Saturday, August 19, 2017

Remember The Time Andy Holt Said Nathan Bedford Forrest Was a Civil Rights Leader?

Posted By on Sat, Aug 19, 2017 at 1:18 AM

Nathan Bedford Forrest.  Civil Rights Hero. According to Andy Holt.
  • Nathan Bedford Forrest. Civil Rights Hero. According to Andy Holt.

Hey kids, sometimes current events make old news relevant again. So let's all hop in the way-back machine and chart a course for July, 2015 when Tennessee Rep. Andy Holt declared an abiding love for Confederate General and former Grand Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan, Nathan Bedford Forrest. Holt encouraged people who really care about ending racial strife to get in touch with the gentle, loving Civil Rights leader he knows.
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Forrest made millions of dollars as a slave merchant before achieving the rank of General in a hostile army in open rebellion against the US government and fighting to preserve the institution of Southern slavery. But the Butcher of Fort Pillow did soften a bit near the end of his life and after white Southerners established political victory and supremacy the KKK he led was indeed disbanded. But Civil Rights Champion Nathan Bedford Forrest never needed anybody to speak for him. He knew exactly who he was and what he stood for.
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Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Meet the Tennessee Lawmakers Who Think Running Over Protesters Should Be Protected

Matthew Hill and Bill Ketron foresaw tragedies like what happened in Charlottesville, VA and attempted to make the world a safer place -- for terrorists

Posted By on Wed, Aug 16, 2017 at 8:47 AM

Sen. Bill Ketron and Rep. Matthew Hill introduced legislation to make drivers who hit protesters immune from civil liability.
  • Sen. Bill Ketron and Rep. Matthew Hill introduced legislation to make drivers who hit protesters immune from civil liability.
On Saturday, August 12, 2017, a nazi sympathizer killed one person and injured many more when he drove his car into a group protesting the White Supremacist rally in Charlottesville, VA. With that in mind, now seems like as good a time as any to take a look a pair of Tennessee politicians who were farsighted enough to imagine just such a scenario and introduced legislation to make drivers immune from civil liability for doing something similar.
MATTHEW HILL
  • Matthew Hill
Tennessee Rep. Matthew Hill (R-Chumpsville) is a "firebrand Southern conservative." Swipes right for tort reform, the Ten Commandments and good old-fashioned nullification; left for abortion and taxes. Hill's the owner of Right-Way marketing and the host of Bible Buddies Radio. He's super against child rape but favors fear-mongering legislation and thinks sometimes rolling over protesters in your SUV is totally justifiable. Hill has been a vocal proponent of birtherism, the racist conspiracy aimed at delegitimizing Barack Obama's presidency. (For fun, here's a recording of our Bible Buddy interviewing birther gadfly Orly Taitz.) In 2010 Hill introduced HB2685,[24] requiring employees to only speak English in Tennessee workplaces. Hill was called out by media for taking a "dangers of Islam"  fact-finding trip courtesy of the Tennessee Freedom Coalition, a designated hate group according to the Southern Poverty Law Center.

HB0668 failed in Civil Justice committee.
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Bill "Muslim Mop Sink" Ketron
  • Bill "Muslim Mop Sink" Ketron
Bill Ketron (R-Suckertown) has sponsored many bills but, apart from making it okay to run over protesters if you're using due caution, the Senator from Murfreesboro is probably most famous as the national laughingstock who mistook a mop sink for Muslim prayer basin. And had a spell about it.

When he's not hard at work pushing legislation crafted by white supremacist David Yerushalmi to criminalize Sharia Law, Ketron has also made time to see the world courtesy of the Tennessee Freedom Coalition, a hate group that dines well, apparently.

