Letter from the Editor 

I've been thinking about Jenga lately. You know, the game where you build a tower of little slotted logs, then players take turns removing them until the tower collapses in a heap. Seems to me, life is filled with Jenga moments, like, say, when you realize that General Motors is run by idiots or that your country is being driven off a cliff by conscience-less morons or that cute li'l Hannah Montana has turned into just another shaky-fakey tart.

Not to stretch the analogy too far, but our economic troubles have a certain Jenga quality to them. Nobody regulated the size of the towers being built by Wall Street investment firms or lending institutions or media companies. Now these institutions lie in a heap, asking taxpayers to help pick up the pieces, while they lay off their workers by the thousands.

Since I work for a media company, I'm particularly saddened by the fact that more than 30,000 of my peers have been laid off in 2008, mostly in big media corporations. They are victims of the "bigger is better" creed of unregulated capitalism. Sometimes bigger isn't better, as we're now discovering.

At my locally owned bank, they welcome me by name when I walk to the teller window. At my local pub, the bartender puts a bottle of Yeungling in front of me before I have my coat off. The little restaurant down the street knows my favorite table. These businesses have no stockholders demanding ever-increasing profits; they aren't trying to satisfy millions of customers, nor do they have to pay thousands of employees. Times are tight for them, as they are for all of us, but they're not overreaching. Their business plans are not built on greed but on service, and making an honest profit. What a novel concept, eh?

The American economy needs to rebuild from the bottom up, with local merchants as its bedrock. Our institutions, including our media — television stations, newspapers, radio stations — can help by serving primarily as local information portals and cost-efficient vehicles for local advertisers. But that won't happen as long as big media's corporate masters try to keep their failed conglomerates together.

At the Flyer, we understand what local businesses are facing, because we are a local business — and like them, we never built a Jenga tower. New game, anyone?

Bruce VanWyngarden

brucev@memphisflyer.com

Comments (11)

Showing 1-11 of 11

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-11 of 11

Add a comment

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
    • Civil Rights and Civil Wrongs

      Oh would some power the giftie gie us, to see ourselves as others see us. — Robert Burns

      Scottish poet Robert Burns wrote the line above in response to seeing a louse on a high-born lady's bonnet at church. The point being, of course, that while we might think we're looking pretty good, someone else might be noticing a flaw we've overlooked.

Blogs

Hungry Memphis

Relevant Roasters To Become French Truck Coffee

News Blog

Bike Share Demos Happening This Week

Film/TV/Etc. Blog

Music Video Monday: Frenchie

From My Seat

Politics = Sports = Politics

Politics Beat Blog

Al Franken Addresses the Tennessee Delegation: DNC 2016

Fly On The Wall Blog

Donald the Great

Politics Beat Blog

Trump's Acceptance Address Aimed Beyond the GOP Base

Politics Beat Blog

A Temporary Truce Among Republicans

ADVERTISEMENT

More by Bruce VanWyngarden

Readers also liked…

  • Vendor in the Grass

    The lady doth protest too much, methinks. — William Shakespeare

    Is there such a thing as "bad activism"? I'm asking because I'm seeing a lot of criticism of the folks who are protesting the Memphis Zoo's encroachment onto the Greensward at Overton Park.

    • Mar 31, 2016
  • New Union Ave. Kroger to Open in Germantown

    • Oct 21, 2015
  • Memphis Has the Blues

    It's Saturday morning and Memphis has the blues.

    The rain is coming down, slow and persistent from a low gray sky. It soaks the grass, fills the gutters, and falls hard on the flowers left on the Beale Street sidewalk outside of B.B. King's club ...

    • May 21, 2015
ADVERTISEMENT
© 1996-2016

Contemporary Media
460 Tennessee Street, 2nd Floor | Memphis, TN 38103
Visit our other sites: Memphis Magazine | Memphis Parent | Inside Memphis Business
Powered by Foundation