What They Said... 

Letters and comments from Flyer readers ... Terry Roland, Memphis violence, Riverside International Speedway, men’s fitness, Big River Crossing.

click to enlarge GREG CRAVENS
  • Greg Cravens

About Jackson Baker's Politics column, "Is Terry Roland a Bully?" ...

There's a certain mental framework that comes from growing up watching too much wrestling on television. Maybe that's Roland's issue here. Ritual exaggerated violence for entertainment encourages a certain bombast and swagger that substitutes for developing the subtler skills of rhetorical debate more commonly expected from politicians.

Physical violence is beyond the pale. If you are expecting mealy-mouthed political correctness from Roland or a number of our other local representatives, you will be waiting a long time. That's what their supporters and constituents want and expect. Maybe Willie Herenton had it right: It's all bullshit.


About Eileen Townsend's cover story, "A Night at the Ditch" ...

I currently live just outside of Austin, Texas, but I grew up going to the races at Riverside Speedway. Your article was very well-written and really touched my heart. My mother tells me that the first time she ever felt me move in the womb was at Riverside. I now work as a PA announcer in Texas with a travelling sprint car series and edit racing videos for a streaming service called Race on Texas.

Thank you for a touching look through an outsider's eyes. I hope you enjoyed your evening at the races. You should go again sometime!

Nick Robbins

About Bruce VanWyngarden's Letter From the Editor, "Orange is the New Black" ...

"There are 300 million genies out of the bottle in America. Thanks to the NRA and their friends in our government, guns are everywhere and easy to get. No legislation can make a dent in that number in our lifetimes."

This is a discouraging point of view and basically a summation of my own thoughts. The full picture is even more discouraging. The Second Amendment is our country's fundamental design flaw. The NRA and gun culture as a whole are symptoms, not the disease. We can't even pass sensible legislation on firearms in the United States or make serious efforts to reduce or eliminate the number of firearms in circulation because of that damned Second Amendment.

This is what we're stuck with in the absence of massive systemic change — change that no one is truly pushing seriously. While I'll never actively discourage someone from taking steps to try to reduce gun violence, I believe the fight is ultimately hopeless. I hate that it is.


You wear orange, and the soulless gang kids say, "Oh, gee, we gotta quit the endless cycle of violence." Sure. Or, you wear orange and create a consciousness that we need to have some form of re-education for young men considered likely to shoot/get shot. That would be great. Am I missing a step here?


About Mark Akin's column, "Tackling Time" ...

Muscle mass, endurance, and agility can all be addressed via an ancient exercise program known as the martial arts. I could never motivate myself enough to engage in mindless exercise like running, bicycling, or whatever for the simple goal of physical fitness. Karate has the added benefits of mental challenge and social interaction that are equally important to good health.

Some people think karate is for the young, but with a good instructor who can tailor his or her program to the physical abilities of every student, karate has tremendous benefits that you just can't get working out in a gym. Toss in self-defense training, and you've got yourself a pretty well-rounded health regimen.


About Toby Sells' post, "West Memphis Plans for Big River Crossing" ...

That land across the street from the entrance in West Memphis is vacant. Put stores, restaurants — something that will garner an interest when they get to West Memphis! Other cities have grown. It's time West Memphis does the same.

Lucia Johnson

Re-open the Plantation Inn, have Willie Mitchell's band play regular gigs, and consistently serve underage drinkers.


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