Wednesday, January 2, 2019

Memphis is Funny, 2018: The Year in Parody

Posted By on Wed, Jan 2, 2019 at 2:20 PM

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It's been a great year for Fly on the Wall's fake news team Davis Christopher and Peripheral Gibson. Together our parodists covered everything from Senator-elect Marsha Blackburn's hair being identified as a brain-eating alien parasite, to riverfront development. Here are the top 5 Fly on the Wall parodies of 2018, in no particular order.

1.Tom Lee Park Redesign 'Totally Unrelated To Atlantis' New Riverfront Chief Says
POSTED BY PERIPHERAL GIBSON

At a press conference in their Front Street headquarters on Tuesday, Carol Coletta, head of the Memphis River Parks Partnership (MRPP), previously called the Riverfront Development Corporation (RDC), told reporters that her organization’s plans to dramatically alter the landscape of Tom Lee Park have nothing to do with her predecessor’s ambitious project to raise the lost, subaquatic city-state of Atlantis from the depths of the Mississippi River.

“Our plan will activate the park space for all Memphians, and make it more attractive to Memphis In May festival goers,” said Coletta. “It’s totally unrelated to the RDC’s plans to raise Atlantis.”

Coletta joined the RDC in March, replacing Benny Lendermon, who had announced the public-private partnership's multimillion dollar plan to spend millions of dollars on targeted nuclear explosives that would trigger powerful earthquakes bringing the long hidden city/state of Atlantis back to the Above World, presumably to rule over a golden age of peace and prosperity for Memphis and the Mid-South region. *CLICK TO CONTINUE READING*

2. Men at War
Old Friends Won't Let Women Bring Them Down
POSTED BY DAVIS CHRISTOPHER


Gunner Armstrong shakes his head, and digs into his backpack to retrieve a freshly purchased bottle of pepper spray. “I don’t know how effective this stuff is,” he mumbles, pulling on his reading glasses and skimming the directions. “I had a friend in college who would get a couple of beers in him and squirt it in his mouth like it was breath freshener.”

Like many manly men today, Armstrong lives in abject terror. “You never can be too careful with women being what they are,” he says, expressing an increasingly common, and deeply masculine sentiment. At least twice a week Armstrong says he finds himself walking a block or more past his house, keys clenched firmly in his fist like claws, because he’s convinced a woman is following him home, possibly to accuse him of harassment. “At some point I’ll find a nice bright street light and stop there to pretend like I'm taking a phone call or something. I'll just let them walk on past, you know?” Armstrong says. “It’s probably all in my imagination. But like dad always said: better safe than hungover and accused of some bullshit you totally don’t remember doing.” CLICK TO CONTINUE READING.
3. Great Works of Literature as Written by the Shelby Co. Election Commission
With Help from The Memphis City Council
POSTED BY DAVIS CHRISTOPHER


Emboldened by national attention resulting from the careful and creative wording of current ballot amendments, the Shelby County Election Commission has committed considerable time and evident talent to improving the greatest works of world literature. While Fly on the Wall has yet to see a completed text, 5 first line samples were leaked this morning, revealing the epic scope of the Commission's City Council-aided writing project.

Moby- Dick
Herman Melville with the Shelby Co. Election Commission


“Shall Ishmael serve as a common spoken or chirographic signifier not expressly for greeting, but sometimes for gaining the narrator’s attention?” CLICK TO CONTINUE READING

4. Consultants Plan Monument To Consultants On Memphis Riverfront
POSTED BY PERIPHERAL GIBSON


Claiming they have “bridged the gap between perception and reality,” a group of consultants has proposed Consultants’ Park, which will be dedicated to the many consultants hired to determine what Memphis should do with its riverfront.

