Thank you for the timely, informative, and passionate articles by Andria Lisle and David Dunlap Jr. ("Love Story," August 17th issue) about the life and times and tragic death of rock icon Arthur Lee.
Lee's life and career were full of what-ifs. What if he had toured more? What if he'd played the Monterey Pop Festival? What if he had put drugs behind him early on?
Forever Changes, Love's landmark 1967 album, is a timeless masterpiece that sounds as good today as the day it was released. Lee wrote and sang about changes that we all go through, but in the end there is always love to pull us to the other side. As the billboard overlooking the Sunset Strip used to proclaim in the halcyon 1960s: "Arthur Lee is Love."
I feel cheated for never having heard of Arthur Lee; he was a bit before my time. I downloaded some of his music, and I can definitely see why he is considered a legend.
His return to Memphis near the end of his life confirms my belief that even though Memphians have some serious self-esteem issues, this is a "you can always come back home" kind of town if there ever was one.
Michael J. Thompson
Thanks much for the fine article -- and beautiful cover photograph by Justin Fox Burks -- about Arthur Lee. That he is still virtually unknown in his hometown is a shame. Perhaps your well-done coverage of his passing will help remedy that. Corey MeslerMemphis
Coalition for a Better Memphis
While the Coalition for a Better Memphis appreciates John Branston's acknowledgement ("Next Up for the Charter Commission," August 10th issue) that the voter guide was a helpful resource for voters in the most recent election, we would like to address a couple of statements in the article about CBM.
Branston indicated that only some 350 persons had visited the Coalition Web site (bettermemphis.org). The number he used was the number of persons who had specifically clicked on and read the introduction on the site. While we would like to think that all our Web-site visitors read everything on the site, we know that most will go directly to the candidate information.
According to our statistics, the CBM site received over 4,000 individual visits during July and August. The Web site contains detailed information that supports the ratings in the Voter Guide, which received mass distribution. Also, we are sure that even more persons were able to view our Voter Guide as it was published in the Flyer's own [election] issue (July 27th). For an organization that has existed for seven months, we feel these are progressive strides in informing our community.
Additionally, Branston inaccurately indicated that CBM is a political offspring of Memphis Tomorrow. CBM was originally conceived and organized by a diverse group of community leaders, and its current membership consists of over 55 organizations and businesses, of which Memphis Tomorrow is only one. All organizations, businesses, and individuals in our community are encouraged to join CBM and help us build and support an informed citizenry that can more effectively participate in the process of making Memphis and Shelby County a better place to live and work.
Roby S. Williams
Co-Chairs, Coalition for a
Shock and Awe
When the U.S. invaded Iraq more than three years ago, Donald Rumsfeld proudly boasted that the "shock and awe" of a superpower would quickly liberate the country and allow democracy to arrive. The Israeli movements into Gaza and Lebanon also seemed to assume that the shock and awe of their military might would soon achieve their goal.
Unhappily, the greatest shock and awe has come from unintended consequences: In Iraq, dead and decapitated bodies float in the Tigris from a growing sectarian conflict that exacts a deadly toll each day. In Gaza, Lebanon, and northern Israel, rubble and ruin are everywhere. Infrastructure is destroyed. There is a mounting humanitarian crisis, and seething hatred grows stronger by the day.
Greek tragedians saw well how the sin of pride arose from the arrogance of power. Enough already of shock and awe.