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No. 679: Lost in the Sauce
Photo by Daniele Levis Pelusi / Unsplash

No. 679: Lost in the Sauce

📅 Today, Davis talks about the arts, Jerod reviews The Zone of Interest, and Megan digs into Metropolis, the parking company everyone seems to have issues with.

Good afternoon, everyone.

Metro Arts Director Daniel Singh told WPLN News yesterday that he's officially on sick leave and has been since February 23rd due to "racism." In an email, he wrote:

I am entitled to and am on sick leave. CDC says Racism has a direct impact on the health of BIPOC Communities. The racist behavior of the Metro Government has affected my health. Your privilege is what lets you ask me about my sick leave use. At the 3-4-24 MHRC meeting, Rev Tucker talked about how metro arts staff have been weaponized. I am protecting my health from this toxic behavior. 

Recall our report on the antiracist initiatives Singh has spearheaded at Metro Arts; under Singh’s leadership, the organization has fallen into dysfunction. As WPLN News contributor Mack Linebaugh put it, "I find it all but impossible to understand what's really happening over at Metro Arts."

It is indeed difficult to track, but the dynamics of what’s transpiring at Metro Arts are important to understand and worthy of more exploration. The department is the beachhead of the progressive coalition's efforts to wrest control of the city.

You may laugh at Singh's language, but it resonates with an astonishingly large group of people within Metro Government.

Tangentially, I found Chris Rufo's conversation with Joe Rogan to be very insightful regarding the elevation of ideology above all else. A great excerpt can be viewed here




The Zone of Interest cuts deeper than its Nazi-alluding target audience would like to admit.

From Jerod Hollyfield

When The New Yorker sent philosopher Hannah Arendt to cover the trial of Adolf Eichmann, she summed up the experience of watching one of the Holocaust’s central organizers describe his complicity with a sense of the routine. The result was Arendt’s coining of the phrase “The banality of evil,” a concept that made the subsequent book Eichmann in Jerusalem: A Report on the Banality of Evil an enduring work of nonfiction. 

As Arendt wrote, “For when I speak of the banality of evil, I do so only on the strictly factual level, pointing to a phenomenon which stared one in the face at the trial. Eichmann was not Iago and not Macbeth, and nothing would have been farther from his mind than to determine with Richard III 'to prove a villain.' Except for an extraordinary diligence in looking out for his personal advancement, he had no motives at all… He merely, to put the matter colloquially, never realized what he was doing… It was sheer thoughtlessness—something by no means identical with stupidity—that predisposed him to become one of the greatest criminals of that period.” 

Though Arendt intended her comments to describe one of contemporary history’s most nefarious mass murderers, the concept should still shake us to our core. Eichmann perfected such banality in what was, for at least a time, the most stellar and efficient bureaucracy in world history. It was meant as an indictment of all of us strivers as we chased status and power unchecked. It was not the stuff of the dictatorial class, but a phrase that should continue to govern our ethics while we negotiate buying Chinese goods made by a gaggle of sweatshop children and shrug off daily injustices in our seemingly benign workplaces as merely trusting the process.

Continue reading...


Metropolis plays fast and loose with Music City patrons

From Megan Podsiedlik

“The goal is to be a next-generation parking operator.” That quote came from Ryan Hunt, former CEO of Premier Parking and current COO of Metropolis Technologies, an artificial-intelligence platform based out of East Nashville. 

Though the company touts its product as "artificial intelligence for the real world," the real world is having a bit of a problem with its automated parking enterprise. “Their technology works for them, but for the consumer it feels deceptive,” said Deborah Fisher, the executive director of the Tennessee Coalition for Open Government. A free speech advocate who regularly uses the Metropolis lot across from the state capitol, Fisher’s concerned about the unpredictability of the company’s prices, which sometimes fluctuate by the hour. “When you drive in, there's no sign,” she explained. “There's no electronic sign that says, ‘Hey, this is how much we're charging today.’”

After noticing unexpected parking charges on her account, Fisher filed complaints with both Metropolis and the Tennessee Division of Consumer Affairs. “Some days, it may be a flat rate, you know, whether you're there for an hour or eight hours,” Fisher was told by the company. “Sometimes they'll charge by the fifteen-minute increment. And you don't know.” 

