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It's a Hoosier Thing

Week of April 2, 2003

It's a Hoosier Thing
Our mascot, the hoosier:What a great article! About time someone recognized this city's official mascot, the hoosier [Mike Seely, "Hoosiers," March 26]. Say what they will, people would find St. Louis to be a boring white-bread city if not for the hoosier.

I recognized so many people I know in the article, and it made me laugh at myself, too. I will still continue to call people "fuckin' hoosiers" when they deserve it, but now it will be with a bit more pride and, yes, even love for my bar-fighting, beer-guzzling, Monte Carlo-driving, 3 a.m.-barbecuing neighbors.
Richard Gaddy
St. Louis

It takes a hoosier to know a hoosier: Mike Seely's article was a real blast. He was right on the mark in everything he had to say about hoosiers. I grew up in the area around Gravois and Iowa, so I believe that qualifies me as a true hoosier. A buddy of mine who was born and raised in Indiana recently moved to St. Louis. He said he was proud of being called a hoosier -- proud, that is, until one day he was called a hoosier by a St. Louis police officer.

He hasn't been the same since.
Harvey Meyer
Green Park, Missouri

Dumb "Hoosiers": "Hoosiers" was the dumbest article I've ever read in my life. It was a waste of paper, and it was a waste of time to everyone who read it. Could Mike Seely have defined "hoosier" one more time? Who cares? You have printed some controversial and ignorant articles in the past, but never quite so blatantly stupid! Chalk one up for the hoosiers who let this article make the front page, much less the Riverfront Times at all.
Jennifer Cozort
via the Internet

Next week, the etymology of "cheesehead": Mike Seely's comprehensive and well-researched article on hoosiers quoted me as making fun of my Indiana fans. When people from Indiana proudly proclaim they're Hoosiers, "It's like if someone was from the idiot state and they said, 'I'm an idiot!'" Seely quoted me as saying.

This makes it sound as if I think people from Indiana are idiots, including my fan Patty Hudson-Ward, who was also interviewed by Seely.

Let me clearly state that people from Indiana are warm and intelligent. They are definitely not idiots.

It's people from Wisconsin who are idiots.
Kevin O'Brien

Tusk, Tusk
Free Flora! It's the 21st century. We humans no longer have the excuse of ignorance when it comes to the exploitation of creatures who share the earth with us [Jeannette Batz, "Wait Elephant," March 26].

It has been known for many, many years that animals have their own group structures. Elephants have families with ties stronger than ever imagined. These magnificent creatures have the documented ability to feel pain, stress, anger, fear, grief. They shed tears of distress. They show that they remember and recognize family members even many years after separation. They endure years of torment at the hands of their captors and can have a breakdown which can manifest in violence to their captors.

Flora the elephant has put in her time at the hands of humans who continue to profit from her. No more circus, no more zoo, no breeding her! It's time for Flora to go to an approved and humane sanctuary, not one set up for further exploitation. Free Flora! And express your opinion by boycotting animal acts which force creatures to perform as a result of cruelty and captivity.
Marie Ansari
New Jersey

A Word From the Band
How Lickgoldensky got its name: I just wanted to thank you guys for John Darnielle's killer review ["Rotations," March 19]. I have no clue where you're from; I found this on the computer in some Internet café. Thanks!

By the way, Lickgoldensky, "one of the worst band names in history" ... yes. But it comes from Eyehategod lyrics, and Eyehategod just happen to be the best band ever!
Jamie Getz, Lickgoldensky
via the Internet

No Coke, No Pepsi
A Ludacris statement: I agreed with Bill O'Reilly's call to boycott Pepsi for wanting to sign Ludacris, but for different reasons [Zac Crain, "Gossip Folks," March 12]. The only thing Luda is a spokesperson for is the decline of Western civilization. The world sees the United States as stupid and spoiled; we prove that more and more by the dumbing-down of our youth. We glorify athletes and people in the music industry who can't communicate without using foul language. (Luckily, they're usually mumbling.)

Ludacris' lyrics are peppered with drug and alcohol references and violence against women and law enforcement, and he glorifies gun use. (As is the norm, using hacked-up versions of what used to be words.)

Younger people don't even have the tools to be receptionists, let alone leaders of industry and government. There's a bigger picture here than just begrudging a rap artist a soft-drink contract, which I'm sure he was well compensated for. I boycotted Pepsi, but not because of O'Reilly. I can make up my own mind, despite what Mr. Crain thinks.
Susan Zarleneo
St. Louis

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