My, how the Kluge has fallen

I wanted to give Patricia Kluge a break. She has to overcome all the stereotypes about recipients of great wealth. Her public and private life is subject to a level of scrutiny few of us would welcome. Yet over the years she has kept a low profile, not risen to the bait of snide comments, and projected an image of, well, class.

I did my best to hold onto this attitude as I read her letter in your last issue [July 10: "Condon doesn't know Kluge"] (http://www.readthehook.com/93705/letter-condon-doesnt-know-kluge). Even though it seemed self-involved, condescending, and displayed an embarrassingly shallow understanding of ecology, the financial and sociological impacts of residential development, the march of civilization, and every other topic it addressed, I figured, what the hell, I'm no intellectual giant either. She is probably still a nice lady, trying to do the right thing as she sees it, with her heart in the right place.

Until I got to the end of it, where she makes a catty, personal attack on Marlene Condon. That did it. Obviously, her heart is planted right where her head is.

To characterize herself as a "farmer" is laughable. She is no more a farmer than George Bush is an "oil worker."

Her mean-spirited attack on Condon displays either arrogance or a complete cluelessness about the issues involved, or both. It's so out of line, you don't know if you should laugh at her or squirm, like hearing a 14-year-old altar boy tell the Pope he doesn't do Catholicism right.

If this is some sort of new strategy, where Kluge takes to the public forum to personally promote her vision of growth as evolution and her house-building as manifest destiny that will, by its very presence, enrich our ignorant, miserable little lives, I'm not sure it's going to work.

I know I liked her a lot better when she didn't talk. If she truly believes that everything that lives here, the people, the animals, and the plants, will benefit from more residential development, then she needs to buy someone who writes better letters to sell it to us.

Pete Syme
Charlottesville