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OUR 1685TH ISSUE 06.10.21



Busted Bootstraps From unemployment benefits to TennCare, we examine the different perspectives on social safety nets.

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OUR 1685TH ISSUE 06.10.21 This is my fourth column in the editor’s chair. At least, it is if my math is right. Somehow it’s been a month. I’ve already received a few letters about my editor’s letters, and I thank those readers for caring enough to reach out. I’d also like to apologize to Mark, who wrote in recently to say he appreciated the relatively politics-free columns so far. Sorry, Mark, but I’ve got to follow my conscience on this one. Last week, Tennessee Governor Bill Lee signed legislation enacting permitless gun carry for Tennessee. The law will go into effect on July 1st and will allow anyone 21 years old or older to carry a handgun without passing some sort of permit course. The age is 18 for active-duty military personnel. What’s telling is that he signed the bill at a Beretta factory in Gallatin, Tennessee. Not, you know, a police station, or some venue I can’t think of at the moment that symbolizes freedom. It’s no surprise that Lee didn’t choose a police station as the setting for the photo op, since there’s been little support from law enforcement for the bill. Shelby County Sheriff Floyd Bonner spoke out against it, as did Memphis Police Director Mike Rallings. So who was this legislation crafted to serve? If you wrote in “gun manufacturers and the NRA,” then, reader, our score cards are a perfect match. I can almost imagine our governor turning around in his chair to look a Beretta spokesperson in the eye and whisper earnestly, “Did I do good, boss?” Because this kind of pageantry makes it pretty clear who Lee’s hoping to appease, and it’s not us poor schlubs who will be wondering if Bubba in the self-checkout PHOTO: JESSE DAVIS’ FAMILY line has an itchy trigger finger to go along with that hip PHOTO ALBUM holster. The most recent Vanderbilt University Poll shows Jesse’s Granny, Coleen that 59 percent of Tennesseans do not support this bill, Davis, photographed with and, as I’ve already pointed out, most law enforcement dog and rifle officials are against it as well. Before we go much further, I want to note that I was raised around guns. My grandparents lived out in the hills of Chester County, and we visited them often. Shooting was a regular pastime for most of my family. I remember walking in the woods with my granddaddy, who would occasionally ask me if the safety was on. I was supposed to know without checking, to always keep the barrel pointed toward the ground. To be mindful. I remember my grandparents’ neighbor Mr. Ray camping out one night to ambush and shoot the foxes who had been stealing his chickens. Whether you’re using them to protect yourself and your family or your egg-laying chickens, guns are tools, built to serve a purpose. But you’re supposed to know how to use a tool before you walk into a Cash Saver with one strapped to your hip. If our governor really cared about safety, he would put on his good ol’ farmer cosplay plaid button-down shirt, cheese at the camera, and explain why law-abiding citizens shouldn’t worry about having to take a permit class. It’s short, easy, and not very expensive. He’d remind us all that we have a responsibility to each other, that enjoying the freedom to carry a gun means taking on the duty of using it safely. That would be the direction to go if this bill were actually about public safety, but in reality it seems to be about little more than enriching corporate donors. If I had any doubts about that before, the photo op signing at Beretta has done nothing to dispel them. This isn’t really a column about guns or gun rights. No, this is about responsibility — and my perhaps idealistic belief that our elected officials have a responsibility to the N E WS & O P I N I O N average citizens pushing the button at the THE FLY-BY - 4 voting kiosk, a responsibility that outweighs NY TIMES CROSSWORD - 6 whatever they owe the folks funding their POLITICS - 6 AT LARGE - 8 re-election campaigns. SPORTS - 10 I’d like to think I’d be equally frustrated COVER STORY if the law in question concerned relaxing “BUSTED BOOTSTRAPS” vehicle emissions restrictions and Gov. Lee BY TOBY SELLS - 12 had signed it at the Nissan assembly plant WE RECOMMEND - 16 in Smyrna. I don’t harbor a blanket fear or MUSIC - 18 CALENDAR - 20 loathing for cars or guns. But I recognize that FOOD - 24 they’re powerful. SPIRITS - 25 And power in the wrong hands, or FILM - 26 untrained hands, can be dangerous. C LAS S I F I E D S - 29 Jesse Davis LAST WORD - 31 jesse@memphisflyer.com






MEMernet A roundup of Memphis on the World Wide Web. HALLOWE E N H ITC H E R

Something is underway at a yard close to the corner of Young and East Parkway. New items — like a couch and lottery signs — have been arranged there, and more stuff arrives every day it seems. A neighbor there amped up the weird over the weekend apparently dressing like Michael Myers, holding a trick-or-treat bucket, and trying to hitch a ride. POSTED TO NEXTDOOR BY HELEN PERKINS


“A new Memphis landmark was spotted today,” wrote Reddit user u/Stilekid. POSTED TO REDDIT BY U/STILEKID

June 10-16, 2021



This convertible Memphis Police Department car was spotted in Memphis sometime this weekend and posted to the Memphis Memes 901 Facebook group. It wracked up an astonishing 761 shares and comments that ranged from explanations (that it was a parade car or had been seized in civil forfeiture) to “That is so Memphis.” POSTED TO FACEBOOK BY MEMPHIS MEMES 901


Questions, Answers + Attitude Edited by Toby Sells

W E E K T H AT W A S By Flyer staff

McVean, Brooks, & a Moral Budget A noted entrepreneur passes, new leader at the museum, and a group urges community investment. M CVEAN PAS S ES Charles McVean, Memphis entrepreneur and philanthropist, passed away last week. McVean, 78, had an active interest in his community work, which, among other things, included the Peer Power student-tostudent tutoring program and the creation of the Big River Crossing, the country’s longest active rail/ bicycle/pedestrian bridge. He was a member of the Society of Entrepreneurs, selected for his success in running McVean Trading & Investments, LLC, and last year he was honored with the Master Entrepreneur designation by the society. TH E K I N G AN D K AR ATE Elvis Presley’s love of karate is the focus of a new pop-up exhibit at Graceland. Included in the pop-up exhibit’s collection will be Presley’s personal karate gis, his seventhand eighth-degree black belt PHOTOS COURTESY BROOKS MUSEUM OF ART; ELVIS PRESLEY’S GRACELAND; LARRY KUZNIEWSKI certificates, and the original handBrooks Museum of Art; Graceland hosts pop-up karate exhibit; Charles McVean written script for his 1974 karate documentary, New Gladiators. The exhibit is inside the “moral budget.” Graceland Archives Experience in Elvis Presley’s Memphis and The Moral Budget Coalition said keeping tax rates where opened this week. they are would yield $40 million in additional taxes for the city and $100 million for the county. With the additional funds, N E F F LEAVES B R O O KS the group asked leaders to invest in education, transportation, Emily Ballew Neff resigned as executive director of the Memmental health services, broadband expansion, and more. phis Brooks Museum of Art last week, though no reason was “As we watched the current budget cycle, there was a growgiven for her departure. Mark Resnick, the museum’s deputy ing sense that we are caught in an ill-fated loop that never director and COO, is taking the title of acting executive leads to progress and prosperity for our community,” reads the director. proposal from the Moral Budget Coalition. “Current budget “The future of the arts in Memphis could not be more excit- proposals and discussions only played at the edges of any kind ing, and as I move on, I wish this great city every good fortune of forward movement.” in its recovery from the pandemic and continued momentum,” The group is comprised of many groups, including Stand for Neff said in a news release. Children Tennessee, Memphis Interfaith Coalition for Action and Hope (MICAH), Memphis Tenants Union, My Sistah’s G R O U P WANTS “M O R AL B U D G ET” House, BLDG Memphis, and more. A coalition of Memphis nonprofit organizations wants city and Visit the News Blog at memphisflyer.com for fuller versions of county leaders to keep current tax rates and spend the excess these stories and more local news. funds on a raft of community investments in what they call a


E N V I R O W AT C H B y To b y S e l l s

Dead Waters The Gulf of Mexico’s “dead zone” has shrunk but is still massive. A “dead zone” in the Gulf of Mexico kills any marine life that needs oxygen to live, and this year the zone is roughly the size of Connecticut. Scientists have collected data on this zone since 1985. But for the last four years, scientists with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) have focused on the Gulf ’s dead zone and predicted its size. This year’s zone is lower than the five-year average of 5,400 square miles and nearly half of the 2017 record zone of 8,776 square miles. But at 4,880 square miles, the zone is not small. The annual Gulf of Mexico dead zone is primarily caused by excess nutrient pollution from human activities in urban and agricultural areas throughout the Mississippi River watershed. When the excess nutrients reach the Gulf, they stimulate an

overgrowth of algae, which eventually die and decompose. This depletes oxygen in the water as they sink to the bottom. The resulting low oxygen levels near the bottom of the Gulf cannot support most marine life. Fish, shrimp, and crabs often swim out of the area, but animals that are unable to swim or move away are stressed or killed by the low oxygen. This dead zone flows west from the tip of Louisiana and hugs the coast. Most of the pollution that creates the dead zone arrives there by the Mississippi River watershed, which encompasses 40 percent of the continental U.S. and crosses 22 state boundaries. That’s how Tennessee contributes to the dead zone, sending mainly agricultural runoff (like fertilizer) and treated human waste down the river. Up and down Tennessee’s river coast — including Memphis — treated human


Pollution causes the massive “dead zone.” waste is the biggest source of pollution, followed by fertilizer, according to data from the United States Geological Survey. Memphis now operates under a 2012 federal consent decree after a number of agencies alleged the city illegally allowed its sewer system to overflow into the river. In 2016, the city’s system spilled millions of gallons of untreated wastewater into the Mississippi. The city is now working toward the end of the 10-year Sewer Assessment and Rehabilitation Program (SARP10) program to update

the sewer system. “Like many other cities, Memphis has an aging wastewater collection and transmission system that consists of buried pipes, manholes, and pumping stations,” Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland says on the SARP10 website. “Due to age, our sewers have experienced some deterioration.” The federal Interagency Mississippi River/Gulf of Mexico Hypoxia Task Force is also working to reduce the size of the dead zone to a five-year average size of 1,900 square miles.




