Midtown hipster Craig Brewer has created the ultimate ode to Midtown hipsters in MTV's $5 Cover ("MTV Does Memphis," April 30th issue). I didn't have a lot of hope about this venture being any good. But, after seeing the first show, I admit to being sort of impressed. Maybe it's because I've seen these musicians perform live, but even in their alter egos they seem to be playing themselves, which isn't a bad thing.
Maybe "genuine" is too strong a word for the show, but it's definitely more "real" than most of the so-called reality television that is infecting the airwaves these days. Kudos to all concerned. Maybe this show will put Memphis music back in the spotlight, where it belongs, and bring the current scene out from under the shadow of its legendary past.
After six months of hype and relentless coverage by The Commercial Appeal and the Flyer, $5 Cover is finally here. I watched the first episodes online, and frankly, it ain't all that great. The acting is stiff, as is the dialogue. The upside is that it's no worse than most television soap operas, and the music is pretty good (except for the inexplicable Muck Sticky), and it may give Memphis some cachet among the MTV set.
Who knows, maybe we'll see an influx of local hipster tourists wanting to check out the Hi-Tone and the New Daisy and hang out where Harlan T. Bobo hangs out. Question is: Who the heck is watching MTV these days?
Regarding the election of judges: There exists a massive spoken or unspoken conspiracy between the governor, the attorney general (who was formerly the lawyer for the governor and is appointed by the Supreme Court), various members of the legislature, the Tennessee Bar Association, editorial-page editors of various newspapers, and, most unhappily, members of the Supreme Court and the Court of Appeals to violate the integrity of the Tennessee Constitution by claiming that the members of the appellate courts can be perpetuated in office by elections in which no other names can appear on the ballot to contest those judges.
This conspiracy exists because those involved are willing to misread the plain language of the Constitution of Tennessee, which limits the power of the legislature, the governor, and the various appellate judges from depriving the people of their inalienable right to elect their judges in a contested election, no different from the election for governor, legislators, and local officials.
John Jay Hooker
I enjoyed reading the "Flyer Flashback" about former sheriff A.C. Gilless (April 30th issue). I worked in 201 Poplar in 1999, and I remember the day the Flyer racks went missing. My co-workers were asking what happened and if anyone had seen the Flyer. One guy in my office went out at lunch and tracked down a copy. Once we saw the cover story on Gilless' sexual harassment lawsuit, we figured out the mystery pretty quickly.
It seems hard to believe, in retrospect, that any public official would have the gall to try to pull such a stunt. But A.C. was one-of-a-kind and — not to speak ill of the deceased — thank God he's gone. That was an era of nepotism and corruption in the sheriff's department that we'll hopefully never see the likes of again.
A Modest Proposal
In Marty Aussenberg's Viewpoint column "A Modest Proposal" (April 30th issue), he makes the admittedly absurd proposal that we start torturing inmates in our local jail. Though Aussenberg's tongue was firmly in his cheek, I have no doubt there are many hereabouts who would find that a fine strategy for crime prevention.
We have George W. Bush and Dick Cheney to thank for putting this nation on the slippery slope to breaking the rule of law whenever it is deemed "necessary."
The real truth is that, for the most part, the U.S. wasn't torturing prisoners to learn about al-Qaeda terrorism. They were torturing them to make them "admit" to some sort of connection between Iraq and the 9/11 attacks. Along with "yellow cake" uranium, false mobile nuclear lab "evidence," and the "smoking mushroom cloud" rhetoric, torture was simply another tool to lie this country into an unnecessary war. Attorney General Eric Holder needs to pursue the facts behind this stain on our nation's honor all the way to the top. The rule of law applies to all citizens — even those holding the highest offices in the land.
Which leads me to put on my Dr. Phil face and say what has to be said: It's time for Memphis and Shelby County to start seeing other people. We've tried for years to patch things up, to come to some sort of mutual understanding, but we need to admit that we have irreconcilable differences. We don't even know each other any more ...