Kudos, dittos and thanks to the Scene for the wonderful article, “With A Bullet” (Aug. 8). It can’t be mentioned enough that music should come from God through the hearts and souls of people, but unfortunately we have had to put up with years of corporate ear candy, fueled by manipulation, control and coercion of the masses. For years, people haven’t decided on their own what music they likethey are told what they like. Thank you for reminding us.
I am writing regarding your cover story “With a Bullet” (Aug. 8). I enjoyed the article and commend your commitment to investigative reporting. I was disappointed, however, with the use of the word “whores” in one paragraph. Rob Simbeck writes: “The idea, Gentry says, was to shower the jockeys with giftsfree trips to Nashville, free hotel rooms, registration to the Country Music Seminar, even whores and drugs.”
I read this paraphrase to be fact orienteda weeding out of bare-bone facts while still crediting the source. If this is the author’s voice, I wonder why he uses the word “whore” instead of “prostitute” or “sex worker.” This may seem like a minor point, not worth arguing over. And, in fact, the definition of “whore” and “prostitute” (“sex worker” is not in the dictionary) are virtually the same.
But I would contend that “whore” is a derogatory word. Over time the word “whore” has been used to put down sex workers, to put down people who are not sex workers, to put down women. Regardless of its Webster definition, “whore” is a loaded word that when usedeither factually or in slangmakes it one step easier to demonize the woman behind it. Because of its doubling as an insult, the use of the word “whore” perpetuates a cultural phenomenon of blaming the woman herself rather than critiquing a system of power and privilege. I see the challenge to institutional power as being one of the main goals of your reporting, and so I thought this a worthwhile contention to raise. The phrase “sex worker,” or at the very least “prostitute,” shifts meaning to one that recognizes socio-economic forces without placing individual judgment.
While it may seem like a picky detail, I assume you rely heavily on words as a vehicle for meaning. Language, as a system that creates and reifies power, is as valid to critique and expose as any Mob-like force in Nashville.
Christine Kreyling’s piece memorializing Nashville builder Martin S. Roberts was as close to the mark as the man himself (“In Memoriam: Martin Roberts,” Aug. 8). Roberts was a builder that loved architecture and architectsand he deeply loved his community. He is deeply missed by those fortunate enough to have known him.
George J. Jerry
I think the Department of Children’s Services is one of the most important divisions of state government. It does concern me that the 9,800 children are administered by 4,100 employees (“A Daunting Task,” Aug. 8). If 25 percent of the department staff are administrative employees, that leaves a ratio of 3 children to one department employee. That should give the kids more time than kids in Belle Meade get from their parents, not counting the long thankless hours given by the foster parents. It sounds like if there were less bureaucracy and more hands-on effort, then the problems might be more manageable. Fire a civil servant and hire a caseworker.
Would there be real choice?
Your Aug. 8 editorial, “It’s Time for Vouchers,” argued that vouchers would allow poor kids the same education choice as kids from wealthy families. But it didn’t take a look at the educational options in Nashville to determine if that is actually true. How many of Nashville’s private schools will sign up to take children on vouchers? Because so many of the private schools in this city were created in response to public school desegregation, one has to wonder. Some parents enroll their children in private schools largely because they perceive it as a way to put their children into a social group of Nashville’s elite. How will these parents react to the introduction of children on vouchers? How welcoming will these children find the social environment? Also, the concern about church and state is a real one. Church-run schools proselytize as well as educate.
I have noticed a glaring omission in all of the local papers this week. Since you have no obituary section, please print it here. The Phoenix: We mourn the passing of The Phoenix (previously at 93.7 FM), which recently succumbed to the fatal Format Change. The Phoenix is survived by its sister station, Lightning 100 (100.1 FM), which is currently battling a serious case of Top 40. Loyal listeners of a truly different radio station request that you buy an obscure CD in lieu of sending flowers.
Jane E. Niccum
We recently ran a none-too-flattering cover story on Republican gubernatorial candidate Van Hilleary (“The Man Who Came From Nowhere,” June 6). Joe Sullivan, publisher of the Metro Pulse in Knoxville, wrote the story.
Joe called us to alert us to the story. We read it, liked it and published it. Recent campaign finance disclosures show that Sullivan contributed $2,500 to the campaign of Hilleary’s primary opponent, Jim Henry. That is not good.
We would not have run the story had we known Sullivan made such a contribution and was actively supporting Hilleary’s rival. That’s not how we do things. In our book, it’s neither fair nor ethical. Our bad.
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