Tuesday, June 04, 2002
Weirdness in Memphis.

Okay, so that should be "More than the usual weirdness in Memphis." In an entry here, InstaPundit takes note of lotza weirdness happening in Memphis. Here's the take on the most recent weirdness, the acid burning and binding in barbed wire of the coroner by a still-unidentified assailant in the Memphis Commercial Appeal (last time for a while... "More commercial than appealing"). The story has made it to the New York Times (article here). Both the CA and NYT stories point towards the perp as likely being the same person who has written vehement letters to several folks protesting the innocence of Philip Workman in the killing of a Memphis police officer during a robbery gone wrong 21 years ago.

Memphis is a wonderfully funky place. It was a hard place for me to live in -- parts of Memphis have never gotten over the murder of Dr. King ("parts" referencing both physical and social geography). From white folks kindly sharing how much they were happy my lover and I (we're white) had moved into their mixed-race neighborhood ("so, you like homos better than black people?"), to black folks shucking and jiving, Memphis has one leg planted firmly in the past. At the same time, with a nearly fifty-fifty black/white racial demographic, the citizens of Memphis also confronts the realities of race in America on a daily basis in ways that folks in some haughty look-down-the-nose-at-the-American-south northeastern American cities seem to avoid doing. It does have some reasonable but progressive leadership among both racial communities who seem to understand that they have to provide a vision of where Memphis can be in the near future, even as it has this wonderful-terrible past.

Overall, I found living there disappointing, but that likely says more about me than it does about Memphis. But I miss the Elvis fixation and hearing people say, unconciously, "Thank you. Thank you very much."