A fraction of our former selves
I just read your article, “UnReal” (June 8). I wanted to clear up the quote in the article with regard to the Biggest Losers: “Most of the contestants who came to Reality Con ’06 clearly hadn’t come very close to winning….” I just want to tell you, The Biggest Loser
was not about whoever lost the most weight. It was about who plays the game the best. The weight loss is just a bonus. The people you saw at the convention used to weigh 300, 400 and 500-plus pounds. I used to weigh 315 and currently weigh 168. Even though to you we may seem heavy, we all have come a long way. Have you ever seen our “before” pictures? That is what you should be looking at—then you’d be able to see how far we have come.
To actually lose over 100 pounds is amazing, even if you do have 100 pounds left to go. Most people want the easy way out (gastric bypass, liposuction, tummy tuck), but the Losers did it the old-fashioned way—diet and exercise.
We truly have overcome mountains and haven’t even been in the “real” world that long. Losing weight is a marathon, not a sprint. It takes time. There is truly no quick fix. You have to be motivated and willing to work on it every day. Wait until you see the Losers next year. You will be beside yourself, in awe of how amazing we look. Patience, my friend.
LISA ANDREONE email@example.com (Orlando, Fla.)
Imitation of Imitation
In his art review “Brown Paper Bag Test” (June 8), David Maddox explains Vitus Shell’s piece “Imitation of Life” as a reference to Douglas Sirk’s 1959 film. That production was actually a remake of the 1930s version, which starred Claudette Colbert and (unlike the 1959 version, which used a white actress) a light-skinned black actress, Fredi Washington, as the tragic mulatto.
CONNIE JACKSON firstname.lastname@example.org (London, England)
Another Parson’s treasure
I just wanted to thank Chris Neal on such a great and interesting piece on my father, Gram Parsons (“One Person’s Trash,” June 8). I could not have enjoyed it more. Keep up the great work, and thank you. Your knowledge teaches many generations, including myself, about the true art of music, the history and its worth.
POLLY PARSONS email@example.com (Los Angeles, Calif.)
The modern family
Michael McCall’s article on John Carter Cash (“The House That Cash Built,” June 8) leaves the impression that Laura Cash is the mother of John Carter’s son, Joseph. While it would be presumptuous for me to speak for a woman I have never met, I presume that John Carter’s first wife, the former Mary Jaska, would want it known that Joseph John Cash is her son and that Joseph is the half-brother of John Carter and Laura Cash’s daughter, Anna Maybelle, and son, Jack Ezra.
Here comes the Soul Patrol
I have never heard of you, Liz Garrigan, but you just became instantly very unpopular with millions of Taylor Hicks fans around the world (“Taylor-Made Success,” June 1). Not a very smart move. You need to take some lessons from Taylor Hicks on how to bite your tongue.
CONNIE BRYANT dragonﬂy0818@adelphia.net (Ocala, Fla.)
Let my journalists go!
As a former Gannett copy editor from California, now out of the newspaper business and living in Nashville, I’m amused to see my old company dragged through the mud in Willy Stern’s “Thin News, Fat Profits” (May 25). I know squat about The Tennessean
, but shrinking the news hole and freezing hires in times of profit growth have been Gannett hallmarks forever. Each time my paper reduced page size, staffers were given scripts that would have them praising the “convenience” of a smaller product. Imagine President Bush going on television to announce that, effective immediately, shit no longer stinks. (I think I’ve heard that speech.) That’s how much credibility Gannett’s brass has within the company.
But so what if it’s a lousy place to work? Most people work for corporations, for jerk bosses a thousand miles away. They can sympathize only so far with the whining coming out of franchised newsrooms. If you can’t do great reporting at chains like Gannett, they might ask, why not get off the corporate teat and find another way to put your stories out? And that seems like a fair objection to me, except for this: whoever owns it, a newspaper is a part of public space in a way that other franchises (KFC?) are not. Readers have a stake in it, even if owners regard them with thinly veiled contempt.
Besides, I like to think that the noise I hear coming out of newsrooms across America is not whining, but deep, inarticulate sighs. God heard the cries of the captives in Egypt, and Stern took no prisoners.
MIKE HORNICK firstname.lastname@example.org (Nashville)
I remember reading in the Scene
about three years back how staffers were taking bets on the exact day The City Paper
would fold, chortling on about its lack of ads and so forth and giving off the idea that it in no way compared to the sweet deal they were enjoying at the Scene
. Well, who’s laughing now?
BRYCE MARTIN Havilahus@yahoo.com (Spring Hill)
A piece in last week’s paper identified Tom Cigarran as CEO of American Healthways. In fact, Cigarran is chairman, and the company is now called simply Healthways. We apologize for the errors.