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"I can't stop yawning!"

"I can't stop yawning!"

馃ケ I can't hear your concern over my yawn 路聽Antioch's retail theft problem 路聽Summer of carnage 路聽Streaming this week聽路聽Much more!

Good afternoon, everyone.

A crime-heavy newsletter this morning. But we've got streaming picks and our normal calendar down below if you want something more... palatable.


Much has been made about concerns over crime in Nashville to which I鈥檇 like to reintroduce, as I periodically do, the 鈥測awn鈥 as described by Jacob Siegel in Tablet

The yawn is an avoidance tactic that feigns moral and intellectual superiority while exhibiting dullness and cowardice. It is deployed when some flagrantly abnormal thing is occurring, which the sophisticated liberal is too sophisticated to defend outright鈥攕ince to do so would expose them to potential mockery and loss of status鈥攂ut too cowardly to condemn, since that would risk placing them on the wrong side of Progress. 

Leaders and pundits alike have yawned at everything from the opioid crisis to the ongoing assault on traditional gender norms for fear of being picked out of line and put up against the wall鈥攎etaphorically and reputationally, of course.

One rhetorical strategy the yawners will employ is to downplay the amount of criminal activity occurring, and instead, try to contextualize it compared to other kinds of crime in other areas. In response to mention of the uptick in violence on WeGo buses and at WeGo stations, a yawner might reply that violent incidents of road rage happen much more frequently than violent incidents on buses. Not to get too into the weeds here, but this particular argument is either ignorant (there are vastly more people driving cars than riding buses every day) or meant to diminish someone鈥檚 concern about safety on a bus.

Notice that when confronted by someone who addresses issues in this manner, they will never address the simple fact that it鈥檚 a problem, but instead try to diminish it (with data) and basically imply that you鈥檙e a pussy for bringing this up in the first place. 

The mayor鈥檚 office and WeGo officials will acknowledge that when it comes to keeping buses and bus stops safe, work needs to be done; however, both will also engage in dismissive statistical analysis, with claims that the buses are 鈥渞elatively鈥 safe given that the number of arrest-worthy incidents at bus stops so far this year 鈥 42, according to Axios 鈥 is still paltry compared to the estimated 30,000 people that ride the bus daily. That comes out to about 140 arrests per 100,000 riders six months into this year. For scale, MNPD had 2,450 physical arrests per 100,000 residents in all of 2022.

This number could be used to 鈥測awn鈥 at your concern about bus stop crime. Bus stops, from this vantage, are less dangerous than the city itself, but there are a number of 鈥渞ational鈥 rebuttals to this.

For one, the variety of crimes you can commit around a bus is fewer. You can鈥檛 steal a car or drive with a suspended license on a bus, for example. You only have a few options: rape, murder, burglary, or assault. The vast majority of physical arrests conducted by MNPD, on the other hand, are for non-violent crimes: everything from falling down drunk on Broadway to failing to appear in court for a speeding ticket. 

In other words, the crimes that might happen around buses are crimes that could happen to you. You could be a victim. The deployment of 鈥渁rrests鈥 in arguing for the safety of a bus instead of the more straightforward number of violent crimes that have happened on and around bus stops reveals an attempt to change the narrative and undermine your skepticism.

Axios Nashville put out a newsletter this morning addressing the number of crimes that have been happening on WeGo buses before undercutting whatever concern that might bring up with a graph showing the number of arrests on WeGo buses. At least have the decency to cover your mouth when you yawn, if you choose to do it. DAVIS HUNT

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馃泹锔 Retail Shoplifting Recidivism Over the weekend, a group of bystanders helped security officers trap shoplifters in a Perfumania at Antioch鈥檚 Tanger Outlets. Though it鈥檚 unclear whether the suspects were arrested, the civilians are being honored as everyday heroes after a video of the incident went viral on social media.

Since its opening last October, the shopping center has been plagued with incidents of theft; as the holiday season inched closer, shop employees and customers alike, weary from apprehension, demanded answers. During a roundtable on November 17th, Mayor O鈥機onnell announced he was coordinating a comprehensive review of MNPD鈥檚 efforts in apprehending suspects as well as 鈥渙ther parts of the criminal legal system.鈥

鈥淭his is the place where our local authority hits the discretion of the District Attorney's Office鈥攖he judiciary鈥攊n terms of what bond gets set, what the sentencing is, what charges get prosecuted, so we are invested in having all of those conversations,鈥 he told the press.

