Good afternoon, everyone.
We're nearing the end of the year and hope everyone has some cozy Christmas plans lined up. We'll be taking all next week and part of the week after off. Tomorrow will be a year-end wrap-up newsletter.
Today, Jerod reviews Nicholas Cage's latest movie, Dream Scenario, and Megan takes a look at six bills on next year's General Assembly docket.
✹ THE PROFESSOR AND THE BUGMAN
From Jerod Hollyfield
Two weeks after the debut of The Daily Wire’s trans “satire” Lady Ballers, Twitter anon @culturaldrop made an oft-elided observation: “Nothing (culturally) the Right makes/promotes moves the needle because everything is viewed through an ideological lens instead of an aesthetic one. The right/conservatives are aesthetically inept. Always have been.”
While these comments could seemingly apply to the treasure trove of ideas-driven Oscar bait releasing during the holiday season like the upcoming Civil Rights biopic Rustin, self-proclaimed artists of the Right have shown an absolute inability to do much more than gift-wrap their ideas for an audience of the already devoted.
In truth, the makers of authentic culture, the kind that evokes emotion and parses out the unacknowledged truth of the world, can’t conform to party affiliation because they’d have nothing to say. The artist is a rogue taking the powers that be to task, but never forgetting their targets’ humanity. Such is why the Right’s culture industry could never come close to a movie like Kristoffer Borgli’s Dream Scenario.
❏ WE SAW SIX BILLS COME SAILING IN…
It’s that time of year again! Let’s take a look at a few bills state legislators have filed so far.
ROCKIN’ AROUND THE CHRISTMAS TREE
In the spirit of the holiday season, we’ll kick it off with Rep. Jason Powell’s (D–Nashville) bill to establish Brenda Lee’s “Rocking Around the Christmas Tree” as an official state holiday song.
In 1958, a thirteen-year-old Lee recorded the song at Owen Bradley’s Quonset Hut, the first commercial studio on what would become Music Row. The song made its debut on the Billboard Hot 100 chart for the first time in 1960, peaking at #14. But this year, the yuletide bop sat at #1 for a week, eclipsing Mariah Carey’s “All I Want For Christmas is You,” which has held the spot since 2019.
OLD GLORY, HALLELUJAH
Rep. Gino Bulso (R–Brentwood) is introducing a bill which would prohibit public schools from displaying any flags other than those representing the United States and Tennessee. Though Bulso filed the legislation back in November, it’s an intriguing bill, especially given the recent congressional hearing on rising campus antisemitism. Claudine Gay, Harvard’s now infamous president, was asked about the university’s protocol, specifically regarding the decision to fly the Ukrainian flag over Harvard Yard last year.
IT CAME UPON A WEBSITE CLEAR
Another timely bill is Rep. Patsy Hazelwood’s (R– Chattanooga) Protect Tennessee Minors Act. Filed in the wake of General Skrmetti’s lawsuit against Meta, Hazelwood’s legislation would require entities distributing “material harmful to minors” within the state to employ “reasonable age verification methods.”
I’M DREAMING OF A PARTISAN REGISTRATION
On December 6th and 12th respectively, Maryville’s Rep. Bryan Richey filed a couple bills that, if passed, would have a drastic effect on the election process in Tennessee. One bill would introduce a statewide partisan voter registration: effective upon becoming law, voters would have the choice to affiliate with a “statewide political party or recognized minor party”; if left blank, they would be registered as an "unaffiliated" voter. The other bill would significantly decrease the amount of petition signatures needed for a recognized minor party member to run for elected office.
IT’S BEGINNING TO LOOK A LOT LIKE SECESSION
Rep. Jay Reedy of Erin filed a bill we’re interested in learning more about during General Assembly. It specifically “prohibits the Tennessee national guard, or a member of the national guard, from being released from state duty into federal active duty combat.”
The explanation provided in the caption of the bill says the only exceptions are if “the United States congress has passed an official declaration of war or… to expressly execute the laws of the union, repel an invasion, or suppress an insurrection.”
Skrmetti Reveals Google Will Pay $700 Million to Settle Monopoly Lawsuit (Star) Tennessee Attorney General Jonathan Skrmetti revealed on Wednesday that a bipartisan coalition of attorneys general announced a $700 million agreement with Google to settle their lawsuit alleging the technology company engaged in anticompetitive practices to stifle competitors to its Google Play Store.
Nashville choir teacher emerges as Top 10 finalist for 2024 Grammy Music Educator of the Year (Channel 5) Jasmine Fripp, the choir teacher at KIPP Nashville Collegiate High School, has earned a well-deserved spot among the top 10 finalists for the award.
Which Tennessee student groups had the highest 2022 dropout rates? (Tennessean) Tennessee's overall dropout rate was 8.6% for the class of 2022, while its graduation rate was 89.8%. Data released last month by the Tennessee Department of Education showed the class of 2023 hit a record-high 90.6% graduation rate.
- Developer Closes On EdgehIll Property, Plans 355-Unit Development In Nashville (Now Next)
- Bill Gates' investment firm is the owner of downtown’s Dream Hotel (NBJ)
- Developer eyes Q2 start on short-term rental building (Post)
- Pepsi warehouse on city’s west side sells for $27.69M (Post)
THINGS TO DO
View our weekly film rundown here.
📅 Visit our On The Radar list to find upcoming events around Nashville.
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- And check out our podcast, YouTube, and article archive for more.