“Since 1924, the city of Memphis has been trying to figure out what to do with this unique space, which overlooks one of the largest, brownest bodies of water in the world, and also Arkansas,” says the Preamble to the Executive Summary of the 2,667-page report issued by the Memphis Riverfront Consultants’ Coalition (MRCC). “Like the hundreds of consultants who came before us, we puzzled about how to polish Mud Island into a Mud Diamond. Then, three days into our recent ayahuasca trance charette, it suddenly hit us. What is more dependable and integral to the Memphis Riverfront experience than the Big Muddy? For the last century, the answer has been, consultants. That’s why we are executing Consultants’ Park, a reminder to all Memphis and the world that consultants matter, and that they must be paid.” CLICK TO CONTINUE READING

5. Citizens Organize to Protect Neighborhood Bar With Wall, Moat
POSTED BY DAVIS CHRISTOPHER

Community organizer Bing Hampton knows his audience. "Big Development's not gonna get their grubby paws on Alex's Tavern," he shouts into his trusty bullhorn. There's no reason to believe developers of any size are looking to acquire the Jackson Avenue institution, but that did not allay the concerns of roughly two-dozen Midtowners who waved signs with all-cap messages like "THE DIVE MUST SURVIVE," and answered back, "Hell no." CLICK TO CONTINUE READING

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Friday, December 21, 2018

Commercial Appeal Shares Holiday Story of Messiah-Like Christmas Stocking

Posted By on Fri, Dec 21, 2018 at 11:20 AM

When the holidays get hectic and stressful it's good for the soul to pause and remember the true reason for the season: Selling shit. Anxious for this yearly opportunity to serve a special convergence of reader interest and advertiser need, many news organizations, including the one that publishes this blog, create special gift guides. That's why it's so nice that The Commercial Appeal went a completely different way and told the story of a magical Christmas stocking that suffers for your favorite cook.
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Wait, never mind. It's just another gift guide. That "suffers" bit was just a typo. Our bad. Fly on the Wall has been hoping for miracles lately, and we thought this might be one.

Dammit.

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Wednesday, December 12, 2018

MLK50 Tapped to Join ProPublica's Local Reporting Network

Posted By on Wed, Dec 12, 2018 at 10:15 AM

Wendi Thomas
  • Wendi Thomas
A rare bit of good news for Memphis-area media consumers, especially those with a taste for investigative work.

ProPublica
, the Pulitzer-winning digital newsroom focused on investigative journalism in the public interest, has selected Wendi Thomas and her MLK50 Justice Through Journalism project, to participate in year two of ProPublica’s Local Reporting Network. Thomas describes the announcement as a, “vote of confidence in the importance of this work.”

ProPublica’s Local News Network supports regional and local investigative journalism and MLK50 is one of 14 selected organizations.

From the ProPublica announcement:

"Through the program, participating reporters collaborate with ProPublica senior editors Charles Ornstein and Marilyn W. Thompson as they embark on investigative journalism within their communities. Two of the projects, based in Illinois, also will work with the staff of ProPublica Illinois. ProPublica reimburses one year’s salary and benefits for each of the participating reporters and also supports projects with its expertise in data, research and engagement elements of the work… Topics will include racial segregation, correctional facilities, emergency response, environmental regulation, profiteering and higher education." 

MLK50 is taking part in the general, local reporting category.

“While the past year has seen yet more cutbacks at local news organizations, the ProPublica Local Reporting Network has been a bright spot nationally,”  Ornstein said, in a written statement. “We couldn’t be happier with the accountability journalism produced by our inaugural class and are excited to pursue another year of investigative projects with moral force.”

ProPublica is a nonprofit newsroom and nearly 11 years old. It has been honored with four Pulitzer Prizes, three Peabody Awards, two Emmy Awards, and five George Polk Awards.

