To the Editor:
I just got home from seeing Mel Gibson's The Passion of the Christ. I left after the nailing of the feet. It was not that I was sickened by the level of violence. I was just tired of the relentless, repetitious pointlessness of it all.
I had tried to clear my mind of all the hype and take the movie as it played. What I saw was appalling. If I hadn't known the story, I would have been totally lost. Who is this guy? Why do they hate him? Who are those shaggy guys who look so wracked with guilt?
And then the mayhem begins. Not the tiniest opportunity is missed to show blood, wounds, and pain. Horror movie elements are thrown in at random. What was that zombie that jumped out at Judas in the alley? Who are those mutant children? Was it necessary for a chunk of Judas' lip to be hanging off? What does any of this have to do with experiencing the depth of Jesus' sacrifice?
Without context, the movie is just a two-hour fetish film, a sad, brutal, gratuitous gore-fest.
At the showing I attended, there were about 60 people. About 20 were small children. No child should see this movie. I shudder at the thought of all the little kids who will be taken to this movie by well-meaning parents.
Gibson has said that this was a personal film and an expression of his faith. I think he needs to sit down and ask himself some hard questions, starting with, "Why do I get pleasure from torturing my God to death?"
This is a sick film.
Michael B. Conway
To the Editor:
As well-meaning as Jerry and Louise Baker may be, Anna Mae He is not their child ("What Will AMH Think?," March 4th issue). Period. Any child whose birth parents love and want him/her should be raised by those parents. The Bakers should relinquish Anna Mae without further argument to the mother who gave birth to her, loves her, and wants her.
Dee Dobson Harper
Tarboro, North Carolina
To the Editor:
The Riverfront Development Corporation board has approved and announced its plan for the riverfront promenade. They would lead us to believe that by turning a significant portion of the Overton land over to private developers Memphis will gain wonderful river views and improved use of this underutilized area and that the cost of doing so will be paid for by the developers. Before this plan receives further approval, the RDC board needs to address:
1. Who will pay for the demolition of the fire station, library, and post office and the reconstruction of new facilities -- or is it the RDC's intent that we will no longer have these facilities downtown?
2. What will happen to the harbor and river views of the people who committed years ago to move downtown and live in places like the Shrine Building?
3. With the development of these high-rise condo/apartments, what will happen to the efforts of interested developers in rebuilding the empty and underutilized locations along Front and Main streets? The Advisory Report of the Urban Land Institute commissioned by the RDC advised that building rental/condo units on the promenade could impact the ability to successfully complete other efforts to rebuild downtown.
4. The RDC states that it intends to go to court to establish the right to do what it wants. Who will pay the legal costs for the RDC to sue for the rights of developers over that of the Overton heirs attempting to maintain the public use of the promenade? It seems that public money will be used to take away public property and put it in the hands of the developer. Does this make sense?
I believe the RDC owes us a picture of what could be done with the same public money without taking 40 percent of the land away from the public. Intelligent decisions can only be made when the choices are known.
To the Editor:
In his excellent cover story "Policy & PR" (March 11th issue), John Branston concluded that "reporters, like democracy, are an imperfect invention but better than the alternative."
They are indeed. Trained reporters develop a nose for news that enables them to ferret out information despite strenuous efforts to conceal the facts. It is this quality, together with a broad acquaintance with the subject, that enables them to score "scoops."
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