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The New York Times Syndication Sales Corporation 620 Eighth Avenue, New York, N.Y. 10018 For Information Call: 1-800-972-3550 For Release Saturday, October 6, 2018

Edited by Will Shortz

Crossword ACROSS Lively dances in 2/4 time 7 Smallest country in mainland Africa 13 Had a fit? 15 Indian or Mexican 16 Frazzled commuter’s comment 17 One getting on 18 How someone may be interrupted 20 Country club figure 21 Language with a trilled “r” 22 Verb in the first telegraph message 23 They’re encouraged on a ketogenic diet



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Encouraging words Japanese stock holder Lead-in to comic “Super” thing in games, once Force of nature? Bit of belttightening Longtime talk show host with a degree from Harvard Ethnic group that makes up about 18% of the world’s population Silly tricks Ones on Telemundo Athlete known as “The Black Pearl”


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“What, will these hands ___ be clean?”: Lady Macbeth Wee warbler Luxurious Italian house Abbr. for those who don’t like parties Bisector of the Fertile Crescent Road Runners’ race classification Neighbor of an Austrian Part of an oven Money in the Bible What’s left Prepare to go


POLITICS By Jackson Baker








No. 0901 7




















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Secretary of 11 Resistance to 34 “My word!” 26 Emulated war to Taft, change Rumpelstiltskin 35 Chewy, in a way Roosevelt and 28 Hunter College 12 Kind of can Truman 36 Proximate ANSWER TO PREVIOUS PUZZLE is part of it, in 2 First word of 14 Overhyped brief 39 Dividing shrub S H O C K S A M I G O the Constitution event, in slang 29 Summer S T A Y A T H O M E D A D 41 Toon with a after the coolers S P A R E N O E X P E N S E 15 One who gets middle initial preamble bent out of 30 Attorney C H I N T Z E S F E T U S 42 Drudge 3 Messes up shape general before H A R D C L O A D M T V 44 List Reno 4 Wild things E W E R A D I U M O B O E 19 Connecticut L A T E N T S T E V E 31 Disbeliever’s 5 Shop shapers 45 Smeltery Yankee, e.g. question D E F I N E S R E W I R E S refuse 6 Any minute 23 Pedal pushers A R I S E A L A N I S 32 Prelims 47 Nowhere to be 7 Mean Miss of L I R A B L I N D S F B I 33 Is unobliged to found, for short “The Wizard of 25 “Love ___” I C E G A T E S M I R K Oz” B A B E S W A R M O V I E Online subscriptions: Today’s puzzle and more than 7,000 past 8 Second T A N E H I S I C O A T E S puzzles, nytimes.com/crosswords ($39.95 a year). I N T E R N E T R A D I O 9 Ed.’s inbox filler Read about and comment on each puzzle: nytimes.com/wordplay. P A S T Y T H E R E F 10 Cameo 1

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Pollsters and polls signal that the season is on.




Campaign ’22 Has Begun





As Campaign Season 2021-22 beckons, the annual Vanderbilt University poll on social and political issues statewide shows that there is an enormous gulf between the attitudes of Democrats and Republicans. The poll, released on Tuesday of this week, demonstrates the following results about several hot-button issues: • About 71 percent of Republicans and 30 percent of political independents agree with the statement that “Joe Biden stole the 2020 presidential election.” • Overall, 74 percent of Republicans agreed with the statement that the pandemic “is largely over and things should go back to the way they were,” while only 14 percent of Democrats did. • On the matter of the COVID-19 vaccines, 60 percent of Republicans and 94 percent of Democrats said they had already been vaccinated or plan to be. Thirty-seven percent of Republicans and 30 percent of independents said they had no such plans. • Asked about President Biden’s $2.3 trillion infrastructure plan, only 29 percent of Republicans approved of it, while 96 percent of Democrats approved. But when neither President Biden’s name nor his American Jobs Plan were asked about, Republican approval for infrastructure doubled to 59 percent, while the same percentage of Democrats approved (96 percent). • Apropos “critical race theory,” 90 percent of Democrats and only 29 percent of Republicans agree with the statement that the legacy of slavery affects the position of Black people in American society today a great deal or a fair amount. Separately, 51 percent of Republicans and 18 percent of Democrats feel race relations in the U.S. are generally good. • A majority of Republicans (57 percent) and a small minority of Democrats (8 percent) approve of making it legal for those 21 and over to carry a handgun without a permit — the numbers reflecting fairly accurately how Republicans and Democrats in the legislature voted on Governor Bill Lee’s open-carry bill this year.

• On “cancel culture,” 60 percent of Democrats agreed with the practice of withdrawing support from public figures and companies after they have done or said something considered objectionable or offensive, while only 17 percent of Republicans did so. The survey of 1,000 residents in Tennessee was conducted between May 3rd and May 20th, with an estimated margin of error of plus or minus 3.7 percentage points. The statewide poll is conducted annually by Vanderbilt University’s Center for the Study of Democratic Institutions (CSDI) and is directed by John G. Geer and Josh Clinton. • When state Representative Antonio Parkinson (D-District 98) stood with fellow office-holders — City Councilman Martavius Jones, state Representative Joe Towns Jr. (D-District 84), and state Representative Jesse Chism (D-District 85) — in I Am a Man Plaza on Friday and called for prosecution of the Confederate sympathizer who had harassed activist/ County Commissioner Tami Sawyer, the aim was to communicate both a sense of solidarity with Sawyer and one of urgency, and to do so, as Parkinson put it, on behalf of Black males in general. Results were not long in coming. Within a short time after the press conference, the Sheriff ’s Department issued a warrant charging George “KRack” Johnson with misdemeanor assault. Johnson, a member of a privately organized crew exhuming the remains of Confederate General Nathan Bedford Forrest, had verbal exchanges with Sawyer earlier last week, threatening her, she alleges, as she was conducting a press conference on the perimeter of Health Sciences Park (formerly Forrest Park), expressing satisfaction with the fact of the ongoing exhumation, with the decline of Forrest from his bronze eminence, and, in a larger sense, with the fall of the Confederacy as a cause. And Johnson’s gibes were, in a sense, late salvos of resistance from that same lost cause, well past Appomattox, and he and Sawyer, in her role as avenger, may well figure in some courtroom reprise, which she is bound to win, or at least not to lose. Think of it as justice, or think of it as yet another re-enactment.




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But I Digress … A trip to the East and a fresh start back in Memphis.

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o remind me again … what day is it? I know it was two or three Wednesdays ago that I announced my retirement as Flyer editor, handed off the reins to the very capable Jesse Davis, loaded up the Subaru, and set off on a road trip to the East. For the next couple of weeks, I didn’t pay much attention to dates or destinations. I knew I needed to get to Western Pennsylvania for a few days of fishing, and afterward I knew I wanted to drive over to Connecticut to visit my son. Beyond that, it was just me and podcasts and Sirius radio and all the music I could possibly listen to through my phone over the car speakers. (I also learned to hate the opening bars to “A&E” by Goldfrapp, which came on when I started the car because it’s the first song on my alphabetical song list.) I headed north into Kentucky on I-65 and then east on the little-traveled Bluegrass Parkway. After that, things got a little muddled. I had a slightly meandering route planned with the help of Siri, but I lost her somewhere in the middle of the state and missed a turn. It was a good miss. I found myself on a beautiful winding route, passing through the hamlets of Stab, Dwarf, Paintsville, and Louisa. I always try to imagine the name of the local high school mascots for these kinds of places. The Stab Wounds? The Dwarf Stars? The Louisa May Alcotts? But I digress. Which is the whole point of this trip, to be honest. Eventually I came onto a scenic blacktop that paralleled the rambling Big Sandy River along the state’s eastern border, and once again “I knew where I was.” Here’s the thing about traveling without a rigid schedule: You’re never lost. You’re not going to be late to anything. You just keep driving in the general correct direction and you’ll come out all right, which in this case was onto the Hal Greer Boulevard Corridor in Huntington, West by God Virginia, which is almost heaven, except for the refineries. (And I bet I’m one of the few people who knows who Hal Greer was.) I spent the night in Flatwoods, north of Charleston — which isn’t at all flat and has a Days Inn atop a mountain

with the greatest view $89 can buy. The check-in clerk was wearing a faith-based mask over her chin, but since I’m vaxxed and waxed, I didn’t really care. The next day I got to Beaver Creek in Western Pennsylvania, a little stream that’s kept stocked with big fish, a hidden paradise I’ve been going to every May since the mid-1990s, meeting the same three guys, (sans one, who eased into the mystic 10 years ago). We missed our rendezvous in 2020, of course, so the reunion was extra sweet this year. We didn’t skip a beat, falling back into the same routines, the same dinners, the same jokes, the same memories and stories. The fishing was stellar: Seeing a large trout emerge from a deep hole to inhale your wispy dry fly never loses its magic. After a few minutes of runs and jumps (by the fish, most of the time), you remove the tiny barbless hook and the big brown goes back to its home under the rock, a little wiser, perhaps, a little more wary. CREDIT ANDREW VANWYNGARDEN

The Saugatuck River

Part of the allure of this place is that it’s so deep in the mountains that you can only get internet if you walk 100 yards up the nearest hill, which we did with a cup a coffee in the morning to check messages and emails. News, politics, sports, Twitter, Facebook, etc. got put on the back burner for four days. Very cleansing. Then it was over to Connecticut to visit my son, who also lives in a house in the woods, surrounded by deer and a resident flock of ravens. We hiked and went thrifting and ate lobster, and I even got to fish the Saugatuck River, which was on my bucket list. There were other adventures and excursions but space is tight, so I’ll save those tales for another time. I’m happy to be back.

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S PO RTS By Samuel X. Cicci

901 FC Controls Indy Thin 901 FC squad prevails over division leaders, Indy Eleven.


n the way up to Indianapolis, it was no surprise that there were a few empty seats on the Memphis 901 FC bus. Due to suspension, injury, and international duty, the team was missing a total of six players. Much of the pre-match chatter didn’t give Bluff City much of a chance, but try telling that to the players. In adverse circumstances, 901 FC showed grit and character to produce an excellent 2-1 victory over former conference leaders, Indy Eleven.





