Regarding rumors of plans for a Wal-Mart on Highway 96 and your specific Sept. 9 comment ("There's Nothing Going On") about "that rare patch of remaining Middle Tennessee green space," have you ever flown over Middle Tennessee? We have phenomenal amounts of greenspace. In fact, even in areas that are thoroughly suburbanized, the trees are so thick and tall as to obscure a view of the houses unless you're right over them. Without offering my own opinion of the rumored development (I live on Highway 100), there are many valid points to be made on both sides of the issue. We are not, however, running out of green space.
After reading about Ms. Waddell's experience at the Gateway last Friday, I felt like I should offer a different perspective (Group Therapy, Sept. 9). I was also at the performance of IdeaProv that evening, and I recall the events quite clearly. Yes, a member of the audience did shout out "Jewish People!" when prompted by the cast for the title of a fictional poem. No, I don't remember shocked expressions from the crowd. I do remember one of the cast blew it off with a comment like, "We don't do those kind of jokes," and they kept going. I got the impression they get stupid, senseless suggestions like that sometimes, and I felt like they were professional in how they handled it.
I also heard the suggestion that immediately followed that one. It was distinctly "Chicken man at Hurricanes" (an entity that apparently does exist). The word "chicken" doesn't sound like "Chinese." The following sketch was hilarious. I certainly hope that Ms. Waddell doesn't think she's eating at Kentucky Fried Chinese? The fact is, it was an improv show that feeds off of audience suggestions, and IdeaProv shouldn't be condemned for the rude comments that get thrown at them.
I've been to the Gateway a couple of times and have been treated in a courteous and respectful manner by the wait staff, security and the other clientele. I believe Ms. Waddell should visit the venue again and try to enjoy herself. And if she goes to Icons, she should sit a little closer so she can hear better.
Now here's a true controversy
I've been reading magazine and newspaper articles that say the city of Nashville is trying to outlaw homeless people from panhandling ("Handling Panhandling," Sept. 2). I used to wonder why people were always standing around and begging for money. I would say to myself, "Why don't they get a job?" That was until my husband and I became homeless ourselves.
While being homeless, I got to experience life in a whole different way. I felt like it was a crime to be homeless. I recall asking people for money so we could get something to eat. Or standing in front of a pizza place hoping that the lady would come out and offer us some pizza. I can never forget how people would look at us, as if we were not at all equal.
So from that experience I realize that homeless people are hurting people who might need money to eat or bus fare to go get a job. How can you get a job when you're worrying about where your next meal is going to come from? Or where you're going to lay your head where you're not going to be harassed by the police?
I recall only having one dollar. A young lady told me she was hungry, and I gave her the dollar to help out. Because when I saw her, I saw myself. I hope that the city of Nashville will continue to allow us to help other people who are hurting because they are hungry and have no place to live.
It was irony, people
Since moving to Nashville, we've relied on the Scene for much of the news that seemed fit to print. Progressive, smart, savvy, enlightenedthese adjectives distinguished your paper from its sibling publications. In fact, we've been known to bring the Scene into our English classrooms as TSU assistant professors. We may do the same with your College Survival Guide (Aug. 19), but with a different lesson plan in mind: namely, the astonishing ease with which the intellectual awareness of gendered stereotypes, among the many contributions made by feminism and gender studies, can be abolished. Alas, the (much-addressed/scantily dressed) cover of the Survival Guide effectively aligns the Scene with a peer that it would, in most cases, have just cause to celebrate a cerebral distance from. The Tennessean recently printed a book review beneath the claim "Feminism dead, without hope of revival" (Aug. 22). The fact that this sort of header, which to any trained mind flaunts a dizzying ignorance of what "feminism" means, along with your own ("Not getting' any?")slapped onto a letter from Vanderbilt's director of women's and gender studieswere allowed to run is proof positive that the problems of representation that feminism has sought to bring to light are alive and well in Music City. Not only have you placed in compromising positions those skimpily dressed youths on your cover, what has been most sorely compromised is your own reputation for taking the higher road.
Emily Orlando and Nels Pearson
Actor Cecil Jones was misidentified in a photo in last week's theater story.
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