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No. 624: The War on Pants
Photo by Alexander Andrews / Unsplash

No. 624: The War on Pants

👖 There's a war on pants 🎞 Anne Hathaway's latest performance 🚨 TBI human trafficking report 📬 Much more!

Good afternoon, everyone.

Hope you have a nice weekend planned. I don't get paid to say this, but Jack Donnelly has some great West Point Twill khakis for sale right now that I can't recommend more. If you're unfamiliar with our philosophy on pants over here,  just know that we like long-rises. Fight Big Pant and the tyranny of sinking waistlines by buying pants that fit.

A nice pair of Jack Donnelly slacks make a great Christmas present for the men in your life, especially if they are tall (they come with an unhemmed 39" inseam).

In other news, we're bringing back our happy hour next week on Thursday, December 14th at Von Elrod's in Germantown. We'll start drinking beer at 6 PM. Come by if you can and wear something Christmas-themed.

And finally, in today's newsletter, Jerod reviews the movie Eileen starring Anne Hathaway, Megan reviews the TBI’s human trafficking report, and we furnish our weekly film rundown.


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How a tense New England character study highlights the limits of local color.

From Jerod Hollyfield

When the organizers of Film Fest Knox announced the new event late last year, they added an eligibility requirement that set it apart from the thousands of other festivals across the nation: movies made in New York City or Los Angeles need not apply. While such a rule may seem arbitrary and even exclusionary to those unfamiliar with film festival culture, it directly addressed the long-gestating conflicts between such events and regional filmmaking communities. 

Independent film is a stepping stone, a lottery-like competition in which filmmakers from all over the country have a shot at the Hollywood big time. Those who kicked the dust of their crummy small towns off their feet for the big city often exploit their roots to gain traction despite the utter contempt they display for their pasts in every other facet of their lives. Likewise, prominent regional events like the Nashville Film Festival find themselves besieged each year by LA bottomfeeders with big-fish-small pond syndrome as they post their Broadway selfies and murmur that there’s actually more to do in cities like ours than they thought. 

Continue reading...


During this fall’s special session, the General Assembly passed a law requiring a report on human trafficking in Tennessee every December. Yesterday, the Tennessee Bureau of Investigations released some shocking year-over-year statistics.

Minor sex trafficking reports have increased twelve-fold from around 50 reports in 2016 to 650 in 2023. This is accompanied by an almost 500 percent increase in human trafficking tips/calls within the same time frame. Correspondingly, the state has steadily conducted more undercover sting operations year-over-year: so far, the Bureau has made 101 arrests this year alone. 

Since 2011, a number of bills addressing various issues under the umbrella of human trafficking have passed with bipartisan support following a survey conducted by TBI and Vanderbilt highlighting the issue. This includes the creation of the Human Trafficking Unit within the TBI, made up of nine specialized agents and assistants who focus exclusively on trafficking trends in Tennessee. 

The most recent data reflects the effect that new resources—such as a state trafficking hotline and funding for specialized training—have had on reports and tips about trafficking crimes. 


Most of the trafficking bills passed within the last decade have focused on solutions such as victim advocacy, harsher punishments for sex crimes, and granting funds to nonprofits that supplement the TBI’s work. This year, we can expect a request for more funding to help data analysts, considering there are so few HTU agents tending to the influx of tips and combing through darknet spaces. There may also be proposed jurisdictional changes when it comes to prosecuting human trafficking cases. 


Since the beginning of October, we’ve seen at least ten Pro-Palestinian events in Nashville; in fact, yet another one is expected to take place in Centennial Park this Saturday. As time has gone on, demonstrations have increased in both number and intensity, leading some to wonder how grassroots these demonstrations are. Who is behind this, and is the disruption by design? Here is part of a speech given on the steps of the Parthenon during November 11th’s rally by Ayesha Khan, a clinical microbiology fellow at Vanderbilt, protest organizer, and self-described anarchist.  

“Do you think that the… systems of the United States are created for you and designed for change? No, they are designed to maintain the status quo,” she told the thousands assembled at her feet. “They are designed to [trick] you into thinking that [you] can make a change by begging them for crumbs.”

She went on to say that the centers of power must be targeted. “Protests are the floor, not the ceiling,” she stated before encouraging the crowd to push back against “the oppressors, the genocidal government, the sellout politicians, the sellout celebrities, the colonizers, and the rich.”

Khan wears many hats. Aside from pursuing her studies in clinical microbiology, our “woke scientistcharges $150 for hour-long consulting/mentoring sessions to help “anyone trying to unplug from, cope with capitalism, and leverage any power you do have to dismantle systems via relationships and community building.”


Police warn of South American criminal group burglarizing Brentwood homes (WKRN) According to authorities, during the week of Thanksgiving, a new wave of burglaries took place. Most of the break-ins reportedly followed a similar pattern, taking place between 5 p.m. and 9 p.m. while the homeowners were running errands after work or going out to dinner.

Ogles Pays $5,750 Fine in FEC Settlement (Scene) The commission agreed to the fine in early October after assessing Ogles’ campaign with multiple penalties for missing and late-filed reports, illegal contributions and insufficient reporting documents.

