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Letters to the editor



Memphis Music Tomorrow?

Rich businessmen in nice suits falling all over themselves for MTV, a company that has less musical integrity than a 2-year-old banging on his grandmother's piano and that has a laughable musical legacy compared to what Memphis has done for the music industry. Is that really development? What about struggling Memphis artists?

Maybe Memphis Tomorrow (October 13th issue) is afraid to journey into Midtown to find great independent artists and a strong music scene that supports plenty of venues, record shops, and recording studios. Why risk tarnishing the names of legendary independent record labels like Sun and Stax by partnering them with Justin Timberlake, who is only nominally associated with any Memphis music scene?

Instead of focusing on big names and pipe dreams, Memphis Tomorrow should focus its energies on helping independent artists be empowered. The record industry is like a big machine, so why would a group that wants to support Memphis music advocate bringing it here when, inevitably, artists are only caught in its gears and spit out to tell their sad tale?

Dirk Kitterlin


High Gas

As a former Tennessee resident, I like to keep up with Tennessee's major weekly alternative newspapers as they cover subjects that the Tennessee mainstream media ignore.

Regarding your article about the rising cost of gasoline ("Gas Pains," October 6th issue): My only complaint is that you didn't focus enough on the use of mass transit as a way to diminish the public's dependence on their private automobiles.

When I visit Memphis, I always choose a motel or hotel close to a mass transit route. I now stay at the Midtown Red Roof Inn or Motel 6, as the Madison trolley provides much cheaper and more frequent transit to downtown.

It is not my intention to disregard the importance of buses, nor do I dispute the other fine suggestions that your article advocated, such as more car-pooling and telecommuting. But there is a need for an expanded multi-modal transit service and more pedestrian- and bike-friendly transport arteries so that Memphians will finally have a freedom of choice, instead of being totally dependent on their cars.

William R. Delzell

Springfield, Massachusetts

The Toyota Prius is smaller and lighter and puts less wear and tear on the roads our taxes are maintaining. It is less dangerous to pedestrians, cyclists, and other motorists; is easy to drive; emits far fewer pollutants than most vehicles; and keeps the job market open and competitive for manufacturing and research in the alternative/renewable energy industry.

Even if its gas mileage were the same as an S.U.V., the Prius would still be a better car. If you're only looking to justify the purchase of a hybrid with the monetary savings to you, you're missing the point entirely and deserve $5 per gallon gas prices.

Michael ForsytheMemphis

America needs to wake up! It's not the oil supply that is the problem; it is that we do not have enough refineries. The last American refinery was built in 1978.

Independent refineries were bought up by the large oil company conglomerates, and they control the supply by controlling how much oil is refined. Now the oil companies are raping consumers at the pump so they can raise more cash for upcoming elections.

Phil Drum Jr.


Not Wild About Harriet

The nomination of Harriet Miers to the Supreme Court tends to confirm what Molly Ivins once wrote about the political culture of Texas. It's a mix of three elements: religiosity, Alamo macho, and anti-intellectualism.

Like the Pharisees of old, supporters of the nomination loudly proclaim Miers' evangelical faith from the housetops and street corners. And Bush's pose as a gunslinging cowboy surely has lent substance to Miers' view of her boss as "the most brilliant" man in the world. How could anyone remain unmoved by such daring utterances as "Osama, dead or alive," "Bring 'em on," and "Mission accomplished"?

Conservative opponents of the nomination -- David Brooks, Pat Buchanan, and George Will, among many others -- are written off as effete Eastern intellectuals, out of touch with the unerring wisdom of the heartland.

M.L. Wilson


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