Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Some Cheese with that Wine?

Well once again sitting in the belly of the beast I opened the New York Times to find an opinion piece from my favorite whiner, Margaret Renkl.  I’ve never met the woman but since she has become the “Southern Voice” for the paper I have never laughed or rolled my eyes more as she is another classic example of what defines white privilege in Nashville.  That the Times could not find anyone else to opine on the region is disturbing, marks of laziness and even The Bitter Southerner (which is largely a retail outlet with essays) does a way better job of finding diverse voices and views about the region.  Hey this is apparently still it city if by it you mean it is one hot mess here then yes.

Again the local news which is largely a crime and sports reporting mentioned the crime stats as it affects the only industry that matters - tourism.  They found the biggest violent crime was deep in the heart of Broadway just two blocks from where I sit and where I walked into a liquor store to witness the robbery I wrote about yesterday.  And last night more crazy on the same street with a fight, a home invasion and a woman robbed at gunpoint by two teens during an evening walk through her neighborhood.  Meanwhile the city continues to decline with public health clinics falling apart, schools still the dumpsters they always have been with a new corruption scandal unfolding and of course the State Legislation is now working on another law requiring students to play only sports and on teams that are connected to their in gender assigned at birth .  Hate laws go well served with meat and threes.

So Mags in her opine piece is upset that the media did not cover the now decade old flood that devastated the city and she is particularly upset that is was not until day four that Anderson Cooper arrived! Bless his heart!

To Mags, I just want to say: Shut the fuck up you whiny little bitch.

Here is the story that she neglects to mention: That the powers that be knew that the Cumberland could overflow and in fact cause damage, that nothing not one thing has been done to circumvent this from happening again despite two Mayors addressing the issue the money is not in the budget for this. That in fact Nashville has been aggressive in buying up land from homeowner in direct line of a floodplain and do so with federal money, which a very article in this very paper she writes for has covered. That during the post flood cleanup the City and State got the usual wealth of dollars from the feds and have used some of it do build an Amphitheater in downtown that brings in more shows and in turn more tourists, along with complaints about noise in the nearby community of East Nashville, where the housing project of Shelby is located and largely faces of color reside; It is alongside the Nissan Stadium (I wonder if that will still be the name in a year or few after all said and done) and one of the most violent blocks in the city, the other being right smack in the middle of the honky tonks at 3rd and Broadway.  Is that in the tourist info brochure? That in turn much of the abatement money renovated properties that were vacant and then in turn sold to build the now honky tonk paradise row that dominates the city. That in turn millions went to millionaires who turned this property over in a flip that defies property brothers dreams as Tennessee does not require flood notifications on sales transactions. In turn that lead to further boon and bust in gentrification as now right along the flood line they are building a Four Seasons Hotel Condo building and on the basement of the new building that is all things Nashville they have housed the African American Museum. So lets see how those do when the flood hits them in a year or few.

Mags you need to tell the truth in this passive aggressive missive about Climate Change and whatever else this is about, the poor me bullshit that dominates the discussion here about all things other than truth. Mags needs to note that Nashville the City nor the State of Tennessee gives one flying fuck about any of this unless it has to do with the NFL, Tourism, Bachelorette Whores and other big ticket items that will pass through like the flood leaving damage in their wake but easier to clean up after. No one cares Mags, you got that much right.

Nobody Cared When Nashville Drowned
A new exhibit marks the 10th anniversary of a national disaster the nation ignored.

By Margaret Renkl
Contributing Opinion Writer
Jan. 20, 2020

NASHVILLE — On the Saturday I had set aside to visit a new exhibit at the Frist Art Museum, it rained so hard I was afraid to leave the house. Nashville was built on the Cumberland River, and even those of us who live far from its banks are invariably a stone’s throw from at least one creek that drains into the great Cumberland or one of its tributaries. A deluge falling on saturated soil will flood the creeks and leave water pooling on low-lying roads. “Turn Around Don’t Drown” is a truism I conscientiously heed.

The exhibit I planned to visit that day, ironically enough, was a retrospective of the devastating 2010 flood that dropped more than 13 inches of rain on this area in 36 hours — twice the amount of rain that fell during the previous two-day record. The Cumberland River crested more than 11 feet above flood level, leaving 10,000 people in the region displaced and 26 others dead, including an elderly couple who drowned when their car was swept off the road not far from my house.
Area landmarks were shut down for months. Opry Mills, a massive mall on the banks of the Cumberland, was closed for nearly two years. Nearby, the Opryland Resort & Convention Center had to evacuate 1,500 hotel guests, and the first floor of the Grand Ole Opry House itself was completely submerged. Twenty-four feet of water entered the Schermerhorn, Nashville’s transcendently beautiful symphony hall, where the losses included two Steinway concert grand pianos. Soundcheck, a sprawling rehearsal and equipment-storage facility in East Nashville, took a nearly fatal blow, with millions of dollars of instruments — belonging to both session musicians and industry superstars — lost to the water. It all felt almost personal: What would Music City be without the music?

The cleanup took months and resulted in 111,000 tons of debris. But the rescue efforts and the following recovery are a legacy of the flood that Nashvillians are proudest of. The self-described “Redneck Armada” used their own boats to rescue strangers and carry them to higher ground. Garth Brooks performed nine sold-out benefit concerts — nine of them — and raised almost $5 million for flood relief. Volunteers, some 29,000 strong, worked for months to help both neighbors and strangers recover. Flood-ravaged Nashville was the biggest small town in America.

