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Willie's Words

To the Editor:

Mayor Herenton used a lot of superlatives to describe his self-proclaimed plan from God in last week's cover story ("The Testament of Willie Herenton"). He also made a statement about setting the bar for our youth.

What kind of message do improper grammar and swear words ("I don't need no damn friends") send our youth? A man with profound religious convictions should leave such language to the street thugs and not confuse our children.

Get real, Mayor, and stop sending mixed messages to me and anyone else who looks to you for leadership. Grow up and be the man. We need you now more than ever.

Cathy L. Jacques

Memphis

To the Editor:

The mayor opined that council members, whom he previously likened to "footstools," would be "nobodies" without their elected offices. I would like to remind him of something said by Dr. Martin Luther King: "Every man is somebody, because he is a child of God."

It seems our mayor has forgotten that.

Arthur Prince

Memphis

Film Flam

To the Editor:

Did Chris Herrington take the time to watch any of the slew of fantastic independent films that were released in 2003? While I can't argue that Herrington's picks in his article "Plenty" (January 1st issue) were all excellent films, he completely failed to mention a number of worthwhile films, while inserting films which were not even released in 2003.

While discussing in-depth several films which have long since passed through our theaters (The Pianist, Adaptation, and 25th Hour were released in 2002), Herrington fails to even mention the following: Monster, Shattered Glass, Thirteen, In America, or Girl with a Pearl Earring, to name but a few.

It is egregious for a film critic to, on one hand, give praise to our burgeoning independent film community and, on the other, to demonstrate an obliviousness to the breadth of brilliant independent cinema recently released.

If Memphis is to be taken seriously as a community that supports great independent cinema, readers should have an opportunity to be aware of what is really out there.

E.J. Friedman

Memphis

Herrington responds: The end-of-the year list considered only films released in Memphis during 2003, which includes all three films cited as "2002" in E.J. Friedman's letter but not Monster or Girl with a Pearl Earring, which have yet to open here. Some critics use first U.S. releases to date films, but this seems geared more to please publicists than to serve readers, thus the decision to go by Memphis release dates. As for "the breadth of brilliant independent cinema recently released," perhaps Friedman should check out fine "indie" films (a concept that can be a bit of a chimera anyway) mentioned in the piece, such as Spider, Raising Victor Vargas, Capturing the Friedmans, and Spellbound, all of which I deemed more worthy of inclusion than the films Friedman cites.

To the Editor:

It is nothing but sand and rocks. It will cost billions to send someone there. It will be very dangerous. The odds of getting back safely are long. We don't really need to go. It poses no threat to us whatsoever. But it will look good on Election Day.

Is it any wonder President Bush wants to go to Mars?

Michael B. Conway

Memphis

Editor's Note: After many months of behind-the-scenes elbow grease, the Flyer's newly designed Web site is up and working like a charm. If you haven't visited MemphisFlyer.com for a while, give us a try. We think you'll like the change. -- Bruce VanWyngarden

Correction: In last week's cover story ("Mayor of the Council"), it was reported that some council members saw a mayoral spokesperson on television saying the council's role in selecting the mayor's division directors was ceremonial. Gale Jones Carson, the mayor's spokesperson, said she never said that.

The Memphis Flyer encourages reader response. Send mail to: Letters to the Editor, POB 1738, Memphis, TN 38101. Or call Back Talk at 575-9405. Or send us e-mail at letters@memphisflyer.com. All responses must include name, address, and daytime phone number. Letters should be no longer than 250 words.

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