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Delta-Memphis Concerns Go To Washington

 

As we’ve covered in the last month or so, the volume is going up in the local discussion about Delta Air Lines service cuts at Memphis International Airport. The Memphis-Shelby County Airport Authority board has joined that expression of concern.

And there is a national discussion about the impact of similar moves on other hub cities. This week, part of the discussion was in Washington as this link to the Washington Post Wonkblog chronicles.

Hoop City Memphis Promotes Hometown Grind

This Is Memphis. We Grind Here.

That’s the latest slogan brought to you by Hoop City Memphis, a new T-shirt company started by Ian Lemmonds and Leslie Skelton promoting one of the city’s most cherished brands. Not its barbecue or its blues, but that other “B” – its pro-basketball program.

Hoop City will debut its newest design in support of the Memphis Grizzlies at South of Beale, 361 S. Main St., during the South Main Trolley Tour Friday, April 27. And with the NBA Playoffs just around the corner, it’s great timing to venture to South Main and scoop one up for just $25.

If sports don’t appeal to you as much as representing your city does, check out the Downtown Memphis “38103” or the “Memphis Threat,” a play on the logo of the 1970s punk rock band, the Misfits.

Follow Hoop City on Twitter @hoopcitymemphis and like them on Facebook at facebook.com/HoopCityMemphis.

Are the Feds siding with Amazon in suing the book publishers? Read on –

I had the same thought initially as a lot of people probably did when I read about the feds’ lawsuit against the major book publishers for allegedly colluding to keep book prices higher than Amazon wanted them to drop.

Conventional wisdom said the traditional publishers were trying to keep Amazon from having a monopoly, and a monopoly would ordinarily be bad for consumers. In this case, of course, Amazon has used its dominance to keep prices ultra-low, despite the fact some people may feel like the traditional publishers are on the consumer’s side here.

Even supposing the publishers’ actions had good intentions, though, it doesn’t matter, according to this Wall Street Journal article.

From the article:

“U.S. antitrust law doesn’t seek to protect little companies against big ones, or even struggling ones against successful ones. Companies can grow as large as they want, as long as they do it through lower prices, better service or niftier innovations. Companies can even become monopolies, as long as they don’t get there illegally or try to extend their power by unlawfully stifling competition.

Companies under pressure from a more successful rival can’t band together to protect themselves, whatever their size.”

Wonders Nostalgia

 

All of a sudden we find ourselves in a wave of reminders about the Wonders series, the mid 1980s to 1990s set of cultural exhibits organized by Memphians that drew millions of Memphians and others.

The Ramesses icon outside The Pyramid that was on the move Monday, April 23, to the University of Memphis campus is the latest reminder. The replica of the centerpiece of the 1987 Ramesses the Great exhibit was an example of the one of a kind moments that made the exhibits special.

Elsewhere over the weekend, Titanic—the movie – returned to Memphis movie screens, this time in 3-D to mark the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the unsinkable ocean liner.

For much of the month there has been a lot on television about the Titanic, including a program that WKNO aired originally in 1997 to go with the Wonders exhibit on the Titanic. The exhibit was the same year the movie was originally released.

The exhibit featured items taken from the debris field. It was the most popular of the Wonders exhibits.

The program evoked a different kind of nostalgia — for a series that was always something special and something that was unique to Memphis even if it toured later in other cities.

The narrator of the then tape recorded tour of the Ramses exhibit was Charlton Heston, who also came to the opening of the exhibit.

As was his style, Heston did not come with an entourage or security. In fact, he showed up at the exhibit entrance by himself and stopped to talk for a few minutes with a certain reporter about the exhibit and his belief that this particular Ramesses was not the pharaoh who tangled with Moses. He emphasized it was just his belief for what it was worth – that of the cinematic Moses.

The University of Memphis curated the exhibit including the restoration of the Ramesses monolith that was the centerpiece of the exhibit. A special forklift had to be brought in to get the heavy pieces of the monument to the second floor of the Memphis Cook Convention Center.

The Memphis delegation to Egypt had found the monument in pieces on its side, mostly buried, with children playing atop the parts that were above ground.

The restored monument was allowed to be used to make a one-of mold to pour a replica — the one that had been outside The Pyramid for its 20-year life as an arena starting in 1991.

The Catherine The Great exhibit came to Memphis in 1991 as Russia was in transition. It left Leningrad and returned to the same place that had changed its name back to St. Petersburg.

The “grand inaugural ceremony” listed guests who were officials of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. A month before the items left Memphis there was the attempted coup that was the beginning of the end of the Soviet Union.

