Memphis Flyer 7/11/2024

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SHARA CLARK Editor-in-Chief

ABIGAIL MORICI Managing Editor


TOBY SELLS Associate Editor


CHRIS MCCOY Film and TV Editor

ALEX GREENE Music Editor



Contributing Columnists


CARRIE BEASLEY Senior Art Director


Advertising Art Director

NEIL WILLIAMS Graphic Designer



Warehouse and Delivery Manager


KENNETH NEILL Founding Publisher

JERRY D. SWIFT Advertising Director Emeritus

THE MEMPHIS FLYER is published weekly by Contemporary Media, Inc., P.O. Box 1738, Memphis, TN 38101 Phone: (901) 521-9000 Fax: (901) 521-0129



Chief Executive O cer

LYNN SPARAGOWSKI Controller/Circulation Manager

JEFFREY GOLDBERG Chief Revenue Officer

MARGIE NEAL Chief Operating Officer

KRISTIN PAWLOWSKI Digital Services Director

Driven By Greed

As Tennessee pushes harsher sentences, the state’s private prison contractor stands to bene t with increased inmate populations — and higher pro ts.

We Saw You

A 10-foot David Bowie sculpture was the center of quite the party.


Welcome to the Pleasuredome

Mia Goth takes on Hollywood in Ti West’s MaXXXine p28




THE fly-by

MEM ernet

Memphis on the internet.


Follow the Facebook group called rough the Eyes of Black Memphis for some cool history and fun photos. Top contributor Don Johnson posted the photo above of Penny Hardaway stopping by the Nike store on Shelby Drive in the 1990s.


e city invited everyone to stay positive about, well, the city last week. An Instagram Reel features Memphis Mayor Paul Young, Al Kapone, Greater Memphis Chamber president and CEO Ted Townsend, and more sharing what they love most about Memphis.

If you need a shot of positivity, search #MemphisProud, #PositiveMemphis, and #CelebrateMemphis.


A er years of saying we wouldn’t feature him just because of his name, here we are. Dutch footballer Memphis Depay, owner of the @Memphis X handle, helped push the Netherlands to the Euro 2024 semi nals with a win over Turkey last week.

Questions, Answers + Attitude


Legal Services, Brooks, & MEM

West Tennessee Legal Services funded, museum expands programs, and 100K expected at airport.


West Tennessee Legal Services (WTLS) secured federal funding last Monday, establishing it as the o cial nonpro t agency o ering legal services to families living below the poverty line in Shelby, Tipton, Fayette, and Lauderdale counties.

Memphis Area Legal Services lost the federal funding this year, as ocials had concerns about its operation. e money comes from Legal Services Corporation (LSC), a nonpro t created by Congress. at money ($940,301) will now go to WTLS.

“LSC’s top priority is that lowincome families in the Memphis service area receive high-quality assistance for their civil legal problems,” said LSC president Ronald Flagg. “We support WTLS’ expansion of services in the Memphis region and look forward to following their progress in providing e ective legal services to those in need.”

WTLS is headquartered in Jackson. It will prioritize cases on access to healthcare, securing or retaining income, securing or retaining shelter, personal freedom and security of abused persons or institutionalized persons, and issues that a ect family safety, cohesiveness, and stability.

“Our team is eager to get to work providing these crucial services to individuals and families across this region,” said Ashley Holliday, executive director of the group. “As we grow, our focus will remain constant: to ensure that people in need have access to justice and the support they deserve.”

WTLS is actively hiring attorneys and paralegals to handle cases involving housing, domestic violence, public bene ts, and consumer issues.

“Initially, our case volume will be limited as we grow our sta ,” said Holliday. “We will increase capacity as we hire and train new team members for our Memphis o ce. We’ll be adding a pro bono sta attorney to build relationships with the private bar, and we anticipate seeing a signi cant increase in our pro bono unit’s case volume by 2025.”


While the new Memphis Art Museum recently got the green light to begin construction on Front Street, the Memphis Brooks Museum of Art in Overton Park expanded its public programming by 400 percent.

The Brooks will change its name when it moves Downtown. For now, museum officials said they want to make the Midtown location a hang-out spot for the entire community.

“We are quadrupling the number of public programs with a goal to deepen community bonds for countless Memphians — and we’re just getting started,” said Brooks executive director Zoe Kahr. “We’re excited to grow the many ways Memphis’ art museum can be the go-to place for Memphis’ families all week long, all summer long. The museum is not only a place to view beautiful artwork, but also a gathering place for everyone in our community.”

Visitors can expect new weekly music events, free art-making sessions, gure drawing classes, wine and art events, and more.


Imagine if nearly every single resident of Bartlett and Collierville decided to go the airport in the same two weeks. at’s what o cials expected for Memphis International Airport (MEM) during this Independence Day travel season. e Transportation Safety Administration (TSA) expected more than 101,000 people to y through MEM between June 27th and July 8th this year. More than 10,500 travelers passed through TSA security lines on ursday, June 27th, TSA said. It was expected to be the peak travel day in the holiday season.

Visit the News Blog at memphis for fuller versions of these stories and more local news.

PHOTOS: (ABOVE) JESSE DAVIS; (LEFT) WEST TENNESSEE LEGAL SERVICES WTLS secures funding; Brooks quadruples programs.

Out of Love

New Rules

As of last week, the Bible is a state book, child rapists get the death penalty, chemtrails get the boot, and more.

From chemtrails to immigration, several new state laws took e ect at the beginning of the month. Let’s have a look at a few examples of how state lawmakers changed the rules here this year.

Death for child rapists Adults over the age of 18 now face the death penalty if they rape a child under the age of 12. e legislation was sponsored by two powerful lawmakers: House Majority Leader Rep. William Lamberth (R-Cottontown) and Senate Majority Leader Sen. Jack Johnson (R-Franklin).

However, in 2008, the U.S. Supreme Court said a similar idea from Louisiana was “not proportional punishment for the crime of child rape.” Johnson said he sponsored the legislation “in an e ort to challenge the 2008 Supreme Court ruling.”

e Bible now an ofcial state book — e Bible — speci cally the Aitken Bible — is a new state book. at version was the rst published in the U.S.

dispersion, by any means, of chemicals, chemical compounds, substances, or apparatus within the borders of this state into the atmosphere with the express purpose of a ecting temperature, weather, or the intensity of the sunlight is prohibited.”

“Abortion tra cking” — A new law makes it illegal for an adult to recruit, harbor, or transport a pregnant “unemancipated minor” to conceal an abortion from their parents, helping them get an abortion no matter where it is performed, or getting an abortioninducing drug for them. ose caught now face a Class A misdemeanor and “must be punished by imprisonment for 11 months and 29 days.”

e ELVIS Act — Gov. Bill Lee described the Ensuring Likeness, Voice, and Image Security Act (ELVIS Act) as “a bill updating Tennessee’s Protection of Personal Rights Act to include protections for songwriters, performers, and music industry professionals’ voice[s] from the misuse of arti cial intelligence.”

The staff at Twin Oaks Memorial Gardens & Funeral Home takes great pride in caring for our families, and has made a commitment to provide you with a beautiful, lasting tribute to your loved one. Honoring your loved one is our top priority, and part of that is assisting you deal with grief during this difficult time.

Everyone’s needs are different, and for that reason, families can entrust their loved one’s wishes to our staff. We have a wide range of resources to support you not only today, but in the weeks and months to come. Here, everyone is welcome.

State lawmakers have long irted with the notion to make the Bible a state book but the bills to do it never passed. Conservatives bypassed much of the controversy to get it done this year by adding the Bible to a list of 10 other new state books. at list included Alex Haley’s Roots and Robert Penn Warren’s All the King’s Men. Immigration — All law enforcement agencies and o cials must now report “the immigration status of any individual” to the federal government. is includes the “knowledge that a particular alien is not lawfully present in the United States.”

“Chemtrails” — “It is documented that the federal government or other entities acting on the federal government’s behalf or at the federal government’s request may conduct geoengineering experiments by intentionally dispersing chemicals into the atmosphere, and those activities may occur within the State of Tennessee,” reads Senate Bill 2691.

It says geoengineering is not “well understood.” So as of last week in Tennessee, “the intentional injection, release, or

“From Beale Street to Broadway, to Bristol and beyond, Tennessee is known for our rich artistic heritage that tells the story of our great state,” said Lee. “As the technology landscape evolves with arti cial intelligence, I thank the General Assembly for its partnership in creating legal protection for our best-in-class artists and songwriters.”

Parent protections — e “Families’ Rights and Responsibilities Act” says no government agency or o cial can substantially burden “the fundamental rights of a parent as provided under this bill,” unless the government can prove it needs to step in.

ese rights include “the upbringing of the child,” the “moral or religious training of the child,” all healthcare decisions, school choice (public, private, religious, or home school), excused absences from school attendance for religious purposes, and consent before the collection of “any individual biometric data” like analysis of facial expressions, brain-wave patterns, heart-rate, pulse, blood volume, blood, DNA, and more.

PHOTO: BEN KLEWAIS | UNSPLASH No “geoengineering” here

POLITICS By Jackson Baker

Early Voting Info

Plus MSCS school board races.

Friday of this week will see the beginning of early voting for the August 1st Shelby County general election and the state and federal primary elections.

e inclusive dates are Friday, July 12th, to Saturday, July 27th. (Sundays excluded.)

Monday through Friday, early voting locations are open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., with the exception of the Shelby County Election Commission site which is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Weekend times for all sites are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday, July 13th, and Saturday, July 20th, and 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, July 27th.

Early voting sites (in Memphis except where otherwise indicated) are:

• Abundant Grace Fellowship Church, 1574 E. Shelby Drive

• Anointed Temple of Praise, 3939 Riverdale Road

• Arlington Safe Room, 11842 Otto Lane, Arlington

• Baker Community Center, 7942 Church Road, Millington

• Briarwood Community Church, 1900 N. Germantown Parkway

• Collierville Church of Christ, 575 Shelton Drive, Collierville

• Compassion Church, 3505 S. Houston Levee Road

• Dave Wells Community Center, 915 Chelsea Avenue

• Ed Rice Community Center, 2935 N. Watkins Street

• Gaisman Community Center, 4223 Macon Road

• Glenview Community Center, 1141 S. Barksdale Street

• Greater Lewis St. Baptist Church, 152 E. Parkway N.

• Greater Middle Baptist Church, 4982 Knight Arnold Road

• Harmony Church, 6740 St. Elmo Road, Bartlett

• I.H. Clubhouse, 4523 Canada Road, Lakeland

• Mississippi Boulevard Church Family Life Center, 70 N. Bellevue Boulevard

• Mt. Pisgah Missionary Baptist Church, 1234 Pisgah Road

• Mt. Zion Baptist Church, 60 S. Parkway E.

• New Bethel Missionary Baptist Church, 7786 Poplar Pike, Germantown

• Raleigh United Methodist Church, 3295 Powers Road

• Riverside Missionary Baptist Church, 3560 S. ird Street

• Second Baptist Church, 4680 Walnut Grove Road

• Shelby County Election Commission, James Meredith Building, 157 Poplar Avenue

• Solomon Temple MB Church, 1460 Winchester Road

• TN Shakespeare Company, 7950 Trinity Road, Cordova

• White Station Church of Christ, 1106 Colonial Road

MSCS School Board Candidates

Along with other o ces to be decided this year, ve of the nine seats on the Memphis-Shelby County School Board are on the August ballot. Candidates are:

• District 2: Ernest Gillespie III, Althea Greene (incumbent), and Natalie McKinney

• District 3: Jesse Je , Stephanie Love (incumbent), Ozell Pace Jr., and Angela Rogers

• District 4: James Q. Bacchus, Alvin Crook, Eric Harris, Tamarques Porter, and Anecia Washington

• District 5: Mauricio Calvo (incumbent), Audrey Elion, and Sable Otey

• District 7: Chavez G. Donelson, Danielle Huggins, Frank William Johnson (incumbent), Towanna C. Murphy, and Jason Sharif




is our health

Since welcoming little one, life expanded while my world contracted.

