Up in the Air
John Branston's cover story "Up in the Air" in the November 10th issue shows the need in Memphis for another large carrier for air travel. The inconvenience of having to travel to places like Little Rock or Nashville to get an affordable plane ticket is ridiculous. As a person whose family travels a fair amount, the merger of AirTran and Southwest could make traveling much less expensive. Why do we have to go somewhere else to fly at an affordable price instead of being able to go to our own airport? Why do we have to spend so much to fly, when almost everyone else in the country can fly for half the price of a flight from Memphis?
Maybe the idea that Memphis can become an "aerotropolis" can come true. Hopefully, this merger can bring ridiculously priced tickets to an end, and Memphis can become a passenger transport hub once again.
In the Flyer web article "Mississippi Voters Reject Personhood Amendment," Hannah Sayle explains how more than 55 percent of voters voted against Proposition 26 in Mississippi. Proposition 26 would not only define life as happening at conception, it would have also changed Mississippi's state constitution.
"Mississippians do not want the government between them and their doctors," says an anti-personhood initiative leader. Who would want the government in that position in the first place? Those involved should always have the right to choose whether or not they want to have an abortion. What about the case of rape or accidental pregnancy? What ignorant fool would not want to have the choice of abortion? If you are ever in the situation and not for abortion, then you do not have to have one, it's that simple. Pro Choice.
I agree with John Branston's "quibbles" in his City Beat column (November 10th issue) about the comments of Joseph Clayton and Marcus Pohlmann featured in an article in The New York Times about Memphis-Shelby County school consolidation. It is ironic that the only really questionable statements in the article came from two locals.
Whether or not Clayton can predict the future on school consolidation or anything else remains to be seen. However, Pohlmann's declaration that we have no middle-class black city schools in Memphis is incorrect. By what measurement is Pohlmann making this statement? What about White Station, ranked annually as one of the best high schools in the nation? What about high schools dedicated to specific academic disciplines, such as Ridgeway and Overton? What about schools like Central, Southwind, and Whitehaven, to mention only a few, where middle-class African-American families have been sending their children to be educated for years? By any measure, these are schools full of middle-class black students.
Could it be that Pohlmann was more interested in impressing the reporter from the Times than giving an accurate and balanced appraisal of Memphis City Schools? It would seem so.
Regarding the article "Idiot Tax" by Paul Gerald (November 10th issue): I admire the writer's humility in using himself as a foundation for his new term, "idiot tax." He states that he has paid enough of this stupid tax to join a tea party: overpaid for meals, gotten screwed on train seats, spent an hour in the wrong passport line, accidentally eaten horse and pigeon, etc. I can list for days all of the idiot taxes I have paid. This term may become a new trend, once everyone notices that they are paying it.
No Visual Arts?
I opened the October 20th issue and turned past articles on the culinary scene, the film community, politics, sports, music, and page after page of club listings and "where to go" listings. I realized there was one glaring omission: the visual arts scene.
There were no articles on our so-called arts districts, on the eastern galleries, or on the artists trying to eke out a living in the Bluff City. Oh, there was a note or two on the latest "dead artists" exhibits at the Brooks or Dixon but nothing on the many living creative men and women who drag their works to galleries hoping for a sale or, heaven forbid, a review of the objects they create.