Tennessee House Democrats call for federal investigation into '19 ESA vote (Center Square) The pilot, which began in Davidson and Shelby counties, passed in 2019 but was held up in court until it was implemented for the 2022-23 school year. Now, the Gov. Bill Lee and Republican lawmakers are pushing a statewide ESA proposal.


  • LG Development Group pays $14.1 million for Midtown site eyed for 20-story tower (NBJ)
  • Downtown tower eyed for Dolly Parton hotel (Post)
  • Midtown project lands permit (Post)


View our weekly film rundown here.

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

👨🏻‍🌾 Check out our Nashville farmer's market guide and our 2023 southern festival guide and 🎥 2023 movie guide.


🪕 The Cowpokes @ Acme Feed & Seed, 12p, Free, Info

🍀 Live Irish Music @ McNamara’s Irish Pub, 6p, Free, Info

🎸 Kelly’s Heroes @ Robert’s Western World, 6:30p, Free, Info

🎄 A Very Dave Barnes Christmas @ Schermerhorn, 7:30p, Info

🦅 Futurebirds @ Brooklyn Bowl, 8p, $40, Info
+ With special guest Carl Broemel


🎄 Dickens of a Christmas! @ Downtown Franklin, 10a, Free, Info

🍀 Live Irish Music @ McNamara’s Irish Pub, 6p, Free, Info

🎸 Kelly’s Heroes @ Robert’s Western World, 6:30p, Free, Info

🐴 49 Winchester @ Brooklyn Bowl, 8p, $50, Info

🎤 LeAnn Rimes @ Ryman Auditorium, 8p, $45, Info
+ A part of her Joy: The Holiday Tour


🎄 Dickens of a Christmas! @ Downtown Franklin, 11a, Free, Info

🪕 Sundays Between with Easy Green @ Tennessee Brew Works, 1p, Info
+ a bluegrass celebration of the music of the Grateful Dead

🪕 Bluegrass Jam @ Station Inn, 7p, Free, Info
+ a night for musicians and singers from all over the world to gather

🎄 Ricky Skaggs and Kentucky Thunder Christmas @ Ryman, 7:30p, Info

🎸 Timbo @ Robert's, 10:30p, Free, Info
+ Honky Tonk

✹ WEEKLY FILM RUNDOWN: December 8-14

The latest releases and special screenings hitting Music City this week. For a list of new and upcoming films, check out our 2023 Movie Guide.

Eileen An isolated prison guard (Thomasin McKenzie) in small-town Massachusetts finds her budding friendship with the facility’s new psychologist (Anne Hathaway) spiral into obsession as their professional and personal lives erode in impeccable noir fashion. Read our review here. Now playing at AMC Thoroughbred 20, Regal Green Hills 16, and Regal Opry Mills 20

Maestro Bradley Cooper’s Leonard Bernstein biopic will premiere on Netflix this Christmas, but The Belcourt has made it possible to see one of the year’s most formidable awards contenders on the big screen in an exclusive engagement. Now playing at the Belcourt.

Die Hard in Dolby Take some time out of the holiday season to see the action classic in a premium format. Then, skip the “Is it a Christmas movie?” debates because you don’t want to be that guy. Playing in Dolby at AMC Stones River 9 and AMC Thoroughbred 20 and in standard format at Regal and AMC

The Shop Around the Corner Jimmy Stewart and Margaret Sullavan star in the essential holiday romance from Hollywood’s heyday as two star-crossed lovers at a leather shop in Budapest. The movie that inspired You’ve Got Mail. Playing this weekend at The Belcourt

Love Actually 20th Anniversary Even if you hate the ultimate romantic comedy, it’s worth a watch just to spite the “Love Actually is problematic” crowd. Now playing in theaters. 

See the full list
In case you missed it...

📰 Check out the full newsletter archive here.

No. 623: Leadership in the New Age
📅 Today, Davis talks about civic leadership, Jerod reviews Ian Prior’s book Parents of the World Unite, and Megan discusses the city’s unsuccessful effort to build more sidewalks.
No. 622: It’s You
📅 Today, Davis talks about our democracy, and Megan recaps last night’s Metro Council meeting.
No. 621: Welcome to the big show
📅 Today, Davis talks about production budgets, Tyler reviews the new Daily Wire movie Lady Ballers, and Megan previews tonight’s Metro Council meeting.
No. 620: The Look of Confusion
📅 Today, Davis discusses the Lookout overthinking something simple, Porter and Miles each dig into some football news from the weekend in high school and college respectively, and Megan talks about the city’s failed participatory budgeting campaign.
No. 619: The City Built on Sand
📅 Today, Davis talks about building, Jerod reviews The Shift, and Megan catches us up with the latest on the manifesto and comments on another recent high-profile crime.


  • 🎓 A review of Ian Prior’s Parents of the World Unite!: How to Save Our Schools from the Left’s Radical Agenda (Read)
  • 🏀 Review: Daily Wire's Lady Ballers, he conservative company tries to trigger their way to the top (Read)
  • 🌄 A review of Jeff Fynn-Paul’s Not Stolen: The Truth About European Colonialism in the New World (Read)
  • 🎞 The Pamphleteer's Fall 2023 Streaming Guide (Read)
  • And check out our podcast, YouTube, and article archive for more.