More complexity, less time

Every day I advocate for my baby whether it’s at daycare or the doctor’s office.

And every day, I push off one thing my own health.

Cardiovascular disease is the #1 killer of new moms, with risks can last for months post-partum.

So, I’m taking action and starting the conversation, with not just my doctor, but with other moms I know, too.

Because not only do I want to be a great mom

— I want to be a mom for a very long time.

Locally supported by


Old age moves front and center.

“President Biden, are you senile?”

“Come on, man. I’m the guy who turned this economy around and created 11 million new jobs.”

“President Biden, do your friends and family think you’re senile?”

“No. And they would tell me.”

“President Biden, would you state your social security number backwards?”

“What, uh, no, that’s personal.”

“President Biden, are you so senile that you poop your pants?”

“What? No!”

And on it went for 25 minutes: George Stephanopoulos interviewing President Biden and asking him the same question 19 different ways: “Are you senile, and if you’re not, can you prove it?” It was the agreed-upon media follow-up after Biden’s disastrous performance in the preceding week’s debate with Donald Trump — and it was a no-win interview for both men.

My advice to Stephanopoulos: If you want to find out if someone is mentally slipping, the worst way to do it is to ask them if they are. A better approach would be to ask the person a number of questions on a variety of issues, in order to see how they react and think. If a person is really in cognitive decline, they likely aren’t aware of it and would deny they had a problem. It’s a Catch-22 (a reference that only old people and English majors will get).

and the party should dance with the one who brung them.

The Stephanopoulos interview didn’t settle anything. The media have latched on to the issue of Biden’s age and competence and won’t be letting go. That’s because it’s an open-ended question, ripe for speculation, which means pundits and opinions and outrage, and that means ratings! Media whores like Lindsey Graham are elbowing their way onto every talk show they can find to blather about the Democrats’ dilemma. They know that the longer the spotlight stays on the troubles of the opposing party, the better for Trump and the GOP — and for their own down-ballot candidates’ election hopes.

As defined in the novel of the same name by Joseph Heller, Catch-22 means a dilemma from which there is no escape because of mutually conflicting conditions. In the book, a pilot forced to fly dangerous combat missions thinks he is going crazy and wants to be relieved of duty. But he is informed that by asking to stop flying dangerous combat missions he is proving he isn’t crazy, because only a crazy person wouldn’t want to stop flying dangerous combat missions.

The Democrats are now wrestling with their own Catch-22, with some party leaders insisting that Biden’s debate performance demonstrated mental and physical decline and he should step aside for the good of the party (and country). Others say he’s been a great president and he just had a bad night

My advice to President Biden is to take a cognitive test (if he hasn’t already) and release the results. If he’s genuinely losing sentience, he needs to admit it and resign. If he isn’t, then he — and his party — can move forward with his campaign for the presidency. The longer this “Will he or won’t he pull out?” drama continues, the longer Trump can keep his own dementia issues out of the spotlight. Let’s not forget that just a couple weeks ago, Trump was rambling on about the dangers of flying in an electric airplane (??) when the sun wasn’t out. Maybe it was a solar electric plane? I dunno. But it was nuts.

My two cents: It seems obvious that Biden has slipped a couple of notches, physically and mentally. If he stays in the race, I think it’s unlikely he gets to November without further episodes that raise the issue of his age, stamina, and mental competence. Even his most ardent supporters would be hard-pressed to convince themselves that Biden will be an effective president until 2028, when he would be 86.

Both candidates are too old — 81 and 78 — and both are demonstrably past their prime. One of them is an elderly politician with good intentions. The other is a elderly felon with the conscience of a toaster oven. If Trump wins, our republic will be in real trouble. His second term will make his first term look like Camelot. The first party to offer America an alternative to either of these two guys is going to win.

Early Estate Planning

You may not feel like your child is fully grown when he or she leaves for college, but at age 18, your student is considered a legal adult. is means that, unless you complete some estate planning steps, you’ll no longer have the legal authority to remain informed about his or her medical records or nancial assets.

Why does this matter? Consider the following situation.

Your 18-year-old daughter, attending college out of state, is involved in a car accident. Her roommate calls you to let you know she’s in the hospital. You frantically call the hospital, asking for an update on her medical condition. Instead of reassuring you that she only su ered minor injuries, the hospital worker states they unfortunately cannot release any con dential medical information. You ask if you can make the drive to visit her and are told you’ll be turned away upon arrival at the hospital.

You also learn that if your daughter becomes incapacitated for a period of time, you won’t have access to hernancial accounts to pay any of her living expenses, such as rent or utility bills.

Without certain legal documents in place, you’ll likely need to petition the court for the right to manage your daughter’s medical care and handle her nancial matters. is situation only adds to the anxiety and frustration of an already stressful circumstance.

Fortunately, an estate planning attorney can help you dra several documents that can prevent you from experiencing such a scenario. ree essential documents are as follows:

• HIPAA waiver — According to the provisions of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996, hospital and healthcare providers can’t legally disclose an individual’s medical information to others without the patient’s consent. By signing a HIPAA waiver, your child can ensure you have access to his or her medical information in the event of an emergency.

• Advanced medical directive — is document functions as a healthcare power of attorney, allowing you to make medical decisions for your child should he or she become incapacitated. is document also typically includes a living will, which speci es how your child would like you to handle end-oflife decisions.

• Financial power of attorney — A nancial power of attorney allows your child to designate you as an agent to manage his or her nancial assets. With this document in place, you’ll be able to manage your child’s nances, including paying bills and ling taxes on their behalf.

In addition to the three essential documents noted above, you may also want to consider executing the following:

• Financial Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) waiver — is allows you to have access to your child’s education records, such as transcripts, class schedules, etc.

• Last will and testament — While college students typically have few assets (no home or car in their name, etc.), your child may want to designate who would receive important items, such as jewelry, collectibles, or pets, if they were to pass away. It can make sense to execute a will at the same time as the documents above so that your family is better prepared once your child graduates from college. Gene Gard, CFA, CFP, CFT-I, is a Partner and Private Wealth Manager with Creative Planning. Creative Planning is one of the nation’s largest Registered Investment Advisory rms providing comprehensive wealth management services to ensure all elements of a client’s nancial life are working together, including investments, taxes, estate planning, and risk management. For more information or to request a free, no-obligation consultation, visit

Time to renovate or relocate? Contact us today or apply online for mortgages, home equity loans, and home equity lines of credit.


As states across the country adopt harsh new sentencing laws, private prison companies are celebrating, telling investors that they soon expect more people in their prisons — and even higher pro ts.

From Mississippi to California, many states have taken a decidedly “tough on crime” tack over the past two years in a strengthening backlash against criminal justice reform e orts a er George

Floyd’s murder in 2020. is year, Louisiana passed a package of harsh sentencing laws that will keep some people in prison for years longer. A new parole board in Mississippi is keeping people in prison for longer terms by denying early release. In March, Washington, DC, enacted a sweeping anti-crime package. ese laws, advocates warn, threaten to reverse years of progress in the ght against mass incarceration. Instead, they

would again trap people in prison for lengthy terms, ripping apart communities and exacerbating racial and socioeconomic inequality — while enriching the private rms that manage prisons and their shareholders.

Perhaps no state is more emblematic of the recent sentencing crackdown — and the private interests that stand to bene t — than Tennessee, where one of the world’s largest prison


companies is headquartered.

Since 2022, lawmakers in Tennessee have fought to enact a slate of harsh sentencing laws that are expected to increase the state’s spending on incarceration by tens of millions of dollars annually. e key power brokers behind the legislation are also some of the top recipients of private prison company cash, e Lever found.

On May 28th, Gov. Bill Lee signed the latest of these proposals into law, a bill that will end the use of socalled “sentence reduction credits,” which allow people incarcerated in Tennessee to serve shorter sentences as a reward for a clean record in prison. e law, which will only apply to future o enses, is projected by the state to result in a “signi cant



increase” in spending on incarceration.

For the people locked up in Tennessee’s prison system, who are disproportionately poor and Black, this will mean, in some cases, that they will spend years longer in a prison cell. ere’s little evidence that longer sentences deter crime.

But the law does have at least one key bene ciary: Tennessee’s private prison contractor, CoreCivic, formerly the Corrections Corporation of America, one of the world’s largest prison companies, which will almost certainly see new pro ts as a direct result of the legislation. e company, which spends millions of dollars a year lobbying both in states and on a federal level, has begun telling its investors that harsh sentencing laws across the country will soon translate to bigger pro ts from the 70-plus prisons it runs nationwide.

“ ere has been a fair amount of activity both this year, and really the last two years, within state legislatures on adjustments to sentencing reform,” Damon Hininger, CoreCivic’s CEO, who has political aspirations in Tennessee, said in an earnings call last month.

Hininger said he expected this development to lead to “pretty signi cant increases” in prison populations — good news for the prison company, which is often paid by how many inmates are housed in prison at a given time. Already, he said, higher occupancy rates in CoreCivic-managed prisons had led to, in turn, “strong nancial results” for investors.

Bianca Tylek, the executive director of Worth Rises, an advocacy organization that focuses on the harms of prison industries, called Hininger’s comments “brazen” and proof that the companies “don’t think people are listening.”

“It’s a real travesty that we’re allowing industry to shape what our carceral system looks like,” she said.

“Increased the Sentences Tremendously”

David Raybin, a criminal defense attorney in Nashville, has been ghting for sentencing reform in Tennessee since the 1970s. He has witnessed decades of ebbs and ows in sentencing policies. Yet the crackdown that Tennessee lawmakers have launched over the last two years is like nothing he’s ever seen before. “Over time, it will have an enormous e ect,” he said.

In 2022, the Tennessee legislature passed a “truth in sentencing” bill, a sweeping law that essentially rewrote sentencing practices in the state, requiring people to serve, in some cases, up to 10 years longer for certain felony crimes.

“It just absolutely increased the sentences tremendously,” Raybin said.

e 2022 law was just the beginning of Tennessee’s draconian sentencing crackdown. Last year, lawmakers proposed a “three-strike” bill requiring even harsher sentences for people with prior convictions. e legislation passed a key House committee last year but did not reach the governor’s desk, though it has continued

“It’s a real travesty that we’re allowing industry to shape what our carceral system looks like.” — Bianca Tylek

to move forward in the Tennessee Senate this session.

Should the three-strike bill ultimately pass, it will require an entirely new prison to be built in Tennessee to house 1,400 more inmates, costing taxpayers at least $384 million.

In May, ignoring the outcry of criminal justice advocates around the state, Lee signed a bill that will largely end early release from prison, which inmates were able to earn through participation in educational programming and maintaining a clean record in the system.

Now, people in Tennessee’s prisons will only be released early on parole, which in the state is rarely granted. e e ect will be to “keep people incarcerated longer,” said Matthew Charles, a Nashville-based policy advisor with Families Against Mandatory Minimums, a nonpro t that advocates for more just sentencing reform.

Lee also signed a new law this spring

that will impose adult sentences on teenagers a er they have served a juvenile sentence, which criminal justice reform advocates say will have “alarming” repercussions for youth in the state.

It will take several years before the full impact of the laws becomes clear as new cases wend their way through the courts.

“It’s not immediate,” said Dawn Deaner, the executive director of the Nashville organization Choosing Justice Initiative. She estimated that it would take more than ve years to start to see the full e ect of the new sentencing laws.

“But we’re going to see the prison populations grow,” she said.

“The People That Have the Money” Tennessee is an important state for CoreCivic, as evidenced by the company’s signi cant lobbying expenditures in the state. e private prison company is headquartered in Nashville, and it has long been one of the state’s biggest political spenders. Since 2009, the company has spent $3.7 million on lobbying and campaign donations in the state, a Tennessee Lookout analysis found.

