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No. 685: Mutiny On the Bounty

No. 685: Mutiny On the Bounty

📅 Today, Davis gives a Metro Arts update, Jerod reviews Poor Things, and Megan talks about the birds and the bees.

Good afternoon, everyone.

This morning, Arts Commission member Will Cheek announced that he would be resigning his post. In an email to Mayor O'Connell and the other arts commissioners, Cheek cites "death threats" and "intimidation" stemming from his opposition to Daniel Singh's initiative to "increase equity" in the funding process. Back in January, we reported on Singh's initiative to remake Metro Arts into a vessel for antiracism.

The resignation comes as a resolution put forward by CM Joy Styles and sponsored by CMs Jacob Kupin, Erin Evans, Ginny Welsch, Terry Vo, Jordan Huffman, Rollin Horton, and Russ Bradford sought to remove Cheek from the art's commission. The resolution cites Cheek's unwillingness to play ball in expanding equity in the department as the grounds for his removal, referring to the Metro Arts Cultural Equity Statement to make the case.

I could make some jokes here, but all I'm going to do is point you to a public statement made during the Metro Arts Oversight Committee meeting earlier this week in which much blame was placed on Cheek for failures that, by other accounts, arise from director Daniel Singh's poor leadership. Drink every time you hear "white supremacy."

As Metro Finance carries out its financial audit of Metro Arts, it will be interesting to see if this uneasy coalition that has emerged to deflect blame from Singh will persist. I'm feeling bearish about the whole thing and am taking up a short position on this mutiny.




The response to Poor Things exposes our inability to talk about art that defies ideology.

From Jerod Hollyfield

The meme hit the conservative influencer circuit around the same time Poor Things earned 11 Oscar nominations: “You watched [The Hunger Games, Star Wars, The MatrixDivergent, V for Vendetta] and sided with the resistance. When it’s fiction you understand. Yet you refuse to see it when it’s the reality you’re living in.” It was supposed to be an incursion, taking direct aim at the movies the libs love and calling attention to their hypocrisy. Yet, its novelty largely resulted from the fact that it’s likely the most nuanced piece of cultural critique to come from the mainstream Right beyond the pages of The New Criterion

The problem with the meme is not its central argument, but that it reveals the general lack of curiosity at the heart of a movement that seeks to stoke the flames of the culture. Such a movement displays neither the intellectual curiosity to engage with texts or the demonstrated ability to seek out the breadth of options beyond the blockbusters the Hollywood they build their brand decrying churns out from every year with little variation.

Its interventions into cultural critique can’t even be bothered to peruse Alan Moore’s graphic novel or the YA bestsellers on which two of the aforementioned films are based. Like a Religious Right that only expressed concern about Philip Pullman’s The Golden Compass as atheist propaganda when the movie hit theaters twelve years after the book’s debut, such posturing says more about the precarious intellectual foundations of mainstream conservatism than the objects of its ire. 

Continue reading...


From Megan Podsiedlik

This week, while the minstrels continue to be banished from court, the protection detail for their prison-jacketed friends may increase. Of course I’m talking about downtown’s purple martins and the state’s bee population.

On Tuesday, Axios’ Nate Rau announced that “ten Metro-owned trees near the Schermerhorn Symphony property will soon be cut down in the next chapter of the epic battle to redirect a massive flock of purple martins.” Part of the swallow family and a symbol of good luck, the large, barrel-chested songbirds have chosen to roost near the downtown music hall for the past four summers. 

Unfortunately, they create a filthy mess: by the time July rolls around, bird droppings litter the sidewalks in front of the property, and its outside structure. Further complicating matters is the composition of the Symphony: the building is made of 26,000 pieces of Indiana limestone, which is particularly difficult to clean because of the rock’s sensitivity to acids. The lengths the Symphony has gone to clean up after their flighty tenants’ has cost them upwards of $60,000.

“These birds have an advance team,” joked Councilmember Sean Parker on X, formerly known as Twitter. He was referencing Rau’s warning that “time is of the essence because purple martins send scouts in the coming weeks to select the spot where they will roost next.”

When the Symphony began this endeavor back in 2022, they destroyed 31 trees in front of the property, assuring Nashvillians that they’d replace the trees once the birds found a new place to roost. Considering the plan didn’t work, one can’t help but chuckle a bit at their recycled resolve. Continuously removing and replanting copses of trees to keep birds from pooping on a building sounds less like public policy and more like a Tom and Jerry episode. 

While the powers that be seem to be bent on buffering their brooding bird problem, Tennessee bees seem to be faring a bit better than their plucky pals. The House Criminal Justice Subcommittee heard a bill this week that would make stealing bees and hive equipment a felony. 