Ketron wasn't the only Tennessee Senator who thought this idea had merit. SB0944 Passed on first and second consideration and was assigned to General Subcommittee of Senate Judiciary Committee.
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Thursday, August 10, 2017

Elvis Week: Deep Cuts Playlist

Posted By on Thu, Aug 10, 2017 at 8:30 AM

Hey, how about an Elvis playlist made entirely of songs that almost never show up near the top of other Elvis playlists? Except for maybe "Little Sister." But I just can't make an Elvis playlist without "Little Sister." That would be wrong.



Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Elvis Trivia Nobody Has Ever Heard Before

Posted By on Wed, Aug 9, 2017 at 11:25 AM

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On the lighter side...
This column was originally published in honor of Elvis Week, 2014. To commemorate the 40th-Anniversary of Presley's passing The Fly on the Wall staff is honored to re-publish a list of 73 heavily researched trivia items that had never been printed anywhere else previously and haven't been printed anywhere else since. Enjoy.

1. Elvis' favorite small appliance manufacturer was Sunbeam. It is rumored "Burning Love" was originally written as a jingle for the toaster manufacturer.


2. Elvis hated the comic strip Alley Oop, and would draw a fake mustache on the title character out of spite each week.

3. Elvis was considered for the lead role in The Godfather.

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4. Elvis loved funny hats.

5. Elvis' favorite flavor of Laffy Taffy was banana.

6. The name Elvis contains five letters including two vowels.

7. Elvis's favorite band was Winger.


Elvis first encountered 80's band Winger in a meditative vision of the future.

8. Elvis' middle name is commonly misspelled. It is actually "Aronn"

9. Elvis wrote To Kill A Mockingbird under the pseudonym of Harper Lee.

Elvis first and only novel.
  • Elvis' first and only novel.

10. Elvis was an honorary member of the National Society of Quail Enthusiasts.

11. Elvis' favorite Mexican food? Tacos.

12. Designers presented Elvis with more than 170 shades of white and off white before manufacturing the first iconic jumpsuit.

13. Elvis gave all of his close friends unusual nicknames. He affectionately referred to Col. Tom Parker as “Turd Blossom.”

14. Elvis often wore a disguise consisting of a top hat, monocle, and false mustache to go out in public as Lord Jiggleton. He would greet people by simply shouting "Blimey!" at them in a loud, fake British accent.

15. Elvis often engaged in jelly bean eating contests with Red West. Red always let him win.

16. Elvis' favorite sexual position was abstinence. His second favorite: missionary. His third favorite: The bearded bugler.

17. Elvis and George Klein would often do puppet shows for Dutch children, which delighted the youth to no end!

18. The hit song "Return to Sender" was inspired by the true story of a man who mailed a letter only to have it returned.

New Zealand
  • New Zealand

19. Elvis was the first person to have contact with New Zealanders.

20. Elvis preferred black shoelaces.

21. Elvis called Vegas "Las Nashville."

22. Elvis owned a hound dog named Butta. It was surprisingly quiet.

23. Elvis had a giraffe named Becky that he kept in his jungle room.

24. Elvis’ favorite female vocalist was Roy Orbison.

25. Elvis regarded the Jungle Room as a vast improvement over the original Tundra Room.

26. Elvis’ favorite Halloween costume: Julia Child.

Halloween, 1976
  • Halloween, 1976

27. After discovering he was too tall to be an astronaut Elvis started his own space program.

28. The most rare Elvis recording is of his live "The King's Klezemer Kavalcade" recorded in 1971 in the Catskills.

29. Elvis once used his karate skills to defeat an entire ax gang.

30. For Elvis, no day was complete without prank calling Robert Goulet. Elvis pretended to be a DJ calling from a local radio station. He told Goulet he was giving away a fabulous prize and the first lucky listener to drop by the station would collect. As a result, employees at KXPT Las Vegas thought Goulet was “nutty as a sack of pecans.”

31. Given a choice, Elvis preferred several tiny marshmallows to one large one in a mug of hot chocolate.

32. Elvis beat Chuck Norris so badly in a karate fight...

33. Elvis hated the word smudge. He would punch anybody who said it.

34. Elvis loved a good knock knock joke.

35. Elvis' favorite American inventor: George Washington Carver

36. When asked about Ann Margaret, Elvis would often smile and say "Yeah, she is pretty!"

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37. Elvis invented the roomba.