In response to a request for comment from e Lever, CoreCivic spokesperson Brian Todd wrote the company “supports candidates and elected o cials who understand the limited but important solutions our company can provide,” and noted that it employs 1,200 people at its

continued on page 14

Tennessee lawmakers on the Joint Ad Hoc Committee to Review the Adequacy of the Supervision, Investigation, and Release of Criminal Defendants review prison release and sentencing policies at October 6th hearing.


continued from page 13

prisons in Tennessee.

Although a Tennessee law from the 1980s mandates that the state have only one privately-run prison, CoreCivic has carved out a loophole a er years of attempts to rewrite the law entirely. e company now runs four of the state’s fourteen prisons by routing contracts through counties rather than the state. Together, the value of those four contracts exceeds $200 million.

Lobbying records from last year indicate that CoreCivic has a small army of eight lobbyists working on its behalf in Tennessee’s state house. According to state campaign spending data aggregated by Follow eMoney. org, Tennessee’s current governor has received the most money from the private prison company of any politician in the nation: $65,400 over the last two election cycles, including donations from company executives, making the company one of his largest donors. is year, Hininger, CoreCivic’s CEO, who is said to be considering a run for Tennessee governor in 2026, chaired a fundraiser dinner for the state Republican Party and personally gi ed each attendee a souvenir glass emblazoned with the state’s Republican Party logo. Hininger himself has donated more than $100,000 to politicians in Tennessee over the years. Meanwhile, lawmakers who have pushed the slate of harsh sentencing laws in Tennessee have been rewarded.

House Republican Majority Leader Rep. William Lamberth of Portland, a former county prosecutor, has spearheaded the sentencing bills in the state, championing the sweeping 2022 law and sponsoring the more recent bill that did away with early release. “He’s been very active in trying to pass harsher sentencing laws,” Deaner of the Choosing Justice Initiative said.

Lamberth is also one of CoreCivic’s biggest bene ciaries in Tennessee, receiving $8,500 from the company. So, too, are other Republican champions of the sentencing bills, including Lt. Gov. Randy McNally of Oak Ridge, who has received $7,500 from CoreCivic, House Speaker Cameron Sexton of Crossville ($10,000), and Rep. Jerome Moon of Maryville ($3,000).

e money is “absolutely” having an impact on policy, Deaner said.

“Who are the people that have the money in Tennessee?” she said. “Particularly in rural places, there are not a lot of wealthy donors.” In the absence of other campaign funding sources, this state of a airs has allowed CoreCivic to wield an especially signi cant in uence with state lawmakers, she said.

”Driven By Greed”

CoreCivic regularly claims it does not lobby on sentencing-related bills — in Tennessee or elsewhere — and did so again in response to questions from e Lever. “CoreCivic does not lobby or take positions on any policies, regulations or

legislation that impact the basis for or duration of an individual’s incarceration,” Todd, the company spokesperson, wrote.

But it’s clear from executives’ statements to investors that they are, at the very least, monitoring these laws closely.

“Going forward, the next three years to ve years, a lot of states are looking at pretty signi cant increases [to prison populations] because, again, of changes, maybe, in sentencing reform,” Hininger said in the May call.

For the rst time in a decade, prison populations across the country are rising a er a dramatic drop in 2020 during the pandemic, when court backlogs and early releases due to Covid-19 lowered the number of people in prisons. e majority of states have reported an increase in the number of people incarcerated in their prisons over the last two years, according to a study published by the U.S. Department of Justice last November. According to the report, there were currently more than 1.2 million people behind bars — raising the country’s already sky-high incarceration rate.

A signi cant part of this incarceration surge is the return of normal court systems as judges worked through case backlogs that had persisted through the pandemic. But tough sentencing laws, criminal justice reforms say, also appear to be playing a role.

Prison executives agree. “In conclusion,” Hininger said in May, “the macro environment in which we operate continues to improve.”

e agency found Tennessee is seeing one of the country’s sharpest increases in its prison population — a reported 8 percent surge between 2021 and 2022. Colorado, Montana, and Mississippi all reported incarceration rates growing at 8 percent or above, and another 42 states reported some growth in their prison populations.

Many of CoreCivic’s prison contracts, including in Tennessee, are paid on a “per inmate, per day” basis, meaning that these uctuations in prison populations directly impact the company’s bottom line. Many of the company’s facilities, its nancial statements show, are not at full occupancy levels — and laws that could change this would put money directly into the pockets of prison companies.

CoreCivic’s “unholy alliance,” in the words of one state Democratic lawmaker, with the state of Tennessee illustrates just how greatly private interests are pro ting from rollbacks to criminal justice reforms — whether that’s prison companies raking in cash from harsh sentencing laws or the bail industry’s success in Georgia, which reimposed cash bail requirements a er experimenting with bail reform, a move that will bene t bail bond agents and insurers.

“ is moment is revealing exactly what we’ve known about the carceral system,” Tylek of Worth Rises said. “ e expansive use of incarceration as a solution to social failures is driven by greed.” is article was originally published by e Lever, an investigative newsroom.

House Speaker Cameron Sexton, center, with House Majority Leader William Lamberth at le and Republican Caucus Leader Jeremy Faison

steppin’ out

We Recommend: Culture, News + Reviews

Dance, Girl!


From the womb to young adulthood — that’s how far the girl in Bria Saulsberry’s choreopoem will dance. She’ll learn, she’ll make mistakes, she’ll become herself. “It’s a celebration of Black girlhood,” Saulsberry says of the work titled Dance, Girl!

Produced by Homegrown Arts, of which Saulsberry is executive director, Dance, Girl! will feature ballet choreography and a screening of home videos and B-roll, coinciding with a reading of Saulsberry’s poetry, a collection written initially as a chapbook over the course of a decade. “I’m a poet, and that’s how I express myself,” she says, “that’s how I make sense of my world and my lived experience. It was really through collaboration with [the women of] Homegrown Arts — Jasmine Settles [artistic director] and Akina Morrow [managing director] — that we saw that there was another way that we can bring these poems to life.

“As a poet and a writer, and really as a playwright, nding a unique way to tell stories has always been a goal,” she continues. “Ntozake Shange, she’s really a big inspiration. She’s the woman who wrote For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide / When the Rainbow Is Enuf. And that work is a choreopoem. And so digging into the roots of Black performance arts, we really wanted to upli a form that a lot of people don’t really know about, like choreopoem [which combines poetry with dance, music, and song].”

is choreopoem will be Homegrown Arts’ second production a er its founding in 2019. Since then, though, they have acquired the chapter for the Memphis Youth Poet Laureate Program, naming Ana Hunter of Hutchison School as the rst honoree last summer. “We’ll be naming the new Youth Poet Laureate next summer, and we’re really excited about that as well,” Saulsberry says, “but we really want to see how far Dance, Girl! can go. I do plan for us to nd di erent ways to tour this particular show. I want to see it on di erent stages.”

In the meantime, Memphis can look forward to performances on Friday and Saturday at the Evergreen eatre. “I really hope [audiences] feel inspired,” Saulsberry says. “I hope that they want to understand the story and really, a er experiencing this, they feel good, that they have le maybe thinking deeply about some of the themes that I brought up in the story. Maybe they have more conversations with their families. I’m really hoping that the women in the audience, speci cally Black women in the audience, perhaps they see themselves in some of the poems or some of the experiences that this young girl navigates. And I just hope that they leave proud of what they’ve seen and feel good about what they just experienced.”

Tickets can be purchased at


VARIOUS DAYS & TIMES July 11th - 17th

Coco Queens eatreWorks@ eSquare, 2085 Monroe, Friday, July 12-July 28, $25 is compelling play explores the unbreakable bond among four women as they confront the deep and o en painful challenges of love, forgiveness, and Black womanhood during the 1970s.

Tickets and a full schedule of performances can be found at coco-queens.

Memphis Summer Cocktail Festival e Kent, 61 Keel, Friday, July 12, 6-9 p.m., $54-$85, 21+ OH, SNAP! Memphis Summer Cocktail Festival returns to e Kent with a totally y twist, featuring summerinspired sips, tasty eats, and ALL the throwback vibes.

Tickets include 12 fun-size summer cocktails, plus access to all the fun and

entertainment. Put on your freshest throwback threads and get ready to party. is event bene ts Volunteer Memphis, so every sip counts. Get your tickets at

Puppy Gala

Crosstown Brewing Company, 1264 Concourse, Saturday, July 13, 2-5 p.m. Join Crosstown Brewing Company for the second and even more amazing Puppy Gala (dogs of all ages accepted). Categories will include: Best Dressed, Most Like Owner, Best Pet Trick, Cutest Puppy, Best Senior Dog, and Best in Show. ere will be plenty of water to drink and play in, as well as small treats for the puppies who participate. Walk the red carpet and strut your stu for the Puppy Gala. e event will also coincide with the return of the brewery’s Dog Days Pink Lemonade Shandy.

“Health in Enamel”: Opening Reception

Metal Museum, 374 Metal Museum, Sunday, June 14, 3-5 p.m.

Join the Metal Museum for the opening reception of “Health in Enamel,” an exhibition with themes of health, healing, and spirituality with a survey of current enamel holdings in the museum’s permanent collection. e exhibition features a series of recent acquisitions, in addition to examples long familiar to the Metal Museum collection and community. Featured are Martha Banyas’ 12-panel “Valley and Shadow” series, yet unexhibited copper engravings from Dorothy Sturm, and newly acquired works by artists such as Michelle Startzman, Andrew Kuebeck, and Hosanna Rubio.

RSVP at e exhibit will be on display through September 29th.

celebration of Black girlhood.”

The Twin Lives of Stephen M. Lee

e world-class jazz pianist is also one of Memphis’ great educators.

Though you may have read about Steve Lee in the Memphis Flyer before, none of those articles have really been about him. at’s the paradox of being an educator who devotes so much time to public service, as Lee has done since founding the Memphis Jazz Workshop (MJW), one of the city’s premier institutions in music education, in 2017. e scope and impact of that nonpro t have been so great that it’s easy to forget about Stephen M. Lee, the virtuoso jazz pianist and recording artist. He’s getting in two lifetimes’ worth of existence for the price of one.

A clue to the mystery of how Lee manages to accomplish so much in both worlds can be found in the title of his new album, In the Moment at’s clearly where he lives, as one listen to his de improvisations will tell you. Composing in the moment, on the spot, is at the heart of jazz, and jazz is at the heart of Steve Lee. But beyond the album itself, one senses that it’s been his ability to improvise as the director of MJW that’s led to its impressive staying power. “We’ve been at about seven locations in the last seven years,” he says. Yet the MJW not only survived the onset of Covid; it has thrived ever since. “We’ve averaged from 50 to 70 students for each session since 2020,” he adds, and those numbers are only half the story.

While those individual and group lessons, taught to teens during spring, summer, and fall sessions every year, are at the core of what Lee’s nonpro t has accomplished, perhaps the greater indicator of MJW’s success has been the degree to which its students have been performing for live audiences. Case in point, this Friday, July 13th, the MJW students will command the stage at the e Grove at the Germantown Performing Arts Center (GPAC), featuring “the area’s most talented young jazz musicians in a variety of combos, ensembles, and even a big band,” as the GPAC site notes.

“ is will be our third year [at e Grove],” Lee says. “It’s a great location, and they pretty much donate the space to us. Paul [Chandler] and his sta are great — the only thing we have to do is show up. It’s a great opportunity for the organization.” Moreover, MJW players can be seen on the third Saturday of every month as the featured attraction at the Memphis Brooks Museum of Art (the next event being August 3rd, noon to 2 p.m.).

And this is where the two lives of

Steve Lee begin to meet, as some MJW students distinguish themselves enough to nally play on the bill with the maestro himself. at too will be apparent this Sunday, the day a er the GPAC show, when Steve Lee will headline at the Sunset Jazz Series at Court Square.