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Blitzkrieg Attack Kadeem Dacres had been the catalyst for everything good coming out of 901 FC offensively. But with Dacres having picked up a second yellow card and dismissal in the last match for simulation, head coach Ben Pirmann would have to plan for an attack without its fulcrum. Dacres’ return will only be a good thing for the team, but he almost wasn’t even missed as Memphis roared into the lead within three minutes. Laurent Kissiedou took down a high ball with aplomb and turned before splitting the defense with a slick through ball for Michael Salazar, who took the ball into stride and finished calmly past Indy goalkeeper Jordan Farr. Salazar was involved again in the 35th minute, pressuring Aboubacar Sissoko into a turnover and driving into the Indy box unimpeded. The ball eventually fell to forward Kyle Murphy, who gleefully accepted the chance and made it 2-0 to Memphis. Meanwhile, Kissiedou continued his fine run of form. Nominally a playmaker, the midfielder has pitched in at both ends of the field so far this season, providing some penetrating runs and passes up top and dropping back to shield the defense when out of position. He was unfortunate to miss out on a goal but was a constant thorn in Indy’s side all match with clever flicks and tricks. And if that wasn’t enough, fullback Mark Segbers pitched in, too, with one phenomenal run in the 56th to beat four defenders and get a shot away. There’s plenty of firepower here, and this team still hasn’t even had time to gel yet. Midfield on Lock Mitch Guitar got a first start of the season next to Leston Paul, and together, the two formed an impenetrable wall. They were hungrier for 50-50 balls, and routinely shut down any of Indy’s attempts at building

an attack. When they did recover the ball, they weren’t afraid to do something with it either, as epitomized by Guitar’s solo run in the 77th minute before playing in Kissiedou for a chance. Francis Atuahene, for his part, acted as an effective ball shuttler for his 67 minutes on the field. Whenever he’d receive the ball under pressure, it was more likely than not that he’d turn his way out of trouble and charge into the open field ahead of him. He, Guitar, and Paul were crucial in acting as the springboard of Memphis’ attack, turning defense into offense in the blink of an eye. And whenever Indy did break through their screen, the defense, and fullback Andre Reynolds in particular, completely shut down whatever Indy was able to throw at them.


Memphis goalscorer Kyle Murphy shields the ball from Indy Eleven defender Jared Timmer.


901 FC players celebrate following Memphis’ second goal. Of course, Indy did find a way through with a scrappy goal in the 96th minute to pull back a consolation. And there has to be a mention of Indy forward Manuel Arteaga’s howitzer strike in the 16th minute that the ref didn’t see go over the line. That was a big blow to Indy’s confidence, but sometimes the breaks don’t go your way. But on the balance of play, this was Memphis’ win. Memphis 901 FC faces Louisville City away next Saturday, June 12th, at 6:30 p.m.



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Busted Bootstraps From unemployment benefits to TennCare, we examine the different perspectives on social safety nets.

June 10-16, 2021



nd then Jesus drug tested everyone using taxpayer money before deciding if the lazy, freeloading masses were worthy enough to receive fish and bread. “I can’t feed these people,” said GOP Jesus, an internet meme. “It will destroy their incentive to better themselves.” Once their urine tested clean, Jesus reminded them that this was temporary assistance and warned against becoming dependent on his handouts. He went on to explain that tax revenues were actually for corporate subsidies and funding war. — Reddit meme, 2021


ennessee Republicans believe that “giveaway money” (more commonly 12 called unemployment benefits) is funding a

“lifestyle alternative,” keeping many “from pulling up their bootstraps and achieving the American dream,” and that 300,000 Tennesseans should not have healthcare. This year, GOP lawmakers cut the time for state unemployment benefits in half. They cut the time Tennesseans could get unemployment benefits from the federal government by two months. They also said no (again) to $1.4 billion that would have expanded TennCare, Tennessee’s Medicaid program. As for the free money from the federal government, Elena Delavega, the poverty expert from the University of Memphis, said she’s wondered why lawmakers would not take it, and she then came to a disturbing conclusion.

“Sometimes — and I don’t want to think so — it seems like the purpose is to, in fact, hurt people,” said Elena Delavega.

“Sometimes — and I don’t want to think so — it seems like the purpose is to, in fact, hurt people,” said Delavega.


utting unemployment benefits and failing again to expand TennCare were two major moves that affected poor people across Tennessee, one of the 10 poorest states in the country. Insiders would add to that list other moves affecting mass incarceration, hikes on loan fees, education spending, “right to work” labor status, PAC donation limits, and more. To outsiders, it may seem like the GOP supermajority that has run Nashville for the last 10 years has professionally crafted an anti-poor,

Kicking the TennCare Can If he wanted to, Governor Lee could Thanos-snap his fingers and expand TennCare, flowing $1.4 billion into the state. Lawmakers here have possessed the tools to do this since 2014, even during the tenure of the Trump adminstration. They have not. Then-Governor Bill Haslam said no to even the thought of it in 2013. Back then, he was arguing with federal officials for his “Tennessee Plan,” a nontraditional, private schema for broader healthcare access. For weeks,


Tennessee Capitol Building as viewed from Bicentennial Capitol Mall State Park in Downtown Nashville

Haslam had been dogged with questions on whether he would take the promised $1 billion (at the time) available under the Affordable Care Act to expand TennCare rolls. “Governor Bill Haslam finally had something to say on the issue Wednesday, and it was a very hedged no,” the Memphis Flyer’s politics editor Jackson Baker wrote at the time. There was a problem with the money then, and it still exists today: the word “Obama.” “What the governor would like to do, to appease his base, is have access to the Obamacare dollars without subscribing to the Obamacare plan,” state Representative G. A. Hardaway (D-Memphis) told Baker in 2013.

Republicans at the time said the Affordable Care Act was shoved down their throats by a Democratic majority, led by then-President Barack Obama. Right-wing talk show hosts and keyboard warriors vilified Obama, called his healthcare solution “socialist,” and dubbed it “Obamacare.” It’s been a lightning rod Tennessee GOP members still won’t touch. When asked about years of failure to expand Medicaid here, state Senator Raumesh Akbari (D-Memphis) signaled exasperation and irritation with a “wooooooooo” that indicated the subject was still a hot button. She remembered her days in the House, hearing each day of how much money Tennessee was

giving to other states by not expanding Medicaid, but other members at the time said, “We don’t want to be tied to Obama. This is Obamacare.” She describes the ongoing unwillingness to expand it as a “politicsover-policy situation.” For it, 964 Tennesseans died from 2014 to 2017, according to the latest data from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP), a left-leaning Washington think tank. Many say the decision has also expedited the closure of 13 rural hospitals, the second-most closures in the country behind Texas, according to Becker’s Hospital Review. “We just went through the worst health crisis in 100 years, and you had people in rural communities who had to be airlifted to Vanderbilt and to parts of Memphis just so they could seek care,” Akbari said. “A lot of our complications from COVID come from chronic diseases that certainly could have been managed better through actual, preventative healthcare. “And the fact that the federal government is giving us an added financial incentive to expand Medicaid, and we don’t, to me, it’s criminal.” Expanding Medicaid would have a bigger economic hit than Amazon moving to Tennessee, said Michele Johnson, executive director of the Tennessee Justice Center. Pushing $1.4 billion into the state’s economy that would ripple out to businesses and people across the state. It would also save Tennessee taxpayers $900 million over two years. But those facts pale to another. “We know that people are living shorter lives,” Johnson said. “They’re dying of preventable causes, and they’re suffering in ways that they would not be suffering if they were in most any other state in the nation.” The door cracked on TennCare expansion earlier this year, but just a tad before it was slammed shut again. High-ranking Republicans, including Lieutenant Governor Randy McNally, said they just wanted to peek at the sweetened pot for Medicaid expansion left by President Joe Biden. It didn’t happen here. Nor did it happen in Alabama or Wyoming, where conservative lawmakers reviewed similar deals for expansion. Conservatives across the country are softening on expansion, according to a story by The Pew Charitable Trusts. The story said it wasn’t quite a “conservative bandwagon but momentum is certainly moving one direction.” Many states — including red states — are watching the benefits seen with continued on page 14

COVER STORY m e m p h i s f l y e r. c o m

pro-business playbook, locked arms, and expertly executed dozens of moves to lock the state deeply in conservative economic theory. But it looks more coordinated than it is, according to one insider who said Republicans in the Capitol were just not that put together. The source organized the state GOP in three groups: a majority who treat the job like a “social hour or retirement home” and go along with whatever their majority leaders command, another group comprised of “true believers” — some of whom believe their “own bullshit,” and a final group that carries out the bidding of corporate special interests, chambers of commerce, and the institutional donor class. “Business essentially runs the Capitol up here with the exception of the crazies in the gun lobby and the anti-LGBTQ community,” the source said. It’s no secret that Republicans hate government handouts. Remember Ronald Reagan’s “welfare queens”? Well, maybe they just hate some handouts, it seems. They crow about taking $1 billion in CARES Act funding to shield business owners from unemployment insurance hikes, and they use millions of dollars in federal handouts for an ongoing series of multi-million-dollar, no-bid contracts related to COVID-19. Tennessee Lookout editor Holly McCall found that more than a dozen Tennessee GOP lawmakers took federal handouts to bail out their businesses during the pandemic. Still, government handouts are bad for poor people and the working class, they seem to say. On May 12th, for example, Tennessee Governor Bill Lee tweeted, “Work is good for the soul, good for families, and good for Tennessee. We shouldn’t be incentivizing people not to do it.” When asked why it seemed GOP lawmakers targeted poor people, Eric Atkins with the Tennessee Poor People’s Campaign responded with a question of his own. “Well, how many lawmakers in Nashville do you think we can classify as poor?” Atkins asked.


continued from page 13 expansion in other states. Jesse Cross-Call, a senior health policy analyst with the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, told Pew that “there’s been a ton of evidence showing large gains in healthcare coverage, while helping states economically and keeping rural hospitals open. And it hasn’t hurt state budgets. It remains a really good deal for states to cover hundreds of thousands of people.” While the door shut on traditional Medicaid expansion, Republicans were catcalling a new, experimental healthcare plan from Governor Lee, approved in the waning days of the Trump administration. That plan, Lee says, would give Tennessee more control of healthcare spending, save $1 billion annually, and, somehow, not change eligibility, meaning the folks who can get TennCare today could get it under his new plan. In a January tweet, Lee said Tennessee will “lead the nation with our innovative solution to Medicaid,” and “this new flexibility under the block grant model allows us to improve the health of Tennesseans and our communities.” The first reply to his tweet was from @NashvilleChick who wrote, “murderer.”

