Yesterday I was helping a friend with errands in Nashville. He is moving there to attend TSU. Shortly after saying that he needs to get a map of the city, we came across the Scene's College Survival Guide (Aug. 19), complete with Nashville maps. Imagine my surprise when I discovered that of all the neighborhood maps, not one showed TSU and Fisk University, or the area surrounding these schools.
Transportation racism is a magnificent problem in the United States. The Scene's omission of maps reinforces the problem of a society that does not provide access for everyone.
A new Nashville tourism slogan
I had been content to just roll my eyes at the pointlessness of Amy Waddell's contributions to the Scene over the past few months until the College Survival Guide insert in this past week's issue. I know you have received lots of mail about itmy friends whom I have spoken to since it came out are all shocked and disgustedbut after this, I have to put in my two cents.
Firstwhat in God's name are you hoping to send as a message to the kids who are coming here to go to school by putting some picture of an underfed, bikini-clad party girl bending over to amuse some jerk in stonewashed jeans in an unlit library? "Welcome to The Athens of the Souththe perfect place to spend your parents' money humping in your institution's place of study?" Was the picture of two Taiwanese girls making out over a laptop too racy to handle? Or did Vanderbilt learn from the Hustler scandal and not let you use their dorm showers to stage the perfect shaving scene? Absolute idiocy. Who was the photographer? Whose brilliant idea was this? Did they have the gall to pitch this idea or did they just mime it over bong hits?
Secondis Ms. Waddell actually getting paid for her contributions to your paper? Her fashion tip this week was to get your Hanes T-shirts at Target. I had been running myself ragged going to Posh trying to find men's T-shirts, and all this time I could have gone to Target? Trust me, the accessory-obsessed slutterati KNOW that if you want plastic banana earrings or denim tennis skirts or pashmina shawls (whatever variation-on-a-theme that is the "More, More, More/Look At Me" "fashion" "mentality" that she peddles), there are five or six stores that sell all kinds of ironic, poorly made crap that you can strap onto yourself to make yourself look like you have some individuality...and they go there regularly. They don't need to be told what Posh has this week. If some girl has a purse that she found at a thrift store three years ago, that is great. But do we really care? Does it need a whole page?
The title says it all: "Having." They have it. Great. Most of these people have it and do nothing with it except go to sleazy bars and stand there getting trashed waiting for someone to ask where they got their patent leather peasant blouse. Why are they asking? Because it is obvious that asking where they got it will get that attention-deprived consumer to go home with them. If that is the mind-set you want to promoteif it sells quarter-column ads to effeminizing, bauble-obsessing retail flash-in-the-pansby all means, continue. But if you are asking this woman to write a guide to Nashville for incoming college students, you are doing a grave disservice because it is just sending the message that you came to Nashville to buy shit and get fucked.
And that is just so incredibly lame it makes my head hurt.
On Phish sheep
Just read Matthew Montoya's account of his aborted Phish concert ("A Long, Strange Trip," Late Edition, Aug. 20). Dude, that sucks. But I can't help but wonder: what the hell is wrong with you? You won't take the left-hand lane in a traffic jam because you're worried about Karma?!? You just blindly follow the "requests" of someone you've never met and don't know because you think he'll "make it up to you"? You spend a small fortune for nothing?
You got screwed, and it's terrible when that happens to nice people. But the lesson that I'm taking from this story is that sheep inevitably get fleeced unless they have the gumption to stand athwart the stall and cry, "Hell No!" There's got to be a tolerable balance point between being a selfish cynic and a hippy-dippy, and I bet you're well on your way to finding it.
Mark T. Gibson
We failed to credit Natalie Kilgore for her work assembling the Nashville Scene Music Awards Nominee Guide in the Aug. 12 issue. Natalie spearheaded the whole nominating process and was responsible for pulling together the considerable amount of materials that went into the Nominee Guide. Her efforts deserve ample recognition, and we thank her profusely.
Last week's College Survival Guide listed the incorrect business hours for Grins, the kosher vegetarian cafe on Vanderbilt's campus. Hours are 10:30 a.m.-8 p.m. Mon.-Thurs. and 10:30 a.m.-2 p.m. Fri. In late September/early October, the cafe will close for the Jewish high holy days.
In our Aug. 12 issue, we stated that St. Thomas Hospital pays the annual membership fees to Belle Meade Country Club for its president, Thomas Beeman. In fact, a hospital spokesperson says St. Thomas does not pay those fees. We apologize for the error.
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