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"We want to work in partnership with companies to succeed."

On Friday, the results of an unionisation vote in Volkswagen's Chattanooga, Tennessee plant were announced. The United Auto Workers had worked with German union, IG Metall, to encourage the creation of a works council, common in Germany, in the plant. [more inside]
posted by frimble on Feb 17, 2014 - 124 comments

The poetry of Hart Crane, from the American epic to personal belonging

Hart Crane was a poet, one who was known by and friends with other notable poets. The poet e. e. cummings claimed that "Crane’s mind was no bigger than a pin, but it didn’t matter; he was a born poet" (Google books preview). Tennessee Williams said he could "hardly understand a single line" but insisted he wanted to be buried at sea at the "point most nearly determined as the point at which Hart Crane gave himself back." Crane had his critics — Marianne Moore and Ezra Pound come to mind, and William Carlos Williams wrote "There is good there but it’s not for me" — but Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg used to read "The Bridge" together, John Berryman wrote one of his famous elegies on Crane and heavyweight Robert Lowell included his “Words for Hart Crane” in "Life Studies." Science/Fiction author, James Tiptree, Jr. (Alice Sheldon) also wrote that "nobody seems to have noticed that Hart Crane really was the first space poet," quoting lines from his epic The Bridge in the story Mother in the Sky with Diamonds. Those are all words by other people, why not read a few from Crane? [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Jan 19, 2014 - 22 comments

"Miss Kate helps me."

A Month of Witches Tennessee author Betsy Phillips (previously) (previously) is back again with a month's worth of spooky stories.
posted by emjaybee on Oct 31, 2013 - 2 comments

This is not the Messiah you're looking for.

Last weekend a judge in Tennessee changed a baby's name from Messiah to Martin. Following this, Dahlia Lithwick looked into what level governments restrict baby names around the world and the U.S.
posted by DynamiteToast on Aug 19, 2013 - 176 comments

Raccoons Can't Fight City Hall

Mark Brown, costar of a viral video perhaps best known as "Hillbilly Dances with a Raccoon", is seeking a pardon from Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam (R), after his pet raccoon Rebekah was placed into state custody. (Previously) [more inside]
posted by Benjy on Aug 14, 2013 - 45 comments

Hunger is hidden

A 5-year-old girl saw the dust trail of the bus and pedaled toward it on a red tricycle. Three teenage boys came barefoot in swimsuits. A young mother walked over from her trailer with an infant daughter in one arm and a lit cigarette in the other. “Any chance there will be leftover food for adults?” she asked. It was almost 1 p.m. For some, this would be the first meal of the day. For others, the last.

In rural Tennessee, a new way to help hungry children: A bus turned bread truck
Don't look at the comments. Do look at the photos.
posted by Horace Rumpole on Jul 7, 2013 - 114 comments

Hungry for Education

Though reducing hunger in school children has been proven to lead to a "significant increase in educational opportunity and attainment", the Tennessee state legislature believes they have a better plan to improve the performance of underprivileged students: a 30 percent reduction in "Temporary Assistance for Needy Families" benefits to parents whose children are not making satisfactory progress in school.
posted by Slap*Happy on Apr 2, 2013 - 118 comments

Water Wars

Georgia Senate passes resolution to move state line, claim Tennessee River water. A TPM reader provides interesting background.
posted by maggieb on Mar 25, 2013 - 47 comments

Canoeing down the Mississippi

Between July 28 and November 10, 2003, Ron Haines canoed down the entire length of the Mississippi. Eight years later, he wrote it up as a series of blog posts with lots of interesting photos and observations: Lake Itasca to Minneapolis-St. Paul. Minneapolis-St. Paul to St. Louis. St. Louis to New Orleans. He also wrote up his logistics and some of the press coverage he got along the way. [more inside]
posted by jiawen on Mar 16, 2013 - 13 comments

Unions, Migrations and the Spread of Hockey to the American South

Hard times and hockey on the Nashville Highway
posted by Groundhog Week on Mar 2, 2013 - 7 comments

Gun-show loophole -- Fact or Fiction?

Ever step into a gun rights discussion and feel bombarded by rhetoric about exactly what the "gun-show loophole" is and how it works (not to mention furious diatribes against the term "assault weapon?) This article from the Nashville City Paper explains it, and illustrates how 'private sale loophole' might be a better term.
posted by jfwlucy on Jan 14, 2013 - 257 comments

No water moccasins were harmed in the making of this video.