Memphis had already had some experience with the cycle of change in the Soviet Union. An earlier non-Wonders exhibit had been in Memphis earlier to mark the 70-year history of the USSR and nowhere in the exhibit was the likeness or name of Stalin mentioned – even in the exhibit’s timeline. I’ve still got one of the perestroika pamphlets handed out.

But enough wandering and back to Wonders.

The most exotic Wonders exhibits may also have drawn the sparsest attendance. But they were no less spectacular. The exhibit on the Ottoman Empire featured the Topkapi dagger as its centerpiece. It was the first exhibition of the dagger in the Western Hemisphere. The surroundings made it much more than a grouping of 275 objects. The surroundings provided context.

For the exhibit on Etruscan civilization, the settings were crucial to creating the environment for an exhibit that had fewer items than any of the others.

Because Wonders organized the first seven exhibits there were international ties created and forged for the agreements necessary to secure the rights to treasures like the Topkapi dagger and the carriage of Catherine the Great. The carriage used for the Russian empress’s grand coronation was restored specifically for the Memphis exhibition with help from Memphis donors.

The exhibits were a cultural high point and educational experience that were an invaluable part of the school field trip experience for a generation of Memphians.

They also spoke volumes about the talent that still exists in the city among a community of museum curators who continue to work on exhibits that come to the city’s permanent institutions of art and culture.

 

 

Departing MCS PR staffer scolds media

Memphis City Schools communications coordinator Quintin Taylor is leaving his job with the school system – but not without a parting shot at some of the journalists who have covered MCS during his time in the position.

At one point, he pleads with the local media to “reevaluate how you cover MCS” and blasts what he sees as “relentless efforts to ‘expose’ or ‘attack’.”

He writes: “I asked a local reporter once ‘Who holds you accountable for inaccurate and misleading reporting?’ I never got an answer. In my humble opinion, that is troubling and it should make some take a look in the mirror and evaluate how they go about their job. I don’t believe some realize that ‘the story’ for the day has a lasting and profound negative impact on this system. While you move on to the next, it is the system that has to lick its wounds and try to recover. Please reconsider how you cover Memphis City Schools. It deserves better!”

His full farewell note is below the jump –

Dear Media Colleagues,

I write to say Thank You and Farewell. The time has come for me to transition into the next chapter of my life. Over the past four years I have had the pleasure of working with you and providing communications support as a member of the Memphis City Schools Communications staff.

And I did it the only way I know how…passionately and loyally.

During my time with MCS, I know that our relationship at times has been rocky and even strained. Having said that, I hope you understand and respect that my obligation was to fight for and protect our district as well as ADVOCATE for the children of Memphis City Schools! Even in my new endeavor this will not change. Someone from the media asked me “why do you care so much?” It is simple. Most of the kids in this system remind me of myself when I was a kid. They just need someone, somebody to advocate and say “you are talented, you can achieve, you can be great…despite your environment….you can and you will!” Thankfully I had engaged, loving and caring parents and support system. Many of them do not. That is why I care and that is why WE have to ADVOCATE for them.

I know you have a job to do, but I plead with some of you to reevaluate how you cover MCS. The overwhelming majority of our students and staff are good people and work really hard every day. They do not deserve the treatment and coverage that is often given. The relentless efforts to “expose” or “attack” do not yield anything positive for the kids, MCS employees, or this city…and they all deserve better.

For those of you who are fair, balanced, and objective in your reporting…Thank You! After all, that is what true journalism is all about. While we have our issues, we are not as bad as we have been portrayed.

I know without a shadow of a doubt that MCS and its Communications Department is in much better shape than it was 4 years ago. PLEASE DO NOT DIMINISH or UNDERMINE this fact. Thanks to the leadership of Dr. Cash and his team and Staci Franklin we are in a better place. And I tend to believe that I have had a little something to do with that, as I have given my blood, sweat, tears, and everything I had for the sake of fairness, objectivity, transparency, and the truth!

I asked a local reporter once “Who holds you accountable for inaccurate and misleading reporting?” I never got an answer. In my humble opinion, that is troubling and it should make some take a look in the mirror and evaluate how they go about their job. I don’t believe some realize that “the story” for the day has a lasting and profound negative impact on this system. While you move on to the next, it is the system that has to lick its wounds and try to recover. Please reconsider how you cover Memphis City Schools. It deserves better!

Whatever your beliefs are, I pray for continued blessings upon each of you and your families.

Cordially,

Quintin D. Taylor

Communications Coordinator

Memphis City Schools

 

Dansette

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