Fisher isn’t the only patron who’s had a less-than-stellar experience with Metropolis. Last month, Chris Burger, founder of Rotunda Public Affairs, headed to the Ryman to enjoy a concert. His friend had picked him up, and Burger offered to pay for parking. Burger opened the Metropolis app, entered his friend’s license plate number under the company’s “temporary car” feature, and paid the “fifty-two dollars and odd cents to park there for the evening.”  Then disaster struck. After the show, Burger and his friend returned to a ticket on the windshield. He then opened the app to see two different fines posted to his account, totaling $224.89.

After spending hours navigating Metropolis’ cumbersome customer service process, filing a complaint, and rectifying the situation, Burger took to X to air his grievances with Hunt’s “next-generation parking operator.” His post garnered a number of responses echoing his complaints (“Yup, they scammed me as well,” one user commented. “This is one of the big reasons we don't go downtown anymore,” said another). The amount of negative comments about Metropolis in his replies was unsurprising, given that similar experiences have been reported since they started operating in 2022. 

Caught in the crosshairs is District 19 Councilmember Jacob Kupin, who’s received numerous complaints about the company. While speaking to the Pamphleteer about his attempts to intercede on behalf of his constituents, Kupin relayed his own poor experience with Metropolis: his car was booted by the company while on the campaign trail due to a year-old unpaid violation he was unaware of. 

Since taking office last fall, Kupin has spoken with the owners of Metropolis. “His position is people have been stealing parking for years,” Kupin said of Ryan Hunt. The council member then recanted Hunt’s reaction to the complaints. The COO would like to work out the kinks, said Kupin, but also feels “‘...the technology is really, really great. It's worth it.’”

As Metropolis continues to test out its technology on Nashvillians, customers are left to bear the brunt of the company’s shortcomings. “To make elderly people chase down their council person to try to get back $150 because they didn't know how to work QR code, to me, is not a look that I want for the city,” said Kupin.

The Pamphleteer has reached out to Metropolis for comment, but has yet to receive a response.


Steven Crowder Releases Bulletin Warning Agencies of Bomb Threat Targeting Trump Supporters (Star) The document was issued in response to a Guardian Incident Report received by the Memphis Office of the FBI on February 29, regarding a threat made by a man named Benjamin Matthew Dayton via text message to his mother.

Developer-backed bill to end wetlands protections shelved by Tennessee Senate (Lookout) A controversial bill to roll back protections on more than 430,000 acres wetlands in Tennessee has been effectively defeated, with a senate committee voting Wednesday to send the measure to a legislative study session over the summer.

House speaker to confer with legislative leaders, clerk about Justin Jones’ repeated committee absences (TNJ) Committee records show that Jones, a frequent and vocal critic of Sexton and Republicans, missed three of six Agriculture Committee meetings before the panel’s meeting on Wednesday, which he attended. Members are allowed no more than two excused absences.


  • Q&A: What’s Next For Demonbreun Hill In Nashville (Now Next)
  • RiverGate Mall listed for sale (Post)
  • Madison site adjacent to ex-hospital listed for $11M (Post)


View our calendar for the week here and our weekly film rundown here.

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

🎧 On Spotify: Pamphleteer's Picks, a playlist of our favorite bands in town this week.

👨🏻‍🌾 Check out our Nashville farmer's market guide.


🎻 West Side Story and Harlem @ Schermerhorn Symphony Center, 7:30p, $25+, Info

🎸 Andrew Pauley @ The Underdog, 6:30p, Free, Info
+ singer-songwriter

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

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

🎸 Open Mic @ Fox & Locke, 6:30p, Free, Info
+ vet community here

In case you missed it...

📰 Check out the full newsletter archive here.

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No. 675: On the Big Screen
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No. 674: Baby Bust
📅 Today, Davis talks about fertility rates and Megan breaks down the discussion around Rep. Gino Bulso’s flag bill.
No. 673: “Will you please stop?”
📅 Today, Davis delivers the quote of the day, Tyler reviews God & Country, and Megan examines how often MNPD plays the fall guy.


  • 🎞️ The Pamphleteer’s ten most anticipated films of 2024 (Read)
  • ⛪️ Rob Reiner's documentary on Christian Nationalism completely misses the mark (Read)
  • 🇸🇻 President Nayib Bukele’s historic transformation of El Salvador (Read)
  • ☢️ A small Tennessee town's forgotten history as a nuclear leader (Read)
  • And check out our podcast, YouTube, and article archive for more.