Hey, water moccasins! [SLYT]
posted by casarkos on Nov 12, 2012 - 78 comments

"Etta James Rocks The House"

On September 27, 1963, at the New Era Club in Nashville, Tennessee, Etta James rocked the house. The result was "simply one of the greatest live blues albums ever captured on tape". [more inside]
posted by Egg Shen on Aug 26, 2012 - 7 comments

Happiness Happens

It Ain't Over: The Business 9 Women Kept A Secret For Three Decades [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Aug 14, 2012 - 62 comments

I'm changing my name to No Taxes A1 for 2014

Despite not raising any money or updating his campaign website (cache) since 2009, 35 year-old flooring installer Mark Clayton has won the Democratic Party primary in Tennessee and will be running for US Senate against Republican incumbent Bob Corker. Clayton's policy positions are unusual for a Democratic candidate. [more inside]
posted by ghharr on Aug 3, 2012 - 100 comments

Obion County, TN home burns

Obion County, TN home burns while South Fulton firefighters watch, again. The City of South Fulton FD offers surrounding Obion County residents firefighting services for a $75 annual subscription, but not all county residents choose to subscribe (previously).
The last time this happened, the city of South Fulton, Tennessee, received a lot of heat nationwide for this policy. That was more than a year ago but nothing has changed.

The mayor said it comes down to simple business. If they don't collect fire fees, the fire department can't survive and if they make exceptions to the rule, no one will ever pay the fee.
Obion County lacks a fire department (pdf) and county residents, who do not pay taxes for firefighting, are provided firefighting services through local cities and towns, either by annual subscription or a per-call fee.
posted by 6550 on Dec 8, 2011 - 227 comments

Sixteen Tons of Work

"Sixteen Tons of Work" – MP3 by mastgrr; music video by HalfMastHat. Bringing new meaning to "old school" by combining originals: Tennessee Ernie Ford with Gang Starr.
posted by WCityMike on May 29, 2011 - 21 comments

The runners’ bibs say something different each year: SUFFERING WITHOUT A POINT; NOT ALL PAIN IS GAIN

The Immortal Horizon: Thirty-Five Runners Face Hollers and Hells, a Flooded Prison, Rats the Size of Possums, and Flesh-Flaying Briars to Test the Limits of Self-Sufficiency in a race only eight men have ever finished.
posted by The Whelk on May 7, 2011 - 37 comments

"No public elementary or middle school shall provide any instruction or material that discusses sexual orientation other than heterosexuality."

Tennessee 'Don't Say Gay' Bill advances in state senate. We Say Gay is dedicated to fighting it.
posted by hermitosis on May 4, 2011 - 133 comments

Lest we forget

"A pious, peaceful man, York had fought his country's enemy only after great deliberation and had to be convinced that war was sometimes necessary."1 On this day let us remember Sergeant York.
1 Celluloid Soldiers: The Warner Bros. Campaign Against Nazism By Michael E. Birdwell.
posted by unliteral on Nov 11, 2010 - 14 comments

Keeping up with the Joneses

The Bateses of Tennessee are just behind the Duggars of Arkansas. Not even close to the 18th century Vassilyevs though.
posted by vidur on Nov 9, 2010 - 68 comments

The Fire Department is not a right; it is a privilege

"Anybody that's not in the city of South Fulton, it's a service we offer, either they accept it or they don't." In Obion County, Tennessee, the services of the South Fulton Fire Department are provided only to those customers who wish to pay their $75 annual fee. If you don't feel like subscribing, and your house catches fire, the firefighters will at least keep you company as you watch it burn to the ground.
posted by XQUZYPHYR on Oct 4, 2010 - 375 comments

VOTE FOR ME AND IF I WIN I WILL IMMUNE YOU FROM ALL STATE CRIMES FOR THE REST OF YOU LIFE!