“A few students will be playing on July 14th with me,” he says with a hint of pride. “ e drummer, Kurtis Gray, is just 18. He just graduated from high school.” Flyer readers will know his name from our story on the Jazz Ensemble of Memphis, produced by David Less in emulation of the classic 1959 album, Young Men from Memphis: Down Home Reunion. “And the bass player’s also one of my former students, the drummer’s brother, Kem Gray Jr.,” Lee adds. “And then the sax player, Michael Price, just graduated from UT-Knoxville. He’s about to go to [grad school] at Rutgers.”

When Price was just a junior at UT,

“The life skills that I gained from [MJW] were discipline, communication, honesty, support, love, mentorship, and community.”

he shared some thoughts with the MJW Instagram page that may stand as the greatest endorsement of the program to date, saying, “ e life skills that I gained from the Memphis Jazz Workshop were discipline, communication, honesty, support, love, mentorship, and community. … Understanding the intricacy of these di erent skills and their relationship to music is vital and you need to

have all of these qualities in order to seriously pursue music, and I’d go as far as to say to succeed in life.”

In a way, it harks back to the glory days of Manassas High School, which trained generations of jazz greats here, starting in 1927 with educator Jimmie Lunceford, who polished his school band into a nationally recognized recording group, the Chickasaw Syncopators. “I think [MJW] is a continuation of what he was doing,” Lee told me in 2018, speaking of Lunceford. “But Memphis never had a jazz workshop like the workshops we have now. ey always had jazz in the schools.” Today, Lee is forging that culture of excellence on his own, outside of any infrastructure, nding venues to hold classes anywhere he can, albeit now much more recognized by funding institutions, and always recruiting his faculty from among the city’s best jazz players. He bene ted from local greatness himself, when he studied under the great Memphis pianist Donald Brown (on the faculty at UT-Knoxville for many years), which in turn led to Lee’s years in New York City, prior to his return to Memphis. All that may explain the dedication and determination with which he’s thrown himself into leading the MJW. And the organization’s success has re ected well on both Lee and the city, a fact that was commemorated this past April when Lee received the Memphis Symphony Orchestra’s (MSO) Eddy Award, recognizing him as community leader in music.

“As chair of the Eddy Award selection committee, we agreed that Steve Lee embodies the award’s meaning as his incredible career has brought young people from all backgrounds, races, and life experiences together through the power of jazz music,” said Jocie Wurzburg in a statement on behalf of the MSO. Now, this weekend will show o both the MJW and Lee in their best light.

And, as he explains, his two skills feed each other, though balancing them has been demanding. “I have to be the teacher, the principal, the janitor, all of it,” he laughs. “I’m not one of those executive directors who just lets other people do it. Because, you know, it helps me. I don’t really have a lot of time to practice. So showing information to these students, that’s a part of practicing because I still have to sit at the piano and show them what I want them play. So it helps. at’s why I enjoy doing it. Because it is a form of practice, and you know, the students motivate me.”



Roo op party featuring Aquanet and DJ Jordan Rogers. ursday, July 11, 6 p.m.


Dām-Funk DJ Set - All


Known for his iconic synthheavy beats and smooth basslines, Dām-Funk is a modern funk pioneer who’s collaborated with legends like Snoop Dogg, Ariel Pink, Tyler the Creator, and more. Friday, July 12, 9 p.m.-1:15 a.m.


Dan Montgomery, Brian Maxwell, Rose Ragsdale, and Reggie Dewayne

Friday, July 12, 7 p.m.


Elvie Shane, Kylie


Kix on Beale celebrates 20 years of bringing music to historic Beale Street. is season will bring six free country acts to Beale Street’s Handy Park. All ages are welcome. Free.

ursday, July 11, 7:30 p.m.



Future-Everything label heads

Strooly and TEHKAL will deliver deep house. Tuesday, July 16, 7 p.m.


Gia Welch and JD Westmoreland

Live music at the Central BBQ Sessions. Saturday, July 13, 6-8:30 p.m.


Kameron Whalum DJ


Friday, July 12, 9 p.m.


Ladies Night with Nya and Nico

Saturday, July 13, 9 p.m.


Live At The Tracks:

Kathy Zhou Trio

Live music on the upper deck at Central Station Hotel

ursday, July 11, 6:30-9:30



Live & Local Music

Live and local music, every Wednesday night on the all-weather patio. Wednesday, July 17, 7-10 p.m.


Wendell Wells & The Big Americans

Honky tonk, cow jazz, barn burnin blues. Saturday, July 13, 5 p.m.


AFTER DARK: Live Music Schedule July 11 - 17

Live at the Garden: Goo Goo Dolls

Friday, July 12, 8 p.m.



Tanatswa Estina and Hanna Barbera Cartoon

Never Made: Everything Is Fine Tour

With Dinosauria, Runi Salem. ursday, July 11, 7 p.m.


The Deb Jam Band

e Deb Jam Band featuring Debbie Jamison. Free. Tuesday, July 16, 6 p.m.


The Lost 45’s Friday, July 12, 7 p.m.


Twin Soul

Saturday, July 13, 7 p.m.


Van Duren

e singer/songwriter, a pioneer of indie pop in Memphis, performs solo. ursday, July 11, 6:30-8:30 p.m.


Accept It

With Move rough, Squib Kick [Small Room-Downstairs]. Saturday, July 13, 8 p.m.



With Chora, Crawldrwldiuqs [Small Room-Downstairs]. Monday, July 15, 8 p.m.



With Wesley & the Boys, Decoration Policy, Blu City Vice. Friday, July 12, 9 p.m.


Ask Dylan Saturday, July 13, 7 p.m.


Bill Clinton & the Floppy Disks

Friday, July 12, 8 p.m.


Black Matter Device

With A Kiss Before Dying, rough Blood [Small RoomDownstairs]. Sunday, July 14, 7 p.m.



A rare appearance by the Chicago punk band. With Ryan Kidd, Death Party, Macrophonics. Sunday, July 14, 7 p.m.


Bruce Kee Band Friday, July 12, 6 p.m.


Candlelight: Best of Hip-Hop on Strings

Candlelight concerts bring the magic of a live, multi-sensory musical experience to aweinspiring locations. $36.77/ general admission. ursday, July 11, 9-10:15 p.m.


Chris Hamlett

With Henry Luther & e Blackouts, Kathy Zhou [Small Room-Downstairs]. Tuesday, July 16, 8 p.m.


Danny Worsnop

With Jericho Rose. Tuesday, July 16, 8 p.m.


Devil Train

Bluegrass, roots, country, Delta, and ski e. ursday, July 11, 10 p.m.


Five for the Kill ursday, July 11, 7 p.m.


Fugitive Droids

With Mudshow, Slolerner, Equinox Frequency Wavelength Consortium [Big Room-Upstairs]. Saturday, July 13, 8 p.m.



With Snörkler, Leche, Opossums. Saturday, July 13, 8 p.m.


I See Stars With brothel, Attack Attack!, Elijah. Friday, July 12, 7 p.m.


John Williams & the A440 Band

ursday, July 11, 7 p.m.


J.D. Westmoreland Band Monday, July 15, 10 p.m. B-SIDE

Joe Restivo 4 Sunday, July 14, 11 a.m.-2 p.m.


Logan Hanna Tuesday, July 16, 10 p.m. B-SIDE

Louder Than Bombs (Tribute to The Smiths/ Morrissey) Saturday, July 13, 9 p.m.


Louise Page With Scott Gillett. Sunday, July 14, 8 p.m.


Marcus Scott and The New Project Friday, July 12, 10 p.m.


The Marilyns - Record Release Show

Celebrating the release of two tracks recorded in the ‘80s. With Lorette Velvette Band, deerfrance (feat. Kai Eric).

Saturday, July 13, 7 p.m.


The Neon Mooners

Saturday, July 13, 8 p.m.


Vinyl Happy Hour

With guest DJs every ursday. ursday, July 11, 3-5 p.m.


Mark Edgar Stuart: Listening Event and Discussion

Listening to the artist’s latest album release, Never Far Behind, with a live performance and discussion hosted by John Miller from Shangri-La Records. Free. ursday, July 11, 6 p.m.


Mutilation Barbecue

With Ignominious [Small Room-Downstairs]. Wednesday, July 17, 8 p.m.


Mystrio Sunday, July 14, 7:30 p.m. B-SIDE

Open Decks - Hosted by DJ Wholefoods

Calling all DJs. Bring your USB formatted through rekordbox. Do not bring your own controller. ursday, July 11, 8 p.m.


Rodell McCord

Saturday, July 13, 5 p.m.


Seeing Red

Saturday, July 13, 9 p.m.


Sicard Hollow

Saturday, July 13, 8 p.m.



With Banales, Flender. Tuesday, July 16, 9:30 p.m.



With Dreamlake, Tryptamine. Saturday, July 13, 11 p.m.


Sun Not Yellow

With Shorty & the Grooves, Mi Oso, T Mac Martyr.

Wednesday, July 17, 8 p.m.


Superstition: A Gothic Gathering

With DJ Evonech, DJ St. Faust. Saturday, July 13, 10 p.m.


That Mexican OT

Wednesday, July 17, 8 p.m.


The Crypt: Goth Night

With DJ Tempest and DJ St. Faust. [Big Room-Upstairs].

Friday, July 12, 9 p.m.


1964 The Tribute e band Rolling Stone calls “the best Beatles tribute on earth” is coming to Graceland Live. $27.50/reserved seating. Friday, July 12, 8 p.m.


Dale Watson & His Lonestars

Friday, July 12, 9 p.m.


Honkytonk Wranglers

Wednesday, July 17, 8 p.m.


Jason D. Williams

Saturday, July 13, 7 p.m.


Live In Studio A: Summer Series with 926 Stax Music Academy Alumni Band

Join the Stax Museum of American Soul Music each Tuesday from 2 to 4 p.m. for live music from 926, the Stax Music Academy Alumni Band! Tuesday, July 16, 2-4 p.m.


Shake the Monday Blues With Yella P. $10/general admission. Monday, July 15, 6-8 p.m.


The Afternoon Delights featuring Will Sexton & Amy LaVere Free. ursday, July 11, 4 p.m.


Memphis Blues Society Weekly Jam

Hosted by Jackie Flora & Friends. ursday, July 11, 7:30 p.m.


Memphis Jazz Workshop Summer Jam

Don’t miss the nale in e Grove at GPAC. $10/general admission. Saturday, July 13, 7:30-9 p.m.



Singer Songwriter Sundays

Enjoy some of the area’s best local musicians every Sunday. Sunday, July 14, 4-6 p.m.


PHOTO: THOMAS SMITH e Marilyns in 1989

CALENDAR of EVENTS: July 11 - 17


“2023 Wilson Fellowship Artists” e Dixon’s partnership with the town of Wilson, Arkansas, awarded residencies to artists Danny Broadway, Claire Hardy, ad Lee, and John Ruskey. Sunday, July 14-Sept. 29.


“Bracelets, Bangles, and Cuffs: 1948-2024”

A remarkable collection of contemporary bracelets. rough Nov. 17.


“Branching Out”

Discover intricate connections between students, teachers, and casting communities, which branch out much like a family tree. rough Sept. 8.


“Everyday People: Snapshots of The Black Experience”

A photography exhibition showcasing Memphis artist Eric Echols’ photo collection of 20th-century African Americans. rough July 14.


Freida Hamm:


Capturing colorful, languid moments just a er dawn and just before dusk, when the day’s light does its dance. rough July 13.


“Health in Enamel” emes of health, healing, and spirituality crystallize with a survey of current enamel holdings in the Metal Museum’s permanent collection. Sunday, July 14-Sept. 29.


“Incognito” Art Auction

Over 100 Mid-South artists are creating a collection of original, unsigned works … Incognito! e artwork will be on view in-person in the MBG’s Visitors Center and Grand Hallway. rough July 28.


“It’s a Fine Line” New works by Stephanie Howard (Greenville, SC) and Khara Woods (Memphis, TN). rough Aug. 9.


