Member since Jun 9, 2009



  • No friends yet.
Become My Friend Find friends »

Recent Comments

Re: “The Rant

Here's a topic we can't seem to get away from no matter what face we try to place upon it. Read and enjoy(?).

A recent headline and page 2 story in the Saturday June 6th edition of the

Commercial Appeal provided an interesting, incisive and microcosmic look at the

stereotypes and misinformation that is, as yet, still today, so pervasive in our society.

It also provided a look at human emotion, motivation and race. Yes, race; the most

ubiquitous topic in Memphis society. Unfortunately, issues of race will continue to

poison our interactions among certain and various ethnic groups until we openly,

aggressively and persistently address and detoxify those issues of race so as to

render them moot.

The article concerned a black promoter who was attempting to replace a 130-year

old annual fair event that had moved to another venue. The promoter haad used the

phrase “urban fair” to describe the conceptualization of the replacement. The fair,

which had moved is known as the “Mid-South Fair”. It is a 10-day event of food,

fun, rides, exhibits, arts, crafts and star-studded entertainment with musical

headliners from practically every musical genre. A pretty big deal that as you can

imagine, generations of people in this and the surrounding area have grown up with

and have come to expect each year. So, it didn’t take a psychic to see that the fair’s

absence was going to leave a noticeable void, though the fair had only moved a few

miles south of the city’s borders. That move, however, has made the fair and its

festivities inaccessible to scores of inner-city residents. This promoter saw a need

and an opportunity to fill that void and he sought to fill it. An honorable, and some

may say, even noble gesture, indeed. But, it seems the term “urban fair” raised

specters of wild and raucous hip-hop and rap throngs, flashing gang signs and

marauding bands of unrestrained teen thugs terrifying local residents and fair-

goers. His idea was summarily pre-empted by the managers of the fairgrounds site

who then took his idea and proposed it to Mid-South Fair operators instead.

The fair operators are now going to stage two fair events simultaneously. The sigh of

relief was so audible that its decibel level exceeded that of the Fed-Ex jets that roar

by endlessly from Memphis International.

This may have been much ado about nothing. To the black promoter the phrase

“urban fair” meant nothing more than a fair developed for the city. He said the

term “urban” means city. It apparently had different connotations for the media

and fair officials. If not, why were his plans pre-empted when the two plans are

identical in scope and essence? The promoter is no “fly-by-nighter”. He is a well

respected and successful businessman in this city who stages the city’s largest

annual event which generates millions of dollars in revenue each year for area

businesses and government.

The phrase “urban fair” has taken on a life of its own, it seems, and is now a buzz-

word of sorts(according to the Commercial Appeal). I’m fairly certain, the phrase

when uttered, had no particular significance or meaning for its originator other

than a fair that was to be held in the city with an urban theme. Media and fair

officials, perhaps, saw less desirous implications ensconced in the phrase and thus

the backroom pre-emption. This “white-fear” response (and that’s exactly what it

is) has cost this promoter a legitimate business opportunity. I am ashamed for us all.

Thought this promoter graciously accepted his loss of opportunity with no mention

of the backroom shenanigans that spawned it, his words and demeanor may have

betrayed him. Prior to his speech to the Greater Memphis Chamber of Commerce

and Leadership Luncheon, the only quip uttered about the affair was the buzz-word

“urban fair” and its attendant and apparent unfair characterization. But, the

promoter allowed how he was “disappointed” in the way things transpired. An

understatement if I’ve heard one uttered. To what depth do you think the

connotations of the word “disappointed” extend and what range of emotions and

topics does it encompass? Of course, all of the obvious and apparent ones and those

that are not so readily apparent. There was no financial or otherwise, beneficial

incentive in usurping this promoter’s ideas. The only thing that was served here was

the prevention of the promoter’s event under his auspices. I’d certainly be interested

in hearing the reasons behind that.

KEB 06/06/09


Posted by specialk794 on 06/09/2009 at 3:13 PM

Re: “The Rant

Show em' this!!
Ken Burroughs

There Oughta’ Be A Law
(Thanks, NRA)

The state of Tennessee must be trying to replace the Cold War arms race
We’ve just enacted a law that allows licensees to enter bars with a gun
That’s like giving a monkey a stick of dynamite and a match
and then waiting to see just how much damage will be done

What was the legislature thinking, or what the hell were they drinking
when these elected officials drafted this “brilliant” proposal?
Instead of placing this bill on the state’s agenda, it should have been put into a blender
Or, simply tossed down a garbage disposal

This law is the worst mental trash; please go back and rehash
A bill that makes sense, or at least one that will keep us alive if we’re lucky
These and similar approaches, just like bad coaches
Should be packed up and sent to Kentucky

The “il-logic” behind this, comes with an ironic little twist;
It gives the law-abiding citizens the chance to do the very thing that they say is amiss
I’m sure now we’ll see guns of all kind; some with a Gucci design
And I’m fairly certain we’ll see some that’s equipped with a laser
How are all these untrained people in gunfights with criminals supposed to make our streets any safer?

Somebody pass me my hat, they want to legalize more than that
They want guns in our parks and private vehicles; and, yes; they now want them on our school grounds
I want to ask the gun carry lobby in Tennessee, “Is there no place off-limits or out-of-bounds?”

Now, think of the officer responding to a “shooting in progress” call; out at some mall
And there are people running around everywhere with a gun
You could call me a “man” or a “mouse”, but I’d go back to the house
And wait until all the shooting was done

I’ll give you a classic example of how a law like this can hamper
efforts to keep our streets safe
Two gun-carry licensees got into spat over a parking spot and their hides began to chafe
One man pulled his gun and fired while the other man expired; That’s just one of the things that a law like this portends
This law has the potential, for a spike in lawlessness exponential
And no one in the legislative body can tell you when it ends

We’re a state that makes whiskey; we’re not given to behavior that’s risky
So, why do we think that more guns will decrease the rate of crime?
Crime is going to rise like it’s been infused with yeast; it’s not going to drop, it’s going to increase
And we’re going to have a whole lot more Tennesseans doing time

Tennesseans are a people with vision who rarely make bad decisions
We’re renowned for our sound and conservative thinking
But the passage of these laws, I’m sure is the cause
Of why the NRA is now winking

KEB 06/06/09

Posted by specialk794 on 06/09/2009 at 1:56 PM


Favorite Places

  • None.
Find places »

Saved Events

  • Nada.
Find events »

Saved Stories

  • Nope.
Find stories »

Custom Lists

  • Zip.
© 1996-2018

Contemporary Media
460 Tennessee Street, 2nd Floor | Memphis, TN 38103
Visit our other sites: Memphis Magazine | Memphis Parent | Inside Memphis Business
Powered by Foundation