June 10-16, 2021

“Real Ebenezer Scrooge Stuff ” Republicans here never out and out called anyone “lazy.” But though they never used the “l” word in committee meetings or on the floors of their respective houses, they came close, and it was plain they thought it. In numerous anecdotes, they’d get heated — angry — as they recounted stories of their business buddies who just could not find anyone to hire for their restaurants. One Knoxville House member got so hot, he said he wished Amazon wouldn’t bring any more jobs there; there was no one to work, he huffed into the microphone. The GOP members’ reason, according to their gut and not one single piece of data, was that people were getting government checks and staying on the couch. State Representative Kevin Vaughan (R-Collierville), sponsor of legislation cutting state benefits, said when people “on the interweb” and “on the Twitter” talk about this issue, “they get pretty passionate.” “The origins of this bill is financial mathematics on how to make sure that a trust fund is available to the citizens of Tennessee when they need it,” Vaughan began, giving the mechanical, highminded explanation of the bill that had become his standard rhetoric as he 14 shepherded it through the committee system. But on the House floor for the


(left) Lt. Governor Randy McNally; (right) Governor Bill Lee final vote that day, he didn’t stop himself there. “But we have seen our country in the last six months devolve into a situation where people are counting on and relying on the checks from the government, instead of pulling themselves up by their bootstraps and achieving the American dream.” Vaughan’s bill, co-sponsored by state Senator Jon Lundberg (R-Bristol), cut the amount of time Tennesseans could get state unemployment from 26 weeks (just over six months) to as low as 12 weeks, the lowest in the country. In his nasally Michigander drawl, Lundberg repeated time and again that “the 10-state average of [unemployment benefits in] Southern states is 11.5 weeks. Tennessee is the highest of those states.” The Republican supermajority, it seemed, wanted to line up at the bottom when it came to how much help they gave to citizens in need. Lundberg’s only regret, he said, was that the new structure could not go into effect any faster than in 2023. “This is some real Ebenezer Scrooge stuff,” argued state Senator Jeff Yarbro (D-Nashville) from the Senate floor last month. “There is no economic theory that suggests that cutting off benefits actually pushes people to work. Actually, I would say the last 12 months disproves that. You haven’t had a lot of Tennesseeans who’ve just stayed at home over the last 12 months; they’ve gone back and gotten jobs.” Federal Reserve chair Jerome Powell said last month the bottlenecks in the labor markets could be because of lingering COVID concerns, the inability to find childcare, and more. But he said it “was not clear” that they were caused

“This is some real Ebenezer Scrooge stuff,” argued state Sen. Jeff Yarbro (D-Nashville) from the Senate floor last month. directly by unemployment checks. But that word from the Fed chair didn’t stop Tennessee Republicans from laying the blame right at the feet of the unemployed. “To tell you the truth, I’m not sure what world my colleagues from the other caucus are living in,” said state Senator Mike Bell (R-Riceville) on Democrats’ arguments against the cuts. “You go around any county in this state right now, and you see ‘Help Wanted’ signs everywhere. … The jobs are out there, and it’s time we quit incentivizing people staying home.” A Capitol insider said the benefits cuts were sold by Republicans through anecdotes, not data, and all of them saying one thing: Democrat checks are making folks not want to work anymore. For instance, Bell pointed to the “guy who is building my cabinets right now,”

who is now having to build his own cabinets “because he can’t find anybody to show up for work.” State Representative Eddie Mannis (R-Knoxville) said the workforce in Knoxville was so sorry he complained of 750 new Amazon jobs there, saying, “I’m, like, don’t bring any more jobs or companies here. We don’t have the workforce to fill the jobs we have.” State Representative Pat Marsh (R-Shelbyville) complained he had 100 idle trucks with no one to drive them. “When you get a mailbox check every week, human nature is you’re sitting at home, and some of those people need to go back to work,” Marsh said. “We have to cut out this giveaway money and get our people back to work.” State Representative John Ray Clemmons (D-Nashville) attempted to dispel some of what he called this “false narrative” with facts. The max state payout is $275 per week, he explained, or $6.88 per hour, or $1,100 per month, or $13,200 per year. Add $300 in the current federal unemployment benefit, and the number rises to $27,600, just slightly above the federal poverty limit for a family of four, he said. “The unemployment system is in place for a reason,” Clemmons said, “so don’t use the false narrative that people want to make less than the minimum wage as an excuse for them not filling jobs. Workforce issues in this state have been an ongoing problem.” It’s clear Governor Lee believes the narrative, though. In an executive action last month, he opted Tennesseans out of the $300 in additional federal unemployment benefits. The day after, he hit send on that tweet about how “work is good for the soul, good for families, and good for Tennessee. We shouldn’t be incentivizing people not to do it.” “Luxury of Ideology” The debate on Medicaid expansion is ongoing in 12 states. The debate on unemployment checks and workforce shortages is national as evidenced by the talking-heads’ rhetoric last week following the slightly disappointing May jobs report. But people here need help now, said Johnson from the Tennessee Justice Center, and they don’t have the luxury of ideology. When asked if it seemed Republicans here actively schemed against poor people, she said it was more a “failure to understand regular Tennesseans.” “Are our elected officials sitting around trying to figure out how to torture poor people? I don’t think so,” Johnson said. “But I think it’s a lack of accountability and curiosity [of everyday citizens] that is, frankly, very deadly for the people of the state. And I think we’ll be paying for it for generations.”

Man, it’s been a tough year to stay up on your health appointments. Unfortunately, the statistics don’t favor delays. The time to look after yourself is now. One appointment may get you the tests and screenings you need to make sure you are healthy, identify if you are at risk or catch issues early. Celebrate Men’s Health Month and schedule a screening for you or someone you care about.

Play offense with men’s health screenings and get ahead.

Find a doctor at SaintFrancisHosp.com or SaintFrancisBartlett.com

Join us at the 1st annual

Bluff City Balloon Jamboree

Serving the Memphis Community for over 50 years!

Morning balloon ascension, Tethered Balloon Rides

Carnival rides, games & live music

Food and arts & crafts vendors

Tickets available online

We are a state-of-the-art veterinary facility, serving our feline and canine family members.

June 19–20, 2021 Presented by:

Collierville, TN

Hours of Operation: Monday-Friday 7:30a-6p 712 Mt. Moriah, Memphis, TN 38117 • 901.682.5684 • mcgeheeclinic.com

COVER STORY m e m p h i s f l y e r. c o m



steppin’ out (& stayin’ in)

We Recommend: Culture, News + Reviews

Very Judgy


Scalia and Ginsburg

By Julie Ray

Leo Tolstoy, the 19th century Russian author who wrote War and Peace, said, “All art has this characteristic — it unites people.” And so it does. U. S. Supreme Court Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Antonin Scalia were polar opposites politically. They might never have shared an opinion but they did share a love for the art of opera. Music united them in a very special way. Composer-librettist Derrick Wang has captured their friendship in an operatic comedy that will be performed this Saturday by Opera Memphis in The Grove at Germantown Performing Arts Center. The piece was written in 2015, and Ginsburg and Scalia saw the performance together. Upon seeing the piece for the first time, Ginsburg remarked, “Scalia/Ginsburg is for me a dream come true.” Handorf Company Artists Dane Suarez and Stephanie Doche perform the roles of Scalia and Ginsburg. They are joined for this production by Opera Memphis favorite Darren K. Stokes as the Commentator. Opera Memphis director of musical activities Cris Frisco will conduct the performance accompanied by a musical score performed by members of the Memphis Symphony Orchestra. The piece has a central message of unity, highlighting the friendship between the title characters. A message to all of us that unlikely friendships can be formed with our adversaries. If that common denominator is an art form, so be it. More likely we’ll unite over food and cocktails. Grazing boxes from Feast & Graze, food truck fare, and cocktails will be available for purchase. You can also bring a picnic, beverages, chairs, and blankets to share with an adversary — or not. You be the judge.




Jessica Hurdle shares the story of how Pok Cha’s Egg Rolls came to be. Food, p. 24

Order a “kangaroo,” instead of a dry vodka martini. See if you sound cool. Spirits, p. 25

June 10-16, 2021

VARIOUS DAYS & TIMES June 10th - 16th


Reader Meet Writer: Natalie Baszile Online from Novel, novelmemphis.com, Thursday, June 10, 6 p.m., free with registration Author discusses We Are Each Other’s Harvest: Celebrating African American Farmers, Land, and Legacy via Zoom. Food Truck Garden Party Memphis Botanic Garden, 750 Cherry, Thursday, June 10, 5-8 p.m., $10 Explore the garden after hours and enjoy a variety of local food trucks, live music, and a cash bar. Dogs are welcome.

Hasan Minhaj: Experiment Time The Halloran Centre, 225 S. Main, Thursday, June 10, 8 p.m., FridaySaturday, June 11-12, 7 and 9:15 p.m., $30 A unique comedic voice, writer, producer, political commentator, actor, and TV host best-known for the Netflix show Patriot Act. Music by the Lake Bartlett Performing Arts and Conference Center, 3663 Appling, Friday, June 11, 6-9 p.m., free Features food trucks and music by Star & Micey and the Reba Russell Band.

Margarita Festival Overton Square, 2101 Madison, Friday, June 11, 5-8 p.m., $43 Sample from the city’s best margarita-makers, vote on your favorite. Your ticket includes entry and 12 margarita samples. 21+ Wilson Wine Experience: Chardonnay Flight Tasting Wilson Cafe, 2 N. Jefferson, Wilson, AR, Friday, June 11, 4 p.m., $15 Chardonnay is one of the world’s most popular grape varieties. Deep dive into this complex and widely produced wine in this fun session.

HopeWorks Community Festival Holmes Road Church of Christ, 1187 Holmes, Saturday, June 12, 11 a.m.-3 p.m., free Community resources will be available from community partners alongside food, games, giveaways, and food trucks. Paddle the Greenway Wolf River Greenway - Epping Way Section, 2630, Epping Way, Sat., June 12, 9 a.m., free Learn to paddle a canoe with the Wolf River Conservancy and take a trip down the river. Register online.

Live music at


Tsunami Executive Chef de Cuisine Kevin Sullivan

19 Candles

By Julie Ray

The next time someone tells you to “own it,” talk to Kevin Sullivan — excuse me — Executive Chef de Cuisine Kevin Sullivan. After nearly 20 years in the restaurant industry, he got his just desserts as part owner of Tsunami restaurant. Sullivan is a homegrown Memphian. An honor graduate of Northside High and the University of Memphis, he began his career at a popular midtown restaurant, Tsunami, as a dishwasher in 2002. Curiosity put him in every part of the kitchen where he has spent the last 19 years honing his craft. His culinary degree was earned the old-fashioned way, by apprenticeship. He is a graduate of what Sullivan calls the “Tsunami Institute of America” under the tutelage of Chef Ben Smith. To celebrate, Sullivan is throwing a birthday party for his 19th year on the culinary scene. A five-course dinner and wine pairing planned for Sunday, June 13th, has sold out, necessitating a second birthday dinner on Monday, June 14th. Better hurry up and secure your seat. “This is a great event for Kevin,” says Chef Ben Smith. “This is not ‘Tsunami presents’; this is all about visibility for Chef Sullivan — being sure people get to witness how he puts talent and inspiration into action.” Sullivan’s dishes are his own, a blend of his family’s traditional vegetable-forward recipes, featuring Southern influence sauteed with worldwide flavors. Try his creative menu at the birthday dinners. If you miss both birthday events, you can still wish Chef Sullivan a happy birthday and try his fare at the Chef ’s Market on Tsunami’s patio. Prepared dishes are sold alongside Chef Smith’s soups and spreads most Saturdays. CHEF DE CUISINE KEVIN SULLIVAN’S BIRTHDAY DINNER, TSUNAMI, 928 COOPER, SUNDAY, JUNE 13-MONDAY, JUNE 14, 6 P.M., $145.

