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Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Nobody's Banned "Gone With The Wind" in Memphis — Even if the Commercial Appeal Says So

Posted By on Tue, Aug 29, 2017 at 5:21 PM

Beefed up security at the Orpheum.
  • Beefed up security at the Orpheum.
Let's talk about the B-word. No. Let's talk about the C-word.

No.

Let's talk about the fact that there's an armed guard in front of the Orpheum protecting folks with families who spend their days booking Broadway shows, coordinating the High School Musical Awards, developing concert programs, planning summer camps and curating a popular film series. That's a dangerous job now, apparently, and media — local and otherwise — only add fuel to the fire by misrepresenting what happened there this week when it was announced that, after a good, 34-year run, the Downtown playhouse would drop Gone With the Wind from its popular Summer film series. No matter what you may have read at The Commercial Appeal's website this week, nothing has been banned in Memphis. Not Gone With the Wind or anything else. The word "banned" implies a kind of authority the good folks at the Orpheum just don't have over the distribution and screening of media in Memphis. Any mainstream media that uses that word chooses to pour fuel on a fire that, judging from the presence of the guard out front, may get somebody —probably not the author or editor — burned.
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The Orpheum did what every cultural institution in the country does every single day. The staff made a curatorial decision — a decision that would be valid even if Gone With the Wind wasn't controversial. Why should Gone With the Wind be a tradition and not Selma? Or Bambi or The Big Lebowski for that matter? Why should there always be room for Gone With the Wind and never room for Faulkner's Intruder in the Dust, which is more regionally appropriate, and tells a different and more vital story of the American South than the blazing, over-the-top romance of Gone With the Wind.

Never heard of Intruder in the Dust you say? This is why we curate. We also curate because culture shifts, what's relevant now may not be relevant 5-minutes from now. And relevant or not, a 4-hour film like GWTW is ultimately a less valuable  investment for theaters like the Orpheum than a 90-minute flick that also sells out. Mad Max: Fury Road, for example, would save the Orpheum two full hours-worth of overhead on everything from labor to utilities.


So many popular films have been made since 1939, and there are only so many slots on the Orpheum's Summer series. While there's nothing wrong with reviving  popular films, there are too many great films to choose from to guarantee any one a permanent spot on any lineup. Unless, of course, that film somehow speaks  to a community's identity and has a renewing effect for those who attend. If Gone With the Wind is that film, what does it say about our community?
What fresh bullshit is this?
  • What fresh bullshit is this?
Let's also take a minute to talk about propaganda like this article that begins with an admission by the author that, in 2014, he warned everybody that the Left would ban Mel Brooks' Blazing Saddles — a paranoid fantasy that hasn't, and isn't likely to come to pass anytime soon. His proof: OMG Look what happened to Disney's Song of the South!

The stat, referenced by Alt-Right-friendly Breitbart, comes from a 75th-Anniversary survey by YouGov.com, a digital polling site described here as, "An online global community of people who like to share their views and opinions on life... marketed more towards individuals who wish to express their opinions about current events and controversial topics." It's an "opinions for prizes" shop so we're looking at a self-selecting sample in a celebratory context, and maybe not an accurate, contextualized example of community opinion.  The money quote:

"If there is one last bastion of racism still accepted in America, it is the racial condescension we always see from the left, this constant treating of minorities, especially blacks, as children who are unable to deal with a statue or a word or a movie."

The problem here is pretty basic — and ironic. Unlike the practically homogenous Right, fighting to uphold this film and its paternalistic race narratives — the Left is made of minorities as sure as Soylent Green (another slot-worthy film) is made of people.

There's an even bigger problem with this kind of hysterical, and historically unsupported crankmongering. Let's forget how easily this rhetoric comes apart by inserting nouns like Watermelon and Fried Chicken in place of Gone With the Wind in the headline, and for the sake of argument, let's accept Breitbart's highly questionable stats at face value. Let's allow that 73% of African-Americans do, in fact, love Gone With the Wind so much they want to marry it and have its babies, whether they know anything about birthing or not. So what? That stat doesn't mean the film's cultural value merits a guaranteed slot on any Summer film series any more than any other classic or popular film. It's a meaningless number used in the service of specious rhetoric.

Did I mention that there's an armed security guard in front of the Orpheum? Because there is. Because the folks over there made what should be the kind of uncontroversial curatorial decision that is 100% their's to make. Whether it's in light of the tragedy in Charlottesville, or just because it's Tuesday. Now people feel endangered because this vintage playhouse — a true Southern cultural treasure — wants to mix things up, expanding its offerings and its audience in the process. It's bad enough that propaganda organs like Breitbart have become so influential. But it's shameful when local media turns up the pressure by reenforcing false narratives with badly chosen language.