For more details about the partnership you can read MLK50's announcement here

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Monday, December 10, 2018

Comedian Benny Elbows Recovering After Shooting

Posted By on Mon, Dec 10, 2018 at 1:58 PM

The very tall Mr. B. Elbows steps over a fence. From a Memphis Flyer cover story about Memphis Comedy.
  • The very tall Mr. B. Elbows steps over a fence. From a Memphis Flyer cover story about Memphis Comedy.
"Instead of dick picks, send supportive messages without any expectation that it will lead to sex," Memphis comedian Ben Fredrick aka Benny Elbows says in a Facebook post. It sounds like somebody is on the road to recovery.

Fredrick was shot during a carjacking attempt and the bullet lodged in his liver. "Currently, I’m in no pain and on no pain medication. Thank you to everyone who has reached out or visited," he wrote in a separate post.

Fredrick performs with The Bluff City Liars and was recently instrumental in bringing Kids in the Hall co-founder Kevin McDonald to Memphis for workshops and a show.

A Gofundme page has been set up to help defray medical expenses.

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Friday, December 7, 2018

Hugh Freeze Talks About His Junk

"The Son of God, Jesus Christ, He Is The Only One I've Ever Met Who Can Handle My Junk"

Posted By on Fri, Dec 7, 2018 at 4:56 PM

Hugh Freeze
  • Hugh Freeze
"The son of God, Jesus Christ, He is the only one I've ever met who can handle my junk": Hugh Freeze, former coach for Briarcrest and Ole Miss who's been tapped to head Liberty University's football program.

Story here.

Make your own punchlines. Or retching noises.  

Stop, Look, Listen: Friedberg Germany Gives the King a Go

Posted By on Fri, Dec 7, 2018 at 2:04 PM

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Sure, turning your two Mississippi River bridges into a nightly light-show is awesome; all the cool cities are doing that sort of thing, and it's something Elvis would have wanted, I'm almost certain. But Friedberg, Germany, where Sergeant Presley was stationed from October 1958 to March 1960, has taken advantage of a more subtle lighting opportunity that out-Memphises Memphis.

Check it out.

Elvis Presley Platz (Elvis Presley Square) in Friedberg, has been equipped with Elvis-themed pedestrian traffic lights. Green dancing Elvis means go; red singing Elvis means stop.

Wouldn't it be nice to see some of these downtown with Rufus Thomas in caution yellow showing us how to "Push & Pull?"

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Thursday, December 6, 2018

Will The Commercial Appeal Face More Newsroom Layoffs?

Posted By on Thu, Dec 6, 2018 at 1:49 PM

Gannett: Newspapers lack resources to spellcheck their own names. Will likely cut more of these resources.
  • Gannett: Newspapers lack resources to spellcheck their own names. Will likely cut more of these resources.
Will The Commercial Appeal face more newsroom layoffs? Probably. Can the diminished daily newspaper withstand more cuts? It's hard to say. But before getting into any of that, I'd like to share a few of the things Maribel Wadsworth, president of USA Today Network, allegedly told Gannett employees during a company-wide conference call according to a report by The Nashville Scene. I'd then like to provide an easy to understand translation for folks who don't work in the print media and therefore won't be hip to the industry's famously colorful jargon.

• “As we continue this transition ... it's important to understand … that it will require us to think about our overall cost structure in alignment with profitability."

Translated: layoffs are coming.

• “Going forward, we will be a smaller company."

Translated: Layoffs are coming.

• “It’s gonna feel rocky at times. It just is. We just have to be very clear-eyed about that.”

Translated: Layoffs are coming.

Tennessean staffers were also told:

• “There is no plan for a mass layoff before Christmas.”

Translation: HAPPY NEW YEAR, SUCKERS!

None of this is surprising. Gannett's Q3 numbers weren't good. Digital growth isn't making up for losses in print and the company is looking to cut operating costs. In previous years, when the CA was a Scripps property, layoffs inevitably followed any efforts to recruit early retirees. It seems as though the trend will continue under Gannett. In November, a company-wide buyout offer targeted employees over 55 with more than 15-years experience. The deadline to take Gannett's offer of 30-35-weeks pay, and a possible bonus of up to $5,520 is December 10th. 

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