Sign up for newsletter >>
The Sound of Protest
Photo by Teemu Paananen / Unsplash

The Sound of Protest

馃摚 What's a protest look like 路聽Sidewalks to nowhere 路聽Three strikes, you're out 路聽Oracle's knighting 路 Much more!

Good afternoon, everyone. Hope your day is going well. It's nice out. Smell the flowers. Onward.


When we talk about the protests up at the capitol, what tends to go unmentioned is that they鈥檙e primarily driven by women. Before you blanch, that's just a statement of fact. Look at the photos from the state capitol yesterday. Go up there and see for yourself.

Some questions I鈥檓 interested in asking: Is the sex of the protestors irrelevant, or can it tell us something about the reactions to policies passed? What effect does it have on policy decisions? There was a damn "die-in" for chrissake, a statement that is almost entirely owed to women ("I'm literally dying").

One thing we can say with certainty is that it's the 鈥渙utdated鈥 code of chivalry that's stopping  men from criticizing these women in a manner that no man would be spared. Imagine if these protests were helmed by men.

I don鈥檛 think there鈥檚 a universe in which that would be the case, but just imagine for a second that there is. Do you think the public would be more or less sympathetic to their cause? Would they tolerate the crass political tourism that has defined the past year of anti-gun activism?

Most people will believe a cause is more worthy if women are protesting. It鈥檚 like the ancients鈥 practice of hiring professional mourners at a funeral to make the dead seem more loved and important. Additionally, as noted in an Axios article, 鈥 women playing visible roles in protests have become symbols of freedom and progress.鈥 A protest without women is no protest at all.

Christopher Hitchens has a great essay titled 鈥榃hy Women Aren鈥檛 Funny鈥 (before you balk, it鈥檚 a charming read). In the essay, he wonders what it is about the particular male and female predicaments that more readily cultivate a sense of humor in men than in women.

鈥淔or women, reproduction is, if not the only thing, certainly the main thing,鈥 he writes. 鈥淎part from giving them a very different attitude to filth and embarrassment, it also imbues them with the kind of seriousness and solemnity at which men can only goggle.鈥

鈥淭he question of funniness is essentially a secondary one,鈥 he later notes. 鈥淸Women] are innately aware of a higher calling that is no laughing matter.鈥 This isn鈥檛 directly related to the protests at the capitol, but betokens a line from Rudyard Kipling, which Hitchens invokes: 

And to serve that single issue,
Lest the generations fail,
The female of the species must be
Deadlier than the male.

None of this is to say that women cannot be funny, of course. I鈥檝e laughed at a woman before (I swear no one is holding a gun to my head), but for women, children and safety are no laughing matter. 鈥淚s there anything so utterly lacking in humor as a mother discussing her new child?鈥 wonders Hitchens.

So, when we peer up to the capitol, we see the women in our lives 鈥 saddled with the serious matter of birthing children, no matter what our culture does to diminish its importance 鈥 and our hearts soften. On one hand, you understand their anguish at the capitol, defending children from threats of violence. On the other, it鈥檚 taken too far. The histrionics are too much. The emotion has begun to interfere with our ability to reason as a governing body. 鈥淏abe, calm down,鈥 you sigh, bracing for a slap.

In a prior time, when your P.E. teacher was a hardened Vietnam Veteran with a square jaw and a bad smoking habit, the bill at the center of the recent performance 鈥 the dreaded teachers-with-guns bill 鈥 wouldn't have caused a stir. But that was a time when kids would drive to school with rifles on gun racks in the back of their pickups because they'd been out scouting deer before class.

Those days are over. What led to their death is a discussion for another time, but suffice it to say, the patriarchy is on the ropes. The matriarchy 鈥 or whatever you want to call it 鈥 is on the offensive, and there is nothing to negotiate here. Combine the gravity of children with the dictates of a political mission to 鈥渄estroy the patriarchy,鈥 and you get what we鈥檙e witnessing. Now, how about a little humor to lighten the mood. Ladies? DAVIS HUNT


馃毞 Sidewalks to Nowhere On the Tennessee Star Report, Ben Cunningham, founder of the Nashville Tea Party, pointed out that Mayor O鈥機onnell鈥檚 transit referendum may be illegal. Part of O鈥機onnell鈥檚 plan is to utilize the state鈥檚 IMPROVE Act funds to subsidize the plan. But, the IMPROVE Act, Cunningham says, only allows for increasing taxes through a voter referendum for mass transit systems 鈥 such as bus routes 鈥 and not for installing simple projects such as sidewalks and traffic signals. An interesting interview throughout with many good points. 

