No. 398: It Was Written in the Stars
⁂ Nashville's Alt-Daily ⁂ Titans · Stars · Marketing · Council · NASCAR · Much More!
- Intro Davis concocts a highly original marketing scheme to end labor shortages once and for all.
- Nashville Megan reviews last night’s Metro Council meeting.
- And More An engrossing read on the rise and fall of NASCAR.
Good day, everyone.
I was telling a friend the other day that he should start charging people to come out and work on his farm. He could sell the experience as some kind of "health" retreat, wherein visitors stay for anywhere from one day to a whole week and do his chores for him the whole time under the guise of getting into shape, disconnecting from work, or some other variant of the many panaceas you see floating around these days.
Nathan Fielder had a similar idea, which he put to the test in his HBO show Nathan For You. In the show, Fielder consults with struggling business owners and uses his "expertise" to concoct schemes in order to help them with whatever issues they're facing. The schemes are often convoluted (and hilarious).
In one episode (posted below in the 'You May Also Like' section), Nathan consults with the owner of a moving company struggling to find workers. His solution? Create a fitness program (called The Movement) that extolls the health benefits of moving boxes around all day.
With an aggressive marketing campaign, a spokesperson pulled from a fitness convention, and a ghostwritten book that expresses the virtues of The Movement, Fielder hopes that eventually, people will eagerly show up to move boxes in order to improve their physique.
The same premise applies to the farm laborer experience. You could celebrate the health benefits of extended sun exposure, direct contact with fertile soil, and the healthy strain on the body from carrying buckets of water to and fro. You could even sell people on the humanitarian benefits– their workout will benefit others by contributing to the production of food! Sounds like a slam dunk to me.
Though intended as farce, these marketing strategies—getting someone to pay you for something that you should pay them for—are not absent from our waking life. Consider, ahem, the Titans stadium deal—wherein Titans President and CEO Burke Nihill has proclaimed that the new colosseum will be the "People's House".
He can't mean that literally. What rights will he furnish me for my paltry contribution to this new edifice on the East Bank of the Cumberland?
It's very clearly just some marketing gobbleldy-gook (similar to “pay me to work on my farm”) meant to sell the public on the expenditure of $1.26 billion in taxpayer money—the most taxpayer money ever used to fund an NFL stadium.
Unfortunately, being right about this sleight of hand won’t garner me any rights. Against whatever anyone says, the new Titans stadium seems fated to rise from the ashes of the old—like some plasticine phoenix shrouded in aluminum foil. From the moment we were all born, there was always going to be a new Titans stadium on the East Bank.
George Washington crossed the Delaware. Lee surrendered at Appomattox. The Titans got a new stadium.
More on all this—minus the theatrics—from Megan below.
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❍ IF THEY BUILD IT, WILL THEY COME?
“I am pleased that after a thorough review of the plan, a strong majority agree this deal is a win for Nashville taxpayers,” tweeted Mayor Cooper in a statement he released shortly after the council approved the non-binding term sheet for a new Titans stadium. Though the terms were passed by a two-thirds majority, eight council members voted “no” while three abstained. Additionally, out of the ten proposed amendments, only six made the cut and were added to the deal after much deliberation.
Amendment Number One Filed by CM Hurt and CM Styles, this amendment reiterates that women and minority-owned businesses are to be prioritized in the development of this deal.
Amendment Number Two Jeremiah Wooten, a Nashville teacher, encapsulated this amendment in a tweet, quipping: “Amendment two from CM Mendes and CM Toombs adds clear language that the non-binding resolution on the non-binding term sheet is, in fact, non-binding, and if you go spend money based on the non-binding statements included in the non-binding term sheet, it’s your own fault.”
Amendment Number Four Filed by CM Mendes, this amendment stipulates that any future extensions of a stadium lease should be considered by both the Titans and Metro government.
Amendment Number Six CM Suara addresses the possibility of a shortfall–or windfall–of funds generated by a new stadium deal.
- In the case of a shortfall, Metro will be responsible for covering the bond (but will be reimbursed). In the case of a windfall– as in, the revenue collected exceeds the amount needed for construction or maintenance– the funds will be used to accelerate the payment of the bond.
Amendment Number Seven Filed by CM Toombs and CM Styles, this amendment asks for the development of the East Bank and stadium to be done in good faith. In other words, they are asking for decisions to be economical so excess revenue can be funneled towards the general fund, and for the local partnerships and employment of Davidson County residents to be prioritized. This amendment also asks that a final term sheet agreement be presented to the council ten days prior to execution.
Amendment Number Nine (late-filed) This amendment would create a Nashville Needs Impact Fund from revenue generated by the naming rights shared by both the Titans and Metro government. According to CM VanReece, this fund will support things such as public education, public transit, affordable housing, and “gender equity” in sports.