Honey heists have increasingly become problem over the last few years, in Tennessee and beyond. We aren’t talking crude operations here—many attempts require carefully coordinated planning and heavy equipment in order to steal the hundreds of pounds of colonies and equipment. In Tennessee, some hiverunners have gotten away with over $15,000 in stolen goods in just one hit. The growing threat has inspired many beekeepers to airtag their brood boxes. 

Some took to X to scoff at the bill: “Why does everything have to be a felony good grief,” one user posted. Another concluded that the bill could be a ploy sponsored by the state GOP, “Because in the state of TN, felons cannot vote.”

The bill passed House committee with bipartisan support, heckles from the online peanut gallery notwithstanding. “I want to thank you for the bill, because one of the problems that we have is…the loss of bees and their ability to pollinate and keep balance in our environment.” said Rep. G. A. Hardaway (D-Memphis). He expressed his support for “anything that we can do to protect them, keep them with people who know what they're doing—beekeepers that know what they're doing— and are able to care for them and keep them off the black market.”

In the end, it all really does just come down to the birds and the bees.


Democrat State Rep. Justin Jones Admitted He Walked ‘Across the Border’ with an Illegal Alien (Star) State Representative Justin Jones (D-Nashville) admitted on the floor of the Tennessee House of Representatives on Thursday that he walked “across the border” with an illegal alien named Javier after visiting a migrant caravan camp in Mexico last week.

Ohio, Kentucky, Tennessee sue SEC to stop new climate rule (Center Square) The suit, filed by Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost on behalf of the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation, asks the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit in Cincinnati to stop the SEC from “overstepping its authority by meddling in environmental policy,” according to a news release.

Top Fairgrounds Official Angles Against Affordable Housing (Scene) Jasper Hendricks, chair of Nashville’s Fair Commissioners Board, is attempting to quash a proposed Metro Charter amendment as it heads toward a referendum vote in November. The amendment would swap affordable housing with auto racing as a required Nashville Fairgrounds use.


  • Hilton to pay $210M for Graduate hotel business (Post)
  • Residential project targeted for The Nations (Post)
  • Hotel planned for east side property (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.


🎸 Dan Spencer @ Springwater, 6p, $10, Info
+ beloved local singer-songwriter

🎸 Frail Body @ DRKMTTR, 7p, $12, Info
+ hardcore/punk that embodies the spirit and soul of what many define as "screamo"

✨ WXNA's X-Posure Presents: High Vibrations @ The Blue Room, 7p, $15.54, Info
+ an evening of eclectic sounds feat: Michael Hix, Eve Maret, The Robe, Rod Preacherman McGaha and more

🪕 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


The latest releases and special screenings hitting Music City this week. For a complete list of upcoming releases, check out our 2024 Film Guide

Arthur The King Mark Wahlberg stars as a triathlete who befriends a dog during a grueling race in this inspirational drama based on a true story.

One Life Anthony Hopkins plays real-life unsung hero Nicky Winton who convinced the British and Czech governments to rescue Jewish children before Nazi occupation but remained haunted by those he couldn’t save. It’s inarguably more crowd-pleasing than The Zone of Interest, but all reviews indicate Hopkins is on point. Now playing in theaters.

Problemista Tilda Swinton does for the art world what The Devil Wears Prada did for Vogue in this hilariously surreal A24 tale about an aspiring El Salvadorian toymaker who must rely on his boss’s every whim to keep his visa. Now playing at The Belcourt

The Settlers Chile gets its own revisionist western that finds the titular settlers and their British commanders tasked with clearing the indigenous population off an aristocrat’s land. Now playing at The Belcourt

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

📰 Check out the full newsletter archive here.

No. 684: Dispatch from the Road
📅 Today, Davis is in NYC, Jerod reveals the ten best movies from last year, and Megan looks at a piece of legislation regarding farm easements.
No. 683: Number by Number Initiatives
🗓️ Davis talks about how to market a government initiative, and Megan details one of those initiatives.
No. 682: Raw and Uncut
📅 Today, Davis talks about raw milk and attitudes toward health, and Megan breaks down why Mayor O’Connell is so adamant about pushing his transit referendum right now.
No. 680: Out on the Weekend
🗓️ Megan recaps the council, Jerod reviews a poetry collection, and our weekly film rundown.
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.


  • 🎞️ The Pamphleteer’s ten most anticipated films of 2024 (Read)
  • 🏠 The Zone of Interest cuts deeper than its Nazi-alluding target audience would like to admit. (Read)
  • ⛪️ Rob Reiner's documentary on Christian Nationalism completely misses the mark (Read)
  • ☢️ A small Tennessee town's forgotten history as a nuclear leader (Read)
  • And check out our podcast, YouTube, and article archive for more.