A graphic from the US Census Bureau shows how many people live and work in Davidson County, how many commute into Davidson County for work, and how many leave Davidson County for work in 2021.

Some napkin math on my end. In 2021, according to the Census Bureau, about 300,000 people commuted into Nashville from surrounding counties on any given day. An additional 215,000 commuted within Davidson County, while 104,000 commuted out of Davidson County. According to a 2022 assessment by the Tennessean, 2.5 percent of commuters use public transport to get to work.

We can safely assume that those commuting from surrounding counties, with rare exceptions, are not riding WeGo; neither are those leaving the county. So that leaves us with 2.5 percent of people commuting within Davidson County (or about 5,000 people). This doesn鈥檛 include the people who ride the bus purely for transport. If you include these riders, the number of people who use the bus on a given day is somewhere around 30,000 鈥 and that鈥檚 a generous estimate.

Now, let鈥檚 take the $3.1 billion price tag and divide it by the number of actual bus riders. That gives us a value of over $100,000 per bus rider. With that money, the city could buy each existing bus rider a few cars 鈥 which they鈥檇 probably prefer. DAVIS HUNT

鉁   鉁   鉁

鈿撅笍 Will Lee Strike Out This Session? Negotiations over Governor Lee鈥檚 franchise tax reform bill have resulted in a delay of game in the General Assembly. This morning, a joint conference committee meeting to discuss retroactive tax cuts for Tennessee businesses was bumped. According to the Tennessean, over half of these refunds would flow out-of-state; with this in mind, legislators have been haggling over whether the bill should require the revenue department to disclose claimants鈥- thus exposing exactly where the Tennessee tax dollars would go. For his part, Lee has come out against the change, claiming that the transparency would be 鈥unprecedented.鈥 This is the third time this year that the GA has thrown a curveball at one of the governor鈥檚 major initiatives. Will it result in another swing鈥 and a miss? MEGAN PODSIEDLIK

鉁   鉁   鉁

馃摳 Jones鈥 Personal Paparazzi 鈥淭hese are the odd dynamics on Tennessee's Capitol Hill,鈥 News5 investigative journalist Phil Williams posted yesterday. 鈥淩ep. Justin Jones brought [Justin Kanew] with him to record my interview.鈥 This isn鈥檛 the first time Kanew, the editor in chief of the Tennessee Holler, has been called out for being Jones鈥 personal tag-along. 鈥淚 mean listen, he goes with Justin Jones to the White House to record that,鈥 said Rep. Jeremy Faison (R-Cosby) of Kanew on the Climbing the Charts podcast. 鈥淭hat鈥檚 like Justin Jones鈥 personal PR guy.鈥

The irony is not lost on us, given that the Holler recently complained about being rejected from the press corps for the second time. 鈥淭he Capitol Hills Press Corps unanimously voted no on The Holler after I directly asked Kanew if he would agree to stop accepting campaign funds from Democrats and stop actively working to spike or support various legislative bills,鈥 AP鈥檚 Kimberlee Kruesi wrote on X. 鈥淗e refused to answer.鈥 MEGAN PODSIEDLIK

鉁   鉁   鉁

鉂わ笍 Ellison Knights Nashville The king has arrived. At long last, Oracle has made its presence known. During his first public appearance in Nashville, CEO Larry Ellison declared, "Nashville will ultimately be our world headquarters. It's the center of our future." Finally, the "Oracle" wordmark will grace the glimmering eaves of the River North development complex; the sun's rays never to be displaced by the bright, cherry-red opulence we associate with integrated database management systems. DAVIS HUNT


  • Mixed-Use Project To Engage Upcoming Fort Negley Master Plan In Nashville (Now Next)
  • Tennessee's Meta data farm to expand capacity for memes, photos, status updates (Tennessean)
  • L.A. retailer taps Fifth + Broadway for second Nashville shop (Post)


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

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

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

馃懆馃徎鈥嶐煂 Check out our Nashville farmer's market guide.


馃寣 The Otherworldly Sounds of the Steel Guitar @ The Blue Room, 8p, $23.30, Info
+ featuring Eddy Dunlap, Chris Scruggs, Russ Pahl and Whitten

馃幐 Great American Canyon Band @ Vinyl Tap, 6p, Free, Info
+ indie-folk duo

馃幐 Ty Segall @ Brooklyn Bowl, 8p, $30, Info
+ psych/ garage rock

馃捇 George Clanton @ The Mil - Canery Hall, 8p, $26, Info
+ vaporwave

馃獣 Bluegrass Night @ The American Legion Post 82, 7p, Free, Info