I’m going to eat some Pronto Pups this weekend

The time has come for great music on the Main Street Mall. The Memphis Music & Heritage Festival happens between Union and Peabody Place today and tomorrow. Over 100 performances on five stages, two of them air-conditioned indoors. Here’s the lineup and here’s the vendor list. There will be food trucks and carnival food as well. I’m going to be all about some Pronto Pups this weekend, but if you want some true Southern food to go along with the music, check out the greens and hot water cornbread served by the Folklore Store’s kitchen.

Going to be weird seeing The Legendary Pacers perform without Sonny Burgess. :(

Oktoberfest comes to Wiseacre Brewing Co. Saturday, September 30. It’s perfectly timed to match up with the real Germans doing the real Oktoberfest in Bavaria. There will be polka by the Mighty Souls Brass Band. Discounts if you dress up, with German attire encouraged but being goofy counts too. Bring your own clean stein and they will do a stein fill for you. Pretzels by Dave’s Bagels.

Nikki’s Hot Ass Products posted that Nikki’s Hot Nuts will be coming soon. Sounds yummy.

Memphis Made Brewing Co. is hosting the popular beginner sushi class again in its taproom on Sunday, September 24.

I’ve been asked to weigh in on the Gone with the Wind controversy. For those not familiar, the Orpheum received complaints that the 1939 movie is racially insensitive, and as a result has decided to remove it from the 2018 Summer Movie Series lineup. A lot of people are upset. One season ticket holder wrote “return to sender” on his 2017-18 renewal letter and posted a photo to Facebook.

Here’s the thing: I can’t relate to Gone with the Wind. I watched it with my mom – who was a big fan of that movie – when I was a kid, and thought it was the most God-awful boring movie ever. Short of needing a cure for insomnia, I never had any desire to go see that movie at the Orpheum.

What I can relate to, however, is a historically significant sitcom that ran on TV from 1970 to 1979: All in the Family. It was my favorite show when I was a kid. To this day I consider it the greatest TV show of all time, and the Archie Bunker character the greatest TV character of all time.

However, my mom and grandmother used the show as a teaching tool. They helped me to understand that I didn’t want to grow up to be a closed-minded bigot like Archie, but that I would encounter people like him and needed to be equipped to deal with them. I grew up understanding that I shouldn’t see people of other skin colors or religions as different than me, and that I shouldn’t go around using derogatory terms like “kike” and “chink” and “hebe.” I understood that when I grew up and got married (neither of which I’ve done yet), “dingbat” was not an appropriate term of endearment for my wife.

If Antenna TV announced that it would no longer show All in the Family because of complaints received about it being racially insensitive, I’d be pissed. The show is a significant piece of Americana. It tackled social issues while at the same time being damn funny. I would want kids to watch it to learn the lessons I did.

Although I can’t relate to Gone with the Wind, I recognize that it is a significant piece of Americana too. People need to see that movie at least once. But it needs to be used as a teaching tool, just as TV was used as a teaching tool for me. Kids need to be made to understand that it’s a movie almost 80 years old, set in a time 75 years before that. They need to understand that these are different times, and normal, reasonable people don’t think the way people did back then. They need to understand that we as a society made mistakes in the past. If I ran the Orpheum, I’d be inclined to show the movie then hold a discussion, letting people offended by the movie explain to the audience how it makes them feel and why.

The thing is, though, how do you do that? The movie is already three and a half hours long. If you show it at 7, the discussion wouldn’t even begin until 10:30, well past kids’ bedtimes. You could run it as a Sunday matinee, but still, after three and a half hours, who would be interested in more time sitting in a theater chair? I really feel for Orpheum president Brett Batterson. He was put in a position where there really was no right answer, no correct solution.

If I must take a side, I’d say I am in favor of keeping the movie as part of the summer series, but only slightly. As a poker player, I like percentages, so I would say I’m 60/40 in favor of keeping it. Whereas, on the issue of the Confederate statues, I am 100% in favor of tearing down those monuments of hate as quickly as possible.

Going to lead off at Bardog then over to the festival (with visits to Blind Bear, Silly Goose, and Flying Saucer when I am ready for a break). Back tomorrow with more news.