To the Editor:
I would like to personally thank Chris Davis for assuming in his article "Hustler" (July 21st issue) that all of Memphis has already seen Craig Brewer's Hustle & Flow. I am going to go out on a limb here, but I am pretty sure that there are some of us who were not issued passes to private screenings nor invited to the Peabody Place premiere.
Usually, when a movie is reviewed before it comes out nationally, a general summary will do, sprinkled with personal opinions of the reviewer, as Chris Herrington does in his review in the same issue. Now that I know the specific ending of the movie, thanks to Davis' tenth paragraph (as well as another key scene revealed in the next paragraph), my desire to rush out and see the movie has been diminished. Please, Chris, when you review Black Snake Moan, issue a spoiler alert, warning all of us that you will be giving away the ending of that movie as well.
Louis J. Stifter
To The Editor:
The dichotomy of material in last week's (July 21st issue) Flyer was stunning. First, the usual work by Keith English and Tim Sampson on Bush the Hated Dictator, then the article on the nice folks going to help prop up the Castro regime - complete with an icon of communist revolutionary Che Guevera on their bus ("Cuban Caravan").
If English and Sampson were Cubans, just trying to have similar material on Castro published would probably put them in prisons that make the worst conditions for terrorists at Guantanamo Bay look like a resort. If a Cuban publication tried to publish the material, it would be closed or restaffed immediately, with the editors joining the authors in prison.
Since Castro forcibly took power in the 1960s, he has imprisoned, tortured, or murdered every opponent to his regime and his beliefs - including homosexuals. He had his own brother shot, supposedly for using the Cuban military to run one of the world's largest drug cartels, but mainly for being too popular with the military.
Every bit of "prosperity" provided the Cuban people was paid for by the forced labor of their former USSR's proletariat and their conquered "allies." Austerity measures supposedly due to American restrictions funded the expansion of paramilitary and secret police units.
What a shame that the well-intentioned people in the Pastors for Peace Friendshipment Caravan can't truly experience the treatment they are willing to accept for the average Cuban. Then, maybe they too would flee Castro's paradise in makeshift rafts across shark-infested seas.
Herbert E. Kook Jr.
To the Editor:
As one of those who lost their TennCare coverage - unfairly, I think - I want to remind people how important it will be to vote in the next governor's election, especially should Phil Bredesen decide to run again. This is the only way the people's voice will really be heard. It is not the e-mails or the candlelight vigils that will change the system, it is the people's voice. It is our state, and we should be calling the shots by putting people in office who will stand up for us. Let's let them know just because we're poor and sick, doesn't mean we are worthless!
To the Editor:
Busking is the tradition of performing in a public place for tips. Memphis history is full of buskers made good, including B.B. King, Furry Lewis, Memphis Minnie, and more recently, Robert Belfour and Richard Johnston.
Busking can lead to that first break that performers need - the first rung on the ladder to sucess. Some people, however, consider it to be panhandling with instruments. Bar owners often view buskers as competition. When the Beale Street administrators shut down Handy Park to busking, buskers found a loophole: They could play if they got the permision of a business owner. Carl Drew, Richard Johnston, me, and others enjoyed a brief resurgence of busking culture, but a couple of weeks ago, Beale Street management banned all busking after 8 p.m.
Richard Johnston is the subject of a PBS documentory. Many people came to Memphis to see him. Beale Street shutting down busking is like North Dakota jackhammering Mt. Rushmore into gravel. Clarksdale, Mississippi, Helena, Arkansas, and many other sites are luring blues tourists. They welcome buskers. Let's start working for the good of all of Memphis, not just the fat cats! Busking is free speech! Take back the street.
John Lowe (Johnnie Lowebowe)
Editor's note: Due to an editing error, state representative Henri Brooks, a female, was referred to as a "he" in last week's Flyer.