To the Editor:
Thank you for highlighting the findings of Richard Florida in your cover story ("Talent Magnet," August 1st issue). The timing couldn't have been better, since it helps to articulate dissatisfaction with quality of life even in the new and developing Memphis.
I am frequently asked what one thing would make this city more palatable and encourage me to surrender my out-of-state voter registration and bank accounts and put down roots. Or I am asked to itemize specific things that make Memphis unsavory in comparison to my former homes, Boston and Chicago. Typically, the latter request comes from someone who cites the professional-sports franchises, new commercial developments, and groups/clubs that are racially diverse as reasons for me to celebrate the city.
The answer is not as black-and-white as many would hope, and your article helps to underscore that. I hope your readers who were unaware of this documented situation will at least recognize the existence of this [creative] group and its different values, ideology, and goals. And I encourage those of us who identify with the creative class not only to find one another but also to support each other during our time in Memphis.
To the Editor:
I have been waiting for something like your cover story to come out. Some were actually surprised that Memphis was dead-last [in creative-class rankings], but many work very hard to keep it that way. It's too scary to take risks in this town. I have lived here for about 10 years, and whenever I travel, I'm ashamed to say that I am from here.
The torment I received in high school just for dying my hair and wearing bell-bottoms was unbearable. "Creative" minds are searching for more than Memphis can offer right now. We have potential for growth, but we're dead-last, so, of course, we have potential.
As was written: "[T]he three 'T's of economic development" -- technology, talent, and tolerance -- should be used as a "focal point." We can maybe find the technology; I'm not sure about an abundance of talent, but tolerance, we will never have. This is the South, where religion and familiarity permeate everything. Memphis is a place for white Republican men and their families. It's also home to a new breed of urban children who are all about the "bling bling" and the "ghetto fabulous." I hope and believe Memphis has a small chance, and I give kudos to those who want to diversify the city, because it will be one hell of a job.
To the Editor:
In Chris Herrington's article concerning what makes a good climate [for creative people], I must disagree with Michael Graber's statement that Memphis should not "pollute the landscape with sports teams." Having an NBA team in Memphis enhances our image around the world. More exposure means increased chances for other opportunitites and events -- cultural, business, etc.
While it would be nice to focus solely on things that are "all Memphis," we shouldn't become myopic by living in a vacuum.
To the Editor:
I wholeheartedly agree with Simone Barden's review of My Way: A Musical Tribute To Frank Sinatra (August 1st issue). If the powers that be would get their heads out of their butts and think outside the box just a little, we might have some really good theater that incorporates the spirit of the original performer.
Some advice: Don't cast the same people all the time just because you pal around with them or you have used them in another show. Give someone else a chance and you just might be pleasantly surprised. If this means an overhaul of the audition process, then so be it.
Theater folks in this town seem to have a know-it-all and seen-it-all attitude that threatens to undermine the future excellence of Memphis theater.
Lisa C. McLeroy
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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 ...