38. When in Vegas, Elvis would often call Sammy Davis, Jr. and demand he bring him a Clark Bar. When Sammy refused, Elvis would yell "Well, you don't seem like much of a candy man to me!"

39. Elvis was pretty adamant in his position that Submariner was superior to Aquaman.

40. Whenever Elvis played Monopoly, he insisted on being the thimble, and he refused to utilize that house rule where you put fees in Free Parking and then whoever lands there gets them. "That's just too much, luck, Jack!"


41. If you play In the Ghetto Backwards you can hear somebody saying what sounds like, "Ottehg eht ni."


42. During Gandhi's hunger strike, Elvis would call daily to offer him a peanut butter banana and bacon sandwich. He genuinely wanted to be helpful.

43. Elvis gave away more El Caminos than Cadillacs

El Camino: Comfort of a car, convenience of a truck
  • El Camino: Comfort of a car, convenience of a truck

44. Elvis's unfinished last movie "King-Fu" was described as "Blue Hawaii" meets "Enter the Dragon".

45. Elvis had the bomb even before the British.

46. Richard Nixon made Elvis an honorary commissioner of the Federal Reserve, complete with voting rights.

47. Elvis made most of his money as a striker for Manchester United.

48. In addition to his love of gospel, Elvis also studied Qawwali,the devotional music of Sufis, which is credited with helping him maintain his voice.

49. Elvis’s Memphis Mafia accidentally invented Frisbee Golf while doing dishes one day.

50. While serving in the army Elvis met and befriended a young Andre the Giant. The 1959 single “Big Hunk of Love” was inspired by their friendship.

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51. Elvis was allergic to his own hair color, which is why he dyed it black.

52. Elvis once got into a Scimitar duel with the Sultan of Brunei.

53. In order to save on maintenance costs, Elvis and Charlie Hodge became certified TV Repairmen.

54. Elvis had a private subway that ran from Graceland to the basement of Godfather's Pizza in Overton Square

55. Elvis had a beloved pet Vietnamese Potbelly Pig, he called Pig E

56. Elvis was once offered the role of the zeppelin pilot in a film called "HindenBoogie"

57. Elvis once threw an urn at Slim Whitman's head.

58. While in the army, Elvis was used as a subject in the MK-Ultra experiments.

59. Elvis would often rent out the Memphian theater to enjoy private showings of the films of Ingmar Bergman.

60. Elvis used to rent out Libertyland for parties and would amuse guests by playing "Whack-A-George-Klein"

61. Vernon Presley's favorite meal was Cream of Spaghettios.

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62. Gladys Presley's favorite meal was regular Spaghettios.

63. Elvis Presley bought Graceland because he thought it was cool that it was on a street that had his name on it.

64. Elvis sometimes felt that cucumbers were spying on him.

65. When he was not performing, Elvis would often wear a beard of bees for days at a time.

66. Elvis only discovered his musical powers after he watched a robber shoot his wealthy parents in an alleyway.

67. Elvis would often leave pies cooling on a window sill only to have them stolen by lovable neighborhood scamps.

68. Portrayed Avery Schreiber in three episodes of Chico and the Man.

Elvis with Jack Albertson and Freddy Prinze
  • Elvis with Jack Albertson and Freddy Prinze

69. Elvis once fought alongside the armies of man and dwarf to put down the Dark Lord Sauron and save Middle Earth.

70. Elvis created a chain of yogurt shops called "Taking Care of Business Yogurt". This was later shortened to YOLO.

71. Elvis' final thoughts were of Rosebud, a sled he had as a child which symbolized lost innocence, youth and the love of his mother. We think. It's up to interpretation.

