Thanks for your article on Don Beisswenger’s federal sentence (“An Old Man Behind Bars,” March 4). It should be added that Don, in addition to being sentenced to six months in federal prison, has a number of expenses: legal counsel, the $1,000 fine, $250 for prison clothes and so on. In addition, he will lose Social Security payments for the six months he’s in prison. Those who wish to contribute can send checks to the Edgehill United Methodist Church, P.O. Box 128258, Nashville 37212, designated for “civil disobedience fund.”
2007 Linden Ave., Nashville
All about money
Thanks to the scene for covering neighborhood issues and the Douglas Street-Waverly development (“A Sense of Place,” March 4). As someone who knows and likes the neighborhood, I found the article informative and the coarsely frank Hostettler dismaying. It reminds us all again that most land developers actually deserve their reputation among lawyers and car salesmen, except they impact a lot more people. The problem is not that they care about money; it’s that it’s all they care about. It’s not that they want to make money from a development, it’s that they want to make as much as they can, whatever the impact on the neighborhood. Mr. Hostettler’s packed-to-the-sidewalk condo development being built on Beech Street is exhibit A.
But Mr. Hostettler has an opportunity to redeem himself by saving the church, decreasing the project density and showing that he also cares about the neighborhood. For some reason I can imagine his likely response to such a proposal: “Hey, Whataya crazy?”
2601 Hillsboro Road, Nashville
When interests collide
Paul Griffith reviewed a show that our organization put on at Exit/In on Friday, Feb. 27 (“Live Shots,” March 4). I appreciate the more intimate look that the Scene has been giving toward local and touring live music here. But I wanted to respond to a comment Mr. Griffith made. He raises an important issue when he says that “Humdrum’s assumption that all art is equal is a fallacy.” It’s not far from the truth. But that statement requires a judgment in saying that one person’s art is better than another person’s art. This can be a dangerous thing, especially in a town this small.
Humdrum is an egalitarian organization by design, and as a group whose primary goal is to build community among local artists and musicians, we feel that we must look at everyone’s art equally. If we placed judgment, we would fail in our purpose because of the jealousy and dissension that would then be created. And so, like all egalitarians, we recognize the world as we see it through our rose-colored glasses, and not the realistic and jaded ones everyone else wears.
But a magazine like yours must make those judgments. We appreciate the attention, and keep up the good work.
More passion than sense
Pitched among the mixed reviews, to rate The Passion down the middle seems fair (“Mel Knows Not What He Does” and “Holier Than Thou,” March 4). Your excellent criticisms justify the grade. But both reviews neglected balance by dismissing the film’s finer points. The Aramaic was the film’s very pulse. Contrary to your statements, Gibson intended for this movie to be heard (not read); he pushed for no subtitles from the start. This plan is evidence that Gibson paid too little concern for telling a story (“Anyone can read the gospels for themselves”) and was solely determined to visually illustrate the suffering of Christ’s crucifixion.
Yes, The Passion is an art film, and to this end Gibson knows well enough what he has done. Can you find it in your heart to admit that he did not set out to make a box office or critic pleaser? Note: Anyone who appreciated the film, credits most the incredible imagery. And these images will live on to contribute to the contemplative devotions of many for generations.
When it comes to film criticism, you remain my choice of company, as the masses who hailed this movie a masterpiece before its opening prove a gross appetite for agenda. They are the same singers of “Scorsese bad” without considering why Scorsese wins director awards and Gibson doesn’t. Let’s at least credit Gibson for the groundbreaking stampede of these people from their anti-art ghetto.
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