June 17th - 8:00pm Ghost-Note

6/9 - 6:30pm

Duwayne Burnside Blues Hour

6/10 - 6:30pm

Organ Failure

6/11 - 8pm Lucky 7

6/12 - 8pm

Steve Selvidge

6/13 - 1pm

Grassfire Bluegrass Band

6/16 - 6:30pm

Duwayne Burnside Blues Hour

6/17 - 8pm


6/18 - 8pm

Embroiderers’ Guild June Meeting: Solar Dyeing FAD Needlework, 6890 Autumn Oaks, Olive Branch, MS, Sat., June 12, 10 a.m.1 p.m., free/members, $10/nonmembers Solar dye fabric and threads and experiment with colors from assorted plants and leaves. Call to RSVP, 288-3628.

My Fair Lady Malco Paradiso, 584 S. Mendenhall, and Collierville Cinema Grill, 380 Market, Sun., June 13, 1 p.m., and Wed., June 16, 6 p.m., $16 Event includes a featurette, Remembering Audrey, a memorial of Audrey Hepburn, with insight from two of those who knew her best.

“Advances in New Hydrangea Breeding” Online from The Dixon Gallery & Gardens, dixon.org, Wed., June 16, noon, free with registration Tim Wood, product development and marketing manager at Spring Meadow Nursery, will speak on topic via Zoom.

Scarypoolparty Graceland Soundstage, 3717 Elvis Presley, Mon., June 14, 7:30 p.m., $35-$55 See Alejandro Aranda, who landed second place on American Idol.

“Darkness 101: The Perils of Light Pollution” Online from wolfriver.org, Wed., June 16, 6:30 p.m., free Charity Siebert, International Dark Sky advocate, will speak on topic.

Spice Cabinet Fire Cider Memphis Botanic Garden, 750 Cherry, Wed., June 16, noon, $20-$30 Join Sherri McCalla to learn the benefits of apple cider and herbs used as food and immune support.

City Champs

6/19 - 8pm The MDs

6/20 - 1pm

Rice Drewery Collective



The Conjuring’s eighth film stars Vera Farmiga and Patrick Wilson (above) and features unimaginative Exorcist retreads. Film, p. 26

m e m p h i s f l y e r. c o m

6/17 - 6pm

Max Kaplan and The Magics

2 1 6 6 C e n t r a l Av e . Memphis TN 38104


MUSIC By Alex Greene

Beyond Swamp Soul Marcella Simien’s insatiable creativity takes her to new heights. Marcella Simien has been a fixture of the Memphis scene for over six years now, often with her band, Marcella & Her Lovers, and over that time she’s acquired a reputation as a genre-buster. If her brand of “swamp soul” is inherently multicultural, reflecting both her zydecoplaying father, Terrance Simien, and the rich roux of her native Louisiana’s other musical flavors, she personally has many sonic touchstones beyond those. “I have broad taste in music and always have,” she says. “You can find soulfulness in any genre. That’s what I’m drawn to. From Kraftwerk to Brian Eno to Nina Simone, from sampling to jazz to folk.” As her musical endeavors gain steam, that eclecticism is more apparent than ever. And it’s keeping her mighty busy. I spoke with her recently about the welter of projects she’s involved in now. Memphis Flyer: It doesn’t seem like quarantine slowed you down much over the past year. Marcella Simien: It turned out that


June 10-16, 2021

Marcella Simien


the time away from the usual schedule was something that I needed. All the time I had alone to write and dig more into what I want, across the board, in life and ceatively, professionally, was really transformative. Things have opened up for me. I also invested in a couple items that have got me excited about making new sounds: a little sampler and a drum pad thing, the Roland SPD-S. It’ll be interesting to integrate it into the live show. It’s cool to blend analog or acoustic instruments with the high-tech stuff, samplers and all that. I’ve been making demo after demo after demo, sinking my teeth into these different genres. You’ve also been playing with different ensembles. Are the Lovers still an ongoing group? I’m never going to abandon the Lovers band, no matter what. That’s who I am. We still have tour dates, and we’re putting out an album, Marcella & Her Lovers Live at Railgarten, in September. And then I have a new single that’ll come out after that, under the name Marcella Simien. That’s a rebrand that allows me more room to


Gumbo, Grits & Gravy dance between different genres. Another group I’m in, ASP, started when Jesse James Davis, Keith Cooper, and Frank McLallen recorded all these songs during quarantine, and then brought them to Dustin [Reynolds] and I about three weeks ago, to recreate the songs live for Goner TV. I’m not the front person, and I really enjoy having the pressure off. And the songs are great and catchy and psychedelic. Some wild shit! So it’s been small gatherings and smaller ensembles. I’m drawn to that right now. And my website [marcellasimien.com] has all the groups that I’m associated with in one place. On June 18th, you’ll be heralding the reopening of Bar DKDC. That venue has been important to you, hasn’t it? Absolutely. It’s my second home. I owe so much of my progress to Karen Carrier. She gave me a stage, ever since I was in college. So on June 18th, we’re going to have a second line and walk from Nelson Avenue to DKDC, with the Lucky 7

Brass Band. Once inside, the Lucky 7 is going to throw down, and the Lovers will go on after them. And we’ll try to keep some of the Lucky 7 up there with me! Not long after that, yet another group you’re in, Gumbo, Grits & Gravy, will have a DKDC residence. Thom Wolke manages Guy Davis, who is the son of civil rights activists and actors Ruby Dee and Ossie Davis. Guy’s an incredible guitarist, songwriter, and storyteller. So Thom reached out to me about his idea for this group, gathering Guy with me and Anne Harris, who’s this great fiddle player based in Chicago. She’s just electric. She creates this whole different reality, and you can’t help but just want to be around her. And Guy’s the same way, with his storytelling ability. It’s heavily roots and blues. We’re doing a short 10-day run in July, so they’re coming to Memphis to rehearse, and then we’ll play DKDC on June 23rd and 24th. I’m just honored that they let me be a part of it.


OTIS REDDING III August 7, 2021

WILLIAM BELL August 27, 2021

MAX WEINBERG’S JUKEBOX September 18, 2021

MIKE FARRIS October 22, 2021

GARRY GOIN PRESENTS A.J. CROCE A TRIBUTE TO RAY PARKER JR. December 10, 2021 November 20, 2021

Photo by Michael Childers

WENDY MOTEN April 2, 2022

3 SHOWS: November 5-7, 2021


September 23, 2021 • November 11, 2021 • February 17, 2022 March 17, 2022 • April 14, 2022



January 21, 2022

JASON BISHOP February 25, 2022



March 19, 2022

January 27-28, 2022 • April 7-8, 2022 • May 5-6, 2022 THANK YOU TO OUR SPONSORS


m e m p h i s f l y e r. c o m



LUCIE ARNAZ January 15, 2022



June 10 - 16


38th Annual Juried Student Online Exhibition Featuring work by University of Memphis students. Through Dec. 31. 142 COMMUNICATION & FINE ARTS BUILDING, 38152 (678-2224)

“Africa: Art of a Continent”

Exhibition of African art from the Martha and Robert Fogelman collection. Ongoing. 142 COMMUNICATION & FINE ARTS BUILDING, 38152 (678-2224)

“Color and Light: Nature’s Gifts”

Exhibition on display in Fratelli’s Cafe, Mon.-Sat., 11 a.m.-2 p.m. 750 CHERRY, 38117 (766-9900)

“Going Places”

Exhibition of over 70 works of art by 25 artists online at wkno.org. Live viewing weekdays at MidSouth Artist Gallery in Bartlett. Free. Through June 30. 7151 CHERRY FARMS, CORDOVA, TN 38016 (458-2521)

“IEAA Ancient Egyptian Collection”

Exhibition of Egyptian antiquities ranging from 3800 B.C.E. to 700 C.E. from the Institute of Egyptian Art and Archaeology collection. Ongoing. 142 COMMUNICATION & FINE ARTS BUILDING, 38152 (678-2224)

“Measured Making: The 150mm Challenge”

“Memphis 2021”

Tributaries: Andrew Meers: “Amalgamations”

Exhibition of new work by favorite and emerging artists emphasizing color, texture, scale, community, and an exciting look at what’s to come in Memphis in the 2020s. Through July 11.

Exhibition which recognizes emerging and mid-career artists in the metals field. Includes a selection of knives and forged work. Through July 17.

4339 PARK (761-5250)

374 METAL MUSEUM, 38106 (774-6380)


Exhibition of microscopic images forming a connection to everyday-life patterns presented by Dr. Amir Hadadzadeh. Through Sept. 30.

Vietnam Veterans & Desert Storm Veterans Exhibition


2945 SHELBY, 38134

Veterans’ work on view. Through July 31.

“Play. Jazz. Color. Joy.”


Artist Amy Hutcheson’s compositions explore relationships between space, line, color, and form. Each image unfurls then curls up within itself, folding and unfolding at the same time. Each painting explores what is intimate, what is on display, what is cherished and abandoned. Her works are fueled by joy, physical movement, and synesthesia. Wed.-Fri., 11 a.m.4 p.m.; Sat. 11 a.m.-3 p.m.

Acrylic Painting with Gay Rhodes

5040 SANDERLIN, 38117 (767-2200)

“Signs and Wonders”

Exhibition of a variety of media by visual artist, textile designer, and leathersmith Brittney Boyd Bullock. Wed., May 5-June 20. 4339 PARK (761-5250)

“Sketching Europe: A Tour through the Eyes of Memphian Samuel H. Crone”

Exhibition, borne from the #150mmChallenge, celebrates the unbridled creativity and possibility of forged ironwork. Curated by Delyth Done, it features work by amateur and professional blacksmiths. Through July 3.

Exhibition of sketches and watercolor paintings by Samuel Hester Crone in the permanent collection. Through Dec. 31.