72. Priscilla was replaced by a wax figure in 1972.

73. Elvis played bass for a few months in KISS in 1976. His face makeup theme was "The Catfish"

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Fly on the Wall is compiled by Chris Davis with funniness provided by The Wiseguys.


8 Places Elvis Fans Won't Visit but Probably Should

Posted By on Wed, Aug 9, 2017 at 10:33 AM

This was originally published here at FOTW back in 2013. It's still a good list and since so many Elvis-people are in town it seemed like a good thing to re-post. If you've never seen it before, enjoy. If you have, enjoy all over again!

#8: Alcenia's
, 317 N. Main

Free hugs with every meal. For real.
  • Free hugs with every meal. For real.

Alcenia's is a funky little soul food joint at the Southwest edge of Memphis' Pinch District where meals are cooked to order and every new customer gets a hug. Although neither the restaurant, nor the building has a specific Elvis connection, sidewalk tables provide guests with the best view of the I-40 overpass in town.

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Of course, when Elvis was a teenager living in the Lauderdale Courts housing project there was no scenic I-40 overpass. Instead, there was a cluster of African-American bars and in the evenings both the music and the crowds spilled out into the street.

Why Elvis fans won't visit: There's really not much to see, unless you count this sign marking the location of Memphis' first bar.


Drunk History
  • Drunk History


Why they should: The long demolished Green Owl, a working class African-American beer joint once located at 260 N. Main, just southeast of Alcenia's, was one of young Elvis' favorite neighborhood clubs. He was especially fond of a musician who played a homemade bass he'd fashioned from a bucket and a broomstick.

A view from the dark underbelly
  • A view from the dark underbelly

There's not much music along this somewhat lonely stretch separating the Pinch from the Convention Center, unless you count the song of all the cars and semis speeding by overhead. But these are the sidewalks where an impressionable teenaged Elvis mixed and mingled with blues players, and even though so much has been demolished, walking through Downtown's dilapidated but bouncing back north side, with its trolley line, horse stables and old shop fronts, is still like stepping back in time.

#7: The old Memphis Police Station, 128 Adams

These crumbling stairs...

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Lead to this locked, boarded-up door...

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That once served as an entrance to Memphis' Downtown Police Station.

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Why Elvis fans won't go: Unless you're a fan of weeds and urban decay, why would you?

Why they should: Elvis was fascinated by law enforcement. The lengths he'd go to collect a new badge knew no bounds.

Suspicious Minds
  • Suspicious Minds

But it wasn't all about the bling. Elvis was also genuinely in awe of policemen, and would sometimes ride along after making late night/early morning visits to the station. He even visited the downtown station one Christmas claiming that he needed something to do and it was the only place in town that was open.

Besides, who doesn't love to picnic near classical ruins?

#6: The Blackwood Brothers Record Store, 209 N. Lauderdale

The Lord is my bail bondsman
  • The Lord is my bail bondsman

Why Elvis fans won't go: Because the building, located just off Poplar Ave. near the Jail, has been converted into a bail bondsman's office in what might best be described as Memphis' bail bond district.

Why they should: Elvis was a huge fan of gospel quartets, and the Blackwood Brothers, with their fancy customized touring bus...

Elvis is gonna want one of these
  • Elvis is gonna want one of these

and their own private plane...

And one of these
  • And one of these

were, to put it mildly, complete badasses. Also, you can see the site formerly known as Lauderdale Courts from the front door.

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Today the only records being discussed at 209 Lauderdale are permanent ones, but when his soul needed a'rockin', this is where Elvis got his vinyl fix.

#5: Gulf Station, Second & Gayoso

On October 18, 1956, much ass was kicked near to this very spot
  • On October 18, 1956, much ass was kicked near to this very spot

I sometimes pretend that the above piece of public art is a monument built on the site where Elvis licked two gas station attendants then told the cops (jokingly) that his name was Carl Perkins.

Of course it's not and the the actual brawl went down across the street.

