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No. 352: Christopher Columbus

⁂ Nashville's Alt-Daily ⁂ Columbus Day · Campaigns · Funny Drunks · Wise Drunks · Much More!

📰 Here's what we're talking about today:
  • Intro Davis wishes everyone a Happy Columbus Day.
  • Nashville Megan previews what Democrats and Republicans will focus on heading into November.
  • Elsewhere We take a gander at some whacky news from the past week.
  • And More Should wise men get drunk? What did the ancient philosophers think?

Good morning, everyone.

Happy Columbus Day, everyone! It's probably impossible for us to really understand the mindset of Columbus and his 15th-century contemporaries. The world has changed immensely since then. Pointing this out may seem obvious, but you'd be surprised how quickly it's forgotten when judging the exploits of Columbus and the Spanish conquistadors that followed.

It's de rigueur to call Columbus, Cortes, and Pizarro racist or chauvinistic or some other modern epithet in order to cast their contributions in a negative light. What's ironic about such designations is that, for example, the Aztec Empire encountered by Cortes was far more deserving of these labels.

Last year, three parents, along with the Californians for Equal Rights Foundation, sued the California public school system for teaching students to pray and chant to Aztec gods. In relation to the claims, the special counsel on the case noted: "The human sacrifice, cutting out of human hearts, flaying of victims and wearing their skin, are a matter of historical record, along with sacrifices of war prisoners, and other repulsive acts and ceremonies the Aztecs conducted to honor their deities."

Imagine the horror one must have experienced upon decamping on a totally foreign continent and encountering rituals that hadn’t occurred on the European continent for centuries. Mel Gibson’s Apocalypto, which effectively pays homage to one such tribe without veering into hagiography, portrays the psychedelic, almost-alien nature of what it must’ve been like to witness these rituals up close.

That one must habitually launch apologetics for Columbus on Columbus Day instead of celebrating him is one of the more direct indications that things have radically shifted from when I dressed up as Christopher Columbus and a girl in my class dressed up as Pocahontas for the third-grade wax museum project. Is it possible that Columbus and those like him had a positive impact on the world? Or, are we to throw up our hands and basely accuse him of being another narcissistic white man from here to eternity?

I’d contend that it’s obviously more complicated than that. So, to all of us still intent on sheltering the light of civilization from the encroachment of the more base and brutal instincts, Happy Columbus Day!


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Also, be sure to check out our podcast. Available wherever you get your podcasts.

Thanks for reading.


⚤ Will Gender Transition Be On The Ballot?

Before we get into gender identity, let’s look at what Tennessee Democrats have been up to.


In this new post-Roe era we’ve seen reproductive rights take center stage in Democratic campaigns.  The strategy of Tennessee Democrats, such as US Congressional candidate Heidi Campbell (D-5) and Gubernatorial candidate Jason B. Martin, has been to activate and register single-issue voters. Tomorrow is the last day to register to vote and the entire Democratic party is in lockstep when it comes to this initiative.

Over the weekend, a “Women’s Wave” day of action took place in all fifty states, including marches in Nashville, Chattanooga, and Memphis. The rally’s promotional material included phrases like ​​”No matter your side of the aisle, women deserve our freedom and our right to choose”. The 420 events across the county were designed to rally supporters of reproductive rights ahead of the 2022 midterms.


Looking at the Right side of the aisle, apathy is the enemy. Trusted sources are expressing uneasiness over the lack of Republican initiative on the campaign trail. Apathetic Republican voters pose a threat to key GOP initiatives on the ballot, such as the Vote Yes On 1 campaign championing the codification of Right To Work in the state’s constitution. Just as Democratic candidates and media outlets are using the GOP’s silence to spin the meaning of Right To Work as anti-worker and anti-union, they are also framing Tennessee’s abortion laws as dangerous for victims of rape and incest.


Can the exposure of Vanderbilt University Medical Center’s (VUMC) gender clinic practices act as a political counterweight? Matt Walsh, the Daily Wire personality who originally exposed VUMC, thinks so. To catch up on the background of VUMC’s unfolding drama, you can check out the Pamphleteer’s coverage on the topic.


It looks as though Tennessee Republicans are about to kick into high gear. Walsh organized a  “RallyTo End Child Mutilation” on October 21st in Nashville which includes prominent Republican leaders such as TN House Majority Leader William Lamberth and TN Senate Majority Lead Jack Johnson.


Last week, General Skrmetti put out a press release and led a coalition of 20 states in opposing the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ decision to redefine “sex” to include “gender identity.” The change came after an Executive Order issued by President Biden.

“This regulation seeks to rewrite the law without going through the legislative process.  That’s not how our system works,” said General Skrmetti.  “This sort of unilateral action deprives the people of a voice in the process and undermines the legitimacy of federal law.”

Will the Tennessee GOP take up the charge on child transitioning practices heading into the election? We will find out over the next four weeks.


  • Vanderbilt pauses gender affirmation surgery for minors amid backlash (Tennessean) The moves occurs amid increasing scrutiny of its transgender health care clinic practices from Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee, along with other GOP and conservative religious leaders.
  • Tennessee Celebrates Record-Breaking Tourism (Star) According to data collected by the U.S. Travel Association and Tourism Economics, in 2021, tourism in Tennessee generated $24.2 billion in domestic and international travel spending, and travelers in Tennessee spent an estimated $66 million per day. Tennessee generated $1.9 billion in state and local tax revenue from travel
  • Nashville area sees 13.5% drop in home sales (Post) The Nashville area saw 3,478 home closings in September, a 13.5 percent decrease from the mark of the same month in 2021. There were 2,458 sales pending at the end of September, compared to 3,639 pending sales following the same month last year.
  • FBI Says Tennessee Ranks Third in Nation in Violent Crime (Star) According to the annual FBI report, the number of violent crimes per 100,000 people in Tennessee in 2021 was 674. The only regions with higher violent crime were Arkansas, averaging 708 violent crimes per 100,000 people, and Washington, D.C. at a whopping 968 violent crimes per 100,000 people.



