J.R. Lind is an excellent writer. I thoroughly enjoyed his story on the Vanderbilt football head coach James Franklin ("All About the Franklin," Sept. 22).
I was disappointed to read your lengthy review of Taylor Swift's recent hometown show ("The Spin," Sept. 22) and find no mention of her tribute to a lesser-known hometown hero, an earnest cover of David Mead's modern classic, "Nashville."
On the other hand, I was delighted to see that your publication finally saw fit to write about JEFF the Brotherhood. It's about time they got some positive local press. Kudos, tastemakers!
Swift kick in the pants
Regarding "Fall Guide 2011: Up and Autumn" (Sept. 15): Somebody should tell Taylor Swift and journalist Steve Haruch that celebrity, ticket sales, personality and sold-out stadiums do not make an "artist" really an artist. They don't even make her noteworthy: Even Barack Obama performs to SRO-staged spectacles of public entertainment. It's meaningless, and so is Taylor Swift, who's just a commercial performer, an entertainment prop for the Music City industry.
Swift might be the shallowest and least substantive singer-songwriter con-job in the Nashville entertainment industry today. For the easily manipulated mindless masses, she appeals to the lowest common denominator of immature emotional enablers: people who buy tickets and buy CDs. She's an obscure form of a '70s teenage boy band born again as a 2011 pretty girl with a pretty voice but nothing interesting to say.
My advice, for what it's worth (i.e., nothing!): Taylor should listen to Brenda Lee, Etta James, Teresa Brewer and Amy Winehouse. Then she should quit pretending to be an artist with depth — she has none. Maybe she can do a 12-step program where she admits she's a bland teenybopper commodity — just a piece of commercial merchandise that works well as elevator music with royalties. Her awesome music awards should be given away to a public-relations strategy, in a new category of innovation: "Empty and Meaningless Newcomer Sells Lots of Records and Tickets and Puts On a Good Show — P.S. Artists With Substance Need Not Apply."
Regarding "Vote of No Confidence" (Sept. 15): We need a photo ID to drive a car (and we are required to purchase car insurance as well), purchase alcohol, enter a nightclub, open a bank account, cash a check, pay with a check in person, open a post office box, apply for a job, get on an airplane, and many other things I have neglected to name — yet being required to show ID (in order to prove you are who you say you are) when voting is an undue hardship just shy of Jim Crow? Oh yeah, I forgot — this is the Scene. They don't get out much.
Letting loose on Bruce
In Bruce Barry's article "Nine-Elevenized" (Sept. 8), he writes, "In the wake of 9/11, the GOP grew so disgusted with and intolerant of dissent that many in its ranks began to deny the patriotism and legitimacy of its opposition."
Oh, Bruce, Bruce, BRUCE!!! It's tough when the shoe is on the other foot, isn't it?
Long before 9/11, Hillary Clinton was referring to anyone who opposed her or Bill as "members of the vast right-wing conspiracy." After 2008, Nancy Pelosi was (and still is) all over YouTube with asinine, vindictive accusations about the right such as you decry in your ramblings. "I've run out of logic, so I'll resort to pejorative labels instead, if someone will explain what 'pejorative' means. I heard Bill Maher use it ..." and on and on and on.
The Right holds no monopoly on name-calling against those with whom it disagrees, and you need only look around to find plenty of truth in that statement.
More Barry picking
Leave it to Bruce Barry, the Scene's resident ultraliberal, to write an article on 9/11 in which the most valuable point he can draw is how bad the U.S. has become ("Nine-Elevenized," Sept. 8). Once again, that evil George Bush and Dick Cheney have eroded our "virtuous foundation of individual rights" and destroyed the country.
Thousands of innocent people lost their lives for doing nothing more than going to work that day. This country has done a lot more good for more people than any in the history of humanity. I don't think a little patriotism is a bad thing, as opposed to apologizing for our country or thinking this is a mean country, as our current president and first lady do. If Bruce had been in the towers on 9/11 he would have truly experienced the "consummate insult to the integrity of democracy," as he put it.