Cornered
  • Cornered

All three men involved in the altercation were charged with assault and battery, but Elvis had been struck first and the Judge ruled in his favor.

Why Elvis fans won't go: It's not an obvious landmark.

Why they should: Two reasons. This is where a scene plucked right out of an Elvis movie actually happened. Also, Elvis's life changed fast. This fight and the resulting day in court represent a dawning realization that life would never be normal again.

Continue reading »

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.

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Commercial Appeal, Tennessean, Other Tennessee Papers to be Edited Outside of Tennessee

Gannett Announces Plans to Close Nashville Design Studio

Posted By on Tue, Aug 1, 2017 at 10:36 PM

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You know all those weird mistakes in the Commercial Appeal that make it seem like it's being edited somewhere else, because it's actually being edited someplace else? Well, as of October 1, 2017 the CA won't even be edited in Tennessee. Neither will The Tennessean, the Knoxville News Sentinel or any of the Volunteer State's Gannett-owned papers.


From The Tennessean:
Gannett and the USA TODAY NETWORK Tuesday announced plans to consolidate its Nashville Design Studio, with design work shifting to similar operations in Des Moines, Iowa, Louisville, Ky., and Phoenix, Ariz.

The closure will affect up to 88 jobs once the transition of work is complete on October 1. However, there will be some remote-work opportunities for Nashville employees aligned with the other studios. "The Nashville Design Studio team has been a valuable part of the USA TODAY NETWORK," said Mizell Stewart III, Vice President /News Operations at USA TODAY NETWORK. 

Also form The Tennessean — and note the use of the word continue:

"Readers will continue to enjoy beautifully designed print editions, while at the same time enjoying our outstanding news coverage on their smartphones, tablets and desktops. We are fully dedicated to providing the best and most engaging content possible — however our readers want to consume it."

Unless further changes are announced it appears all production work and editing for Gannett's 100+ daily newspaper properties will be done at one of the USA Today publisher's three remaining studios in Des Moines, IA, Louisville, KY, and Phoenix, AZ.

Gannett announced it would sell the Tennessean's offices in August, 2016. They announced the closing of their Asbury Park design studio in April. The Commercial Appeal's offices are also on the market and overnight employees have been advised to work from a coffee shop, home, or some other location that makes them "feel secure."


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NewsMax CEO Worries About Sinclair Broadcast's New Acquisitions, Media Consolidation

It's a Conservative-Propaganda-Organ-Eats-Conservative-Propaganda-Organ World Out There. Be Careful Where You Step.

Posted By on Tue, Aug 1, 2017 at 2:15 PM

Boris Epshteyn — Coming to WREG soon?
  • Boris Epshteyn — Coming to WREG soon?
Industry trade magazine AdAge reports that Christopher Ruddy has asked the FCC to take time and carefully weigh any decision allowing the Sinclair Broadcast Group to go through with a deal that would bring the media conglomerate a total of of 233 local TV-news stations, including Memphis’ WREG.

Via AdAge:

"I am calling for delay," Christopher Ruddy, CEO of Newsmax, a conservative outlet with a 24-hour cable news channel, said in an interview. "I think it needs more vetting."

Ruddy, a friend of President Donald Trump, adds a conservative voice to liberal critics of the deal who are wary of Sinclair building a network of local stations featuring the company's pro-Trump commentary.

If you don't know who the players are here NewsMax is a frankly conservative multi-platform media company where TV hosts comfortably compare unflattering news reports about President Trump to “lynchings.” That comparison's no anomaly at NewsMax, which recently dipped its toe in the cable news business. Though marketed as Fox-light it's been a reliably safe space for Right-Wing cranks and conspiracy theorists.

Sinclair's been collecting local news stations. Holdings currently include ABC, NBC, CBS, and FOX affiliated properties in an environment where local TV news has more reach than all four major cable news stations combined with NewsMax tossed in like a set of Ginsu knives. Frankly conservative and unapologetically Trumpist, Sinclair requires local stations to air segments by former Trump staffer Boris Epshteyn, the sixth person interviewed in ongoing probes into Russia's impact on U.S. elections.


