If there is one thing that Nashville has mastered is the scold, the rebuke, the passive aggressive retort that is to put one in one's place or to generate anger or a combination of both.
Over the last 18 months I have personally experienced more hostility and abuse than I have in 58 years of living and I lived with a Mother who had no boundaries and a Father who struggled with anger management due to his issues with alcohol. Yet they tried and they were funny and they used humor and sarcasm to deflect. My mother after making a withering comment would then promptly follow it up with, "Of course everyone here is excepted." Note she said except as not included not exceptional. There is a difference and from her I learned the powers of words. "Sticks and stones can break your bones but names will never hurt you" was another one of her more overused phrases. We lived a life of idioms and those were my morality tales and lessons on life. They made me one tough bitch and then over the last six years and the near fatal accident that nearly took my life, then watching my Civil rights go out the window and the lies and incompetence of Attorney's such as Jennifer Miller, Kevin Trombold, Ted Vosk, Matt Lebya and Blair Russ to list just a few that further stabbed a knife into me over and over again only has shown that rhinos have more fragile shells.
All of them are still practicing law and my Matt Lebya story is also about scolding as I fired him. He was Lawyer #2 after a Christopher Small I thought I hired was not the Attorney I met. The day I went to his "firm" I met with someone I assumed was a law clerk but now he was apparently also a shitty lawyer and Small never bothered to tell me that he was going to be my Lawyer until two days prior to my arraignment so I fired both of them and got my check back. I then realized that Lawyers in Seattle in this field of DUI are dipshits and money chasers. Small and the clerk have both closed that shop and moved into different fields but they came back to haunt me mid trial when Miller asked about them. She seemed very interested that I had not only fired one Lawyer but two. Lebya I fired as he did not have the chemical analysis skills I needed, Ted Vosk did and later Lebya verbally accosted Kevin Trombold about this very blog in open court and said he needed to reign in his client. Again, this should have been handled appropriately and maturely between two men in a closed room but nope, open court. I truly think I have some weird mojo when it comes to Lawyers as in both criminal and my civil cases many of those bodies washed ashore in different fields as I continued to storm thought Seattle in full on rage. Hurricanes leave less damage but I lost every single case and not without a fight. I was lucky to come out in any piece let alone one so moving across country was out of desperation and necessity not desire.
**I name names now and share this as it needs to be told not to excuse but to explain what brought me and why I am the way I have become.
So each day as the daily allegations and recriminations about the #MeToo movement and #TimesUp dominate the news cycle I have found myself trying to reconcile my own pain with that of others while living in a City/Town that empathy (like fashion) came to die. I do have a greater understanding now of the origins of how Country Music came to be as it is the most tragic of the genres and the one that reflects a constant state of malaise and depression that resonates throughout the culture here. The South has complicated relationships with itself and with each other and in turn nothing seems to ever satisfy the insatiable hunger that permeates their very being. Hence the obsession with religion.
Go to a Church and it is not a sermon but a lecture. It is a rebuke, a plan, a demand or instruction on how to live. It is about how someone failed but then through God that failure was a lesson to do more be better be stronger be more religious in order to not fail. It sets one up for failure as you can never succeed. The business of Church is just that business and that is basically a lather rinse repeat cycle of falling down, getting picked up then failing again until heaven. Wow sign me up!
And it was because of what happened to me I went inward and you do a lot of self reflection and analysis. Therapists like my Attorneys were about as useless and tits on a Nun. That one comes from my Father, no less short on idioms and expressions. But one thing I do know is who I am and I own my evil and my rage. At times they are balms that keep me sane so I see that in Rose McGowan as she vacillates between full comprehension and compassion to full volatility and frustration. It is a pendulum and it moves back and forth at whatever speed it gains from gravity and momentum of the moment. Of course someone can shove that pendulum in any direction and accelerate the speed to do more damage and that someone can be you or anyone else with their own agenda.
I think when I first came here to Nashville I tried to hard and volunteered and signed up for everything but Church. And each time I listened to the lectures, the talking at you not to you or with you AT YOU. Like Church so who needs that on a daily basis. I walked into schools with children a reflection of that and the damage that poverty has provided in ways that even I was unfamiliar. I had never experienced this kind of poverty, trauma and racism in my life and all of centers on class and economics and the belief that is destiny as determined by God and your failures are all due to your failures alone. All of it centers on the self and that is narcissism mixed with religion that crosses into a whole new level of blame making and finger pointing.
When I walk into a school in Nashville I know that many Secretaries and just ordinary working women, some are nicer, some more professional and some horrific. That was pretty much across the board in Seattle but in Seattle it leaned to more professional and familiar, the women treated adult professionals as adult professionals. Here not.so.much. And that pretty much crosses the board from Teachers and Administrators. I would no more go to the Human Resources office for any query as anyone would going to Harvey Weinstein's hotel. It has the same affect just without a penis.
But the staff in Nashville Public Schools go out of their way to reprimand to scold to admonish anyone who crosses their path at any given moment at any day. If you are in their range of fire run for the hills as it is your turn and you just stand there and are supposed to go "Yes Ma'am" and yes it it is almost always women. I have never had too many exchanges with men other than Police who were summoned by whom? Women.
Now the issues of race and gender here I have made no secret of and my encounters and communications with those who are Black and most often Women, across races have been largely negative. Women here have true problems that I cannot even fathom as to where that came from but I point out that this is City with over 50% of the population practicing Evangelical religion, only 30% are educated over high school (which again is not saying much for even that) and that we have a huge problem with Domestic Violence. I believe last time I checked we were #4 with deaths due to that problem. Something goes keep it up ladies and we will be number #1 with a bullet - whoops pun intended. That gun violence issue too is across the board here with a majority of the homicides last year were children. Picture is painted for you yet?
But what I find sad is that the need to admonish, to discipline is compulsive and again I have equated it with auto-eroticism. The children seem to need anger in which to function and go out of their way to press buttons or triggers, literally or metaphorically, to generate that emotion. The adults seem to go out of their way to rile one up but more passively aggressively. The times I volunteered at the Frist Art Center was enough to make me run literally for the door. I often left early after a shift as I cold not take the cold eyes, the lack of camaraderie between volunteers. It was discomforting to be a part of it. And again I am overly sensitive but this is after months of getting swatted down daily to try to take a swim in the pool. Nope this pool is still very segregated and again it is not just the pool itself but the lanes within. You can jump in just stick to your lane and your end and outsiders are relegated to the deep end with the hopes you will drown.
The scold is the way one looks at you, talks at you or just ignores or dismisses you. I see why Women are angry as they have spent their lives being scolded for being women. We have periods, we get fat, we get old, we get mad, we get sad, we have sex, we don't have sex, we are pretty, we are ugly. We are women. Women of the South are what my father used to call battle-axes. These are women who are angry, pick fights and feuds and have nothing good to say. I see them swinging that daily and I just duck and cover. Sometimes being in the deep end at least you can dive under and hide. So if you think I am hard on women, meet the women of the South they redefine hard.