374 METAL MUSEUM, 38106 (774-6380)

Exhibition of photography, installations, sculpture, and video by six artists — Paul


June 10-16, 2021


Stephen Benjamin, Brandon Donahue, Dell M. Hamilton, Shaun Leanardo, Justin Thompson, and Leila Weefur — exploring themes of race, identity, gender, language, and transformation. Tues., June 1-June 26. 97 TILLMAN, 38104 (767-3800)

“The Machine Inside: Biomechanics”

An immersive exhibit for all ages that takes visitors on a journey into the marvels of natural engineering. This engaging traveling exhibit from

In the Heights: Finding Home details an intimate look into making the musical In the Heights by Lin-Manuel Miranda. the Field Museum in Chicago shows the many ways humans can draw inspiration from the innovations of evolution. Through Aug. 31. 3050 CENTRAL, 38111 (636-2362)

“Through Darkness to Light: Photographs along the Underground Railroad”

Photographer Jeanine MichnaBales has spent more than a decade meticulously researching “fugitive” slaves and the ways they escaped to freedom. This exhibit features beautifully dramatic color photographs, ephemera, and narratives that together tell the story of the Underground Railroad. Through June 20.

Join Instructor Gay Rhodes for this four-session painting series where students will gain new skills from the instructor’s 20-plus years of teaching experience. Topics will include planning and sketching for a painting, and mixing and applying paint in a variety of techniques. Most students will complete at least two paintings. All classes will begin with a demonstration. All levels welcome. For more information, supply list, or to register, call 636-4128. $150 MBG members/$175 nonmembers. Wednesdays, through June 30, 9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. 750 CHERRY, 38117 (636-4100)

Embroiderers’ Guild June Meeting - Solar Dyeing Solar dye fabric and threads and experiment with colors from assorted plants, leaves, and more. Call for more information or to reserve a spot, 288-3628. Free. Sat., June 12, 10 a.m.-1 p.m. 6890 AUTUMN OAKS DRIVE, OLIVE BRANCH, MS 38654 (662-408-4769)

3050 CENTRAL, 38111 (636-2362)

NEW MOVIE Memphis Museum of Science & History



Send the date, time, place, cost, info, phone number, a brief description, and photos — two weeks in advance — to calendar@memphisflyer.com or P.O. Box 1738, Memphis, TN 38101. DUE TO SPACE LIMITATIONS, ONGOING WEEKLY EVENTS WILL APPEAR IN THE FLYER’S ONLINE CALENDAR ONLY.

Showing in the Giant Screen Theater


5 S. MAIN, 38103

Saturday Sketch

For ages 15+. Sketch in the gardens or galleries with a special guest instructor each month. Bring a pad of paper or a sketchbook. Pencils and colored pencils only. Free. Sat., June 12, 10 a.m. 4339 PARK (761-5250)

Snowden Spirit Series Writing Contest

Choose an individual, a couple, or a group, so long as they touch the subject matter of the yellow fever epidemic of 1878. The limit is 1,000 words. The entry fee per submission is $20. Submissions are due Tues., July 6, at 4 p.m. Submissions may be emailed to amanda@elmwoodcemetery.org. Winners will be announced July 20. $20. 824 S. DUDLEY (774-3212)

Spice Cabinet Fire Cider Join herb curator Sherri McCalla to learn about the benefits of apple cider and traditional herbs used as food and immune support. $30. Wed., June 16, noon 750 CHERRY, 38117 (636-4100)

The Peace Project

Hear the peace offerings made up of artists’ voices, instruments, ambient noises, and reverberations in a healing space featuring work by Hank Willis Thomas. Ongoing. FRONT AND MADISON, 38103


In the Heights Virtual Book Launch

Authors Lin-Manuel Miranda, Quiara Alegria Hudes, and Jeremy McCarter launch In the Heights: Finding Home with a conversation on creativity, community, and finding home, via Zoom. Tues., June 15, 7 p.m. 387 PERKINS EXT., 38117 (922-5526)

Memphis Reads

Speaking engagements at Christian Brothers University on October 13, Rhodes College on October 14, and at a Shelby County School will be scheduled along with parallel events for Thick: and Other Essays by Tressie McMillan Cottom. Ongoing. 650 E. PARKWAY S., 38104 (321-3335)

Reader Meet Writer: Natalie Baszile

Author discusses We Are Each Other’s Harvest: Celebrating African American Farmers, Land, and Legacy via Zoom. Thurs., June 10, 6 p.m. 387 PERKINS EXT., 38117 (922-5526)

Andy Sandford Runs His Upcoming Album $10 online, $15 at the door. Wed., June 16, 8 p.m.-10 p.m. 1702 MADISON, 38104

Hasan Minhaj: Experiment Time

A unique comedic voice performs on Thurs., June 10, 8 p.m., and Fri.-Sat., 7 p.m. and 9:15 p.m. $30. 225 S. MAIN, 38103 (525-3000)

Live Weekly Comedy with John Miller

Open-mic style. Free. Tues., June 15, 8 p.m.-10 p.m. 282 N. CLEVELAND, 38104 (278-8663)

Shep Kelly

Featuring headliner Shep Kelly. $20. Fri., June 11, 8 p.m., and Sat., June 12, 8 p.m. 4330 AMERICAN WAY, 38118


Ballet Memphis Online Pilates and Ballet Classes

Visit website for more information. Classes offered include Espresso Flow, Stretch & Burn, Fascial Fun, Intermediate/Advanced Ballet, Intermediate Mat Flow, and Get Moving. $10. Ongoing. 2144 MADISON, 38104 (737-7322)

Online Dance Class with Steven Prince Tate Dance, laugh, and shine a light on the current situation. Donations accepted, $SPTate and Venmo: SPTate. Fri., June 11, 8 a.m. ONLINE, MEMPHIS, TN 38120

USA Dance Greater Memphis

$9, $13. Sat., June 12, 7 p.m.10 p.m. 1879 N. GERMANTOWN PARKWAY, CORDOVA, TN, 38016


Intergalactic Beadshows Sat., June 12, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; Sun., June 13, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. $5. 7777 WALNUT GROVE (757-7777)


Camp Lichterman Polliwogs Pre-K Camp

Bring your Polliwog to Camp Lichterman for some natural fun right in the heart of Memphis. Members: $120; nonmembers: $130. Mon., June 14, 9 a.m.-noon; Tues., June 15, 9 a.m.-noon. 3050 CENTRAL, 38111 (636-2362)

H2Oh! Splash Water Park

Garden-themed exhibit with 40+ sprayers including jet streams, mists, geysers, and water tunnels. Free with admission. $15. Ongoing. 2525 CENTRAL, 38104 (458-2678)

KangaZoo Outback Experience

Experience the outback and meet one of Australia’s largest marsupials, the red kangaroo. Guests will stay on the designated path, but the kangaroos will have free range so guests may take pictures if they come across any of the animals. Free. Through Oct. 31 2000 PRENTISS PLACE IN OVERTON PARK, 38112 (333-6500)

Teen Book Club

Read and discuss the book of the month, eat a few snacks, play a review game, discuss the book read, vote on our next book. For teens, 6th-12th grade. Free. Monday, June 14.

We're kicking off the Summer Party Season in Memphis with this tasty celebration of all of the traditions of Brunch!

91 WALNUT (853-2333)


HopeWorks Community Festival Featuring food, games, giveaways, food trucks, and community resources. Sat., June 12, 11 a.m.-3 p.m.


1187 HOLMES, 38116

Pride Week: Live and In Color 2.0

Featuring virtual and live events including Pride on Wheels caravan, Drag N Drive, and virtual Pride and in Color 2.0.Pride on Wheels caravan: Sun., May 30, 2-3 p.m.; Drag N Drive: Thurs., June 3, 6:30-11 p.m.; Pride and in Color 2.0: Fri., June 4, 7-9 p.m., Sat., June 5, 9 a.m.-8 p.m., and Sun., June 6, 11 a.m.-6 p.m. VIRTUAL/ONLINE, MEMPHIS, TN



GKIDS: Children of the Sea Adapted from the manga of the same name by author Daisuke Igarashi, which won the Excellence Prize at the Japan Media Arts Festival. Also showing at Collierville Cinema Grill, 380 Market. $15. Sun., June 13, 3 p.m.




584 S MENDENHALL RD, 38117

Indie Memphis Movie Club

Weekly virtual screening opportunities, plus online Q&As on Tuesday evenings between programmers and special guests. Visit website for more information and schedule. Ongoing.



My Fair Lady

Event includes a featurette, Remembering Audrey, a memorial of the legendary star Audrey Hepburn, with insight from two of those who knew her best — companion Robert Wolders and her son Sean Hepburn Ferrer. Also showing at Collierville Cinema Grill, 380 Market. $15. Sun., June 13, 1 p.m.; Wed., June 16, 6 p.m. 584 S. MENDENHALL RD, 38117

continued on page 22

... with more to be announced! tickets and more info: letsbrunchmemphis.com

m e m p h i s f l y e r. c o m

Visit artist Mary-Ellen Kelly online for “My Memphis View” products including books, prints, T-shirts, drink coasters, and posters. Ongoing.



Open on Main: My Memphis View Art & Gallery


CALENDAR: JUNE 10 - 16 continued from page 21 FO O D AN D D R I N K

Chef de Cuisine Kevin Sullivan Birthday Dinner

Five-course dinner and wine pairing celebrating Chef Kevin Sullivan’s 19th year in the kitchen. The event will showcase Chef Sullivan’s unique spin on traditional Southern cuisine, including reimagined classics, curated wine pairings, and signature cocktails. $145. Sun., June 13, 6 p.m.; Mon., June 14, 6 p.m. TSUNAMI, 928 S. COOPER, 38104

Food Truck Garden Party

Explore the garden after hours and enjoy a variety of local food trucks, live music, and a cash bar. Dogs are welcome. $10. Thurs., June 10, 5 p.m.-8 p.m. 750 CHERRY, 38117 (636-4100)

Margarita Festival

Sample from the city’s best margarita-makers, vote on your favorite, and an audience winner will be crowned. Your ticket includes entry and 12 margarita samples. 21+. $43. Fri., June 11, 5 p.m.-8 p.m. 2101 MADISON, 38104

Wilson Wine Experience: Chardonnay Flight Tasting

Chardonnay is one of the worlds most popular grape varietals. Do a deep dive into this complex and widely produced wine in this fun and informative session. $15. Fri., June 11, 4 p.m.

Novel Virtual Book Club

For more information on joining book club discussion, visit website or follow on social media. Members can get 10 percent off this month’s book to have shipped or pick up curbside. Free. Wed., June 16, 7 p.m.-8:15 p.m.

