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About that Cooper Young Festival photo

Click for full size.

 

You’ve probably seen this photo in several different places in the part of the social media universe that is all things Memphis.

And we are proud to say it is the work of our photographer, Andrew Breig, who went to considerable effort to get the shot of the crowd at the Cooper Young Festival this month.

We’ll leave much of the mystery surrounding how he got the picture in place. But we will assure you no laws were broken. And the jet-pack rumors are without foundation.

It first turned up on Andrew’s blog, memphisjuncture.com, the day he took the photo. The blog includes his other work on his own and with us that you should definitely check out.

But back to the photo. After he put the picture on his blog, the rest is kind of a blur. We put it on our Facebook page as well.

It’s not only turning up in all of the Memphis places on social media, it’s also a hit with Memphis expatriates or anyone with fond memories of our city or the festival or both.

It has really taken on a life of its own even before it turned up Wednesday morning on the Cooper Young Historic District Facebook page with the lead in “I don’t know who took this picture but …”

Radio station Q107.5 invited its Facebook followers to tag people in the picture late Thursday morning.

So far, no Jimmy Hoffas or Johnny Appleseeds tagged although I’m not sure if they can be reached on social media.

Andrew definitely can be reached and we hope this calls attention to his work for us and beyond our pages.

The reaction is also interesting for what is not in the photo. No skyscrapers or monuments of a permanent nature, just a border of tents framing what is the basic element of the reaction we’ve seen to what is a great photo with a simple concept – lots of Memphians being Memphians in close proximity to each other. And, oh yeah, don’t mess with our trees either.

Where Politics Begins

There is a common theme among successful politicians I have covered. It is the event that many of them have said defines the start of their ambition to run for elected office.

It’s not a first race they might have made for City Council or Congress or a judicial position.

Nope. Ask a successful politician about his or her origins and in many cases they will tell you about the time they ran for class president or something else in high school or college.

Add Cong. Steve Cohen to the list with this article in “Roll Call.”

We also came across this phenomenon earlier in writing a piece about Karl Schledwitz, the CEO of Monogram Foods who, while not a candidate, worked in many, many Democratic campaigns over the decades.

Schledwitz recently spoke at the weekly meeting of the Frayser Exchange Club and began by noting that Shelly Rice, the president of the club, had been his campaign manager when he ran for student government office the first time at Trezevant High School.

He lost and all these years later playfully put the blame on his campaign manager, noting that with a different manager, the next year, he was elected.

Fellow students, it turns out, are an early test of political prowess when you think about it. There is the intensity of a campaign that is probably magnified because it’s not an electorate that you can dodge. They and your opponent are face to face every day in a relatively small space. Not only is every action you take immediately visible to your rival, you feel every action your rival takes immediately as well.

It is pretty relentless as campaigns go and its intensity is further magnified by the shortened campaign time.

Sounds like a pretty good crucible for those who think politics is for them.

 

World’s Worst Social Media Top 20 List

 

Here we go again. Another day, another list.

Not sure what media entity put this together but it is part of a collection of similar lists that apparently we can’t resist clicking on. It is part of a catalog that includes “Tattoo Do’s and Don’ts”, “MORE Hot Chicks With Tattoos”, “Insane Man Caves” and “More WTF Tattoos!”

The “20 most dangerous neighborhoods in America” which has two sites in Memphis and one in West Memphis should probably also double as one of the 20 worst lists in America as well … with or without tattoos.

Consider: Downtown Memphis is #12. Of course this is a slide show. And when you get to Downtown Memphis you will see as the photo with this entry – because a list is nothing without the photo – the Memphis Police Association billboard reading “Danger enter at your own risk.” “This city does not support public safety.”

The paragraph that goes with all of this says that the 38126 zip code has a violent crime rate of 67.26 per 1,000 residents. No source given for the statistic or why the zip code for South Memphis is used in a listing for Downtown Memphis, which is 38103 and 38105.

The same zip code shows up in the #15 entry for the Gaston Park section of Memphis but with a different violent crime rate of 82.9 per 1,000 residents.

The photo to go with Gaston Park shows a photo from The Commercial Appeal of the demolition of the Cleaborn Homes public housing development with a back hoe visible.

“When homes in a neighborhood are allowed to look like the one pictured here, you know it must be a very bad area,” the entry reads without mentioning the backhoe in the picture just rammed the rather sizeable hole in the side of the brick building because it is being demolished and nobody lives there anymore – because it is being demolished. Did I add that it is being demolished. Because I don’t want to forget to add that it is being demolished.

There is one interesting statistic in this entry, however, which is useful if it is true.

“17 percent of its residents travel more than an hour to get to work which is the longest commute rate in the entire country.”

That sounds distinctly like a commute rate on the Memphis Area Transit Authority.

 

 

 

Elvis Week Wrap Up

 

Another Elvis week is just about in the books. The candles have been put away for another year and Elvis Presley Boulevard is open again to traffic.

And Graceland itself is not for sale, as we detailed in our Friday edition.

But a long delayed expansion of the Graceland area into a kind of Elvis resort remains in limbo because the majority share of Elvis Presley Enterprises is up for sale by CORE Media.

CORE Media’s most notable effort was an agreement with Digital Domain Media Group to produce a hologram of Presley for use in future performances. Digital Domain is the company that produced a hologram of rapper Tupac Shakur that drew a lot of attention when it was unveiled at the end of the Snoop Dog set at the Coachella Music Festival in 2012.

At week’s end there is this from the Digital Music News web site – a report that Sony Corp. is among those interestedn buying the majority share of EPE.

Read more »

On Federal Prison Time and Federal Charges

 

More coming in the Wednesday edition, which goes online Tuesday afternoon, about local reaction from our federal prosecutor about the “Smart on Crime” initiatives announced by U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder Monday in San Francisco.

The initiatives amount to prosecutors being more selective about who they prosecute and whether they charge them with crimes that upon conviction have mandatory minimum sentences. It also includes more use of re-entry programs supervised by a federal court judge for those who complete their sentences.

The reentry docket has been a regular feature of Memphis Federal Court dockets since 2011.

We wrote about it as a cover story in our weekly, The Memphis News, about two years ago.

Read more »

Dansette

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