Love/Hate Mail 

Bologna for everyone

Bologna for everyone

If I were senator and my family were bologna manufacturers, I would pass legislation mandating that every time a person goes food shopping, he or she would have to buy a package of bologna. Then I would be rich, and everyone else would be full of bologna. Sincere thanks to Willy Stern for his report (“Bill Frist’s Bucks,” June 12).

Barry Walker (Nashville)

Bleepity bleep bleep

You !# A liberal look at everything. We’re waiting for the Hillary lovefest to continue next week, more than likely on your cover. !#@% all of you.

Larry Hayes (Nashville)

We’re part of the problem

There’s something a little unseemly about a partial acknowledgement of interest (Editorial, June 5). I grew up in Nashville, and I’ve lived in Cleveland for 15 years. Here in Cleveland, we had two “alt” weeklies: The Free Times, which was a sister paper to the (Nashville) Scene, and the (Cleveland) Scene, which started as a music weekly but became a newsweekly when it was bought by New Times. Well, for those of you who haven’t heard the story, Village Voice and New Times reached a little deal: Village Voice would kill its Cleveland paper (leaving the market to New Times), and New Times would kill its competitor for the LA Weekly. That was in October. It didn’t just piss people off in LA and Cleveland; the Justice Department stepped in too. The Cleveland Free Times is back, but as a true independent.

The moral of the story? “Alt” media aren’t exempt from the same urges as such bloated outfits as (for one very good example) Clear Channel. Perhaps we Clevelanders should thank Voice and New Times—not only do we now have two “alt” weeklies, but former Free Times staff started two other fortnightly papers. The latter two are mostly Web-based, which is a step forward in this semi-literate, incredibly Luddite city. But the real issue is that two “alternative” publishers engaged in the same kind of skullduggery usually attributed to more cash-hungry corporations. When a columnist makes passing reference to the Nashville Scene “selling out” to Village Voice Media, and the reference is made in a column addressing further concentration of media ownership, that columnist should maybe think to examine some in-house dirty laundry. I don’t trust Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp., but I’ve also had a good seat to watch what even an “alternative” publisher will do to advance its own interests.

Andrew Douglass (Cleveland, Ohio)

A man with lots of free time

I just wanted to point out an error in Marc Stengel’s June 12 article, “Rule of the Road.” He wrote, “...the flagship Chevrolet Corvette sports car will have been in continuous production exactly 50 years.” Try to find a 1983 Corvette. You can’t. They didn’t make one that year. Merriam-Webster’s dictionary defines “continuous” as “marked by uninterrupted extension in space, time or sequence”—”uninterrupted” being the key word in this case. You might want to tell Marc to check his facts better. This might seem trivial to some, but I work for Harley Davidson, a 100-year-old company. So I take offense to claims of companies and individuals stating that something has been around for X number of years, when it hasn’t.

Paul Pena (Nashville)

Shame on us

Shame on you. As the magazine of Music City, you would think that you would be against the growing conformity of radio, where local artists are shunned in favor of bland corporate acts, pre-approved from miles away (Editorial, June 5).

My unhappiness with the FCC ruling isn’t about the number of voices, but about the content of the voices available. It would not concern me if FOX News were to get pruned, given that its brothers, like CNN and CNBC, would serve the same function—but these are not the voices that stand to get hurt by such a decision. No, these mergers will not lessen the number of outlets, but they will create a greater homogeneity of opinion.

As it is, Clear Channel, which was strongly pro-war, owns half the concert venues in America and an overwhelming number of its radio stations. There was a feeling among artists that if they spoke out against the war, the stations wouldn’t play their songs or they would be blacklisted from concert venues. What can a musician do in those circumstances? Not make a living? Lose the First Amendment right? This can only get worse as more and more venues and stations unify themselves.

Finally, mergers might be inevitable, but that doesn’t make them smart. Remember AOL-Time Warner? It ended up costing everyone a lot of money and tanking two companies.

Kirk Alexander (Nashville)


We got director Persephone Felder-Fentress’ name wrong in last week’s theater column. She directed local actor jeff obafemi carr in his one-man show, How Blak Kin Eye Bee?.

In last week’s guide to the Catfish Out of Water city art festival, credits for the catfish logo and the Nashville skyline illustration should have been given to Wes Ware, illustrator, and Gretchen Grissom, art director.


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