“Mission: Astronaut”

Get a taste of life as an astronaut, using skills like engineering, physics, teamwork, and fun. rough Sept. 2.


“On Paper!”

An interactive exhibition celebrating the versatility and beauty of paper as a material initiating creativity and innovation. Sunday, July 14-Sept. 29.


“People Are People” is exhibition honors famed American designer Christian Siriano’s electrifying contributions to fashion. rough Aug. 4.


“Southern/Modern: 1913-1955”

“Southern/Modern” seeks to encourage new admiration for the region’s rich cultural heritage through paintings, drawings, and prints. Free. Sunday, July 14-Sept. 29.


“Still and Not So Still”

Dual exhibition with mixed media artist Angi Cooper and metalwork artist Jennifer Hyatt featuring art that has movable parts in addition to art that does not move. rough July 22.


Summer Art Garden:

“Creatures of Paradise” Memphis-based duo Banana Plastik present an environment lled with vibrant and whimsical beings. rough Oct. 26


Send the date, time, place, cost, info, phone number, a brief description, and photos — two weeks in advance — to


“The Mid Summer Six” “ e Mid Summer Six” is an exhibit by a group of six local artists: Anca Marr, Nancy Jehl Boatwright, Pat Patterson, Joy Routt, Wayne Carpenter, and Sherry Carpenter. rough July 31.

Tennessee Craft Southwest Fine Craft Showcase is exhibition of 88 pieces by 25 artists encompasses a wide range of media including weaving, wood turning, clay, glass work, jewelry, quilting, painting, sculptures, and much more. rough July 26.




“Health in Enamel” Opening Reception

An opening reception for “Health in Enamel,” an

exhibition with themes of health, healing, and spirituality. Sunday, July 14, 3-5 p.m.


Munch and Learn: At the Crossroads with the Wilson Fellows Presentations by Wilson Fellows John Ruskey, ad Lee, and Danny Broadway. Wednesday, July 17, noon-1 p.m.


“Southern/Modern” Exhibition Reception Kicking o the exhibit featuring progressive visual art from the American South in the rst half of the 20th century. For Dixon members only. Saturday, July 13, 6-8 p.m.


Tennessee Craft

Southwest Fine Craft Showcase Artists’ Reception

ere are 88 works by 25 artists in Tennessee Cra Southwest’s Fine Cra Showcase, including some truly unique collaborative pieces. Free. Sunday, July 14, 2-4 p.m.



Eli Cranor: Broiler e troubles of two desperate families — one white, one Mexican American — converge in the ruthless underworld of an Arkansas chicken-processing plant in this new thriller. Tuesday, July 16, 6 p.m.


Jeff Barry: Go to Hell Ole Miss

For fans of Pat Conroy, Barbara Kingsolver, Wiley Cash, and Cormac McCarthy, Go to Hell Ole Miss is a historical family saga of hope and hardship.

ursday, July 11, 6 p.m. NOVEL


Adult Workshop: Archaeology in Collierville

Explore the basic principles of archaeological eld work and learn about several digs conducted in Collierville.

ursday, July 11, 1:30 p.m.


Ceramic Chime Chains Becky Zee will teach you a few basic ceramic techniques so you can create your own full set of musical bells. Ages 10+ only. $64. Sunday, July 14, 1-3 p.m.


Figure Drawing (Nude Model)

Learn about gure drawing at the Memphis Brooks Museum of Art. $10/member, $15/ general admission. ursday, July 11, 5:30-7:30 p.m.


Hat Series with Susie Hunt

Beat the heat with Arrow Creative and make your own hat to keep cool while looking cool. $135. ursday, July 11, 6-8 p.m.


PHOTO: METAL MUSEUM William Lu - Love Rising from the Ashes, from “Health in Enamel”
Taylor Grace Martin’s Tabletop Still Life will be on display in the Dixon’s new exhibit.


Heat of Summer Florals

Floral arranging workshop with Midtown Bramble & Bloom. $60. Sunday, July 14, 2-4 p.m.


Kids Bath Bomb Workshops

Looking for a way to beat the heat this July? Join Boshi Botanicals for a special kids bath bomb workshop. $30/ bath bomb workshop seat, $25/additional bath bomb workshop seat. Friday, July 12, 11 a.m.-noon.


Kokedama Moss Ball Workshop

Make two moss balls personalized with di erent combinations of plants, moss, twine, string, shing line, etc., to suit your taste. Sunday, July 14, 1 p.m.


Life Drawing Workshop

Spend a Saturday a ernoon with fellow creatives at O the Walls Arts’ life drawing workshop. Saturday, July 13, 3-5 p.m.


Safe & Sound: Promoting Positive Canine Interactions and Safety Free webinar with Lee Phelan, CPDT-KA, PMCT, an Animal Behavior Specialist from the Humane Society of Memphis & Shelby County. Visit hmu.hollywoodfeed. com. ursday, July 11, 8 a.m., noon, and 5 p.m.


Sessions for the soul that has been silenced

A six-week transformative creative and healing writing program, designed to allow participants to process trauma and create space for authenticity and vulnerability. Tuesday, July 16, 6-8 p.m.


Tennessee State Museum Educator Workshop: The Tools that Built Tennessee is professional development session for K-12 educators analyzes tools used from the prehistoric period up through statehood.

Tuesday, July 16, 9 a.m.


July Family Day at the Stax Museum

Til Death explores the complexities of love and romance.


Comedy Open Mic

Hosted by John Miller. $10. Tuesday, July 16, 8 p.m. HI TONE

Drafts & Laughs

Comedy Show

Featuring the Comma Comedians at Memphis Made’s farewell to the Midtown taproom. Free. Saturday, July 13, 7:30 p.m.


Family Business

Comedy Tour With Moneybag Ma a, Clayton English, and Navv Greene. $25-$75. Friday, July 12, 7:30 p.m. | Friday, July 12, 10 p.m. | Saturday, July 13, 7:30 p.m. | Saturday, July 13, 10 p.m. | Sunday, July 14, 8 p.m.


La Toya Tennille: I Still Do This

Celebrating her 15th year, back on the stage where it all started. Proceeds bene t domestic violence victims and Le Bonheur families. $25. Saturday, July 13, 8 p.m. THE COMEDY JUNT

Saturday Night

Showcase is underground comedy show, hosted by Tylon Monger, boasts a diverse and interesting line up each week that cracks smiles, shakes heads, and causes uproarious laughter. $15. Saturday, July 13, 7 p.m.




Appreciation Month

Current educators receive free daily admission to the Memphis Botanic Garden AND get a 20% discount on MBG Memberships during the month of July. rough July 31.


Diverse food trucks, live music by SOUL CNXN, and arts and cra s — fun for all ages at the Stax Museum. Saturday, July 13, 1-5 p.m.


Memphis Polyamory Meetup

Sponsored by Polyamory Sanctuary TN. Monday, July 15, 7 p.m.


Put This Woman First Empowering women to say, “Yes, to me rst.” $35/general admission, $60/VIP. Saturday, July 13, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. LAMBS & IVY


Dance, Girl! A testament to Black girlhood

e journey of a Black girl who is discovering the dance of adolescent learning, performed as a “choreopoem.” Friday, July 12, 7 p.m. | Saturday, July 13, 7 p.m.


Dance Party in Chimes Square: K-POP

A free party in Overton Square. Tonight’s theme is K-POP Friday, July 12, 7-9 p.m. OVERTON SQUARE

Line Dancing with Q Line dancing lessons, Tuesdays with “Q.” 21+. Tuesday, July 16, 6-9 p.m.



Hypnotic sounds and rolling bass lines with visuals by Feral Perspective. Use light as your paintbrush on the Glo Wall. 18+ only. $10. Friday, July 12, 9:30 p.m. BLACK LODGE


Annual Wolf River Stream Stroll Wade in the river, play in the water, and net up small aquatic critters to look at together in viewing pans. Saturday, July 13, 10 a.m.


continued on page 20


Family Fun Day

WKNO’s Teacher Teacher will explore Memphis on the library outdoor grounds at Parkway Village Library with arts and crafts, community information, games, music, neighborhood events, and story times. Free. Saturday, July 13, 1-3 p.m.


Family Yoga at the Garden

A fun way for parents to bond with their kids. Bring a mat and water. Free with MBG admission. Monday, July 15, 10-11 a.m.


Fluttery Fun

Crafting colorful butterfly wings. Ages 5 and over. Saturday, July 13, 10 a.m.


Get Outside! Fitness -

Kids’ Yoga

A chance for the whole family to get fit, stay active and enjoy being in nature. These classes will include age-appropriate yoga and movement for ages 5 through 14. Sunday, July 14, 1 p.m.


Kaleidoscope Club (ages 5-9)

Each week, participants will enjoy an art or horticulture project that sparks creativity and critical thinking.

Wednesday, July 17, 4 p.m.


Kids in the Garden (ages 7-10)

This fun, hands-on gardening workshop teaches kids the basics about horticulture and the flora around them. $10. Saturday, July 13, 10:30 a.m.-noon.


Mini Masters (ages 2-4)

Introduce your little ones to the arts and nature with crafts, movement, and more. Free, $8. Tuesday, July 16, 10:30-11:15 a.m.


Mudpie Mondays

Children can craft their own mud pie using natural materials. This event is canceled if it is raining.

Monday, July 15, 10 a.m.


SciPlay with CAESER & Connect Crew

Unleash your inner scientist while exploring the best playground in the Southeast at SciPlay. Saturday, July 13, 10-11:30 a.m.


Story Time

Enjoy stories, songs, art activities, and creative play that connect with Collierville history. Friday, July 12, 10:30 a.m.


Story Time at Novel

Recommended for children up to 5 years, Story Time at Novel includes songs and stories, featuring brand-new books in addition to wellloved favorites. Saturday, July 13, 10:30 a.m. | Wednesday, July 17, 10:30 a.m.



Memphis Summer Cocktail Festival

Oh, snap! It’s for real:

The hottest festival of the summer is back with a totally rad twist, featuring seasonal sips, tasty eats, and all the throwback vibes. Your ticket includes 12 fun-size summer cocktails, plus access to all the fun and entertainment.

$54/general admission, $85/ early entry. Friday, July 12, 6-9 p.m.


Second Saturdays at Chickasaw Oaks

Every second Saturday of the month Chickasaw Oaks hosts an exciting art market showcasing a diverse group of talented local artists and makers. Free. Saturday, July 13, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.



Play in the water at the annual Wolf River Stream Stroll on Saturday.


Before Sunrise Richard Linklater’s exquisitely understated ode to the thrill of romantic possibility, and the inaugural installment of The Before Trilogy. $5. Thursday, July 11, 7 p.m.


Carriage Crossing

Midweek Movie | Paw Patrol Mighty Movie

Grab your lawn chairs and join us on July 17 for a free movie on the Center Green at Carriage Crossing. Free. Wednesday, July 17, 6-9 p.m.


My Neighbor Totoro Academy Award-winning director Hayao Miyazaki’s classic tale of magic and adventure for the whole family. Saturday, July 13, 4:30 p.m.


Princess Mononoke Princess Mononoke, a young girl raised by wolves, will stop at nothing to prevent the humans from destroying her home and the forest spirits and animal gods who live there. Monday, July 15, 7 p.m.


Space: The New Frontier 2D

From self-assembling habitats, commercial space stations, and rockets without fuel to the Lunar Gateway to deep space. Through May 23, 2025.



Always Sunny in Philadelphia Brunch

With three dollar mimosas and Mac’s breakfast chimichanga. This will be a monthly brunch featuring the best of the best episodes of your favorite gang of dysfunctional degenerates. The theme for this one is the Best of the Gang. Sunday, July 14, 11:30 a.m.-4 p.m.


Canoes + Cocktails

A guided sunset paddle on the lake followed by specialty cocktails provided by Old Dominick, snacks from Cheffie’s, yard games and music. 21+ only. Friday, July 12, 7 p.m.


