What They Said ... 

Letters and Comments from Flyer readers ... Beer and churches, Overton Park, the Greensward, and the Memphis Zoo.

click to enlarge GREG CRAVENS
  • Greg Cravens

About Bianca Phillips' story, "Hispanic Man Sues City Over Beer Laws" ...

I'm glad to hear he won. I am so tired of laws that tell your neighbor how to live. If you don't want to buy a bottle of wine on Sunday, then don't. I might have a dinner party that night and want to buy a bottle. Get over it.


It's one of our stupidest laws. On the other hand, opening a church is an awesome way to make money. Your product costs nothing to produce, and it exists in infinite quantity. People pay out the nose for it, then use it all up in anywhere between seven and three days, depending on the denomination. It is extremely addictive and habit-forming, and there is enormous social pressure to use. Not only can they not live without it, they can't die without it. The best part is, they aren't aware that they can grow their own, so they keep coming back for more.


A Walgreen's next to a church can sell beer, but small mom-and-pop stores can't? Oye, WWJD?


I know where I'm going to buy my beer from now on. Way to go, Marco!


About Mary Norman's Viewpoint, "A Letter to the City Council" ...

At the council meeting in which the Overton Park Greensward was given to the Memphis Zoo, attorney Allan Wade was more concerned with what the zoo thought than what the citizens of the city of Memphis think. When Councilman Worth Morgan amended the resolution to remove zoo control of Rainbow Lake and the playground, Wade piped up and said, "Is the zoo okay with that?"

Mr. Wade, it's not your job to represent the zoo. If you're the city council's attorney, it's your job to give a legal opinion, not advocate for a private business. All we citizens were asking for was to table this motion for two weeks so the people could read it. Of course, if that had happened, it would have been even more evident that this was nothing but a landgrab.

Blaine's Nanny

And why did not one representative from the Memphis Zoo speak at the meeting? Because their interests were being "handled" by the city council and the city's attorney, Allan Wade. Collusion, at its finest. Shame on all of them.


There's a television show called Portlandia that pokes fun at the cultural idiosyncrasies of Portland, Oregon. Each show is made up of sketch-comedy episodes with overlapping narratives. I've long opined that Memphis needs its own medium for local humor. The recent drama between the OPC/zoo was the cherry on top. Look for the first episodes of Memphia sometime this fall.

Memphis Filmmaker

About Bruce VanWyngarden's Letter From the Editor, "Detention Deficit" ...

It's amazing how the American mind sees open space as a thing that needs to be filled up. There is a Daoist saying that it is only the emptiness of a vessel which makes it useful. That psychological and spiritual resource is actually a requirement for human well-being.

When we leave our little rooms — at home, at school, at work — and walk into a large, green open space, it fills the mind with the sense of possibilities — to the dreams, and the dreamer, within us. Having such a resource isn't important to the people who voted to use this space as a parking lot, because they have alternatives. Inner-city kids don't.

It's important to remember why we need these spaces and to give them the respect and care they deserve. If we care for them, they in turn take care of us. And that's why this microcosm of our existential fight, between balance and imbalance, strikes so strong a chord in those who understand that.

Thank you for keeping this issue in the public consciousness.


Thank you for cutting through the malarkey and putting a spotlight on what is the right and good decision for Midtowners and Memphians regarding our jewel of a park. The chilling thought is that the zoo, with the consent of the council and mayor, is making a landgrab for the whole park. Make no mistake, they will be stopped.


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