I'm Basil Marceaux dot com, the Republican candidate for Governor. I like to recall all permit, and registration, for guns. Everyone carry guns. If you kill someone though, you get murdered, you go to jail, and uh, I'd like to put... plant grass or vegetation across in the state on any vacant lot, and sell it for gas, so we can use it for our expenses. Also, I'm gonna remove all gold fringe flags from the state and fly the real flag with three stripes. I also wanna stop traffic stops; set it up like the Supreme Court ruled in Knowles v Iowa: you can't find innocent car, you can't look. I want you all to vote for Basil Marceaux. I want to say the Pledge of Allegiance to a Republic in the morning when you come out... and we all pray to God and say Amen and everyone... have a nice day. And I'll see you all at the polls. Thank you... have a nice day. [more inside]
posted by joannemerriam on Jul 27, 2010 - 93 comments

Closer to God

"I was praying one day, and the Lord said, 'If you build me a treehouse, I'll see you never run out of material.'" So Horace Burgess built a treehouse. [more inside]
posted by starman on Jul 18, 2010 - 25 comments

Bourbon does for me what the piece of cake did for Proust.

The joy of Bourbon drinking is not the pharmacological effect of C(2)H(5)OH on the cortex but rather the instant of the whiskey being knocked back and the little explosion of Kentucky U.S.A. sunshine in the cavity of the nasopharynx and the hot bosky bite of Tennessee summertime--aesthetic considerations to which the effect of the alcohol is, if not dispensable, at least secondary.
Bourbon, an essay by Walker Percy. A warning: "Not only should connoisseurs of Bourbon not read this article, neither should persons preoccupied with the perils of alcoholism, cirrhosis, esophageal hemorrhage, cancer of the palate, and so forth..." [more inside]
posted by a.steele on May 19, 2010 - 77 comments

A Cubic Foot

How much life could you find in one cubic foot? With a 12-inch green metal-framed cube, photographer David Liittschwager (of the Endangered Species Project) surveyed biodiversity in land, water, tropical and temperate environments around the globe for National Geographic. At each locale he set down the cube and started watching, counting, and photographing with the help of his assistant and many biologists. The goal: to represent the creatures that lived in or moved through that space. The team then sorted through their habitat cubes and tallied every inhabitant, down to a size of about a millimeter. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Feb 2, 2010 - 25 comments

Hillbilly Truffle

Hillbilly Truffle "In France, they call them Périgords—and they’re known as the diamonds of the kitchen. You probably know them as black truffles, those baseball-sized fungi that are sniffed out of the earth by pigs or dogs, get sold for thousands of dollars, and transform any meal into a luxury item. So what happens when—sacrée merde!—an obsessed Yankee learns to grow them in the scrub woods of Davy Crockett’s Tennessee?"
posted by vronsky on Nov 30, 2009 - 66 comments

Ghost Walk

The Infamous Witch. El Protector. Opryland. The Strange Case of Scenic Drive. Blogger Aunt B. of TinyCatPants uses Google Maps to link to the "locations" of her original Nashville-area ghost stories, one for every day of October. Link takes you to the map; start with "The Infamous Witch."
posted by emjaybee on Oct 27, 2009 - 13 comments

Tent City

Multiple stories (1, 2, 3, 4, 5) from and about Tent City, a homeless encampment in Nashville, Tennessee.
posted by Brandon Blatcher on Sep 28, 2009 - 18 comments

Slugburgers

Slugburgers, hamburgers in which the meat has been supplemented with bread, meal, or crackers for filler, come from a triangular region that cuts across northern Alabama, northern Mississippi, and southern Tennessee and roughly corresponds with the Tennessee Valley. They're called slugburgers in Moulton, Alabama; Decatur, Alabama; and Corinth, Mississippi; doughburgers in Tupelo, Mississippi; and breadburgers in Cullman, Alabama. This regional take on the hamburger became popular during the Great Depression, when the price of meat made it necessary to use fillers to extend supply. Though the exact origin of the term is disputed, it is most commonly held that Slugburgers got their name from the coin used to pay for them: when each burger cost 5¢, you could pay for one with a nickel which was then also called a slug. Corinth, Mississippi, has held an annual Slugburger Festival since 1988. Take a photographic tour of the Slugburger Trail. [more inside]
posted by ocherdraco on Sep 18, 2009 - 78 comments

50 million and counting..