Cooper-Young Community Farmers Market

A weekly outdoor market featuring local farmers (no resellers), artisans, and live music. Saturday, July 13, 8 a.m.-1 p.m.


Das Kölsch Nacht

Join Soul & Spirits for an evening of traditional kölsch service. Wednesday, July 17, 6-9 p.m.


Dinner & Music Cruise

Come enjoy a two-hour cruise on Ol’ Man River featuring live entertainment (blues and jazz) and a meal. $50/general admission. Thursday, July 11, 6:30-9:30 p.m. | Friday, July 12, 6:309:30 p.m. | Saturday, July 13, 6:30-9:30 p.m. | Tuesday, July 16, 6:30-9:30 p.m.


Memphis Farmers Market

A weekly outdoor market featuring local farmers and artisans, live music, and fun activities. Saturday, July 13, 8 a.m.-1 p.m.


Sunday Blues Lunch

Indulge in a meal while cruising down the Mississippi River. Enjoy the tunes of the Blues Band play while you take in the Memphis skyline view. $50/ general admission. Sunday, July 14, 10:30 a.m.-1 p.m.


Crosstown Arts

screens Before Sunrise on Thursday.

V&E Greenline’s Ice Cream Social What’s in store: A sundae funday with ice cream galore — it’s gonna be sweet. Chill out in kiddie pools, make your own sundae, cone-pete in games for all ages. Raising funds for the Greenline. Free admission; $2/scoop of ice cream. Sunday, July 14, 2-4 p.m.



2024 Memphis Promise Walk Walk every mile until a cure is found. Join the inaugural year of the 2024 Memphis Promise Walk for Preeclampsia. $25/2024 Memphis Promise Walk for Preeclampsia + Donation. Saturday, July 13, 8 a.m.noon.


Get Outside! FitnessAdult Yoga

This Vinyasa style yoga class is dedicated to creating a balanced mind, body and spirit. Saturday, July 13, 9 a.m.


Get Outside! FitnessFlow Yoga

A fun, dynamic and creative vinyasa flow class suitable for yogis of all ages. Thursday, July 11, 6 p.m.


Get Outside! Les Mills


A high-energy, no-contact, martial arts-inspired workout using moves from Karate, Taekwondo, Boxing, Muay Thai, Capoeira and Kung Fu. Monday, July 15, 6 p.m. | Wednesday, July 17, 8 a.m.



Get Outside! Fitness - Mat Pilates

A low-impact yet challenging workout that enhances your mind-body connection. Thursday, July 11, 10 a.m. | Tuesday, July 16, 6 p.m.


Lunchtime Meditations

Looking for something relaxing to do to clear your mind and improve your overall health?

Head to the Dixon for free meditation sessions every Friday. Friday, July 12, noon-12:45 p.m.


Morning Mindfulness Walk Walks are based on the Japanese concept of shirin-yoku, or “forest bathing.” Friday, July 12, 7:30-8 a.m.


Free Sana Yoga at Comeback Coffee

Find your glow and fuel your soul with yoga every Tuesday at Comeback Coffee. This alllevels Flow class will surely leave you feeling refreshed and rejuvenated. Free. Tuesday, July 16, 11-11:45 a.m.


Slow Your Roll | Saturday Morning Meditation

A serene start to your Saturday with some morning mindfulness, led by the experienced mindfulness educator Greg Graber. Free. Saturday, July 13, 8-8:30 a.m.


Tai Chi

Instructor Marjean teaches gentle moves that will strengthen and calm body, mind, and soul. No experience or registration required. Thursday, July 11, 7 a.m.


Taijiquan with Milan Vigil

Led by Milan Vigil, this Chinese martial art promotes relaxation, improves balance, and provides no-impact aerobic benefits. Ages 16 and older. Free. Saturday, July 13, 10:30-11:30 a.m.



Strengthen your yoga practice and enjoy the health benefits of light exercise with yoga instructor Laura Gray McCann. Free.

Thursday, July 11, 6-6:45 p.m.


Yoga in the Park

Led by Camille Potter, this free all levels class will take place every Wednesday. Wednesday, July 17, 5:30-6:15 p.m.


Yoga on the River Candace guides your yoga journey along the mighty Mississippi. Free. Tuesday, July 16, 6-7 p.m.



Hidden in Plain Sight: Reconsidering the South’s Role in Modern American Art

Exhibition curator Dr. Jonathan Stuhlman will discuss how “Southern/Modern” was conceived and organized, and introduce the key artists and themes found in the show.

Sunday, July 14, 2-3 p.m.



Monday Night Poetry Set by Perform901

An immersive celebration of the written word, where the beauty of language comes alive.

Monday, July 15, 7:30 p.m.


Rainbow Rumble: Bikinis & Speedos

Hosted by Moth Moth Moth. 18+ only. $15. Saturday, July 13, 8 p.m.


“Starlight Cabaret”

Featuring JR Stone. Will Ryder, Kailya Jon, Vier Dickerson, Zoey Adams, Brenda Newport, Rawki Matrix. Friday, July 12, 9 p.m. | Saturday, July 13, 9 p.m.



Adult Pinewood Derby - Midsouth Derby and Ales Race like kids … drink like adults. Saturday, July 13, 6 p.m.



2024 Pickleball 901 Summer Series at Wiseacre

Enjoy some food and beer with friends, family and two days of pickleball in the parking lot of Wiseacre. Both days will kick off with pickleball party at noon, and feature four premium pickleball courts along with music, food, drinks and (new this year) local vendors on site. Don’t forget there will also be beginner clinics if you are new to the game. Saturday, July 13, noon-8 p.m. | Sunday, July 14, 11 a.m.-5 p.m.


Cobra Race Series: Caspian 5 & 10 miler (Race #3)

Start line at the Tour de Wolf Pavilion. Saturday, July 13.


Open Water Swim Clinics Get tips, advice, and training from professional swim and triathlon coaches. Sunday, July 14, 6:30 a.m.



Antigone, or And Still She Must Rise Up

Director Jamie Boller-Raup and a cast of formidable young adults take on this compelling adaptation of Antigone. $10/ sensory friendly, $26/adult, $21/senior 60+, $16/student/teacher, $16/military , $15/ ADA wheelchair space. Friday, July 12, 7:309:30 p.m. | Saturday, July 13, 7:30-9:30 p.m. | Sunday, July 14, 2:30-4:30 p.m.


Catch Me If You Can

Based on the life of Frank Abagnale Jr., this musical jet sets audiences on a high-flying wild ride through the life of a young con artist pursued by the FBI. Through July 14.




1 Point of no return?

Sole mate?

Football Hall-ofFamer Long

The world’s most powerful person, per a 2018 Forbes list

18 Crane pose, e.g., in yoga

19 Like many dorms

Hackneyed 21 Western outfits

22 Tony winner Hagen

23 Twin sister of Apollo

25 ___ polloi

26 I.Q. test pioneer

28 Year of the ___ (2008 or 2020)

29 One heeding a “Do not disturb” sign

30 A political debate might be on this

32 Does nothing

34 Cousin of a crocus

36 R-rated, maybe

37 Bloom with showy clusters 41 Most cookies, essentially

Parts of some bonds



When doubled, “For shame!”

Material for the Book of the Dead 52 One of the Reagans 53 Illegal sweeteners

55 Voice actor H. ___ Benjamin

56 Buckled

57 It’s boring

58 Temp’s counterpart

60 Fingerprints, maybe

61 Disregarding what’s written

62 “The Family Circus” cartoonist

63 Sleeps well

1 Kit

2 Harebrained

3 Business casual restriction, typically

4 Lacking in excitement

5 Mystery writer Deighton

6 Flavor

7 Not true

8 People of interest?

9 Small bit of work

10 Word from the Greek for “abyss”

11 Datum for the second column 12 “Fooled me!” 13 Natural disinfectant

14 Boardwalk’s locale

21 Like the moon’s landscape and many

Til Death

Immerse yourself in the highs and lows of R&B music as you embark on an unforgettable adventure through the complexities of love and relationships. $35-$55. Saturday, July 13, 7 p.m.



Haunted Pub Crawl

Visit three local bars for ghost stories, dark history, and tales of the paranormal. Friday, July 12, 7:30-10 p.m.


Saturdays at Lichterman Nature Center

Guided trail walks, trail projects, events with community partners, and more. Saturday, July 13, 9 a.m.


The Original Memphis Brew Bus

The Memphis Brew Bus is a Saturday afternoon trip into the amazing Memphis craft brewing scene. Visit three local breweries for tours, talks with the brewers, and of course beer. $59. Saturday, July 13, 2-5:30 p.m.


Exuberant compliment 39 Island in the West Indies 40 Second-longest U.S. #1 hit ever, after “American Pie” (7 minutes, 11 seconds)

Foreign term of endearment



In itself

50 British luxury car, informally

51 Like many a


We Saw You.

This year’s 66th Hole-in-One Charity Festival at St. Louis Catholic Church drew “well over 10,000, but maybe pushing 15,000,” says Wes Kraker, who’s been involved with Hole-in-One for more than 20 years. June 21st and 22nd drew at least 2,500 people each night, Kraker says. is is the annual St. Louis fundraiser that begins on Father’s Day and ends six days later.

As Kraker explained to me last year, “We transform the campus at St. Louis Church into a 37-tee-box range. And we give out cash and prizes for good golfers for getting holes-in-one or close to the hole. Certain quali ers shoot out for a car from City Auto. And we accumulate points for performers all week. And those top 10 performers shoot out for a million dollars on Saturday.”

e St. Louis Men’s Club puts on the event. Proceeds go to St. Louis Church sports, scouting, and youth ministry programs.

e “St. Louis Men’s Club Culinary Institute” makes outstanding food, including barbecued bologna.

above: (le to right) Evan Winburne and Julia DiGeronimo; Andrew Mosteller below: (le to right) Jon Shivers, Corderoa Smith, and Patrick Shivers; Taylor and Patrick Quinn, Chris Murray; Caden Robinson and Emma Roaten bottom row: (le to right) Anthony Dionne, James A. Edwards, and Father Joe Sax; Joseph Tidwell, Cory Human, and Cole Tidwell


We Saw You.


Mike McCarthy lent a hand as guests climbed a ladder in front of his 10-foot, papier-mache sculpture work-in-progress of David Bowie.

Guests at his “Glam Rock Picnic” were given little pieces of clay to tap onto the sculpture to help build the statue.

e statue, which portrays Bowie in the “Tokyo Pop” jumpsuit by Kansai Yamamoto, has four heads, which represent Bowie’s predilection for taking on di erent identities.

e goal of McCarthy’s nonpro t, Sculpt Memphis, is to preserve Memphis music through sculpture. He believes placing the statue in Overton Park near the site of the old Memphis College of Art in Overton Park would be a good spot for the Bowie statue when it’s completed. In 1973 Bowie visited the school, then known as Memphis Academy of Arts, to accept a watercolor by Dolph Smith, an instructor at the time.

Smith and his son, Ben Smith, attended the picnic.

“I thought it was a great kicko to phase one,” McCarthy says.

e ultimate goal is to cast the sculpture in bronze. Which may mean another party or two in the future.


above: (le to right) Vincent and Misti Rae Holton; Chris McCoy, Craig Brewer, and Natalie Ensminger below: (le to right) John Marvel McCarthy and Nya Goble; Hanna McCarthy; Mike McCarthy

bottom le : (le to right) Colleen Couch and Stevan Lazich

Tequila With a Cause

McCauley Williams’ Alma del Jaguar champions environmental awareness.

McCauley Williams’ big cats are getting stronger. Williams, owner/ founder of Morningside Brands, Inc., recently introduced Nocturna, his latest tequila in his Alma del Jaguar (“Spirit of the Jaguar”) line of tequilas. “It’s a high proof tequila blanco,” Williams says. “It’s a 101 proof. Our normal blanco is 80 proof, so it’s higher octane.”