For pretty much everything you need to know about Sinclair and Boris, and what might happen to Memphis' WREG if the FCC approves Sinclair's latest takeovers click here.

So basically we've reached this weird patch of Spacetime where a company invested in a national cable news product promoting kooks and conspiracy theorists can run headlines like "Local Broadcast Wins as National Media Increasingly Distrusted" with a straight face.

Welcome to The New Fairness in a marketplace of ideas that's somehow even worse than it was when  irresponsible media narratives were seeded and tended by media organs with no agenda beyond basic profit motive.

For $399/Mo Nashville Gym Offers Workouts Inspired By Alt-Right Philosophy

Posted By on Tue, Aug 1, 2017 at 10:19 AM

Them guns tho.
  • Them guns tho.
Man, Nashville really does have boutique everything these days.

I mean, why would anybody join some weak-sounding gym like the Young Men's Christian Academy or the French Riviera Spa when, for only $399/Mo, you can get ripped from the inside out with strong-minded survivalist trainers at Nashville's Vengeance Strength Kvlt? (That's pronounced "Vengeance Strength Cult" for all you weak people who get rubber-legged at the thought of a little animal sacrifice and can't read ancient Norse).

From the Nashville Scene:

"This is probably not the gym for you," the gym's website states. "Our ideology is simple: Weakness is a sickness which rapidly degenerates the quality of body and mind. The dominant fitness culture is selling you a shallow concept of exercise, keeping you weak and misinformed. Taking the first step towards the eradication of this cancer is the most important thing which you may ever do. It means taking up the ritual of proper training. It means purging the willfully weak people out of your life. It means the burning away of everything and everyone which does not benefit you. Therefore, we at Vengeance, battle weakness here and at home, pledging to help you do the same."

But what about crushing your enemies? Seeing them driven before you? Or hearing the lamentations of their women? Do you suppose that requires a premium membership?

The Scene also published screenshots of the Kvlt's founder Sky Lemyng wearing t-shirts connecting him to Operation Werewolf, a collective that self-describes as, "equal parts fight club, strength regimen, motorcycle club and esoteric order." It was founded by Hate-Yoda Paul Waggener who also leads a "creepy white-power wolf cult" called The Wolves of Vineland.

Prayers and protests are ongoing.
SCREEN SHOT
  • Screen shot

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Dammit Gannett: "Where's Elvis" Edition

Posted By on Tue, Jul 25, 2017 at 3:07 PM

Maybe it's time to change Fly On the Wall's long-running "Neverending Elvis" tab to "Disappearing Elvis." This is from Saturday's Commercial Appeal. And it's starting to feel personal. 
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When Boy Scouts are Political Props

Posted By on Tue, Jul 25, 2017 at 11:43 AM

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There's no real point in recounting a story that's been all over social media since yesterday. We all know the President told a lurid story to to the Boy Scouts of America who were gathered at their annual Jamboree, turning his opportunity to inspire young America into a deeply weird political rally. Regardless of one's political leanings, nobody needs an opinion columnist to tell them that's uncommonly bad form, even for this Chief Exec. But there's another question we already know the answer to that may be worth asking: Why didn't somebody cut Trump's mic?

I know — "You don't cut the mic on the leader of the free world, it's just not done, ever." Undeniably true.  Then again, a lot of things just aren't done, ever. Like using the fine young men of the BSA as political props. Only, that IS done, I suppose, and maybe more often than folks realize. I can share at least one example in the form of this video from Memphis' first Tea Party where conservative Mid-Southerners sporting anti-immigrant signs and pictures of former President Obama with bullet holes in his face, got themselves good and radicalized.

4/15/09

I'm not offering this as any kind of evidence that the BSA is overtly political — I know too many Lefty Eagle Scouts who've kept themselves physically strong, mentally awake, and morally straight. But for anybody wondering why the scouts cheered Trump's political message, there's plenty of not-so-ancient history to consider.