  • Marathon Village Debuts Its Newest Multifamily Development In Nashville (Now Next)
  • Gulch project developer lands $52.7M permit (Post)
  • Status of long-planned Midtown project unclear (Post)
  • Madison site of ex-hospital could be sold (Post)
  • Mixed-use rezoning eyed for east side site (Post)
  • S.C. company eyes apartment building at 3rd & Lindsley site (Post)


  • A New York Times report claims that California's bullet train never got off the ground due to political dysfunction. A project manager for SNCF, the French national railroad, brought to California to advise on the project noted, "[SNCF] told the state they were leaving for North Africa, which was less politically dysfunctional. They went to Morocco and helped them build a rail system.”
  • HBO Max bizarrely photoshops cigarettes out of iconic Hollywood movie posters for movies like Fallen Angels and McCabe & Mrs. Miller. The war on Big Tobacco continues.
  • A Washington Post columnist penned an op-ed with the headline 'Trump’s flirtation with the n-word cannot be ignored'. Scary stuff! Apparently, Trump's joke about Putin flirting with the n-word (nuclear) was a bridge too far. The columnist muses, "But I’m skeptical that the folks who didn’t walk away after the Access Hollywood tape, the attacks against McConnell and Chao, or all the outrages in between would suddenly find their voice if Trump actually dropped the n-word. He’s getting awfully close, and we’ve barely heard a peep."



  • 🤡 PayPal has backtracked on a published policy that would have fined users $2,500 for spreading “misinformation,” claiming the update had gone out “in error.”
  • 💰 Republican control of either the House or Senate could jeopardize the Biden administration’s plans to expand the Internal Revenue Service, with GOP lawmakers positioned to withhold funding should they gain power.
  • 🇮🇷 Three weeks after antigovernment protests erupted across Iran—sparked by the death of a woman detained for allegedly violating the country’s strict Islamic dress code—the movement has proved more durable than previous challenges to Tehran’s leaders and could pose a continuing threat.
  • 🇫🇷 The French government has asked municipalities, households and companies to reduce their energy consumption by 10% over two years to counter Russia’s decision to cut the flow of natural gas to Europe. The Eiffel Tower, for sample,  is hitting the off switch early.
  • 📑 A new policy was implemented last week by the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS), which seeks to collect the addresses of gun purchasers in a bid to comply with new federal law.
  • 🗺 Mass immigration to the United States has pushed up the number of foreign-born voters across 75 percent of the nation’s critical swing states since 2016, new data shows.
  • 🇨🇳 The Biden administration published a sweeping set of export controls on Friday, including a measure to cut China off from certain semiconductor chips made anywhere in the world with U.S. equipment, vastly expanding its reach in its bid to slow Beijing's technological and military advances.


View our full event calendar here.

🍺 The Pamphleteer hosts Bar Hours on the third Thursday of every month (the next meeting is this Thursday, October 20th) at Lucky's 3 Star Bar from 6-8 PM.

👨🏻‍🌾 Check out the Pamphleteer farmer's market guide.

🎧 Listen to the Pamphleteer's Picks on Spotify, our playlist of the best bands playing in town this week.


🎩  History Class @ Bold Patriot Brewing, 5p, Info

🎸 Smashing Pumpkins @ Bridgestone, 6:30p, $44, Info

🎸 Harry Fontana @ American Legion Post 82, 7p, Free, Info

💀 Grateful Monday @ Acme Feed & Seed, 7p, Free, Info

🕺 Motown Monday @ The 5 Spot, 9p, $5, Info

🎹 Jazz Jam @ The Villager, 11p, Free, Info


🕯 W.I.T.C.H. @ Blue Room, (10/17), $15, Info
+ The biggest rock band in Zambia in the 1970s and spearheaded a new genre: Zamrock

🎻 Mozart & Tchaikovsky@ Schermerhorn, (10/28-29), $25+, Info

🎸 Smashing Pumpkins @ Bridgestone Arena, (10/10), $133+, Info
+ 90's alt-rock from Chicago

🎸 The Doobie Brothers @ Bridgestone Arena, (10/12), $43+, Info

🎺 Too Many Zooz @ Basement East, (10/31), $20, Info

🎸 Widespread Panic @ Bridgestone (10/30-31), Info

🌶 The Gypsy Kings @ The Ryman, (11/1), $39.50, Info
+ The roving band of flamenco guitarists

🎻 Beethoven's Pastoral Symphony @ Schermerhorn, (11/17-19), $26, Info

🎻 Sierra Farrell's NYE Circus Spectacular @ Brooklyn Bowl, (12/31), $35+, Info

🎙 Weyes Blood @ Brooklyn Bowl (2/22), $23+, Info



Steps to a Regional Food System
Nashville Grown is Laying Foundation
A Brief History of Nashville’s Parks
The Long View from Luke Lea Heights
Food Freedom Finally
New Bill Benefits Small Businesses, and Our Home State
Book Review: ‘Hot Spot: A Doctor’s Diary From the Pandemic’ by Alex Jahangir
Nashville’s “COVID Czar” reflects on the pandemic while refusing to own up to his mistakes
Benton’s Best
Tennessee’s King of Country Ham
Around the Web

✹ Will the Wise Man Get Drunk? An ancient philosophic controversy

Words of Wisdom
“E’en hell hath its peculiar laws.”


Today's newsletter is brought to you by Megan Podsiedlik (Nashville), Edward Landstreet (Local Noise), and Davis Hunt (everything else).