For transgender individuals affected by HIV/AIDS. Tues., June 15, 1 p.m. 15 S. IDLEWILD (272-270-2216)

Haunted Memphis Bus Tour

Stops in Downtown and Victorian Village with multiple photo opportunities. You may catch your own paranormal evidence of orbs, apparitions, and spectral figures. $20. Ages 13-17; $25 adults. No one under 13 permitted. Please arrive 15 minutes early, tour begins promptly. Fri., June 11, 7:30 p.m.; Sat., June 12, 7:30 p.m.

Online Summer Lecture Series: “Darkness 101, The Perils of Light Pollution”

Charity Siebert, program director for Pinecrest Camp and International Dark Sky advocate, will speak on topic online from wolfriver.org. Wed., June 16, 6:30 p.m. 2630 EPPING WAY, 38128

“Power Women, Power Moves”

Live book talk by Dr. Shirley Raines and video presentation by assisstant Grizzly coach Sonia Raman, J.D., presented by YWCA Greater Memphis. $40. Fri., June 11, 6 p.m. MEMPHISYWCA.ORG

Pruning Club

“The Way”

Hope House Support Group

824 S. DUDLEY (774-3212)

387 PERKINS EXT., 38117 (922-5526)

“Advances in New Hydrangea Breeding”

4339 PARK (761-5250)

June 10-16, 2021



Tim Wood, product development and marketing manager at Spring Meadow Nursery, will speak on topic via Zoom. Wed., June 16, noon.


Come meet your new family member. Potentials provided by Real Good Dog Rescue. Sat., June 12, noon.

Work with horticulture staff, aesthetically pruning trees and shrubs featuring occasional speakers and demonstrations from MBG staff and local professionals regarding pruning. Thurs., June 10, 9 a.m.-noon.


nationwide missing person search for decades beginning in 1899? Who married seven times and was accused of offing at least three of her spouses? Take the new Foul Play Tour and find out. Good walking shoes are recommended for this 90-minute step back in time. $20. Thurs., June 10, 5:30 p.m.-7 p.m.

Meet and Greet Adoptable Pets

750 CHERRY, 38117 (636-4100)

A service of recovery with music as a key component. Free. Fri., June 11, 6 p.m. 1207 PEABODY, 38104 (726-4104)

546 S. MAIN, 38103 (497-9486)

Hasan Minhaj, Peabody and Webby Awards winner, best known for Netflix’s Patriot Act, will perform at Halloran Centre. P E R F O R M A N C E A R TS

Opera Memphis presents Scalia/Ginsburg

A one-act operatic comedy by composer-librettist Derrick Wang about the unlikely friendship between U.S. Supreme Court Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Antonin Scalia. Feast & Graze food truck and cocktails available for purchase or bring a picnic. $35/general admission. Sat., June 12, 7 p.m.-8:30 p.m. GERMANTOWN PERFORMING ARTS CENTER, 1801 EXETER, 38138

TM Thursdays on the Plaza

Hosted by Chief Zoological Officer Matt Thompson, Memphis Zoo updates. Free. Sat., June 12, noon; Sun., June 13, 8 a.m.; Wed., June 16, 8 a.m.

From blues to trivia, enjoy the elements and the bar with wine and craft beer, as well as a nosh or two. Triva nights will be free, and there will be a minimum $5 cover for nights with performers. Thurs., June 10, 6:15 p.m.


630 PERKINS EXT., 38117 (682-8323)

Zoo Dude



Best of Memphis Nominations

Canoes + Cocktails

Vote online for your favorite local businesses. Show them some love. Tell them that they are the BOM. Through June 30. BOM.MEMPHISFLYER.COM

Fireman’s Concert

Memphis Fire Fighters Association fundraising concert featuring T. Graham Brown & The Drifters. $30. Wed., June 16. 7777 WALNUT GROVE (757-7777)

GET LOUD Concert Series at Handy Park

Memphis Tourism, in partnership with the Tennessee Department of Tourist Development, Downtown Memphis Commission, and Beale Street, is bringing you “Get Loud!,” a 10-week outdoor music series on Beale Street’s biggest stage in downtown Memphis. Thurs., June 10: St. Paul & The Broken Bones and The MD’s, 6 p.m.-9:45 p.m. 200 BEALE (527-2687)

Memphis Ghost Walk

Enjoy a guided evening sunset paddle on the lake followed by socially distant cocktails, hors d’oeuvres, yard games, and music at Hyde Lake Pavilion. Rent a canoe or kayak or BYO boat. 21+ event and is a fundraiser for the daily operations of Shelby Farms Park + Shelby Farms Greenline. Old Dominick Distillery is the official cocktail sponsor of the 2021 Canoes + Cocktails series. Fridays, through September. 6903 GREAT VIEW DR N, 38134

Sunset Yoga Downtown

Every Sunday from 5:30 p.m.6:30 p.m. at Fourth Bluff Park with instructor Bridget Sisney of Universoul Wellness. All ages and experience levels are welcome. Follow @BridgetDanielle and @DowntownMemphis for all updates. Sun., June 13, 5:306:30 p.m. 515 S. MAIN, 38103 (690-6806)


Foul Play: True Crimes of Bygone Times

Escape into the past with entertaining and knowledgeable guides. You’ll visit sites of hauntings taken from local legends, official records, and professional paranormal investigations. Be sure to take lots of pictures along the way to see if you capture any paranormal activity of your own. Attendees will walk about a half mile total with several stops along the way. You will have a short walk back to the starting point. $20. Fri., June 11, 8 p.m.; Sat., June 12, 8 p.m. 546 S. MAIN, 38103 (497-9486)

Tales from Elmwood: A Cemetery Walking Tour

Know the residents of Elmwood Cemetery: yellow fever martyrs and heroes, Civil Rights leaders, madams, veterans of every major U.S. war, steamboat disaster victims, city movers and shakers, rascals, musicians, and many more. $20. Sat., June 12, 10 a.m. 824 S. DUDLEY (774-3212)

Who was accused of lacing her cookies with arsenic? Who was at the center of a

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FOOD By Michael Donahue

On a Roll Pok Cha food truck sells Korean egg rolls.


essica Hurdle thought rolling sold kimchi, bulgogi (Korean barbecue egg rolls was a good idea. — rib-eye steak marinated in soy sauce, In other words, she decided to pear juice, and sesame oil) and Korean open Pok Cha’s Egg Rolls, a food corn dogs, which are deep-fried and truck featuring egg rolls and other items. then rolled in sugar. “We actually sold “I’ve been sitting on this idea for two out. We had an overwhelming response years,” Hurdle says. “I’m a former school from the community. We ran out of teacher. The pandemic allowed me time plates. We had to send somebody to the to go forward with it.” store to get more.” Hurdle, a member of the Air National Hurdle, who now works as a health Guard, got the idea when she was on actechnician at the 164th Medical Group tive duty orders at Little Rock Air Force in Memphis, operates her food truck Base. “I visited a food truck there. A on the side. “Social media has been my Chinese lady was serving Asian food on best friend. We don’t have a set locathe base. I really was inspired by her.” tion. We’re going wherever we’re invited. The woman served fried rice and Schools are booking us. Neighborhood sweet potato fries, but, Hurdle says, “The associations are booking us.” egg rolls were something she always Her daughters Shelby, Sarah, and Samade, and she made them in a very special way. We exchanged PHOTO BY JIM LORD information. She let me visit her (left to right) Sarah, Shelby, and to see how her operation would Jessica Hurdle, Brandon Jenkins, go. She mentored me on the way.” Savanna Hurdle Hurdle liked the food truck idea. “I thought, ‘I’ve never seen an egg roll food truck. I may be on to something.’” And she wanted to do something to honor her mom, the late Pok Cha Chang. “Egg rolls for me are a family legacy. Something my mom was known for.” Her mother put three different kinds vanna help her. “I’m teaching them how of meat — hamburger, chicken, and to run a business. Teach them life skills.” Spam — in one egg roll. “She was South Hurdle recently finished her graduKorean. Right after the Korean War, she ate degree to be a school principal, but didn’t have any education. She never had she already has her orders to serve for a day of education in her life. When she six months in Afghanistan with the Air moved to the United States in the late National Guard beginning this fall. But ’70s, she worked in warehouses, restaushe’s thinking about a restaurant locarants, and for other people. She always tion for her business after her tour of talked about selling her egg rolls one day duty is completed. and having her own restaurant, but she Meanwhile, her mother’s memory is never fulfilled it.” never far when her food truck hits the Hurdle got started on her food truck road. The Pok Cha logo was inspired by after she resigned from teaching second a vintage photo of her mother. “It was grade at Hope Sullivan Elementary taken way before I was even thought School in Southaven, Mississippi, and of. I had a comic book illustrator, who’s began working at a military job, providalso a veterinarian in Nashville, help me ing COVID relief during the pandemic. design it. Dr. Greg Shaw.” She got help from chefs Jimmy “Sushi The logo, featuring a young ravenJimmi” Sinh, Alex Grisanti, and Mike haired woman with a blue bow, is another Stanley on how to start a food truck. way for Hurdle to honor her mother. Last summer, she had Trailer King “Pok Cha is her given name. When she Builders out of Houston, Texas, custommoved to Memphis, all the Southern build a 16-foot trailer. people here would call her ‘Pork Chop.’” For more information, follow Pok Cha’s Egg Her first gig was at a community Rolls on Facebook. center. In addition to the egg rolls, she

From grain to grapes to potatoes, there’s more than one way to make a “kangaroo, shaken, not stirred.”


