Letter From the Editor 

Did you hear that the Orpheum has scheduled a special Memphis production of Les Miserables? True. In this version, "Jean Valjean de Memphis" is a freed convict, known by his prison number of 38103. As in the original story, he tries to become a force for good in the world but has difficulty overcoming his troubled past. And as in the original musical, the Memphis version features the song "I Dreamed a Dream," only it's a duet featuring Al Kapone and Alexis Grace.

click to enlarge les-miserables.jpg

Okay, I made all that up, but in light of all the fuss hereabouts concerning yet another stupid, meaningless "ranking" created by Forbes, a floundering business magazine, it doesn't seem that unlikely a scenario.

Let me point out something about the publication that has everyone from Mayor Wharton (see p. 10) to Memphis Facebookers ("I Bet Memphis Can Get 1,000,000 Fans Faster Than Any Other City") so wigged out: Forbes magazine is in deep doo. In 2009, the magazine laid off more than 70 people. The net worth of the parent company was set by an analyst recently at "less than half" what investors paid for it in 2006. That deal was called "one of the worst of the decade" by The Wall Street Journal. Advertising revenues at Forbes fell more than 33 percent from 2007 to 2009. When it comes to being miserable, Forbes has earned its cred.

I understand having pride in one's hometown, and Wharton's letter citing the many charms of Memphis was well-done, even if slightly predictable. I can't imagine his predecessor doing such a thing with such graciousness — or doing it at all, for that matter. So, good for you, A C.

But let's not forget that the most miserable ranking is just a meaningless label pasted on us by an increasingly inconsequential publication. I'm reminded of ex-Memphian John Calipari, who loved to disparage critics of his program by labeling them "the miserables." The miserables, he said, were always miserable and nothing would ever make them happy. Calipari was utilizing one of the great weapons of persuasion, favored by politicians and media shysters alike: Marginalize your detractors by lumping them all into a single, easily dismissed category.

I suggest we use the same tactic against Forbes, whose rather outdated motto is "The Capitalist Tool." I think we can all agree, capitalist tools is exactly what they are.

Comments (28)

Showing 1-25 of 28

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-25 of 28

Add a comment

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
    • Memphis’ Pyramid Dream

      The Great American Pyramid opened on the banks of the Wolf River Harbor in 1991, a vision brought to life by the late great entrepreneur John Tigrett, who hired a hustler named Sidney Shlenker to run the place ...

    • NRA Foreplay in Tennessee

      The NRA convention is coming to Nashville this weekend, so the Tennessee Legislature is trying to pass as many gun-friendly laws as possible before their overlords get here. That's not hyperbole. Some members have actually said in public that this is a concern. The NRA must be appeased, and quickly, lest Wayne "Wackjob" LaPierre call them out from the podium as sissies ...
    • I’m Not Sexist, But ...

      There was a huge sea-change in attitudes this week. Thousands of people made the decision to switch from not being racists to not being sexists. As in, "I'm not a sexist, but I can't stand Hillary Clinton." This is good news for President Obama, as the thousands of not racists who hated him have found a new target ...

Blogs

Beyond the Arc

Beyond the Arc Podcast, Episode 011: Blazer Madness

Style Sessions

Thuyvi Vo - Weekend Wear from Stock&Belle

Hungry Memphis

Pyramid Vodka's Tasting Room and Tour

Beyond the Arc

Beyond the Arc’s Official Response to Ian Karmel

Tiger Blue

Memphis Tiger Trivia (answer)

Politics Beat Blog

Joe Towns Goes Upbeat as the General Assembly Ends

ADVERTISEMENT

More by Bruce VanWyngarden

  • Memphis’ Pyramid Dream

    The Great American Pyramid opened on the banks of the Wolf River Harbor in 1991, a vision brought to life by the late great entrepreneur John Tigrett, who hired a hustler named Sidney Shlenker to run the place ...

    • Apr 23, 2015
  • I’m Not Sexist, But ...

    There was a huge sea-change in attitudes this week. Thousands of people made the decision to switch from not being racists to not being sexists. As in, "I'm not a sexist, but I can't stand Hillary Clinton." This is good news for President Obama, as the thousands of not racists who hated him have found a new target ...

    • Apr 16, 2015
  • More »
ADVERTISEMENT
© 1996-2015

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