A concise article in support of a single-payer health care system written by an East Tennessee family medicine physician. [more inside]
posted by pwedza on Jul 13, 2009 - 79 comments

Mountain Bluegrass

Music in the Digital Library of Appalachia provides an unprecedented resource for study of repertoire, technique, lore, and the musical interchanges among the region's traditional musicians. Once you know what you like, it's easy to find the music live with Blue Ridge Music Trails. Meet musicians who have grown up with that music, visit settings in which Blue Ridge folk music thrives, see traditional dancing, and in many cases, take part in the festivities. The Crooked Road, Virginia’s Heritage Music Trail, winds through the mountains of Southwest Virginia. Along the trail, the Bluegrass, Old Time, and Traditional Country music is as beautiful and rugged as the landscape itself. [previous 1, 2]
posted by netbros on Mar 8, 2009 - 12 comments

Why not wine?

The debate over wine in Tennessee grocery stores rages on! Both sides have reasonable arguments. We've all heard that wine is good for us, but won't anyone think of the children? Popular opinion seems to favor the bill but there has been a lot of back and forth already.
posted by JVA on Dec 1, 2008 - 80 comments

When She Turns 18, I Almost Guarantee She's Going to Rename Herself Michelle

Ava Marie Ciptak was born on Friday, October 10, 2008. Except that her name wasn't Ava Marie Ciptak. Her father, Mark, of Elizabethton, Tennessee, "sort of secretively went behind [his wife Layla]'s back and changed the paperwork" by using two separate birth certificate forms. Instead of naming his daughter John McCain — his initial plan — he named his daughter Sarah McCain Palin, "figuring hopefully [he] would get two weeks in the doghouse rather than two months."
posted by WCityMike on Oct 15, 2008 - 84 comments

Yes, I remember the night...

I was dancing with my darling to the Tennessee Waltz when an old friend I happened to see I introduced him to my loved one and while they were dancing my friend stole my sweetheart from me... [NOTE: see hoverovers for link details]
posted by flapjax at midnite on Oct 8, 2008 - 45 comments

Town Meeting! Town Meeting!

Ah, the town-hall debate. Where Joe Sixpack and Jane Chardonnay can have their chance to ask a presidential candidate just about anything. Of course, such an open format can sometimes lead to uncomfortable moments for a candidate (although tonight might not have such fireworks). [more inside]
posted by shiu mai baby on Oct 7, 2008 - 877 comments

A barber came to Bristol...

Eighty one years ago to the day, barber, banjoist and balladeer B.F. Shelton travelled from his home in Kentucky to take part in a recording session in Bristol Tennessee. Now referred to as the "Bristol Sessions", these recordings are widely viewed as some of the most important and influential in American music history. The four songs Shelton recorded that day, stark, simple and immensely powerful in their unadorned honesty, can all be heard here. After Bristol, Shelton never recorded again. [more inside]
posted by flapjax at midnite on Jul 29, 2008 - 16 comments

The South will Rise

Tennesse and Georgia's war over water There are about five million residents in north Georgia affected by the drought. The phrase "if its brown flush it down, if its yellow let it mellow" has become part of the local jargon in an attempt to encourage water conservation. [more inside]
posted by meeshell on Feb 22, 2008 - 34 comments

Hooo-eee! Now that's hot!

Prince's Hot Chicken. Three words that get Nashvillians (and others) sweating and drooling. Don't believe me? Ask Yo La Tengo.
posted by 1f2frfbf on Jan 24, 2007 - 23 comments

The man can definitely eef.

Before you do anything else, just listen to this. That's eefing, a 100-plus-year-old vocal technique from rural Tennessee that's, well, the original hillbilly beatboxing. The undisputed master of the art was Jimmie Riddle. His unique skill landed him recording* and TV (youtube) work. Want more weird sounds from the deep south? Try Hollerin & Whoopin and Ringing the Pig. *[warning: on the "Little Eefin Annie" page, avoid the "click here to hear Rolf Harris Eeefin'!" link: it's a pesky popup.
posted by flapjax at midnite on Jan 6, 2007 - 51 comments

Torture on Tennessee Soil

Let me tell you what we're gonna do. We're gonna put them handcuffs in front of ya. Cut you a little slack. But if you don't start operating, we're gonna put the mother fuckers behind your back, and I'm gonna take this slapjack and I'm gonna start working that head over, you understand? ...you sign this son of a bitch, or I'm gonna hit you again. Audio. .pdf transcript. Full Story.
posted by Kwantsar on Apr 25, 2006 - 60 comments