He released his rst tequilas, Blanco and Reposado, in 2023.

“ is is a really fun expression. As you recall, our brand is all about raising money and awareness for wildlife.”

In 2022, Williams le Blue Note Bourbon, which he co-founded, to pursue other opportunities. He wanted to do something with his uncle, Rick Williams, who cofounded the Northern Jaguar Project, a binational e ort between biologists and conservationists in the United States and Mexico to study and protect the northernmost population of wild jaguars in the world. By saving the jaguars, Williams says the organization is also raising awareness about environmental conservation.

As his news release states, “Alma Del Jaguar donates to and fundraises

for conservation organizations that help protect wild jaguars in the U.S. and Mexico.”

And, it states, “We also make our tequila as sustainably as possible, using eco-friendly production methods, recycled glass bottles, agave ber labels, and recycled cardboard boxes.”

Like his other tequilas, Nocturna is produced in a distillery owned by a h-generation family of tequila makers who Williams partners with in the Los Altos region of Jalisco, Mexico.

Nocturna uses “100 percent natural wild yeast instead of cultivated yeast. It occurs naturally in mother nature.”

Yeast is in the air “wherever you are,” Williams says. “If you leave something exposed to the right sugar content exposed to air it will naturally ferment.”

Using natural yeast from the distillery in Mexico “brings in just this amazing sense of avor.”

Williams also produced a 10-minute lm, Arizona Wildcats, which is part of the Bordering on Wild lm series, to coincide with the new tequila. “It is about wild jaguars in Southern Arizona. And the dichotomy or relationship of conservationists, cattle ranchers, and the border wall.”

Many people don’t realize that a border wall designed to keep people out also keeps out wild animals “that are too big to t through slots in the wall. Deer, elk, jaguars, mountain lions, hogs, etc. Birds can y over it and bugs can y over it, but jaguars can’t get through the wall. So, it’s damaging wildlife conservation.

“For the last 30 years, conservationists and ranchers have been ghting each other over jaguar habitation in Southern Arizona and New Mexico. But now there is this new threat of the border wall.”

And, William says, “Most of the ranchers that live in this area think the wall is a bad thing. Even though they’re strong on immigration, this border wall is a poor way to deal with the problem.”

ey believe the wall is ine cient because no one is policing it, Williams says. “Humans can climb over it or dig under it.”

e lm, which can be seen on their website or YouTube, doesn’t feature Williams or his tequila. “ e jaguar is the hero. e factor that seems to unite everything. ere’s something about big cats people love.”

They’re using their tequila as a “fun and creative way to raise awareness and educate people” about “the need for conservation along the border.”

ey want to use it “to champion environmental causes.”

e lm was shot in Southern Arizona, south of Tucson, along the border.

“We lmed back in November.”

Williams hired a lm team to make Arizona Wildcats. “I did all the set up and

hired a videographer to lm the documentary. I was there on site during the whole time. Moving cameras, interviewing the people. It was extremely hands on. It was my rst attempt at doing any sort of lm. We’re planning to expand that in the future.”

He wants his company to do more “cause-related lms” — “short lms on topics related to our brand. e brand is never in it. It’s just about the cause. It’s not a commercial for our brand.” It’s “to show people our integrity and commitment to our cause.”

Williams anticipates doing another lm in the spring.

Meanwhile, he has “all kind of exciting projects” in the works. “In the fall, we are releasing our ‘Añejo.’ It means ‘aged’ in Spanish. It has been aged in oak barrels for at least one year.”

Alma del Jaguar tequilas are now in 21 states, Williams says. “We just concluded our rst year. We launched last May. So, we’re just now in our second year of sales.”

Asked how they grew so fast, Williams says, “Hard work. Tequila is really popular. It’s the hottest spirit in the Untied States. And ours is all organic and sustainable.

“My o ce is here in East Memphis. I’m traveling all over the country to meet with our sales teams and distribution partners.”

He also travels to Mexico to meet with his production partner. “To design new expressions with our master distiller.” ey import all of their tequila into a warehouse in Memphis. “Memphis is a logistics hub with companies like FedEx, Nike, AutoZone, and Orgill based here. ere’s quite a trucking industry that exists in Memphis.”

Williams’ philosophy? “You can live anywhere and be an entrepreneur. Why not Memphis? It’s my home. I don’t have to relocate to Austin or San Francisco. I can do it here.”


Unclear on the Concept

Corey Harris, 44, attended his pre-trial hearing on driving with a suspended license remotely, over Zoom, on May 15, The New York Times reported. No problem with that, but as Harris checked into the meeting with the Washtenaw County District Court in Michigan, he told the judge, “I’m pulling into my doctor’s office, actually, so just give me one second, I’m parking right now.” Huh. Video showed Harris in the driver’s seat and turning the wheel as he located a parking spot. “So maybe I don’t understand something,” Judge J. Cedric Simpson said. “This is a driver with a license suspended?” Harris’ attorney, Natalie Pate, confirmed the charge. “And he was just driving?” Simpson asked. Seconds of silence went by, with Harris appearing to realize his mistake. “That is correct, your honor,” Pate said. “I don’t know why he would do that,” the judge answered, right before he revoked Harris’ bond and ordered him to turn himself in by 6 p.m. [New York Times, 5/29/2024]

Clothing Optional

A Virgin Australia flight headed for Melbourne had to return to Perth on May 27 after a man allegedly ran naked down the aisle shortly after takeoff, The Guardian reported. Police said the man also “knocked a crew member to the floor.” One passenger reported “a lot of yelling and screaming” near the cockpit as the man charged forward. The man was pinned to the floor by air marshals; he was then handcuffed and led to the rear of the plane. Federal police met the aircraft on its return to Perth and arrested him. [The Guardian, 5/28/2024]

Enough Is Enough

• Lopburi, Thailand, also known as monkey town, has had it up to here with about 2,500 marauding macaques terrorizing the townsfolk, the Associated Press reported. As such, on May 24, the town launched the first phase of a plan to catch and remove the monkeys: cages baited with rambutan fruit, their favorite. The problem? The simians are smart: “If some of them go into the cage and are caught, the others outside won’t enter the cage … because they’ve already learnt what’s happened to their friends,” said Patarapol Maneeorn from the Department of National Parks,

Wildlife and Plant Conservation. Lopburi’s mayor said that while the monkeys bring in tourists, shops and malls have lost income and people’s homes have been damaged. Those that are caught will be sterilized and tattooed so they can be tracked. Then they’ll move to large holding pens, where they’ll await repatriation. [AP, 5/24/2024]

• In Snettisham, Norfolk, in the U.K., it’s feral chickens that are plaguing the town. The flock of 100 or so chickens dig up gardens and are so loud that residents have to use earplugs at night, United Press International reported. The Snettisham Parish Council said it is “seeking specialist advice from various sources,” but some residents object to the idea of moving the chickens away. “They are part of the fabric of the village,” said chicken supporter Rebecca Chilvers. The council invited residents to a meeting to air their opinions. [UPI, 5/28/2024]


Tara Berry of Topeka, Kansas, has secured a Guinness World Record for the most tattoos of the same musician on her body, United Press International reported on May 23. Berry, who sports 18 tattoos of Madonna, said she got the first one in 2016. The inks span the singer’s career. Berry estimated she’s spent nearly $10,000 on them. [UPI, 5/23/2024]


The Smoking Gun reported on May 24 that the world’s most arrested man, Henry Earl, 74, had passed away. Earl racked up more than 1,500 arrests in his lifetime and spent 6,000 nights in jail. Since 2017, he had lived in a nursing home in Owenton, Kentucky, near where his first arrest took place in July 1970 (for carrying a concealed weapon). Most of his offenses were fueled by alcohol and didn’t include violent crimes. He was laid to rest in the Owenton cemetery. [The Smoking Gun, 5/24/2024]

Send your weird news items with subject line WEIRD NEWS to

© 2024 Andrews McMeel Syndication. Reprinted with permission. All rights reserved.

ARIES (March 21-April 19): I trust that your intuition has been guiding you to slow down and disappear from the frenzied, agitated bustle that everyone seems addicted to. I hope you have afforded yourself the luxury and privilege of exulting in the thrill of doing absolutely nothing. Have you been taking long breaks to gaze lovingly up at the sky and listen to music that moves you to tears? Have you been studying the children and animals in your life to learn more about how to thrive on non-goal-oriented fun? Have you given your imagination permission to fantasize with abandon about wild possibilities? Homework: Name three more ways to fuel your self-renewal.

TAURUS (April 20-May 20): Actor Carrie Fisher put a strong priority on being both amusing and amused. For her, almost everything that happened was tolerable, even welcome, as long as it was entertaining. She said, “If my life wasn’t funny, it would just be true, and that’s unacceptable.” I recommend you experiment with those principles, Taurus. Be resourceful as you make your life as humorously interesting as possible. If you do, life will conspire to assist you in being extra amused and amusing.

GEMINI (May 21-June 20): As you charge into the upcoming period of selfreinvention, don’t abandon and forget about your past completely. Some of your old emotional baggage might prove useful and soulful. A few of your challenging memories may serve as robust motivators. On the other hand, it will be healthy to leave behind as much oppressive baggage and as many burdensome memories as possible. You are launching the next chapter of your life story! Travel as lightly as you can.

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): Over 3,700 years ago, a craftsperson living in what’s now Israel fashioned a comb from an elephant’s tusk. It was a luxury item with two sides, one used to smooth hair tangles and the other to remove lice. On the handle of the ivory tool is an inscription: “May this tusk root out the lice of the hair and the beard.” This is the oldest known sentence ever written in Canaanite, a language that created the world’s first alphabet. In some ways, then, this comb is a precious object. It is unspeakably ancient evidence of a major human innovation. In another way, it’s mundane and prosaic. I’m nominating the comb to be a symbol for your story in the coming weeks: a blend of monumental and ordinary. Drama may emerge from the routine. Breakthroughs may happen in the midst of everyday matters.

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): Some astrologers assert that Virgos are modest, humble, and reluctant to shine. But a Virgo New Yorker named Ashrita Fur-

man provides contrary evidence. His main activity in life is to break records. He holds the Guinness world record for having broken the most Guinness world records. His first came in 1979, when he did 27,000 jumping jacks. Since then, he has set hundreds of records, including the fastest time running on stilts, the longest time juggling objects underwater, and the most times jumping rope on a pogo stick. I propose to make him your spirit creature for the coming weeks. What acts of bold self-expression are you ready to make, Virgo? What records are you primed to break?

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): Libran author Diane Ackerman says, “We can’t enchant the world, which makes its own magic; but we can enchant ourselves by paying deep attention.” I’m telling you this, dear Libra, because you now have exceptional power to pay deep attention and behold far more than usual of the world’s magic. It’s the Season of Enchantment for you. I invite you to be daring and imaginative as you probe for the delightful amazements that are often hidden just below the surface of things. Imagine you have the superpower of X-ray vision.

SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): If I’m reading the astrological omens correctly, you are in the midst of major expansion. You are reaching further, opening wider, and dreaming bigger. You are exploring frontiers, entertaining novel possibilities, and daring to transcend your limitations and expectations. And I am cheering you on as you grow beyond your previous boundaries. One bit of advice: Some people in your life may find it challenging to follow you freely into your new territory. They may be afraid you’re leaving them behind, or they may not be able to adjust as fast as you wish. I suggest you give them some slack. Allow them to take the time they need to get accustomed to your growth.

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): Sagittarian actor Jeff Bridges has wise words for you to heed: “If you wait to get all the information you think you need before you act, you’ll never act because there’s an infinite amount of information out there.”

I think this advice is especially apropos for you right now. Why? Because you will thrive on making strong, crisp decisions and undertaking strong, crisp actions. The time for pondering possibilities must give way to implementing possibilities.

