1. The discussion about MFA programs continues. I must say, up front, that one of the things I really love about living in Nashville, which is, in many ways an industry town, is that I don’t run into a lot of “art v. commerce” discussions in which art is cast as some pure and noble thing most people can’t do. For all its faults, I feel like Nashville fosters a “Eh, give it a try” attitude among people, which, honestly, is why I found it funny that Elise Blackwell would say, “You don’t apprentice at an opera company and expect to be introduced to Nashville music producers, which I say with no disrespect to either milieu,” because I kind of think that’s not true. It might not be a standard way to become a country star, but, like I said, the attitude of “eh, give it a try” lives on here.
I just think that using “art” in this way is kind of bullshit. Art is for everyone. There’s some form of creative expression that every single person can engage in. Maybe poorly, but something. It’s not inherently some rarefied elitist thing–art.
I just hate the idea of art being something other, special people who are not us do. I especially hate to see that attached to writing. But it seems like, as we become a more literate society, the temptation to declare “But that’s not real; what I’m doing over here in my special little corner is real” is too great.
2. I think this is a good piece undermined by itself at the end. So, it’s an excellent analysis of why our Davis-Kidd is closing–bad location, wrong merchandising, parent-company issues–with the following sentence towards the end, “Think about that, Nashville. Because come December, we’re a major city incapable of supporting even a chain bookstore with a 30-year place in our cultural fabric. And if we don’t demand the bookstore we deserve, we’re no more the Athens of the South, really, than our Parthenon is — well, the Parthenon.”
Except that we’re not a major city incapable of supporting even a chain bookstore. At the beginning of his piece, Ross explained that, even in its new crappy location, Davis-Kidd was turning a profit.
And who, exactly, are we supposed to demand a bookstore from? Santa? The Bookstore Fairy?
3. Can I just confess that I don’t understand what they mean by an assault rifle here? Is there some legal, standard definition? Is there some reason why holding kids hostage at the end of an assault rifle is different than just holding them at the end of a rifle? Help, here, gun nuts.
4. WTF, people of the 60s?! I just heard this song on Karaoke Blackout this morning and I… I just don’t know. I feel like I should get it, but I don’t. Is it from a never-finished musical prequel to The Wicker Man or what?