don't stand for it.

Local growers, locally-owned restaurants - there should be a logical synergy here. It's good business, and it's good eatin'.

As Michel says of chain-fare, "their food isn't cooked, it's shipped."

She's right.

And why should patrons go out of their way to support locally-owned restaurants, if the restaurants support local growers? If they're serving processed chain-worthy produce that's sat on a truck for days?

And how many local restaurants could give the Soup Nazi a run for his money on the surly factor? How many places have we seen close when the food was good, but the service was excruciating (not factoring in all those defunct establishments where the "profits" went up the owners' noses-which is a separate story)?

We went to our favorite local spot the other night (right after work); everyone in the group had to be somewhere at 7, making us short on time.

The waitress finally showed up, not knowing the soup of the day, or the specials.

We sent her back for both. One member of our party made the mistake of asking the price on the special - necessitating another trip to the kitchen.

When we mentioned, politely, that we were in a bit of a hurry, the "apology" was "well, we just opened."

"Just opened" really shouldn't be synonymous with "just woke up."

If the doors are open, diners may get the misguided impression that they can go in, and people will bring them food.

We made these observations at the table, whereupon she probably spit in our cosmopolitans.

GREAT restaurant, GREAT location. The food is almost always sterling, if inappropriately priced. Three nights later, the service was impeccable. But a first-time diner wouldn't have gone back.

Other irritating trends: at three separate restaurants (Thai, deli, and French) last week, we had to pay at the counter. Settle down, no one's channeling Marie Antoinette here; there's admittedly nothing unduly emotionally or physically distressing about that hike to the cash register. But we weren't paying McDonald's prices, and far more annoyingly, we weren't told of this (new) policy - so we wasted about 15 minutes (the servers having spontaneously retired mid-shift) waiting on our checks before we finally lassoed a manager who waved us to the counter (where we eventually found our checks).

And don't even get us started on the proliferation of plastic childproof Pizza Hut style tumblers which are being passed off as acceptable beverage vessels in dozens of restaurants all over town. Even Applebee's provides you with a glass.

The dumbing down of the American palate is a national embarrassment. Our collective obesity is disgusting. We could all eat better and live better. There are times when no amount of Les Nips du Fromage will satiate.

Times like that call for professionals.

It's refreshing to meet a few of them in this issue who take that responsibility seriously.