Between 1970 and 1990 (i.e., the "good old days" of Jackson and Young) the city of Atlanta went into meltdown, declining from 495,000 people in 1970 to 393,000 in 1990, as whites and middle-class blacks fled to the suburbs. By contrast, under the supposedly ruinous Campbell regime, the city grew again, to its present population of 425,000.
Corruption notwithstanding, Atlanta is better off now than it was eight years ago.
-- Michael Lewyn, Atlanta
Complex, repetitive rhetoric
Regarding "Is the redistricting process too politicized?" (Flip Side, Aug. 15), Greg and Richard, repeat after me: America is not a democracy, America is not a democracy, goddammit, America is not a democracy.
Spend some time reading the Constitution and Declaration of Independence and then you can give relevant political feedback.
-- David McCoy, Lilburn
I read with interest the article on Home Park, since I live on Atlantic Drive, which will be impacted ("The battle over and through Home Park," Aug. 22). Michael Wall did a good job in presenting all sides. I also think other options to limit access into these streets need to be addressed. And the statement by Suzanne Wold that 16th Street won't be an exit is misleading. 16th Street ties into Techwood Drive, which will be an exit off the interstate. It will be changed so that people coming off I-75 will be able to turn onto 16th. What fun that will be.
-- Steve Nunan, Atlanta
The Short end of the stick
We have just returned from our Pacific Northwest Tour of the Short Attention Span Film and Video Festival. The response has been fantastic, standing-room-only shows.
I can't tell you how disappointed we were to return to our home state to read your overwhelmingly negative and uninformed review of the festival ("Make it snappy," Aug. 22). Had your writer done any research for the article, he might have discovered that we are a tiny Georgia-based operation; the festival has a staff of three. The festival was founded by a native Georgian 10 years ago. Our sponsors, also all Georgia-based (a fact we are extremely proud of) -- make it possible for us to tour nationally with the festival and to bring its variety of entertainment to a large audience at a very low cost. The commercials you see in the show are offered to our sponsors in exchange for the services and tour support they generously provided. The festival would not be possible without the support of our sponsors. Your paper prints ads next to the articles, doesn't it? We are also proud of the fact that our sponsors are not beverage or tobacco companies, but rather, they are animation schools, animation organizations and cartoon companies, as well as musicians and design firms.
Our 59 films this year have been culled from well over 300 entries from all over the world, and we feel that this is our best showcase yet.
The entries from the Savannah College of Art were all non-commercial student entries, and ALL pieces in this year's show were chosen by our democratic prescreening committee. (We also received entries from Cal Arts, UCLA and NYU -- a fact that your writer did not seem to notice.) This year's judges are also of superior quality and hail from such organizations as Digital Media Wire, Blind Spot Magazine and Wild Brain.
The superior caliber of artist in this year's program represents Guggenheim Fellows (Mark Steinmetz), Sundance Selected filmmakers (Mark Jordan, Ari Gold, Erik Adigard, Jay Rosenblatt), SXSW Award Winners (Ari Gold), internationally known artists (Doug Coupland, Michael Moore) as well as many superior filmmakers from San Francisco's indie scene, Tokyo's vibrant animation scene and more. Only 20 percent of the pieces selected this year were from students.
Also, had your writer taken the time to give us a call, we could have told him that our website, Shortspan.com, won the prestigious SXSW "Best Film Website" award this year -- we beat out HBO, Atom Films and 350 other contestants worldwide for this award. We could have also told him the story of how we watched dozens of "film sites" come and go in the past two years as we built our websites based on our well-established festival. Our sites, Shortspan.com and Dreamspan.com, have been mentioned in over 40 periodicals nationwide last year alone, and will be featured on the BBC's new "Go Digital" program.
Alums from past festivals also have been included in the Whitney Biennial (12 artists, to date) and also have created numerous documentary and feature films which have been recognized internationally (Better Living Through Circuitry and Helicopter, to name a couple).
Short Attention Span was established in 1991 by myself as a venue for filmmakers whose work was too short for the long format film festival circuit. I was making ultra short films and thought there might be other folks out there doing the same. The festival has since grown from a one-night show to a 30-city tour.
Too bad that Curt Holman didn't spend any time researching the history of the festival. Did he not read the excellent piece that Eddy Von Mueller wrote for Creative Loafing last year?
The kicker: It was especially rude of Curt to give away the ending of the show. (The last piece, by the way, was created by a prominent Korean filmmaker whose work has been featured in the Museum of Art in Seoul -- where the festival will also screen next spring). He missed our joke entirely: "Excuse Me" appears directly after the racy portion of the festival. We curate the show with a distinct topical flow, which your writer obviously missed.
I think that Curt might have watched the entire show in fast forward?
-- Beth Hall Thrasher, Athens
Dear Ms. Feaster: You have become a major writer. I've been reading your reviews for a couple of years and they're as good -- sometimes better -- than the ones in Time and Newsweek. Your word usage is incredibly creative and playful -- I'm thinking of your Apocalypse Now Redux review ("Gone Native," Aug. 15): "antihero," "foggy-headed tarts," "reduxed passage," "almost comatose sense of encroaching doom" -- you strike just the right note of enlightened bafflement in the face of this truly weird movie. Best wishes for your future work. You are, I think, wasted on the Atlanta audience.
-- Vincent Mallette, Atlanta
Whoa! Little did we know last week when we published our College Survival Guide (Aug. 22) that our caricature of a tipsy sorority sister drinking a beer would freak out the Greek fraternal system. Turns out the sisters aren't supposed go to the well while wearing their signifying letters. We didn't mean to ridicule anyone. Honest. The caricature was meant to be a satirical 'toon that was part of a tongue-in-cheek guide to college life -- not at all a critique or criticism of any organization. But it felt like jab to some of the sisters. For that error in judgment, we apologize.
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