Mike Jameson, the mayor’s director of legislative affairs, recited an email from Titans CEO and president, Burke Nihill: “We are thrilled with this amendment’s approach to direct a portion of the new and substantial financial benefit to key city challenges and opportunities.”
AMENDMENTS THAT DIDN’T MAKE THE CUT
Amendment Number Three CM Mendes made a political statement with this failed amendment. Its premise was to reallocate $50 million of the $500 million in bonds promised towards a cover stadium deal by the state to DCS. During his explanation, Mendes chalked up Mayor Cooper’s public claims that the stadium will be paid for by tourist dollars as “careless bunk.” Mendes sarcastically drove the point home: “. . . his view is that the $760M in revenue bonds is “free” to our families and tourists are paying all that money. Why not add $50 million more and make it $810 million?”
Amendment Number Five Also filed by CM Mendes, this failed amendment addressed the additional three-dollar ticket fee for non-Titans events. Mendes’ motion for the Metro government to regulate this ticket fee as an additional privilege tax (which would require a two-thirds vote for approval by the council) was rejected.
Amendment Number Eight This withdrawn amendment, filed by CM Benedict and others, addressed naming rights. Since late-filed amendment nine addressed this better, it was pulled from the legislation.
Amendment Number Ten (late-filed) Filed by CM O’Connell, this amendment could not be discussed due to multiple objections on the floor.
As per the Imagine East Bank Vision Plan, financing the construction and maintenance of a new stadium weighs heavily upon the area’s successful development. In another step closer to a new stadium build, the 1% hotel tax and $2.50 hotel occupancy fee was approved last night. Though the collection of this revenue does not begin until the final documents to construct the stadium are approved, this money is key to getting the ball rolling.
The question is: will the development of the East Bank be successful enough to sustain the momentum of this $3.4 billion boulder ($1.9-2.2 billion for construction of the new stadium + $1.3 billion in maintenance) in the future? More on this council meeting– plus a year-end wrap-up– to come tomorrow.
- Tennessee homelessness spiking compared to pre-pandemic count (WPLN) Just over 10,500 individuals were counted as homeless on one night in January 2022. That’s 45% higher than the same survey in 2020, and ranks as the third-largest percentage increase of any state. In January 2020, 7,256 Tennesseans were counted as homeless.
- VUMC sues inmate health provider for more than $5M (Post) In a complaint filed Dec. 16 in Davidson County Chancery Court, VUMC alleges that locally based incarcerated health care provider Wellpath (formerly known as Correct Care Solutions) breached their longstanding contract and underpaid for services for inmates from 2018 to the present.
- Dangerously cold wind chills headed to Middle Tennessee (Channel 5) High temperatures by Friday will only be in the teens and lower 20s, with overnight lows in the single digits.
- Metro Council could be downsized by Tennessee’s Republican legislature (WPLN) The Metro Council could get a lot smaller under an idea being floated in the Tennessee General Assembly, though this isn’t the first time the topic has come up.
- Feds plan to transport some migrants to Tennessee as Title 42 ends (Tennessean) Federal officials may plan to transport some migrants to Tennessee amid an ongoing legal battle over immigration policy, according to a statement released by Gov. Bill Lee on Tuesday.
- Dickerson Pike Development Nears Final Planning Stages In Nashville (Now Next)
- Model created for Y site skyscraper (Post)
- Centennial Park-area building sells for $2M (Post)
- Green Hills commercial site sells to Metro for $7.35M (Post)
- Property with Shoney’s history sells for $6.6M (Post)
❦ CHANGE OF HEART
When Gender Transitioners Turn Back
As growing numbers of former transgender youth turn their backs on transition, a trail of seemingly well-meaning affirmation lies in their wake. They look back on a chain of authority figures, peers, and influencers that spun their pubescent insecurities into a self-fulfilling narrative of being born in the wrong body. For these “detransitioners,” it took a series of painful consequences to realize they had made mistakes, which for some, cannot be undone.
Gender nonconformity has always existed, as has a vanishingly small cohort of youth whose disconnection from their assigned sex was severe enough to warrant treatment. But, by the mid-2010s, acknowledging this reality wasn’t enough. To accept “trans kids” was to affirm their identities and support them, no matter what — even if they hadn’t started puberty. Even if it meant placing them into a medical pipeline that begins with social transition and ends with elective surgical intervention. But now, in the aftermath of numerous medical scandals, a number of critics — including medical professionals, psychotherapists, and a group of former trans people known as “detransitioners” — argue that a line has been crossed.
This September, Vanderbilt University Medical Center faced a firestorm of criticism after reporting by the Daily Wire’s Matt Walsh uncovered that the Clinic for Transgender Health had been performing gender-affirming surgeries on minors as young as 14 years old. In one of the videos posted by Walsh, Dr. Shayne Taylor, a physician at the clinic, explains that the surgeries are “huge money makers” because they are labor intensive and require many follow-ups.