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): People may be attracted to you in the coming weeks because they unconsciously or not-so-unconsciously want to be influenced, stirred up, and even changed by your presence. They hope you will be the catalyst or medicine they need. Or maybe they want you to provide them with help they haven’t been able to give

CANCER (June 21-July 22): Even though you and I were both born under the sign of Cancer the Crab, I have a taboo against advising you to be like me. I love my life, but I’m not so naïve or arrogant as to think that what has worked for me will also work for you. Now, however, I will make a temporary exception to my policy. Amazingly, the astrological omens suggest you will flourish in the coming weeks by being at least somewhat like me. Therefore, I invite you to experiment with being kind and sensitive, but also cheerfully irreverent and tenderly wild. Be on the lookout for marvels and miracles, but treasure critical thinking and rational analysis. Don’t take things too personally or too seriously, and regard the whole world as a holy gift. Be gratefully and humbly in awe as you tune into how beautiful and wonderful you are.

themselves or get anywhere else. Please be aware that this may not always be a smooth and simple exchange. Some folks might be demanding. Others may absorb and integrate your effects in ways that are different from your intentions. But I still think it’s worthwhile for you to offer your best efforts. You could be a force for healing and benevolence.

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): Sometimes when gifts arrive in our lives, they are not recognized as gifts. We may even mistake them for obstacles. In a worst-case scenario, we reject and refuse them. I am keen on helping you avoid this behavior in the coming weeks, Aquarius. In the oracle you’re now reading, I hope to convince you to expand your definition of what gifts look like. I will also ask you to widen the range of where you search for gifts and to enlarge your expectations of what blessings you deserve. Now please meditate on the following riddles: 1. a shadow that reveals the hidden light; 2. a twist that heals; 3. a secret that no longer wants to be secret; 4. a shy ally who will reward your encouragement; 5. a boon that’s barely buried and just needs you to scrape away the deceptive surface.

PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): Lake Baikal in Russia is the world’s deepest, oldest, and largest lake by volume. It contains over 22 percent of the fresh surface water on the planet. I propose we make this natural marvel your prime symbol for the next 11 months. At your best, you, too, will be deep, fresh, and enduring. And like Lake Baikal, you will be exceptionally clear. (Its underwater visibility reaches 120 feet.) PS: Thousands of plant and animal species thrive in this vital hub. I expect you will also be a source of richly diverse life, dear Pisces.

Welcome to the Pleasuredome


n 2022’s X, the rst of the threelm collaboration between director Ti West and actor Mia Goth, a newbie lm crew descends on a Texas farmhouse intending to make a porn ick. Instead, they become the latest victims of Pearl (Goth, in heavy makeup), an elderly woman who bears a strong resemblance to Norman Bates’ mother in Psycho. Only Maxine Minx (Goth, au naturel) escapes the carnage.

In MaXXXine, our eponymous heroine actually visits the Bates Motel — the real one, which still stands on the Universal back lot. She’s there because her Hollywood dreams have begun to come true. But the past just won’t let her go. As Faulkner said, it’s not even past.

West and Goth’s collaboration began on the set of X, when the backstory she had developed for the killer granny Pearl so impressed the director that he decided to make it a prequel. Pearl goes deep into the oppressive patriarchy of rural Texas in the 1920s that twisted a young girl’s ambition into a murderous psychosis. Sixty years later, you can see the same ambition burning in Maxine. It’s 1985, and she’s made it as a porn star in the Valley, the porn industry’s dark mirror image of Hollywood. Now she wants to go legit and get parts in “real” movies, which are lmed on the side of the Hollywood Hills where you can see the big sign.

Mia Goth’s performances in X and Pearl were the revelation of a major new talent.

When she strides into an audition with director Elizabeth Bender (Elizabeth Debicki), it’s clear she’s got the juice. She slays her monologue from memory, conjuring tears on demand, which impresses the stoic director. en, Bender asks Maxine if she would take o her shirt so they could see her tits. Not a problem, says Maxine. Later that day, Maxine gets a call from her agent Teddy (Giancarlo Esposito). She got the part. Now she just has to live long enough to make the movie. is is more challenging than it might sound. e Night Stalker serial

killer is taking victims in Southern California, and dominating the headlines. When Maxine goes to what is hopefully her last day on the job at the peepshow, she’s followed by a mysterious gure in a widebrimmed hat. A er work, her friends Amber (Chloe Farnworth) and Tabby (Halsey) invite her to a big party in the Hollywood Hills, but Maxine declines. She’s got to learn her lines, and it won’t do to show up to her rst day on the set with a hangover. It looks like she made the right choice when Amber and Tabby’s bodies are found wrapped in plastic and branded with Satanic pentagrams.

Is it the Night Stalker? Maybe. But there’s more weirdness oating around. Maxine gets a lunch invitation at a swanky restaurant from a man named Labat (Kevin Bacon). He’s a private investigator who has been hired to nd Maxine and threatens to frame her with the murders, which have become known as the Texas Porn Star Massacre, unless she goes to meet his client at a swanky address in the Hollywood Hills. Meanwhile, two LAPD detectives, Williams (Michelle Monaghan) and Torres (Bobby Cannavale), come calling. ey’ve noticed that Maxine seems to be the only person who knows all of the recent victims of the Night Stalker, but who is not yet dead. ey o er

her protection if she will talk. But they don’t understand who they’re dealing with. Maxine doesn’t need protection. She’s got dreams, a good agent, and her trusty pearl-handled pistol.

Mia Goth’s performances in X and Pearl were the revelation of a major new talent. In MaXXXine, she’s a cocaine-powered whirlwind of ruthless ambition. If she has to kill a few people to see her name in lights on the marquee, then people will die. is might not seem like the makings for a sympathetic character, but her enemies are so much worse. Kevin Bacon drips with sleaze as the utterly amoral private dick sent to retrieve Maxine. When he follows her into a strobelit New Wave club where Frankie Goes To Hollywood’s “Welcome to the Pleasuredome” throbs through the sound system, the lm shi s into

overdrive. From there, West keeps the pedal to the metal.

In true Hitchcock fashion, MaXXXine’s gonzo climax takes place in the shadow of the Hollywood sign. Ti West has studied Hitch and his disciple Brian De Palma’s early-’80s run of erotic thrillers like Dressed to Kill, Blow Out, and Body Double. But MaXXXine is not a Tarantino pastiche of cool scenes from other people’s movies. ere’s a di erence between sampling and working in a mode. West and Goth transcend their in uences. Yes, these lms are in conversation with the past’s lowbrow classics, but they never lose sight of their primary mission: Make it kick ass.


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Mia Goth takes on Hollywood in Ti West’s MaXXXine
Mia Goth reprises her role as aspiring actress Maxine Minx, while Kevin Bacon joins the cast as a sleazy PI.

Our critic picks the best films in theaters.


The great Nicolas Cage stars as a serial killer motivated by his devotion to Satan.

Maika Monroe (of It Follows fame) is Lee Harker, an FBI agent assigned to catch him. Blair Underwood (of Krush Groove fame) is her partner, and Alicia Witt (of Dune and Twin Peaks fame) is her mom. Writer/director Osgood Perkins is not super famous yet, but his dad is Anthony Perkins of Psycho fame.

Fly Me to the Moon

Scarlett Johansson and Channing Tatum star as NASA’s PR director and launch director for the Apollo 11 mission. His job is to get the astronauts to the moon. Her job is to fake the moon landing if the astronauts fail. This film probably sounded

like a good idea at the time.

A Quiet Place: Day One

Lupita Nyong’o leads this hit prequel to 2018’s alien invasion movie. She plays Sam, a terminally ill cancer patient who witnesses the silent alien invasion in New York City. Can Sam and her cat Frodo survive the mass slaughter? Djimon Hounsou reprises his role as Henri from A Quiet Place Part II

Inside Out 2

The movie of the summer is all about anxiety, and it couldn’t be more timely. Amy Poehler reprises her voice role as Joy, whose hold on the mind of her 13-yearold charge Riley (Kensington Tallman) is jarred loose by Anxiety (Maya Hawke), just as a pivotal hockey game threatens her self-image.

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THE LAST WORD By Stephanie Painter

Art Glasses, Anyone?

Take a closer look at the next painting.

In Amsterdam, my husband and I are scanning a bar menu that advertises Pornstar Martinis and trying to stay clear of patrons engaged in a rousing pool game. It’s our rst plunge into the famed Red Light District, and a er paying our tab, we stroll down the block. At night, the 15th-century Gothic church Oude Kerk glows over sex workers’ windows and rows of padlocked bikes. e contrast is surreal.

“We’re going to the Rijksmuseum tomorrow,” I remind him.

He grins. Amsterdam is a city known for liberal lifestyles as well as artistic masterpieces. Like many of his brother dudes living out college fantasies, Eric can snoop out a strong martini, but art is his real driver, and it’s best to be in an alert and lucid state when exploring paintings by Old Dutch masters Vermeer, Rembrandt, and Frans Hals. An artist who works in abstract style, Eric has studied great Flemish artists’ works prior to our trip and looks forward to exploring paintings and sculptures shown in churches and galleries. His zeal — for art rather than religion — means that he always carries a pair of binoculars when touring a museum.

At the Rijksmuseum in the borough of Amsterdam South, Eric pauses for protracted and hungry examination of Rembrandt’s painting e Night Watch, occasionally shi ing his angles and position in the crowd. Meanwhile, I view three other paintings to the best of my nearsighted ability. To my frustration, the stream of visitors forces me farther from the art. en, Eric presses the set of binoculars on me. “Try them,” he urges.

With curiosity, I loop the cord over my scarf and take a look. is is where the magic begins as rich details suddenly spring into focus. e jewels in bracelets worn on a woman’s wrist in Rembrandt’s e Jewish Bride gleam like characters in their own story, and lace patterns form a beautiful maze in e Merry Family. In other paintings, facial characteristics and loose brush strokes come into closer view. In this heightened scale, one can nd elements not easily detected by the bare eye. Five hundred years later, it’s as if you’re standing with the artist in the act of creation, seeing details intended for your appreciation but that can get lost in large works and crowds.

“How does it look now?” Eric asks, con dent of my delight. “Amazing,” I answer in surprise. Binoculars are essential tools at baseball games and golf tournaments, and some in more formal settings raise opera glasses. So why not brush o the dust remaining from the last ball game and scope out some art?

By the time we reach the Van Gogh Museum, I covet the art glasses. While my husband searches out tiny details in Almond Blossom and Sun owers, I must politely wait my turn. Almond Blossom, one of my favorites, was gi ed by the artist to his brother eo and sister-in-law on the birth of their son. For the next phase of the trip, we ride the train to Ghent, Belgium, where we seek out e Adoration of the Mystic Lamb, the 15th-century polyptych altarpiece completed by Hubert and Jan van Eyck in 1432. Stolen by the Nazis, the piece was recovered by the Monuments Men from an Austrian salt mine in 1945. Today it hangs at Saint Bavo’s Cathedral, and once again, Eric generously passes his binoculars to me.

e new perspective elevates my experience, and now I see that e Lamb of God’s blood spills into the Holy Grail, something missed before with my poor vision. A former aristocrat, St. Bavo repented of enslaving others and distributed his wealth to the poor. One characteristic that Eric shares with a real saint is devotion. In these masterpieces, there is so much to contemplate, and yet my husband is the only visitor who thinks to use a set of binoculars to appreciate art. is middle-aged guy who routinely wears a navy beret spreads his own kind of gospel, leading family members and friends to look deeply and consider the miracle of artistic conception and execution.

Next time you visit Dixon Gallery & Gardens or Memphis Brooks Museum of Art, you might nd him peering closely — very, very closely — at a canvas. Follow his example, and you might view the next painting — really, all of the paintings to come — in a cool new way. Art glasses, anyone?

Stephanie Painter is a local freelance writer and author of the children’s picture book Liz Tames a Dragon (and Her Anger)

Eric in front of Michelangelo’s Madonna and Child at the Church of Our Lady in Bruges, Belgium

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