Scouting of all kinds took a membership nosedive during the 1970's. Girl Scouts USA reversed that trend, while the BSA continued to lope forward, declining all the while. Why? University of British Columbia political science professor Barbara Arneil may be on to something:

"A younger civil rights generation, informed by a new set of post-materialist values, did not join traditional organizations like the BSA and GSUSA because their values were deemed to be outdated. The challenge for traditional organizations therefore was how to respond. Using path dependency theory, I argue that BSA and GSUSA—shaped by their own unique origins and identities—responded very differently to the critical juncture of the civil rights generation, which in turn explains the subsequent divergence in membership patterns from the 1980s onward. While the BSA rejects such changes in order to defend traditional values, the GSUSA, which established a commitment to challenging gender norms from its birth, embraces the new values and adapts virtually every aspect of its organizational identity to this new generation."

In spite of its melting-pot image, the BSA's history of racial justice has ranged from spotty to poor. The organization only reversed policies allowing discrimination/segregation in the middle-1970's, and only because they found themselves on the losing end of legal action. Signs of progress appeared in 2015 when the BSA appointed its first Chief Diversity officer and just this year the BSA reversed a century-long ban of transgendered scouts. That doesn't add up to welcoming, and one has to believe that, all real exceptions and exceptional leaders considered, the organization's dug heels, and hard fought battles against acceptance and diversity, have shaped membership and culture.

#notallscouts, of course. And #notallscoutleaders, obviously. But there's a reason why the kids cheered the immoral President, and nobody cut his mic that has nothing at all to do with decorum.  This moment wasn't an anomaly as the BSA's subsequent press release suggests. It was a culmination.

Friday, July 21, 2017

Artist Renderings for RDC Riverfront Seen as a Comic Book...

Posted By on Fri, Jul 21, 2017 at 3:52 PM

First this happened. Then...

This happened...
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Wednesday, July 19, 2017

RDC Announces Plan to Raise Atlantis

Posted By on Wed, Jul 19, 2017 at 4:12 PM

Original Graceland?
  • Original Graceland?
At a press conference in their Front Street headquarters on Tuesday, the Riverfront Development Corporation (RDC) told an assembly of reporters and city officials of plans to raise Atlantis from the bottom of the Mississippi River.

The "continent" of Atlantis, home to an advanced civilization of peaceful citizen-philosophers, was described by Plato in 360 BC as lying “beyond the pillars of Heracleas" and for centuries, that was interpreted to mean the missing landmass was located in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. But RDC researchers discovered that Plato’s words were mistranslated. “He really said that Atlantis was just west of Mud Island,” RDC President Benny Lendermon explains. “We were as surprised as anyone.”

Dressed in what he called “full regalia of Atlantean royalty,” Lendermon said the RDC's bold plan was developed after years of careful research by archeologists, engineers, and shamans. Using evidence from geological surveys, satellite imagery, crystal skull phrenology, and dusty tomes of uncertain origin found in the Memphis Room of the Public Library, Lendermon believes the RDC has finally pinpointed the legendary island's exact location in the deepest channel of the Mississippi River.
After determining Atlantis’ location, RDC members made psychic contact with the Atlanteans while in an ayahuasca-induced trance state. “They want to bring peace and prosperity to the Above World,” Lendermon says. “We think this is a great opportunity to connect Memphians and tourists to the riverfront.”

The plans, unveiled today in a polished Keynote pitch deck, require the use of “probably no more than five” small nuclear explosives in and around the area of the river where this astonishing race of enlightened supermen have been living in secret tranquility for thousands of years.

“We ran our plan past the Atlantean Council of Wisdom, and they’re totally cool with it,” says Lindermon, who expects the disruption to be minimal

Once the glistening jade spires of legend and lore are restored to their rightful place high above the Chickasaw Bluff, the RDC plan calls for a boardwalk with interpretive signs to be built along the riverfront next to a submarine taxi-stand and a rock climbing wall. So far the RDC has offered no response to further requests for clarification regarding a pentagonal section of the architectural rendering marked “Sacrificial Altar Complex."