or Americans, toasts are for the Soviets, all the decent vodka was sold weddings. In that part of the abroad as Marx slowly turned in his grave. world that used to be snuggled In college, I knew a guy whose family up behind the Iron Curtain, the owned a distillery in Wisconsin. I asked criteria are a little wider: a) booze is within him the name so I could buy a bottle. reach, and b) you’ve made eye contact Not only was their entire business in with another mammal. A few years ago, I Eastern Europe, they didn’t even bottle found myself at dinner in Kharkiv, a city in the stuff; it was sold in six-packs of Ukraine about 19 miles from the Russian 12-ounce cans. Which explains why that border, consisting of Western NGO sorts, dinner in Kharkiv turned out the way locals, and a faction from Serbia. The it did: It wasn’t a drinking game, you dinner was lousy with vodka toasts to each understand, but I lost anyway. other’s health. At least that’s what I thought You’ll never find pertsivka stateside (I’ve it was — turned out to be something called tried), but there are a lot of vodkas made pertsivka. “What is pertsivka?” I asked. in different ways to try. Belvedere is made “It’s horilka made with hot pepper for from rye in Poland, and again, it goes spice.” down smooth. A French vodka — Cîroc “What is horilka?” — is made from “five different” grapes “What Americans call vodka because and is absolutely worth a try. Grain-based they don’t know the difference.” Dark Eyes, on the other hand, is out of St. In Eastern Europe and Scandinavia, Louis and is absolutely not. Smirnoff, the they’ve always had their local varieties best-selling vodka in the world, is actually of the stuff, and these are often lightly British, but it is distilled almost anywhere flavored — all with local names. The term it has a market. I’ve had it made with rice, “vodka” just took hold in the U.S. as a but it tasted like sake. catchall because we associated it with the Being relatively free of impurities Russians, who were scaring the pants off us picked up from barrel aging, vodka has a at the time, and that’s what they called it. reputation of being easier on the hangover. I’ve never really had strong opinions And this is true enough, but it will about vodka for the simple reason that dehydrate you as fast as any other spirit. it is, by definition and design, (theoretically) odorless and tasteless. So I was never quite sure what, exactly, I was supposed to have an opinion about. After the horilka I developed opinions, and quickly. While two whiskeys will taste very different, with vodka — generally STOCKSNAPPER | DREAMSTIME.COM an unblended, unaged grain spirit — it’s more a matter of texture: harsh vs. smooth. Dark Eyes doesn’t taste much Stir in those sugary mixers (I’m looking at different from Belvedere, but one burns you, Moscow mule) and it will give your going down and the other slides home headache a boom that brown water could without watering the eyes. only dream about. For their part, the Russians aren’t nearly In Ukraine, they drink the stuff neat as pedantic about their national tipple as and out of cans. The closest American the French are about wine. They drink so equivalent is the dry vodka martini. My much of the stuff that they’ll make it out of issue is that it is another case of Americans just about anything: potatoes, vegetables, misnaming things. This concoction is or, as in one famous case, the dried fruits called a “kangaroo.” The reason we call and nuts sourced from what a Moscow it a vodka martini is that not even Sean zookeeper should have been feeding the Connery could order a “kangaroo, shaken, monkeys. It hardly mattered because under not stirred” and make it sound cool.






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S P I R ITS By Richard Murff


FILM By Chris McCoy

Satanic Panic Who is to blame for The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It?


June 10-16, 2021

d and Lorraine Warren were a pair of good, old-fashioned American hucksters who teamed up as investigators of the paranormal. He was a self-taught demonologist, and she a medium. Out of their home in Monroe, Connecticut, they ran a museum devoted to occult and paranormal artifacts, which began with a creepy doll named Annabelle, which was allegedly possessed. They made a name for themselves investigating a New York haunted house case that inspired the 1979 frightener The Amityville Horror. The ’70s provided the perfect environment for the Warrens’ brand of Roman Catholic-flavored scary stories, thanks to the huge popularity of The Exorcist. One can argue that it was William Friedkin’s 1973 film, not Jaws, that heralded the beginning of the modern blockbuster era. Friedkin’s technique is unstoppable. The arresting combination of the innocent-looking Regan, played by Linda Blair, who got an Academy Award nomination, and the deep voice of the foul-mouthed demon who possesses her, is just one example of tricks that have been endlessly lifted from The Exorcist. But it’s the story’s mining of the deep history of Christian paranoia about demons and witchcraft that helped it resonate so deeply with audiences.


The Warrens rode the wave of Exorcistinspired interest in possessions and hauntings to investigate more than 10,000 cases over their career. They achieved another level of fame in 2013 when director James Wan adapted the story of one of their more lurid early investigations into The Conjuring. Wan, who these days is working on his Aquaman sequel, served up watered-down Friedkin to spectacular results. The Conjuring turned into a seven-film, $2 billion franchise for Warner Bros. The Devil Made Me Do It, the eighth film in the series, is helmed by Michael Chaves, who directed the sixth installment, The Curse of la Llorona. The story cold opens with Ed (Patrick Wilson) and Lorraine (Vera Farmiga) attending to young David Glatzel (Julian Hilliard), who shows all the Friedkin-inspired signs of possession: a foul mouth, horrible contortionist moves, and the classic blood shower. When the young priest arrives and things get heated, the demon causes Ed to have a heart attack. As he’s fading from consciousness, he sees family friend Arne (Ruairi O’Connor) implore the demon to “take me instead!” Pro tip: Don’t say that to a demon, unless you’re willing to take on a new, very messy tenant in your head. David is saved, but Arne starts getting mysterious spirited visitors. Then, when partying with his girlfriend Debbie Glatzel (Sarah Catherine Hook) and his creepy landlord Bruno (Ronnie Gene Blevins), Arne blacks out and stabs Bruno 22 times. The Warrens insist that Arne is innocent by

The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It premiered on June 4th and earned $24 million in ticket sales during its opening weekend. reason of demonic possession, an unorthodox defense anywhere outside of the Salem Witch trials, and set out to discover why these pesky demons are making this wholesome white family do bad things. The Devil Made Me Do It resembles nothing more than an overly long, particularly lame episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. After finding a “witch’s totem” in the crawlspace of the Glatzel home, they consult a former priest named Kastner (John Noble), who went a little crazy investigating the pseudo-satanic Disciples of the Ram cult. Then, there’s lots of standing before Ed’s conspiracy theorist yarn-wall looking for connections that can only loosely be called “clues,” before settling onto a hypothesis that involves, you guessed it, a witch. Like all the Conjuring movies, this one is allegedly based on a true story from the Warrens’ archives. But what does “true” really mean with unreliable narrators like these? The Warrens’ brand of demon mumbo-jumbo plays into the need for people to have someone else to blame for the evil that men do. It’s not harmless: In the ’80s, the Satanic Panic ruined thousands of people’s lives searching for child-abusing devil cults that didn’t continued on page 28



m e m p h i s f l y e r. c o m



June 10-16, 2021

The COVID-19 vaccine is how we get to hug again. How we get to watch our kids grow up, graduate and get married. How we root for our favorite teams in person. And high five complete strangers. This is how we get to be there for the ones that matter the most. The COVID-19 vaccine is how we live, not in fear, but in freedom.

28 21-MLB-021_VaccAd_4-7x11-25_AAGpa_r1.indd 1

4/7/21 8:42 AM

FILM By Chris McCoy continued from page 26 exist. You can see the echoes of it in the pseudo-religious overtones of the Q conspiracists, who paint their political opponents with accusations of devilworshipping pedophilia. But there’s no need to resort to demonic possession to explain either child sexual abuse or a drunk guy murdering his landlord when he thought he was coming onto his girlfriend. Yes, the Warrens made all this up, but so what? Made-up stuff makes for good movies, and truth be told, I would

be down with all of it if The Devil Made Me Do It wasn’t such a frightful bore. Wilson and Farmiga are phoning it in at this point, and, with the exception of Hilliard, who conjures a few sparks as the young possession victim, they’re the best actors on the screen. The visuals are lazy Exorcist retreads, and why does it seem to be so hard for big-budget movies to get a decent sound mix these days? The Devil Made Me Do It is dreadful, but not in a good way. The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It Now playing at multiple locations, and streaming on HBO Max

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TH E LAST WO R D By William Smythe

Where Has My City Gone?


One morning, my girlfriend woke up to see our view was gone. It happened in stages. At first we noticed scraps of metal growing where Midtown Nursery used to host Christmas trees a couple of years back. Before the nursery came, it used to be Neil’s Bar. She told me stories of her wild nights there. I held her close and sighed as they put up the new sign: Madison@McLean. An unoriginal name for a bland building. Now my view is the inside of strangers’ windows. I’m a reluctant voyeur. I keep my blinds shut now; I have nothing to see anyway. When I found out that The P&H Cafe was closing, that was the final straw for me. I knew the city was remaking my home for some mediocre profit. And who will see those profits? The P&H is a historic landmark for Memphis. Craig Brewer filmed his first movie there. He even named the movie after the place: The Poor & Hungry. Countless comedians made the bar their watering hole. Musicians played some of their first shows here. The ceiling glorified the best of Memphis. It was a home away from home for them all. Home. That word is getting so much harder to say now as I recognize less and less about Midtown. There is one area of town where these efforts of gentrification have worked for the better: Crosstown Concourse. From the wreckage of a Sears distribution center has come an art gallery, school, and, even better, a medical clinic. It has given space to new businesses PHOTO BY JOKERPROPRODUCTION | DREAMSTIME.COM as well, such as Global Cafe and French Truck Coffee. Outside of it, Black New buildings and new fears Lodge Video and Hi Tone, two locally grown Memphis-based businesses and centers of culture, have been saved as well. They returned with vigor. But, still, the increase in rent around that area, as well as inside the Concourse itself, prices out local people and caters to people outside of Memphis. I know we want to attract newcomers to the city, but not at the expense of the locals who made it what it is. As much as I appreciate and advocate for this former blight turning into a new neighborhood and cultural touchstone, I fear that, with the rise of gentrification in Midtown and other neighborhoods, we are turning our former home into a new Frankenstein creation that resembles places such as Portland. Or worse — Nashville! My connections to Midtown run deep, but it’s not the only neighborhood being eyed by developers. There’s Summer Avenue, rebranded as Memphis’ international district and home to old businesses, antiques stores, and taco shops and diners and dives that give the neighborhood its flavor. The Pinch District, where the Tower Project might bring jobs and attractions, Uptown, the Edge — I welcome investment in these neighborhoods, but it’s vital we find a balance between the old and the new. But I’m a Midtowner, so that’s where the heart of this piece lies. We have had a lovely community of folks striving to make this part of town unique and quintessentially Memphian in flavor. Midtown has a variety of neighborhoods that define our modern Memphis culture. From the streets surrounding Idlewild Presbyterian, where one of the first integrated congregations took place, to the shops in Cooper-Young, where OUTMemphis has hosted programs benefiting the Southern queer community and helped house so many disenfranchised. Midtown is where I grew up. Where my dad grew up. Where his own father grew up. And of all the stories we share, there is one common thread: a feeling of home and security, of community. That essence is disappearing fast with the introduction of these big-box apartment buildings, replacing the very character of Memphis that we have all come to love. Historic monuments stand now in fear of who’s next. If we can just hold onto that history though, we may save our neigborhoods’ distinct vitality — and keep the spirit of Memphis alive. William Smythe is a Memphian and published poet.

m e m p h i s f l y e r. c o m

As Memphis experiences new growth, we must work to find the balance between development and gentrification.


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Profile for Contemporary Media

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