Fly on the Wall 

Made, Shade, etc.

Memphis' state representative Ulysses Jones (D) recently attempted to squash rules established to provide government transparency by entering a motion that would allow members of the Tennessee legislature to meet in private. This prompted The Tennessean to describe Jones, a longtime critic of ethics reform, as (you guessed it) a "longtime critic of ethics reform." We think that may be a euphemism for "sketchy," which is a synonym for "shady," which is in turn a euphemism for someone who should never be allowed to meet in private.

Be Still

Memphis often finds itself at or near the top of some rather unflattering lists. According to the folks who compile such things, we're a perennially fat city with lots of violent crime and limited opportunities for the creative class. And now, according to Forbes magazine, we're also the most sedentary city in the country.

According to Forbes, 65 percent of the population is overweight or obese, 30 percent of the population refuses to exercise regularly, and the average fat, non-excercising Memphian watches 41 hours of TV every week. Tom Jones, a consultant for Smart City Memphis, told Forbes that his fellow Memphians "have heavily invested in a sedentary, sprawling lifestyle." Carol Coletta, president of the nonprofit organization CEOs for Cities, provided the magazine with less abstract commentary by describing Memphis' lack of transit options, "unwalkable neighborhoods," and greasy Southern soul food as a "deadly formula" for the city.

Should Jones, Coletta, or any of the clearly biased researchers at Forbes choose to take on a more optimistic perspective, they would quickly discover that Memphis isn't fat and sedentary. It's comfortable and delicious. And (occasional heart attacks notwithstanding) what's wrong with that?


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