From the publisher...
As I write this, I'm watching a Courier-Journal news page
update every few seconds. The reader comments to
the story about the first Kentucky case of swine
flu, or at least the first one to be officially
acknowledged — a
story that was quickly removed from the C-J home
page, by the way — attest
to several commenters' first-hand knowledge of
cases in Louisville as of today (April 30) — cases
that are being covered up so as not to jeopardize
Derby. Some of the postings are obvious forgeries,
written to enlarge the "nut job"
quotient and discredit other postings.
Others contain legitimate information, now largely
buried in the mix. By the time most of you read
this editorial, the truth may be known ... well,
probably not.1 In any case, whatever the truth may be, a
cover-up is never justified. No one has the right
to decide what people have the right to know.
There are precedents in many safety-related fields. For example, Southwest
Airlines got away with flying improperly maintained aircraft for more
than a year, with full knowledge of the Federal Aviation Administration
but not the traveling public. And we now know that the FAA covered up
data on bird strikes until April of this year, after the Miracle on
the Hudson made people aware of them. That data shows that more than
89,000 bird strikes on aircraft have occurred since 1990. If the government
and the media can keep a number like that under wraps, what couldn't
they? What wouldn't they?
Dollars before people. Special interests before
public safety. Hardly a surprise. What stuns me
is that no one seems to care enough to do anything about it.
Hype or reality, the swine flu health scare could be the final nail
in the coffin of many struggling arts groups, who have already suffered
from the downturn in the economy and the resultant drop in donations
and ticket sales. Restaurants, movie houses and retail stores are casualties
also, as people simply stay home.
Our theatre groups' defenses against this onslaught are non-existent.
Yet our infinite resourcefulness, as theatre people,
can save us. Let's gather our forces and ride this
out, trying our best not to get discouraged. And
let's continue to take to the stage, even if chairs
If we refuse to let ourselves be silenced, then we won't, and
the curtains will rise again.
— A.S. Waterman
week following Derby.
Copyright © 2009 A.S. Waterman. All rights reserved.
Artwork and text are copyright © 2006 and 2016 A.S. Waterman.
All rights reserved.