UPDATE: To be fair as I can be the CA's John Beifuss has done great work all around. The CA's issues stem from Gannett and a culture defined by consolidation not community.







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Monday, August 28, 2017

Real Gone: The Orpheum vs. Gone With the Wind, Social Media Roundup

Posted By on Mon, Aug 28, 2017 at 11:34 AM

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Friday, August 4, 2017

Shelby Co. D.A. Has Twitter Meltdown, Internet Watches

Posted By on Fri, Aug 4, 2017 at 12:34 PM

Shelby County District Attorney Amy Weirich. - JUSTIN FOX BURKS
  • Justin Fox Burks
  • Shelby County District Attorney Amy Weirich.

Thursday, July 6, 2017

All Buttholes Considered: The Imagine Cafe Story in Tweets

Posted By on Thu, Jul 6, 2017 at 4:00 PM

Lifted from Imagine Butthole Cafe
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Thursday, June 29, 2017

John Daly Seen as a Renaissance Painting

Posted By on Thu, Jun 29, 2017 at 10:24 AM

The best thing that happened on Twitter yesterday involved a vintage photograph of Memphis golfer John Daly (Yes, he's still alive), and a streaker with the word "HOLE" painted over his bum. The shot's from the 1995 British Open at St. Andrews.

It started with this which, as the tweet suggests, is basically a Renaissance painting.
Discussion commenced. Convincing proofs offered.
Filters were added.
Oh brave new world that has such people in it... 
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Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Drax the Destroyer Guest Tweets for MLGW?

Posted By on Wed, May 31, 2017 at 1:40 PM

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Judging by a recent round of defensive, hyper-literal tweets from the official MLGW account, it would appear that Memphis' public utility has hired in Drax the Destroyer to man social media during this period of post-storm crisis. Drax, the blunt alien powerhouse who struggles to understand metaphor and most figurative language, responded negatively to a tweet by Memphis newsie Joyce Peterson. When Peterson accurately explained how "45,000 customers without power" means more than 45,000 people remain in the dark, Drax answered back sharply:  "This tweet is unequivocally wrong and malicious."
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After a number of Twitter uses invited Drax to munch a chill pill MLGW's guest tweeter doubled down on his initial pronouncement: "Our customer is not a house or an apartment building. Our customers of record are people who have families, employees, and customers."
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While it's cool of MLGW to bring in such a big celebrity and card-carrying Guardian of the Galaxy, the PR gig may not be a good fit for Drax's skill set, which is basically destroying things.

Insert your own "covfefe" joke here.

Friday, March 24, 2017

MAF Has a New Meaning: Memphis Ass Farm

Posted By on Fri, Mar 24, 2017 at 12:04 PM

EMILY YELLIN
  • Emily Yellin
Sometimes captioning goes wrong. Sometimes a line like, "Hotter than Memphis Asphalt," becomes, "Hotter than Memphis Ass Farm." Okay, that only happened once, on an episode of Sun Records. Of course the Internet caught it right away. Thanks Internet

Friday, January 6, 2017

Pooping With WMC's Andy Wise

Posted By on Fri, Jan 6, 2017 at 1:09 PM

Look how they follow you.
  • Look how they follow you.
WMC consumer investigator Andy Wise is many things — a survivor; a humanitarian; and a Christian martyr.  In addition to all of that, he's also an office pooper who knows how to deliver the "ew."

At least, in another tweet, Mr. "On your side," finally answered a question I've been asking for a long time — What kind of crime won't WMC over-report and sensationalize? Unless, you know, he IS the Riddler...

via GIPHY


Thursday, January 5, 2017

The Strange Case of Marsha Blackburn and the Exploding Cigar

Posted By on Thu, Jan 5, 2017 at 1:54 PM

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Evil scientist Marsha Blackburn lit up a fat cat Twitter cigar yesterday and BAM! Right in the face.

Obviously, it's not hard to troll online polls and Democrats are motivated. But, as previously uninsured folks stare down the very real chance of losing their recently insured status, it's hard to say the soot and tobacco all over Blackburn's pinched, bitter face is completely devoid of meaning.

