Thursday, April 12, 2018

The WTF?

I spend most of my days saying some variation  of that phrase in response to the idiocracy that live here and then in response to the daily news be that national, local or international.   I am not sure why I allow myself to be engaged as I had to learn from the schools here that once you vest you care and I had to stop caring to survive.

I don't feel that way about the bigger picture as I can disengage from a school after a few hours but the world in which I live I do so 24/7 so unless I go into unconsciousness I am not sure what else to do but cope.  Oh wait I get the Opioid crisis.

This morning I drove to the school I am at so I was able to listen to NPR and hear the current spokesperson for the Republican National Committee, the new Sean Spicer, discuss the retirement of Paul Ryan, the former boy wonder and "thinker" of the RNP.  What.ever.  The Donnie Darko Eddie Munster poster child did apparently the one thing he wanted to accomplish in his 20 year career was pass a tax bill and further indebt the country for decades all while enabling Trump to be the crazy Dad you wish would STFU for once.

The budget Trump proposes, the reality of tax cuts and the further destruction of the American economy once those tariffs kick in will truly affect generations to come. The federal deficit that Ryan, et al. endlessly rambled on about will rise to over One Trillion dollars by 2020.   I too would bid a hasty retreat once that reality sets in with the Trumptards.

And that defines the RNC, hypocrisy, hyperbole and hollow minded.   There is one thing that until Trump they were able to be the equivalent of a Barbershop Quartet, a Church Choir and The Temptations singing in perfect harmony, dishing out bullshit lyrics while doing a quick step to distract and confuse the great unwashed.  Anyone who has lived in the South would understand this reference as it is not what you say but how you say it that matters.  And they talk a lot of shit here.

Just to put it into perspective, this from a recent poll via NBC news:

A majority of adults in Tennessee (56 percent) approve of the way Trump is handling his job as president. That compares with 57 percent in Mississippi, 55 percent in Alabama and 49 percent in Georgia.

Among all Americans, 43 percent approve of his job performance, while 55 percent disapprove.

And if midterm elections were held last month when the poll was conducted, half the adults of Tennessee would vote Republican

So now lets talk about that survey.  Did they ask if they were registered to vote? Are the registered Democrats or Republicans?  Do they vote in all elections and if so whom did they vote for.  This is a State that votes and ironically the same Newspaper that reported that bullshit also reported that Tennessee is the fourth lowest in turnout with which states - the other three they also mentioned in the above poll. And for the last few years at the bottom, placing 50.  

And what is more distressing is that this is the same cohort that decide State politics.  With only 30% voting and even if they split among parties it means that 15% of the population can dictate and determine our legislation and long term policies that undermine the concept of democracy. And in turn those same individuals design by intent via gerrymandering, voter laws and other restrictions that make it even more difficult to vote.  Welcome to Tennessee.

So asking a bunch of yokels and idiots how they would vote and diligently reporting on it is a waste of time.  That is a WTF moment right there.  They don't vote and won't so who gives a flying one either but it does explain why we have such a batshit cohort of prospective candidates for public office.

We have a woman who puts the bat into crazy running for Senate (Blackburn) while the holder of the gig now a Trump hater admits voting for same tax bill a mistake, why this shocks me it doesn't if you ever follow anything about Corker.  Then we have another former crazy Congresswoman ( who cannot love the BEAV)  who stepped out of here state office, to run for a hot minute for Governor and has now decided to run for a Mayoral position all while violating campaign finance laws.  Another running for Governor who makes crazy insufficient a word to describe her and irony or actually right on the money has the poorest voting record of the TN Congressional members (Diane Black);  Currently we have a State Legislator who was a Minister but molested girls 20 years ago and another who in explaining his issues with Immigrants referring to them as "wetbacks." Yes it is good times here in Tennessee.

By not voting and engaging this is what we get.  Bill after bill that endlessly is about liquor, about sex and god and about nothing of import.  A Governor who speaks endlessly about education reform and improvement but in reality that meter has not moved and if it did only slightly and temporarily with little gains in improvement, Teacher wages or College graduation rates.  Again, they talk a lot of bullshit here.

And after work I am going to vote on the much debated Transit bill. Yes this bill duplicates the transit plan of Seattle but regardless it is a step in the right direction.  Half of it won't get built but it allocates funding for a desperately needed upgrade to the infrastructure.  But this has of course turned into a "So, Nashville" moment with fake names and photos used to compose an anti-transit op ed in the local rag, then we have PAC money aka "dark money" being funneled into one of the anti transit groups, and of course the same group 'bearding" up by hiring a Black man to be anti-transit.  This is never about race and yet it always is here.  It is about the have's and the have not's.  And they fear the idea that those two should have to meet. There are as many faces of color here who are anti transit as there are pro and that is because of social status and class and the perception those bring.  There are days when I cannot keep up with the lies and the grandiose pronouncements.

I am not sure if that is exclusive to the region but we have the patent on it here.  I am amazed at the level of ignorance and almost willfulness to avoid having any sense of intellect and perspective to the point I am incredulous to the level of stupidity I encounter on a daily basis.

When I moved here I was not sure of what I would find and was open minded. The city of Nashville broadly declaring its "it" status meant I believe it was moving into the future, I did not understand tht the future was about 1970 as they had been in the 50s for clearly quite some time.  The gentrification of a city is not an easy one and this coupled with issues of race, economics and immigration make it tougher until you realize the complexities that come into play that fundamentally center only on economics. The city coming off of a high electing a Woman Mayor who was "fundamentally" liberal and then in turn became the town slattern.  It was as if Loretta Lynn knew this one was coming and threw on a ball gown to make a new album.  She is recovering from a stroke and given what I have seen here this last two years I get it. I really do.

The arrival of Nashville's first black Director of Education had come with hopes that the District was on an upswing and the decimation of the district due to funding and of course the issues surrounding test scores would be magically resolved in one fell swoop.  Well in that time a book came out about the District and how it was intentionally designed that way to segregate and isolate those who are poor and/or of color and the rise of Charters, the backroom deals that dominate the South put any outsider firmly on the outside.  And it appears our resident Doctor despite being from the North quickly adapted to Southern ways and hired crony's who raided the district coffers, one whom found himself in the center of the MeToo movement with allegations of impropriety, and now a 7.5 Million dollar shortfall which led to threats of lawsuits. Next up the race card undoubtedly will be thrown into the ring, which is a mistake if you truly understood the dynamics of the South. It never is if you are from here. Race is well down the list on reasons to hate and marginalize but it makes it easier for those who are not.

This is the land of tribalism, of nativism, of history both good and bad. They cling to it like a dryer sheet does to clean laundry.  They are neither proud nor ashamed of their history, they revel in it.  And pigs do the same in shit.  They just smell worse but taste better.  I cannot swallow any of the sweet tea that is handed to my parched throat it chokes me.  I am amazed at how ignorance is generationally passed on as if you are bestowing Grandmother's pearl necklace in which to choke oneself.

I feel as if I live in house where the Father is Sean Spicer, full of bluster and bullshit and Sarah Huckabee Sanders, a bloated gasbag who is sarcastic, rude and smug all while covering up the truth about the Big Daddy that lives in the Grand House.  Trump our first Southern President down to the arrogance, the bluster, the bullshit and the hate.  Cat on a Hot Tin Roof could not have been a more fitting play to describe the current First Family, and again irony not lost that the name of the playwright is the state I am in.  Just what kind of state is the question.

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