Five months later, MNPD has deduced that these incidents belong to a larger pattern. In the months following the mayor鈥檚 statement, the department's South Precinct has cracked down on what they refer to as an organized network of retail criminals who coordinate in advance. Though arrests are being made, it seems the system is lagging behind.

 鈥淲e鈥檝e got four or five groups that we鈥檝e identified that come to Tanger,鈥 South Precinct鈥檚 Commander Kevin Lovell told WKRN, adding that they鈥檝e identified nine chronic shoplifters who鈥檝e already been slapped with 131 charges. 鈥淎 lot of the people we were getting that were shoplifting at Tanger were also banned from places like Green Hills, Nashville One, Opry Mills.鈥

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馃帗 Summer of Carnage? School鈥檚 out in Nashville, and some worry last week鈥檚 tragic shooting at Red Caboose Park in Bellevue is a preview of what鈥檚 to come. So far this year, 16 percent of the county鈥檚 homicide victims have been teenagers who are, as Mayor O鈥機onnell said, familiar with one another.  

鈥淭hese were people having disagreements and conflicts,鈥 the mayor said last week. 鈥淭hey're not random acts of violence in many of the recent scenarios, but I think you've probably heard Chief Drake and I reflect several times already on the concerns that people are turning to extreme violence as part of the conflict resolution process.鈥

It was later revealed that the gun uncovered by an ATF dog at the Bellevue crime scene was stolen from a vehicle. Rather than ask why and how Nashville youths are getting their hands on stolen guns, Rep. Caleb Hemmer found a way to blame gun owners. 鈥淪ad, but not surprising, the Bellevue murder last week was with a gun stolen from a car,鈥 he posted on X. 鈥淭ennessee leads the nation in these senseless crimes and until gun owners are responsible and lock up their guns, these cause and effect murders will continue.鈥


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Off the Cuff


Our recommendations to help counteract the endless scrolling.

Somewhere in Queens (Hulu): Ray Romano directs, co-wrote, and stars in this proudly regionalist domestic drama about a working-class Italian-American family in Queens trying not to put too much pressure on one of their own when the teen basketball star has the chance to become a first-generation college student. As the proud father, Romano proves himself much more than a sitcom star while Laurie Metcalf somehow turns in a performance as the family matriarch to rival her work in Lady Bird. Touching, nuanced, and fully realized, it鈥檚 the most left-field comeback of the past few years. 

Ren Faire (Max): The most prestigious of the big streamers almost makes up for that ethically dubious Nickelodeon reality TV show with this docu-series about the power struggles that plague the Texas Renaissance Festival when its legendary leader retires. While it could have gone sour thanks to exploiting its oddballs ala Tiger King, director Lance Oppenheim and producers Josh and Bennie Safdie (Uncut Gems) maintain a respectful empathy with the participants that makes it an engaging piece of Americana. 

Stopmotion (AMC+) Ella (Aisling Franciosi) spent most of her career living in the shadow of her famous stop-motion filmmaker mother who recently succumbed to illness. But when she tries to finish the project that will be her family legacy on her own terms, she descends into the madness she鈥檚 staved off since childhood in this singular melding of live action and animation that didn鈥檛 get its due during its brief theatrical run last winter. JEROD HOLLYFIELD



View our calendar for the week here and our weekly film rundown here.

馃搮 Visit our On The Radar list to find upcoming events around Nashville.

馃帶 On Spotify: Pamphleteer's Picks, a playlist of our favorite bands in town this week.

馃懆馃徎鈥嶐煂 Check out our Nashville farmer's market guide and yearly festival guide.


馃幐 Martha Spencer and the Wonderland Country Band @ Dee's Lounge, 7p, $5, Info
+ Appalachian country singer

馃幐 Dreamer Boy @ Exit/In, 8p, $21.55, Info
+ indie pop

馃幒 Todd Day Wait @ The Underdog, 11:00p, Free, Info鈥屸屸屸屸屸屸屸屸屸屸屸屸屸屸屸屸屸
+ Honky Tonk Tuesday afterparty, down the street

馃幐 Honky Tonk Tuesday @ American Legion Post 82, 8p, Free, Info鈥屸屸屸屸屸屸屸屸屸屸屸屸屸屸屸屸屸
+ two-step lessons @ 7p, The Cowpokes @ 8p