Vol. 8, No. 7 (April 2 -14)
Daft Punk got it right when Pharrell Williams sang, “We’ve come too far to give up who we are, so let’s raise the bar …” And it’s exceptionally apropos to The Contributor this week as our April 2 issue is our last one as a twice-monthly publication—we’re raising the bar, and we will never, ever give up on who we are. And to get into the spirit of that song, please know that I am wearing as I type this a robot costume that the French techno-duo FedExed to me earlier this week. While I have to ship it back to Lyon, France, as soon as I hit send on this email, I hope to have Pharrell’s weird/cool/weird hat on hand when launch our first weekly edition on April 14. The “Happy” singer said my request to use the hat was in line behind Sir Elton John, Sasha Obama, and Pope Francis. Regardless, we’re optimists around here, so I am basking in the warmth of that hopeful, chapeau-centric possibility that his hat will be here in time to wear for our April 14, debut of our weekly publication. Fingers crossed!
- Speaking of “Happy” … The April 2 issue of The Contributor is chockfull o’ happy news. For instance, did you know that Nashville is a fertile hotbed for “social enterprise” organizations? So much so that we’ve dedicated much of this issue to this important issue. Staff reporter Amanda Haggard explores the important role such organizations play in a capitalistic economy. Also, three experts pen pieces—including our own executive director Tasha French Lemley—on the subject. Page 1
- The executive director of Open Table, Ingrid McIntyre would be even more happy than she already is if Metro would increase its role in providing homeless people safe, warm places to stay when temps drop into the danger zone. Page 1
- Our director of vending, Tom Wills, says goodbye to the great Gail Kerr, the venerable Tennessean columnist who passed away last month. Gail was a good friend to The Contributor and a dependable advocate for people experiencing poverty. Page 2
- Somebody stole her wheelchair, but Norma Bracey keeps on smiling. And she tells you why on Page 3.
- A Tibetan Buddhist monk is taking China to court over alleged human rights violations. Page 5
- Poetry. Ahh, poetry. And if you like drawings of school lunchboxes with loving pearls of wisdom, you don’t want to miss Pages 8-9!
- Formerly homeless vendor and part-time biblical scholar Wayne Walden compares the “Catholic Bible” to the “Protestant Bible.” Page 10
- Vendor Joe Francis offers the best advice I heard all week: Help others, wear armor if you have to. Page 12
- Formerly homeless vendor Jerry A. hasn’t given up. Nor do I suspect that he ever will. He explains why on Page 13.
- I thought I was clever by installing a trap door in my office a couple of weeks ago in the hopes of finally meeting Mr. Mysterio. But, alas, I only managed to catch myself (think: Wile E. Coyote with shaggier hair and glasses). After spending 36 hours in a remarkably effective holding room custom designed to contain for the world’s most mysterious astrologer (comfortably and safely, I might add—installing a juice bar was a wonderful idea!) I awoke at my desk with Mr. Mysterio’s newest “Hoboscopes” open on my laptop. Why does he do that? And, perhaps of greater importance, *how* does he do that? And supreme to either of those questions, is the fact that he does do it. Want proof? See Page 15.
Editor, The Contributor