Mayor Jim Strickland praised the plan, saying the city’s investment in the RDC was finally paying off. “You don’t really think we’ve shoveling money at these people for all these years just for a boat dock and a restaurant, do you?”

At press time, efforts to contact the Atlantean Council of Wisdom had not been successful.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Memphis Billboard Contains Porn

Posted By on Tue, Jul 18, 2017 at 2:19 PM

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Well, it contains the word, anyway.

A Memphis billboard off I-40 near Whitten Rd. has a strong message for glossy women's mag readers: "Cosmopolitan  Magazine Contains Porn." Which seems a little extreme, if you ask me. Unhealthy body standards, sure. And maybe a peculiar strain of neurosis-inducing content obsessed with the male gaze. But — and I haven't consulted with Mae Beavers for the definitive ruling — to call it porn sounds like a stretch.
Your mama does.
  • Your mama does.
This isn't a new complaint. One of the loudest "Cosmo = porn" voices is a Hearst heir. She's been at it a while.

Monday, July 17, 2017

Commercial Appeal Editor To Staff: "Work From a Coffee Shop."

Posted By on Mon, Jul 17, 2017 at 5:51 PM

Are you lonesome tonight?
  • Are you lonesome tonight?
Before cracking the latest, darkest chapter in a seemingly endless series of dark chapters, about the last dark days of the Commercial Appeal, it might be helpful to remind readers why the CA's parent company Gannett is exactly like one of the voracious, many-tentacled gods inhabiting the nightmare world of horror maestro H.P. Lovecraft.

Lovecraft's deities are terrifying because they aren't supernatural. On the contrary, like sprawling media companies in possession of properties in distant, disconnected markets, they follow a system of natural laws far beyond the scope of human understanding. They are essentially materialist, trans-dimensional beings originating somewhere else in the multiverse and, as such, they are indifferent to any  suffering or destruction caused by self-interested incursion into the human realm. So too, enormous media conglomerates pursue agendas that are so far removed from the basic needs of Jane and Joe Subscriber from Anytown USA, it becomes impossible to accuse executive leadership of malice, no matter the resulting chaos. The madness is evident in everything from Gannett's gutting of local news staff, to its reliance on unknown editors from far away places who can't be expected to know the landscape.

As bad as it all sounds, the worst was only prelude to unspeakable terrors lurking just beyond the horizon. See, The Commercial Appeal's a ghost these days — a ghost running on a skeleton crew. Its longtime home at 495 Union is for sale, and even when the enormous structure is occupied during much-reduced business hours, vast expanses lie empty, unused and unknown. Who knows what fell creatures lurk in the cold gloom of the parking lot, let alone the ragged wastes between circulation and the morgue? If I worked in a building possessed by some outside entity with interests so utterly unconcerned with my own, I know I'd probably dock my laptop at the neighborhood coffee shop instead of my cubicle. And judging by this actual, sad, verbatim memo from the CA's newly installed Executive Editor Mark Russell, that's what management suggests as well: Get Out!!!

"A few updates:

*Starting today (Monday), building security in The CA’s 495 building has been reduced to 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. For this week, if you work after 5, and need an escort to your car, please ask a colleague to accompany you. If you are worried about working in your department alone after, say, 6 or 7 p.m., please consider leaving at 5 to work from a coffee shop, home or some other location that has what you need and where you feel secure. And the same thing goes for someone starting at 6 a.m. Please work from a coffee shop or home if you are worried about being safe coming in at 5:45 before security starts this week. Later this week, I will update you on the security plans going forward when I know more."
But does he really want to know more? Is it worth the madness to come?

(Click the vid to hear the memo read aloud in the style of Welcome to Night Vale)
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