Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Memphis FassBackward: Memphis and the World

Memphis FassBackward:  The City of Yesterday...Tomorrow!Just a few weeks after a historically misplaced series on the Boll Weevil, the Commercial Appeal has calcified its position as cheerleader and publicist for Memphis' status quo with the series, "Memphis and the World".

Rather than investigating how the world has changed us, is changing us, can change us, should change us, for better and sometimes worse, it takes Memphis as it is, has been for at least 35 years*, and goes off on a grand tour. Their plan**: send back picture postcards of travels with major institutions of Memphis. As associates of those companies, we will identify with them and passively make their successes our own. We will become associates of Memphis.

The world is changing us -- it should change us. We're not passive in the change, we have the ability to cultivate the change. That is the story. The Commercial Appeal ignores it, and us, and a future that isn't the past, by venturing off on an atavistic ass-kissing holiday.

*they could have plotted the series in the mid-seventies, given the age of the institutions in its lineup -- Bellevue in India, Elvis in Israel, Dunavant in Zambia, COGIC in South Africa, St. Jude in Brazil, Knights Templar in Haiti, FedEx in China.

that was the plan, which has been a major source of controversy. The beauty of the first installment, Bellevue in India, is its subversion of that plan. Trevor Aaronson doesn't send us a postcard, he sends us a "I'm With Stupid" t-shirt.

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