License and registration, please

Is every cop a criminal? At least 41 officers in the Tennessee Highway Patrol have a criminal record. Ranging from drunk driving and driving state vehicles without a valid license to assault and child abuse. Gov. Bredesen called for a comprehensive background check of the THP and was surprised by the "inherent cronyism" with the force. Further scandals have forced the Commander to resign and the interim Commander is under some doubt as well. Will this be the end of the Good 'Ole Boys in Brown?
posted by teleri025 on Dec 9, 2005 - 31 comments

Love in Action shut down

Tennessee: 'Close Down Your Ex-Gay Ministry!' --remember Zach, the 16-year-old sent to Love in Action so that he could be cured of being gay? The state has finally ordered the places shut down. Original post on him here: Pray out the Gay!
Unfortunately, this is the state's reasoning: ... The state inspected two facilities in Memphis on Aug. 19 and determined Love In Action International Inc. was providing housing, meals and personal care for mentally ill patients without a license, according to a subsequent letter to the organization from the Department of Mental Health. ... (and more at Cherryblossom)
posted by amberglow on Sep 20, 2005 - 65 comments

Love In Action Redux

A followup to this story from June 10th, The state of Tennessee is FINALLY investigating allegations of child abuse at Refuge, part of Love In Action International, Inc. But will this investigation actually do anything? And what has happened to Zach? No one seems to be talking...
posted by OhPuhLeez on Jun 27, 2005 - 8 comments

270 Miles From Graceland

Music for the Kind : A half-completed tentative lineup for the fourth annual Bonnaroo Music Festival has been announced. With no advertising budget, the festival draws 90,000 fans to the pastures of Manchester, Tennessee for some of the best that live music has to offer. Smaller local festivals, like Langerado and Wanee Festival in Florida, have popped up featuring many of the same artists. Phish may be phried, but the music jams on and there could be a brighter future for selling music than more MTV.
posted by trinarian on Jan 22, 2005 - 12 comments

Where in the hell is Erwin, TN?

Erwin, TN. My hometown, small and wholly unremarkable. Unremarkable, of course, except for our history of elephant hanging. In 1916, after Mighty Mary killed one of her handlers, the circus had to put her down. The problem: they couldn't poison her and they couldn't shoot her. The solution: hang her from a railroad crane. The story has become one of local folklore. Any of your hometowns have strange histories worth sharing? (inspired by MoFi)
posted by ruddhist on Nov 30, 2004 - 62 comments

Marry Theresa

Husband Wanted. Girl looking for husband in Nashville, TN, puts picture on billboard. "I just want one man driving by this billboard who wants to marry me." Is this a Red state thing?
posted by metaforth on Nov 25, 2004 - 59 comments

Next step: Hunting Season!

"We need to keep them out of here," said Commissioner J.C. Fugate, who introduced the motion.

Rhea County, Tennessee commissioners have voted 8-0 to ask state lawmakers to introduce legislation amending Tennessee's criminal code so the county can charge homosexuals with crimes against nature. If Rhea County sounds familiar, it may be because it was the setting for the Scopes Monkey Trial.
posted by mr_crash_davis on Mar 17, 2004 - 49 comments

The Boner Awards 2K2

The Nashville Scene proudly presents the 12th Annual Boner Awards. Named for disgraced Nashville mayor Bill Boner, this is a rundown of all things "goofy, grisly and gnarly" that went down this year in Music City. From nude fender-benders to shop-lifting Vice Mayors, it's local interest, Nashvegas style.
(The previous few years are also available for the truly curious.)
posted by mikrophon on Dec 18, 2002 - 11 comments

The best guitarist you never heard in your life. Shawn Lane is an underground hero in guitar circles. Born 1963 in Memphis Tennesee, he joined Black Oak Arkansas at the age of 13 , beat Ted Nugent in a cutting contest, and made Billy Gibbons fall off his bar stool. Shawn now plays with the Jonas Hellborg Trio - Windows media clip here. I admit that fusion and guitar heroics are not to everyone's liking. But, if you like this kind of thing, you must agree that this guy is the the real deal.
posted by crunchburger on Sep 20, 2002 - 19 comments

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