About "Action," Greg Akers' cover story on independent local filmmakers ...
In the film industry, being able to get funding is pretty much the measure of all things. People either get themselves into debt, or talk someone into funding their movie. When writing a book, all you need is a good idea, about a dollars worth of paper, and a pen. You can leverage commitment and time, and end up with a fantastic result that rivals any other book.
In contrast to that, a good film requires money. Lots of money. It is the unavoidable nature of the medium. To base an entire article on the opposite of that truth is silly, and presents to the rest of the world that the Memphis film community is not serious or just doesn't get it.
Bill, I suppose if it was renamed "Pro Bono" instead of "Free" then it'd sound more admirable, because lawyers and doctors do that often for causes they believe in, to keep their name out there, and to keep their skills sharp. You can read it as "exploit some hobbyists for free labor," or you can read it as "people passionate in a creative art who strive to be in it as much as possible." We know which is the accurate one.
- Greg Cravens
About Bruce VanWyngarden's Letter from the Editor ...
I'm outraged, stunned, appalled, aghast, and furious about our state legislature enacting a new law taking away the rights of cities and counties regarding guns in parks and playgrounds. The NRA lobby is so powerful they're able to run our state and nation's legislatures. Why would any adult with a gun permit go to a park with a gun?
The NRA's statement that if the "good guys" have guns they can stop the "bad guys" with guns is one of the stupidest remarks ever made. When everyone is shooting at each other, how do you know who is who? Our legislature, with all its pro-gun and anti-homosexual laws is rapidly becoming perceived as the most backward state in the country.
I agree with a lot of what Bruce VanWyngarden had to say in his editorial in the February 20th issue. Education is the foundation of our problem. Better educated people could make better educated choices. Certainly the state of Tennessee is controlled by the Republicans, and they wield a heavy hand when it comes to local city and county issues. But can you really blame them? Look at the Memphis/Shelby County municipal school system mess, the renaming of local parks, etc. Some of the people who serve in these local positions make the Republicans at the state level look rather intelligent.
If you take the proposition that the state Republicans are running roughshod over the city and county, then you should be willing to admit that we have virtually the same problem in reverse at the national level, where the Democrats control the administrative and legislative (at least the Senate) and a majority of the Judicial branches of our government. Obviously, it is not all Obama's fault, but he is and has been the commander-in-chief for about six years now. At some point you have to accept ownership for what is going on around you.
About Les Smith's column, "The Line is Busy" ...
I would like to propose a bill that if a bill that is passed by a legislature and signed into law by a governor is later found to be unconstitutional by a judge, even after appeals, then all those who voted for it and signed it get one "strike" against them. If they get three strikes, then they are automatically disqualified from holding public office again. If the third strike comes while they are still in office, then they are automatically removed from office that day.
If you can't make laws that are constitutional, then you obviously have no idea what you are doing.