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No. 633: Nearing the End
Photo by Svetozar Cenisev / Unsplash

No. 633: Nearing the End

馃棑 Nearing the end 路 The man who appears in your dreams 路 Six bills on the docket for next year 路聽Much more!

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.


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Dream Scenario takes on Culture War schisms from the defiant middle.

From Jerod Hollyfield

Two weeks after the debut of The Daily Wire鈥檚 trans 鈥渟atire鈥 Lady Ballers, Twitter anon @culturaldrop made an oft-elided observation:  鈥淣othing (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.鈥 

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鈥檛 conform to party affiliation because they鈥檇 have nothing to say. The artist is a rogue taking the powers that be to task, but never forgetting their targets鈥 humanity. Such is why the Right鈥檚 culture industry could never come close to a movie like Kristoffer Borgli鈥檚 Dream Scenario.

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It鈥檚 that time of year again! Let鈥檚 take a look at a few bills state legislators have filed so far.


In the spirit of the holiday season, we鈥檒l kick it off with Rep. Jason Powell鈥檚 (D鈥揘ashville) bill to establish Brenda Lee鈥檚 鈥淩ocking Around the Christmas Tree鈥 as an official state holiday song.

In 1958, a thirteen-year-old Lee recorded the song at Owen Bradley鈥檚 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鈥檚 鈥淎ll I Want For Christmas is You,鈥 which has held the spot since 2019.


Rep. Gino Bulso (R鈥揃rentwood) 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鈥檚 an intriguing bill, especially given the recent congressional hearing on rising campus antisemitism. Claudine Gay, Harvard鈥檚 now infamous president, was asked about the university鈥檚 protocol, specifically regarding the decision to fly the Ukrainian flag over Harvard Yard last year.


Another timely bill is Rep. Patsy Hazelwood鈥檚 (R鈥 Chattanooga) Protect Tennessee Minors Act. Filed in the wake of General Skrmetti鈥檚 lawsuit against Meta, Hazelwood鈥檚 legislation would require entities distributing 鈥渕aterial harmful to minors鈥 within the state to employ 鈥渞easonable age verification methods.鈥 


On December 6th and 12th respectively, Maryville鈥檚 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 鈥渟tatewide political party or recognized minor party鈥; 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.


Rep. Jay Reedy of Erin filed a bill we鈥檙e interested in learning more about during General Assembly. It specifically 鈥減rohibits the Tennessee national guard, or a member of the national guard, from being released from state duty into federal active duty combat.鈥

The explanation provided in the caption of the bill says the only exceptions are if 鈥渢he United States congress has passed an official declaration of war or鈥 to expressly execute the laws of the union, repel an invasion, or suppress an insurrection.鈥


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鈥檚 Dream Hotel (NBJ)
  • Developer eyes Q2 start on short-term rental building (Post)
  • Pepsi warehouse on city鈥檚 west side sells for $27.69M (Post)


View our weekly film rundown here.

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

馃懆馃徎鈥嶐煂 Check out our Nashville farmer's market guide and our 2023 southern festival guide and 馃帴 2023 movie guide.


馃崁 Live Irish Music @ McNamara鈥檚 Irish Pub, 6p, Free, Info

馃幐 Kelly鈥檚 Heroes @ Robert鈥檚 Western World, 6:30p, Free, Info

馃幐 Open Mic @ Fox & Locke, 6:30p, Free, Info
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In case you missed it...

馃摪 Check out the full newsletter archive here.

No. 632: Vibe Check
馃槑 Checking the vibes of the racetrack 路 Last Metro Council meeting of the 路 Much more!
No. 631: On tonight鈥檚 docket
馃棑 Tonight at the Metro Council 猬嗭笍 Growth in Middle TN 馃崡 Arnold鈥檚 returns 馃摤 Much more!
No. 630: City Character
馃搮 Today, Davis talks about city character, Miles recaps yesterday鈥檚 disappointing Titans loss, and Megan looks at a study on housing in the city.
No. 629: Kicking Into Gear
馃巹 Christmas is upon us 馃巵 Gift guide 馃摎 Plenty Downtown Bookshop in Cookeville 馃殫 Is your car spying on you? 馃摤 Much more!
No. 628: The Tyranny of DEI
馃帗 DEI overreach 馃彨 Carol Swain responds 馃挜 Updates on Second Avenue 馃摤 Much more!


  • 馃摎 Plenty Downtown Bookshop furthers Cookeville鈥檚 quiet transformation into one of the state鈥檚 most impressive cultural hubs. (Read)
  • 馃巵 The Pamphleteer's 2023 Christmas Gift Guide (Read)
  • 馃彉 The double-edged sword of prosperity in Tennessee's small towns (Read)馃帪 The Pamphleteer's Fall 2023 Streaming Guide (Read)
  • And check out our podcast, YouTube, and article archive for more.