The writing has been on the wall for a while, but the hammer finally fell today. Projects that subsist entirely on goodwill and volunteer time, but with floundering audience numbers and lessening chances at material gain, are doomed to a slow death. This is something I know all too well.
I hadn’t realized that Live From Memphis had been around for twelve years. Which might mean that I’m officially old, since I can remember using it as a reference to keep track of which punk show I was going to on what night of the week, and I haven’t gone to shows like that in over a decade. But, the great thing about LFM was that it sandwiched those shows between the next Memphis Symphony Orchestra or Ballet Memphis performance. Beyond that, Live From Memphis acted as an early kind of blog aggregator for the area, pulling a lot of the best local bloggers in under one umbrella so they could talk about what was going on out there in the urban wilds.
I guess what I’m trying to say is that Life From Memphis was important and, for its time, utterly singular in its mission. As Craig Brewer just put it “You were there for Memphis when Memphis wasn’t there for you.”
…But, then there’s that last paragraph in the farewell note.
To Memphis, demand more from your leadership. Stop celebrating mediocrity. Stop funding crappy advocacy groups and meaningless brand campaigns. The creatives of Memphis need more than just cheerleaders. Filling out the check box is no way to make change.
One hell of a zinger to go out on, and if you understand what’s being said, one hell of a message.
Because, in this space that comes after, I don’t hear a clarion voice. I hear a cacophony of voices trying to shout over each other, and I can’t make out what any of them are saying.