Urban exploration is not just about dressing up in your super-spy outfits and using fake names over your super-spy walkie talkies (Cover, “Urban Adventurers,” June 9-16). In fact, sneaking around anywhere at night wearing all black and using code names is bound to get you into trouble. Two young men in Colorado recently had a bad experience when they were found “exploring” a secured site after hours. Dogs were turned loose on them because they were dressed in dark colors and they failed to properly identify themselves. Furthermore, while www.infiltration.org may offer one view of this rather unusual hobby, other Web sites, such as Urban Exploration Resource at www.uer.ca, offer a broader picture of the kind of people who love to explore abandoned sites, tunnels, etc. I submit that we are not all Indiana Jonesing; some of us love to explore, and don’t have to get all dressed up to do it.
Unlike Vain, Case, Ghost and others, I enjoy exploring, but most often do it in broad daylight. If approached by security and/or police, while there is usually some sort of trespassing involved, I still do not and would not hesitate to use my real name and explain my presence for what it is — curiosity. I have found that people can be very respectful if you are up front about your intent. I can’t emphasize enough how distasteful it is to sneak around in the middle of the night in pseudo-military gear. While I admit to admiration for the team’s rappelling skills, I would like to point out that it is not always necessary to be a commando. I like to find quiet places, long forgotten, that beg to be explored and documented on camera. Just imagine, for instance, if exploration had become more important sooner! We could have had documentation of places like Al Green’s or Children’s Palace before they were demolished.
In closing, not all explorers are like those you profiled. Some of us enjoy documenting Indiana’s lost history, and while we don’t mind getting dirty, we are not into Spy vs. Spy either. Good topic, narrow point of view.
My brother-in-law, who lives in Centerville, Ind., recently sent me a copy of your editorial, “A Perfect Family Reunion” (Hammer, June 9-16). He guessed correctly that I would find your thoughts quite agreeable. I, too, have been a bit nauseated by the almost god-like image that the media have been projecting for a man who trashed our economy and destroyed essential social programs, at the same time providing advantages for the wealthy. The elder Bush did nothing to rectify the situation, and it took two Clinton presidential terms to bring the budget back into balance and some sanity into our national focus, as you well know.
Of course, now we have a president who only added a war on Iraq, justified by those curiously non-existent WMDs, to the war he was already waging intensely on the environment, the economy and the poor and aged.
Can the world survive another four years of George W. Bush?
Thanks for your thoughts.
John P. Posey
West Lafayette, IN
Kudos to NUVO for investigating the dog fighting issue (Cover, “Blood Sport,” June 2-9). It is imperative that this horrific cruelty be exposed and stopped. The people who organize and perpetrate this torture must be brought to justice. It is a statistical fact that people who engage in animal cruelty and torture are more likely to do the same to humans. Veterinarians who treat these dogs have a moral obligation to report the abuse and refuse to take part in this heinous crime.
We hope that NUVO will stay on top of this subject and bring its readers regular updates and reports on this important issue.
Bruce and Sharon McMahon
As part of a media relations effort, I e-mailed some information to Ed Johnson-Ott in advance of his review of the movie Super Size Me (Film, June 16-23). Imagine my surprise when I found myself served up as the main course of the article. Needless to say, it was a little hard to swallow.
My client, the American Council on Science and Health, has a 25-year history of providing research and commentary on consumer issues, particularly irrational food scares in the media.
The ACSH is conducting a public education campaign to lend a scientific perspective to the dialogue on this movie. The ACSH objects to the movie because it is not a serious look at a real health problem, it is dishonest and sends the wrong message — that the individual is not responsible for his own fitness.
In order to sell his movie, the actor force fed himself about 5,600 calories a day, which is 2,300 more than a man his size needed, and he stopped exercising. The ACSH wants consumers to know that weight gain is a matter of calories in vs. calories out and that including favorite foods in your diet in a responsible way is a realistic approach to maintaining a healthy body weight.
If Johnson-Ott had told me that his review would focus on his objections to the ACSH and not the movie, I would have been happy to provide him with the facts and sources to do a complete story.