love-hate mail 

Letters from readers.
Lusty learningDaddy never understood why I graduated college with a wall full of books and no job. Joe Croker is one of the big reasons (“The Lust List,” Feb. 8). Congrats to him and the Scene’s good sense in naming him to “The Lust List.” I was a student of Mr. Croker’s in his very first year at Harpeth Hall. He taught us Flannery O’Connor and Herman Melville with a passion unfelt elsewhere in those hallowed halls. He was integral in instilling in me, and others, a love for reading that is worth its weight in late fees.I’m glad to see Travis Nicholson’s inclusion as well. Instead of dropping $50 on overpriced sandwiches and salads, give it to his zombies—a better return guaranteed.AVON (Nashville)Cheers and jeersThose of us who are involved in the anti-death penalty movement appreciate the Scene’s reporting of death penalty cases in Tennessee. Sarah Kelley’s article, “A Vicious Circle” (Feb. 8), about the Paul House case, highlights the cruel irony of a system that is out of control. It is a fine example of responsible reporting.I wish I could have said the same about John Denson’s article, “A Dispatch from Memphis” (Jan. 18). This was supposedly a report on the media reform conference that was held in Memphis last month. In his attempt to be witty and humorous, Mr. Denson missed out on giving a meaningful report on a subject that deserves serious consideration. Denson’s preoccupation with participants’ clothing, hairstyles and other trivia was a disservice to the Nashville community, which looks to the Scene for comprehensive coverage that is not available in The Tennessean. A functioning democracy is dependent on an informed citizenry. Information about the issue of media control and its implications can be found on the web at Final score: Sarah Kelley 1, John Denson 0.MICHAEL (Nashville)Not so ordinaryI would like to offer an alternative perspective from Martin Brady’s recent review of Ordinary Heroes (“Heroic Effort, Ordinary Results,” Feb. 8). First, Mr. Brady leaves the impression that the opening night performance was delayed solely due to technical glitches. But Mr. Brady fails to mention the joy of having Vice Mayor Howard Gentry and Fisk University President Hazel O’Leary welcome and celebrate the staging of one of Nashville’s greatest historical contributions. Patience was hardly required. Second, Mr. Brady suggests that “only one particular scene” stands out. What about the scene in which students debate violence and nonviolence? What about the reenactment of the abuse students endured sitting in at the lunch counters? Although the “fear” scene may be one of the more compelling, I disagree that it’s the only outstanding one. Third, Mr. Brady writes of Fisk Chapel’s “limitations.” By contrast, I cannot imagine a more perfect location for the staging of this story. This is one of the few remaining physical structures directly connected to the events portrayed. Admittedly, the acoustics may not be perfect, but isn’t that part of the genius of being in this historic place? This was a movement of imperfect and ordinary heroes, who together moved us toward the beloved community. What space could be more appropriate?RICHARD  (Nashville)Rebel yellI just wanted to tell Lindsay Ferrier (of Suburban Turmoil fame) that I’m a Bellevue mom who doesn’t fit the profile for “normal” around here. I drive a yellow ’91 Lumina that blares Widespread Panic as I jam in the driver’s seat. I relish the disapproving looks from my fellow suburban housewives, comforted that fellow rebel Lindsay Ferrier is out there, dissin’ the playgroups and P.T.A. Thank you—I look forward to your column and read it first for a surefire laugh that will help me through my day.TAHNEE  (Bellevue)Nip/TuckPlease pass this message along to Lindsay Ferrier about her article on circumcision (Suburban Turmoil, Feb. 8). As a Ph.D. student of medical anthropology who has thought a lot about genital cutting practices (male and female) from a variety of cultural perspectives, I hope that she and her husband have come to the sensible decision to allow their son to decide for himself whether he wants to be circumcised. It is, after all, his penis, and circumcision is irreversible. Anything that generates so much controversy surely shouldn’t be done with indecent haste, and waiting for their son to grow old enough to make his own decision would give the matter the time for the contemplation it deserves.Many thanks for the article.CHRIS  (New York, N.Y.)Fun with fangsNo matter how good Sherrilyn Kenyon is, she’s not the first person to write funny paranormal stories (“Bite Me,” Feb. 1). That honor, at least in the latter part of the last century, goes to Christopher Moore, author of Bloodsucking Fiends: A Love Story, which came out over 10 years ago. I won’t dispute her popularity, though.MICHAEL (Nashville) Republicans for Chicks!I read and really enjoyed the Scene’s recent Seventh Annual Country Music Critics’ Poll (Jan. 25). The Dixie Chicks well deserved being the front-page attraction. The arrogant country music stations and their sponsors blew it by banning music by the Dixie Chicks. Those super-arrogant sponsors and country music radio stations forgot that the people hold the power. We the people stopped listening to the radio stations that banned the Dixie Chicks. (Sponsors, did you get that?) We filled up the seats whenever the Dixie Chicks performed, and we continued buying their CDs, cassettes and DVDs. I myself am among the many who continue to buy their music and fill up concert hall seats. A lifelong Republican, I never stopped supporting the Dixie Chicks just because of their politics. I may dislike what someone may say, but will defend to the death their right to say it. That’s true American patriotism.JAMES LONGSTREET BEAUREGARD III2914 Dickerson Pike (Nashville)Really?You must be kidding about some of your choices on your “The Seventh Annual Country Music Critics’ Poll” (Jan. 25). The Dixie Chicks. Really? I don’t believe they deserve to be listed for their live shows: they couldn’t sustain a tour. Last year I went to several shows, and the best I saw were Brooks & Dunn, followed by Rascal Flatts—totally entertaining. Then, to choose the Chicks as best overall and best group is insane. Just goes to show that critics in music are just as bad at predicting what the public likes as their counterparts in movies. First and last time I will look to your publication for anything.Update: Just watched part of the Grammys and have decided that the “Chicks” won merely because everyone was trying to validate their “freedom” of speech—not because of the music, not because they drew millions to their concerts, purely political. That makes me very sad. If I were one of the others, I would be upset. The Grammys should not be the venue to validate their political views.BONNIE (Independence, Miss.)


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