How can it be that Republicans, after opposing the Affordable Care Act tooth and nail for six years, haven't got an alternative? I mean, aside from the obvious fact that none of them care if Uncle Phil gets his medicine or not because he should have worked harder when he was healthy. Duh.

It's because Obamacare was the workable Republican plan, they only hated it because — Obama. And no matter how hard the kleptocracy scrambles, they can't come up with something just as conflicted and industry forward that looks completely different to consumers who'll experience zero value from less Medicaid or potentially disastrous tort reform.

So, as the great unraveling gets underway, let's all have a good laugh at Marsha's exploding cigar. It'll be her turn to laugh when we're all crawling with something expensive and incurable.

Friday, December 2, 2016

Tony Allen's Big D Beats Stiff Competition

Posted By on Fri, Dec 2, 2016 at 11:39 AM

via GIPHY

Sometimes tweets have two meanings.
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Monday, November 21, 2016

A Useful GIF of Andy Wise Saying, "We're Here."

Posted By on Mon, Nov 21, 2016 at 1:02 PM

WMC's consumer investigator Andy Wise got an IKEA preview last week. Wise previewed that preview by tweeting this GIF, which really deserves an afterlife. Share it Memphis. Use it well.
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Tuesday, November 15, 2016

"KKK More American than Obama" — Deputy Director of Finance for Shelby County Corrections.

Posted By on Tue, Nov 15, 2016 at 10:52 AM

Phones are buzzing in the halls of Shelby Co. government this morning because of a Facebook post shared by David Barber, Deputy Director of Finance for the Shelby County Department of Corrections. According to the accompanying status, the KKK is more American than two-term US president Barack Obama. Get ready, this story's just starting to crank up, and will probably be everywhere, shortly.

Here's the offending post from Nov. 7.
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Also, this.

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And, in case you're wondering who the guy is, it's all in his profile. 
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UPDATE: David Barber has resigned.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Commercial Appeal Declared a "Legend" Following Story About Frat Bro's Date with a Porn Star

Posted By on Wed, Feb 24, 2016 at 1:22 PM

For maximum enjoyment press play on this video before reading. 


It's not the stuff of a Pulitzer Prize winning series, but a digital report on the Commercial Appeal's website is receiving attention across social media for recounting the epic tale of UT Knoxville student and Sigma Chi frat brother Patrick Goswitz, who invited porn star Cherry Morgan to a formal dance this weekend. 

This is what a legendary legend looks like.
  • This is what a legendary legend looks like.

"UT fraternity brother declared ‘a legend’ for date with porn star," was originally published by the Knoxville News Sentinel and tells the touching story of young Goswitz who was, in fact, described as a "legend," as a result of his date with Morgan, the Knoxville-based actress famous for appearing in adult films where, like many porn stars, she gives blowjobs to plumbers, pizza guys and other dudes who deliver.  (WARNING: LINK VERY NSFW).

"Goswitz told [Dan] Regester [of the website Total Frat Move] via an Instagram interview uploaded on TFM that he had invited Morgan to the formal via a message on Facebook and she sent him "her digits" and accepted."

The saga of Goswitz and Morgan is told using quotes from blogs and social media and is most notable for containing the worst sentence in the history of print journalism: "Goswitz told [Dan] Regester [of the website Total Frat Move] via an Instagram interview uploaded on TFM that he had invited Morgan to the formal via a message on Facebook and she sent him "her digits" and accepted."

As it happens, people with internet connections and Google alerts for Cherry Morgan had many newsworthy things  to say about the hot date. One person wrote, "Atta boy." Another said, "Lucky guy!" A third anonymous commenter wrote "Good for him," while a somewhat sadder post read, "I would consider myself legendary to even bring a girl to meet my family."

This is easily the greatest thing the CA has published since yesterday's breaking story about how how nicotine makes it hard to quit smoking. 

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Friday, May 22, 2015

You know what's better than the new Tennessee logo? Brian Kelsey's mirror selfie.

Posted By on Fri, May 22, 2015 at 9:15 AM

Reflections of Brian Kelsey
  • Reflections of Brian Kelsey

It's getting weird out there, people. Rise to the occasion and make #Kelfie trend. Like the man says, it's for a good cause.

The New Tennessee Logo Has Its Own Parody Twitter Account, Of Course...

Posted By on Fri, May 22, 2015 at 8:12 AM

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You know, there's really no reason to say much about this. Something happened yesterday resulting in an outpouring of "OMG" and "smh." Boom. Twitter account. Enjoy. 

Oh, also, @TnLogo, you should totally follow Captain America. 
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