Love/Hate Mail 

He told us so

He told us so

Good article on Reese Witherspoon (Cover Story, Sept. 19). It brings to mind my 2002 “You Are So Nashville If...” entry: “You bragged that you knew people who knew actress Reese Witherspoon when she was at Harpeth Hall.”

Christopher Bryan (Nashville)

Foot-licking not a crime

Years ago, I enjoyed reading the News of the Weird in your publication every week. I would shake my head in disbelief and laugh at the antics of all the idiots and deviants in our society. Then two of my children were diagnosed with mental disabilities. Now I recognize some of the “idiots” and “deviants” portrayed in that column as being schizophrenic, obsessive/compulsive, mentally retarded and autistic.

Last week, it was reported in News of the Weird that a 34-year-old man was sentenced to a year in prison for licking women’s feet in a supermarket. I find this upsetting because my own autistic son often attempts to kiss strangers’ feet. Yes, it’s weird, but it’s not criminal.

As mental institutions shut down in Tennessee and residents are sent into the community to live in group homes, there will most certainly be more incidents like the one described above. I hope that your readers will treat these individuals with tolerance and kindness, not with fear and revulsion.

Belinda Pandey (Nashville)

Black helicopters

Why on earth would a supposedly enlightened editor even begin to think about approving the monstrous artwork accompanying Dianne Reeves’ listing in last week’s Critics’ Picks? Why run a placard featuring a small photo of Ms. Reeves and a tiny blurb about her work, held by an ugly, gigantic, puzzling dark creature with bulging wild eyes, coupled with a lute-playing frog (dare I imagine him singing “Dixie”)? Catch my drift? I never really thought the Scene was capable of such bad judgment—such, well, to euphemistically borrow from Flannery O’Connor, artificial negritude. Shame on you. Did you really think no one (read: black readers) would care? The image you used to frame her is an insult to Ms. Reeves’ dazzling beauty and artistry as a genre-busting jazz vocalist, a role she shares with the equally dazzling and courageous Cassandra Wilson. But then again, what more should I expect from a paper that would rather feature Harpeth Hall’s Reese Witherspoon-in-her-mouth rather than Nashville’s new inner-city planning initiative?

Tonya “Dayo” Bailey (Nashville)

TDOT hugger

Greetings from the suburban wonderland of “Cruel Springs” to the Scene’s editors. In response to your Sept. 12 editorial, here is a memo from us to you: We like it here in Williamson County. Our jobs are here, our schools are nice, we see no drug dealers, prostitutes, homeless bums and other assorted weirdoes on our street corners. We are happy to pay a 21-cent gasoline tax to build roads for our area’s development, because we choose to live here despite your opposition to our right to buy a home where we want. It is nice to see the Scene so supportive of citizens’ rights to pursue happiness however they see fit in a noncriminal way.

Travis Tate (Franklin)

Fed up in Knoxville

Thank you so much for your editorial on TDOT (“The Agency’s Latest Blunders,” Sept. 12). I’ve lived in Knoxville for 11 years and, during that entire time, the interstate system and just about every major roadway in has been dotted with orange cones and barrels, causing major congestion. I finally moved to the rural area of Knox County, being so frustrated with traffic delays, and now TDOT is looking to put a massive beltway in my backyard. This beltway is being constructed so ridiculously close to the city that it will only contribute to urban sprawl, more traffic and probably a future massive road project to make a beltway around the beltway.

If TDOT didn’t keep Interstate 40 and other roadways constantly torn up, missing almost every projected completion date by months and years, a beltway probably would not be necessary. TDOT Commissioner Bruce Saltsman and his crew are out of control. After traveling to Nashville, Chattanooga and other cities in Tennessee, I realized that TDOT-inflicted road construction and the congestion it causes are not unique to Knoxville. I, too, hope the new administration overhauls TDOT.

Wayne McKinney (Knoxville)

Driving terrorism

I’m confused by Marc Stengel’s analysis of the Ford 2003 Land Rover Discovery, as he suggests the reasons why this vehicle is destined only for sale in North America (“What I’m Driving At,” Sept. 12). He hasn’t supported his conclusion, that “clearly, we deserve it,” even if his statement is tongue-in-cheek.

The Discovery should be held up to the American consumer as the embodiment of our complete lack of understanding about our role in supporting terrorism. Want to put money in the hands of people who hate us? Purchase a vehicle as fuel-inefficient (12 mpg/city, 16 mpg/hwy.) as this one.

Our car manufacturers are resource-rich enough to produce luxurious vehicles for our roads. In fact, next year Ford will be marketing its own Escape HEV (Hybrid Electric Vehicle), purported to get 40 mpg/city, 29 mpg/hwy. Americans who want to do more in the fight against terrorism than to slap a U.S. flag decal on their bumpers should ignore the dangerously indulgent ’03 Discovery and invest in vehicles that will turn our dependence on foreign oil (read: terrorist-sponsoring regimes) in the opposite direction.

Eileen Coleman (Nashville)


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