Within 24 hours, VUMC denied claims that they were acting unethically, stating that they require parental consent for anyone under 18 before temporarily disabling the clinic’s web page. Two weeks later, after mounting pressure from Tennessee’s Republican lawmakers, VUMC announced that they are pausing surgeries for minors to “review their practices.”
Since then, Senate Leader Jack Johnson and House Leader William Lamberth have respectively filed the assembly’s first bill of the upcoming session in January 2023, which seeks to prohibit gender transition surgery for minors. The move follows Florida's ban on gender-affirming care for minors. It’s hard to imagine this happening three years ago, when the aforementioned clinic celebrated its first year in business and Merriam-Webster chose as its Word of the Year the singular pronoun they. All the while, a burgeoning community of transgender people who have turned heel on their decision has begun to make itself known. These "detransitioners" have been subject to mockery, intimidation, and even death threats for exposing holes in the conversation surrounding trans issues.
It looks as if a new wave of public awareness around the excesses of gender ideology is finally cresting. But how did we go from apparently harmless notions of acceptance to full-blown obsession over allowing minors to surgically alter their bodies for life?
𝓧 CHART OF THE DAY: LABOR PARTICIPATION
⚔ MISSIVES ⚔
- 🏚 Single-family housing starts, which account for the bulk of homebuilding, dropped 4.1% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 828,000 units last month, the Commerce Department reported on Tuesday. Starts for housing projects with five units or more rose 4.8% to a rate of 584,000 units.
- 💸 Wells Fargo & Co. reached a $3.7 billion deal with regulators to resolve allegations that it harmed more than 16 million people with deposit accounts, auto loans and mortgages.
- 🔋 In a major boost for President Joe Biden's pledge to eliminate gas-powered vehicles from the sprawling federal fleet, the Postal Service said Tuesday it will sharply increase the number of electric-powered delivery trucks — and will go all-electric for new purchases starting in 2026.
- 🐦 Elon Musk said on Tuesday he will step down as chief executive of Twitter after finding a replacement. “I will resign as CEO as soon as I find someone foolish enough to take the job! After that, I will just run the software & servers teams,” Musk tweeted.
- 🪙 Core Scientific, one of the largest publicly traded crypto mining companies in the U.S., is filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in Texas early Wednesday morning. The move follows a year of plunging cryptocurrency prices and rising energy prices.
- 🇺🇦 Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy is preparing to visit Washington on Wednesday, according to three AP sources, in his first known trip outside the country since Russia’s invasion began in February.
THINGS TO DO
View the full calendar here.
👨🏻🌾 See your best options for winter farmer's markets on our farmer's market guide.
🎧 Listen to the Pamphleteer's Picks on Spotify, a playlist of our favorite bands in town each week.
🕯 It's a Wonderful Life is playing at the Belcourt everyday from Tuesday till Christmas day.
Check out the following Nashville event guides...
🎄 Christmas events
✨ New Years parties
⚽️ World Cup watch parties
🪕 Bluegrass Night @ The American Legion Post 82, 7p, Free, Info
ON THE RADAR
🎸 Widespread Panic @ Bridgestone, 12/30-31, Info
🪕 Sierra Farrell's NYE Circus Spectacular @ Brooklyn Bowl, 12/31, $35+, Info
🎻 Chopin & Rachmaninoff @ The Schermerhorn, 1/6-8, $43+, Info
+ Chopin's Piano Concerto No. 1 & Rachmaninoff's Symphonic Dances
🎸 Tedeschi Trucks Band @ Ryman, 1/23-25, 8p, $49.50, Info
🪕 Billy Strings @ Bridgestone, 1/24-25, 8p, $TBA Info
🪕 Billy Strings @ Ryman, 1/26, 8p, Info
+ Only elligible if you purchased a ticket to one of his previous nights' Bridgestone shows
🎙 Weyes Blood @ Brooklyn Bowl, 2/22, 8p $23+, Info
- In Conversation: Texas Slim (The Beef Initiative) (Listen)
Around the Web
It is now a mantra in conservative politics that the culture war is a class war. This is usually said to indicate that culture wars are fought along class lines, between largely wealthy urban dwellers in the creative class and the working class without college degrees. The decline and fall of NASCAR represents the pattern of dispossession that characterizes this class war. Working class institutions were taken over by suits and technocrats motivated by self-interest and the desire to appeal to the mainstream as opposed to their core constituency. With their enemies in control of these institutions, it was hard for the working class to fight back.
Source: The Decline and Fall of NASCAR
Wells King, 20 April 2022, Read Online
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Words of Wisdom
“Two of my favorite things are my steering wheel and my Remington rifle.”
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