Letters to the Editor 

Monetizing Content at the CA

John Branston's City Beat column was a revelation to me (October 18th issue). I live on the East Coast, but I am originally from Memphis and keep up with the city through reading various websites. I remember The Commercial Appeal in its feisty days under former editor Angus McEachran. The CA was by no means a perfect newspaper when I last lived in Memphis (in the early 1990s), but I can't imagine McEachran taking the "sale" of his reporters' work lying down.

I realize that newspapers all over the country — especially corporate-owned ones that have to meet Wall Street's ever-growing profit demands — are struggling mightily to survive, but do the bean-counters who run the CA (and their apparent ally, editor Chris Peck) really think readers won't notice when advertiser logos start appearing in news articles? I fear dark days are ahead for this bunch, and also, sadly, for those who work in the CA newsroom.

Steve Morris

Boston, Massachusetts

Across the Universe

After watching the brilliant, powerful, moving film, Across the Universe, I came home and read Addison Engelking's abbreviated, terrible review of the movie (October 18th issue). I could not believe he watched the same movie I did. Of course, he is entitled to his opinion, but he obviously could not relate to the idealistic characters or the 1960s milieu.

One of the more powerful sequences in Across the Universe occurs when one of the characters is drafted into the Army and sent to Vietnam. These unforgettable (not cheap) images capture the power of the government and the demonization of an individual as outside forces take over his life. The film is full of such haunting images, hooked together with extraordinary renditions of classic Beatles songs that bring to life one of the most eventful eras in American history.

Randy Norwood


Selling Artifacts

We felt compelled to comment on Mary Cashiola's recent interview with June West of Memphis Heritage (In the Bluff, October 18th issue) detailing the "yard sale" approach to Memphis' historic artifacts.

If not for the efforts of the local park preservation group Save Libertyland!, Memphis' grand carousel would have been auctioned off as well. Thankfully, this National Historic Register landmark, worth $6 million, was preserved.

Next September, the National Carousel Association will bring its annual convention to Memphis to celebrate the successful rescue of this unique example of Americana. The Zippin Pippin is also slated for listing on the National Historic Register as well. Both landmark structures are the subject of a feasibility study to determine their value as tourist attractions.

Should Memphis's authenticity continue to be sold to the highest bidder? Rather than selling out, Memphis should be promoting (and profiting from) the uniqueness that makes this city a destination for the world.

Nick Davis, Tom Foster, Jessica Buttermore, Misty White, Denise Parkinson,

Chris Lucchesi, Jasper Williams


Halloween Bone

I can't tell you how relieved I was to read Chris Davis' article (Fly on the Wall, October 18th issue) about the Halloween "bone" being given away with kids' meals at Sonic.

When my son pulled that phallic thing out of its plastic wrapper, I almost choked, trying not to laugh. Then I thought, maybe I just have a dirty mind. After reading Davis' story, however, I took comfort in knowing that there is at least one other person in Memphis who's just as pervy as I am. Thanks for that.

Robert Russell



How do Bush and red-state Republicans keep thwarting the democratic process and the will of the American people? The latest example is the president's veto of the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) and House Republicans voting to uphold the Bush veto.

Seventy percent or more of the population may support a policy, but if Republican representatives representing a disproportionate minority of red-state population decide to deny the American public's wishes, so it will be.

SCHIP has been shown to be a successful and valuable children's health-care program, but a Republican party, out of touch with mainstream America, was able to cast its "no" votes and sink the expansion of SCHIP.

Ron Lowe

Grass Valley, California

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