I just read John Branston's attack on Memphis' new strategy of embracing the "creative class" (City Beat, March 30th issue). Talk about missing the point.
The creative class is not about age. It just happens that most people who qualify are within a certain age bracket. It includes a staggering number of fields, and having a blog does not make you an automatic member.
What distinguishes [members] as part of the creative class? Their lives do not revolve around their jobs. Therefore they want to pick a place to live that they can enjoy, somewhere with a thriving music scene, ethnic and cultural diversity, outdoor recreation, and great nightlife. Doesn't it make sense that the smartest people would want to live in a city with a tolerant attitude and a local government that isn't corrupt?
These are the folks who turn into the seasoned innovators Branston mentions in his rant. When they hit 40, the age when Branston apparently thinks they are worthy of respect, don't we want them to be living in Memphis? Well, we need to embrace them now, because they are leaving in droves.
How small-minded and immature of Branston to take the stance of "Young people? Bah!" We may not be able to determine if older is necessarily wiser, but I think we can agree that smart is better than dumb.
In John Branston's City Beat column, he attributed the founding of the Memphis Business Journal to 35-year-old Barney DuBois.
Barney DuBois did not found the Memphis Business Journal. Publisher Ward Archer Sr. founded the Memphis Business Journal at the ripe age of 61. He began work on the publication well before DuBois was hired as the first editor, and he assumed all of the risk associated with founding the company. DuBois served as publisher (and a good one at that) after my father's death in 1991 and until I negotiated the sale of the company to American City Business Journals on behalf of my family and DuBois in 1996.
Ward Archer Jr.
In his City Beat column, John Branston brilliantly pointed out that "the young and restless have nothing on the old and experienced."
Goethe was past 80 when he completed Faust, Amos Alonzo Stagg was coaching football at 90, and Mother Teresa was still spreading love at 84. Not to mention Winston Churchill, Pope John XXIII, Pablo Picasso, Albert Einstein, and Frank Lloyd Wright, to mention but a few.
Arthur H. Prince
I am a former basketball coach with the local system, and I can tell you exactly why the Tigers played so poorly against UCLA ("End of the Dance," March 30th issue).
When Coach Calipari said that his star players needed to "play like stars," they became more concerned with their individual performances and got away from the team concept that had given them so much success. They didn't make the extra pass, forced shots, became frustrated, and lost focus.
The players who were not called "stars" by their coach made uncommon mistakes because they felt a need to prove to him that they were on the same level as the players the coach had cited.
I like Coach Calipari, but you have to watch how you deal with a young team.
Bruce VanWyngarden is correct in his contention that Republicans in Congress are exploiting the immigration debate (Editor's Note, March 30th issue). Their latest activity reminds me of the Republican-led Terri Schiavo circus and has a similar cast of characters, minus Tom DeLay.
President Bush asks for civility in the immigration debate while Senator Frist, the man who would be president, wants to make a gated community out of the United States by building a wall along our southern border.
Is today's Republican, anti-Latino bigotry any different from racism against blacks in the 1960s? Republican anti-immigration forces are demonizing immigrant workers to feed the frenzy of the party base. GOP hard-liners are trying to disguise their fragmented foreign policy by casting immigrants as security risks and a burden on society and the economy. Those concerns are dwarfed by Bush's war and his reckless tax cuts.
Grass Valley, California