Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Goths Are Like Masons

Posted By on Tue, Mar 21, 2006 at 5:50 PM

Goths have grown up. Now they are invading the professional world. The Guardian reports:

"Long before finding gainful employment at the Guardian, I too was a goth."

Continue reading »

Monday, March 20, 2006

Dem cause road block, dem cause traffic stop

Posted By on Mon, Mar 20, 2006 at 3:31 PM

I could see them as I walked out of my office building, lined up square across Charlotte Avenue near the Supreme Court building, a blockade of wheelchairs and other ambulatory devices, bundled up in makeshift colorful ponchos. A Domino's Pizza plastic wrapper protected one person against the cold and rain. They are members of an organization called ADAPT, protesting the treatment of the disabled and the infirm in Tennessee's nursing homes, which one former nursing home social worker at the protest called "fucking scary." Occasionally, one of the more mobile members of the protest would get on a bullhorn and shout, "You're trapped, adapt!"

Apparently this group seeks audience with Governor Bredesen. After being ignored by the legislature in the past, they feel today's protest is a last resort.

Johnny Law was on hand to make sure that all was safe at the Capitol, though they could not prevent a traffic accident that happened just as I was leaving the area. Fortunately, no one was seriously injured. However, the Anderson County students who last week lobbied for a bill to require citizens over the age of 65 to take eye exams and retake driver's license exams now seem prescient.

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Sex Among the Dinosaurs

Posted By on Sun, Mar 19, 2006 at 11:23 AM

Dr. Ruth Westheimer, dinosaur of the how-to sex business, will appear at noon on 3/28 at Davis-Kidd in Green Hills to promote her new book "Dr. Ruth's Sex Over 50". Probably a pretty short book.

Friday, March 17, 2006

The State of the News Media 2006

Posted By on Fri, Mar 17, 2006 at 4:38 PM

The Project for Excellence in Journalism has released its State of the News Media 2006 report, and boy, does it have a lot to say.

Here are a few of the general statements:

Blogs: "But contrary to the charge that the blogosphere is purely parasitic, we also found new topics here, and new angles on old ones. Indeed, the blogs were generally less concerned than many traditional journalists with the latest breaking news, and more focused on long-term issues. Yet there was little here that a journalist would call reporting or even sourcing. Only 1% of the posts this day involved a blogger doing an interview, and only another 5% involved some other kind of original research, such as examining documents....It is not citizen journalism in any traditional sense, but something closer to stylized citizen media forum, often with an insider's tone and its own nomenclature."

Cable news: "The reporting, perhaps because of the time to fill rather than despite it, was shallower by our indicators of any national media studied."

Network TV: "The contrast between the network nightly and morning news is so striking that the term network TV news almost seems a misnomer. It makes more sense to talk about nightly news versus morning. The three evening newscasts were virtually identical to each other and very different form their network siblings in the morning."

Newspapers: "This is the medium that is covering the most topics, has the deepest sourcing, explored the most angles in stories and for now is supplying most of the content for the Internet...Looming, as readers inevitably shift to acquiring their news online, is the question of what happens to the more complete reporting that additional time affords. And how many boots will be left on the ground if the print editions that pay the bills continue to shrink."

Local TV: "...focused on what news managers apparently thought people could use, traffic and weather, and what they were worried about, accidents and crime...on average, local TV news stories had the shallowest sourcing and explored the fewest angles of events covered of any medium studied except local radio."

The most interesting part of the Project for Excellence's report happens to be a survey, termed A Day in the Life of the News, of all news coverage that occurred on one specific day ֠May 11, 2005 ֠designed to present a stand-alone picture of the American news media.

Continue reading »

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Sumner County Sheriff Indicted

Posted By on Thu, Mar 16, 2006 at 11:12 AM

Sumner County Sheriff J.D. Vandercook -- OK, let's go ahead and start calling him Vandercrook -- has been charged with eight counts of public corruption, stealing from taxpayers, et cetera, according to an eight-count indictment unsealed in federal court today. Download a pdf version of the indictment here (255k file).

Religious Devotion to the Establishment Clause

Posted By on Thu, Mar 16, 2006 at 9:41 AM

An odd bill to be heard in a state house committee next week is HB3312, a proposal to make Tennessee lottery scholarships available to kids whose parents are temporarily working overseas. The rules for these scholarships say that recipients "must have been a Tennessee resident for one year," and carve out a military exception: "Dependent children of U.S. military, Tennessee National Guard on active duty, or Department of Defense employees, who maintain Tennessee residency while stationed out-of-state are eligible." So it makes sense to extend this to dependents of those who parents are temporarily posted overseas in non-military pursuits, yes?

Maybe so, but this bill, sponsored in the House by Tre Hargett (R-Bartlett), with a Senate version offered by Jamie Woodson (R-Knoxville), extends scholarship eligibility only to the dependent children of a full-time religious worker, defined in the text of the bill as "a person sent to another country by a church, religious denomination or other religious organization to spread its faith or to do social or medical work." So in other words, you can get a state scholarship if your parents go to some global hotspot to help the locals solve their spiritual problems, but not if they go help solve their medical problems (unless it's a church-sponsored gig). And if your parents take a temporary overseas assignment for a private for-profit employer? Fuhgetaboutit.

Might there be a constitutional problem looming here? If one accepts legal precedents regarding the First Amendment's Establishment Clause--that government should not favor religion over non-religion, and that a law should not have an exclusively religious intent or effect--then the answer could well be yes.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Keith Urban Would Rather Read the Nashville Scene than Talk with Nicole Kidman

Posted By on Wed, Mar 15, 2006 at 4:24 PM


As spotted by Meg at Rhinestoned, which looks professional enough that Nick Denton will be buying it any day now.

dixieland uber alles

Posted By on Wed, Mar 15, 2006 at 1:56 PM


For weeks now, I've been hearing from people still trying to re-hinge their jaws after watching the trailer for C.S.A.: The Confederate States of America. As you may have heard, this is the comic mock-doc presented as a public-television overview of American history—in the years after the South won the War of Nawthun Aggression. Abe Lincoln flees for Canada, New York burns instead of Atlanta, the North finds slavery a lot more palatable when it's combined with a tax break. And it's all "documented"—with fake archival photos, bogus talking heads, and trumped-up film clips. Think Chappelle's Show as directed by Ken Burns.

It opens Friday at the Belcourt—the Scene review is here, and I direct you also to Noel Murray's first-rate write-up in The Onion AV Club—and frankly, I have no idea how Nashville is going to react to it. Hilarity? Outrage? Indifference? If any of y'all see this over the weekend, check in and report.

But don't you want to see the trailer? I'm just going to light the fuse on this puppy and run.

Rock and Roll!

Posted By on Wed, Mar 15, 2006 at 1:24 PM

Legendary bluesman and rock and roller Pat McLaughlin will take a break from his tour as John Prine's bandmaster and appear at Douglas Corner on Friday (3/17). With band members Kenny Greenberg, Michael Rhodes, and Greg Morrow, Pat is a don't-miss performer. Starts about 9:30, but get there early.

Calling All Commies

Posted By on Wed, Mar 15, 2006 at 8:48 AM

Ever wonder if Alger Hiss was really a commie spy like Nixon said he was? Come see Professor G. Edward White discuss the whole tawdry era of mid-century red-baiting and commie-hunting today (3/15) at 5:30 at the downtown library. White is a professor at the University of Virginia Law School, and his father-in-law defended Hiss.

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