At the Frist, “The Nashville Flood: Ten Years Later” occupies an entry-level gallery that’s free to the public. It includes photographs taken both during and after the flood, oral-history testimony from survivors, a map showing the hardest-hit areas and an interactive before-and-after display of city scenes. There’s even a flood-damaged guitar from Soundcheck. It’s multisensory history at its best.
It’s also a devastating reminder of an event that reshaped the contours of civic life: the water shortages caused by inundated water-treatment facilities, the roads closed because bridges had been washed away, the mildewed carpet and drywall piled up in mountains in virtually every neighborhood in town, the funerals. Days and days of funerals.

And yet nobody outside Nashville seemed to have any idea at all of what was happening to us. If you’ve never heard of the Nashville flood, you are far from alone. The national media completely ignored the catastrophe as it was happening. A few days after the sun came out, we began to see short reports here and there — a brief article by The Associated Press, an essay by Ann Patchett for The Times. Days later, Anderson Cooper finally showed up. “When Anderson Cooper is late to your local disaster,” Jeff Severns Guntzel pointed out in the Utne Reader, “you know something is wrong.”

It’s worth asking, even now, what was wrong. Partly it was timing: On May 1, the day it began to rain in Nashville, an attempted terrorist attack was thwarted in Times Square. Ten days earlier, B.P.’s Deepwater Horizon oil rig had exploded, leaking 200,000 gallons of oil a day into the Gulf of Mexico. The massive oil slick that resulted was due to hit the fragile Gulf Coast just as the rain began to fall in Nashville.

No question, both of those stories deserved every bit of ink and footage and pixels they engendered. But when a major American city gets hit with a natural disaster that kills more than two dozen people and drives 10,000 others from their homes, and the national news media responds with a shrug, something more than limited bandwidth or disaster fatigue may be to blame.

Perhaps it’s just that Nashville hadn’t yet captured the national imagination the way it has in recent years. “Nashville” the television show was still more than two years away from its premiere on ABC, and The Times was still nearly three years away from crowning this town “it” city. On May 1, 2010, Nashville was just a midsize American city in flyover country, and when something bad happens in flyover country, the feeling everywhere else seems to be that we somehow brought it on ourselves.
God knows we’re guilty, here in the red states, of inadequate environmental policy, of shoot-yourself-in-the-foot governance, of staying put when the smarter thing would be to leave. There are complicated reasons for those decisions, reasons not easily summed up in a single news story. But none of it should prevent a compassionate response to another human being’s suffering or admiration in the face of another human being’s heroism. The Redneck Armada saved countless lives, whatever you might think you know about “rednecks” in general. In any case, Nashville could not have made the rain stop falling any more than California can keep the San Andreas fault from shifting.

A decade ago, we got hit by a “thousand-year flood,” but we know now that such estimates no longer hold. Nashville has taken measures to mitigate the damage of the next flood because we know there will be a next one. Smaller, poorer towns will simply have to hope for the best. That’s why “This region stands to bear the brunt and lose the most from the effects of climate change,” as Lyndsey Gilpin, editor of the indispensable website Southerly, points out. Surely the national media won’t be able to turn away from it now.

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Deny Lie Ignore

Are those qualities of a criminal or of most of the residents here in Nashville?  I can’t frankly distinguish the difference as the level of ignorance here almost seems deliberate as it somehow absolves them of responsibility and accountability.  “Did you eat the pie Johnny?”  “What pie?” Says Johnny.

Living in Nashville I found three standard responses when directly confronting anyone (any questioning is considered confrontational here in the South).  Any observation, random comment, passing opinion is duly treated as an annoyance and one is given one of three responses: “I’ve never heard that before” thereby denying knowledge and feigning ignorance. This precedes the what I call Dopey Pony where in true passive aggressive fashion puts ones  head downcast and look like a pretty pony confused by the human.   The other method is Gaslighting to convince/bully/intimidate you. My personal favorite which explains the domestic violence rate here.  This also explains the Southern indignation response that is often violent in response which also explains the endless violence plaguing the city, from physical fights to gun or knife fights.  The origin   of this is the British concept of the Honor Code - in other words dueling sans banjos.

As I release myself from the hostage situation that has been going on now three years I was told that it’s all over so I can move on.  It is? Gee I have no final bridgework and am a month away from that happening nor has the billing or as I call it gouging been decided and given what has transpired now I can actually say with conviction that pulling teeth is easier.

And this may explain why I simply hate being here as few if any encounters end pleasantly.  I walked into one of my few coffee spots left and immediately saw more idiots I wish to avoid and overhearing the conversation continued to confirm my assessment as it included a discussion about being pre approved for a home mortgage, a 20 year old part time barista who has an Instagram account where she plays photographer.  Wow that is amazing and I can’t find a decent Accountant but sure.  Then she asks the other former member of the pussy posse to be her roommate when she buys said house.  Then they plan for this for a moment but realize said house needs to be bought and moved into first.  Good plan.  The other future roommate and pussy posse member have at least two things in common, they worked at the same Barista Parlour shop and fucked the same boy, Ethan, who they thought I was paying to fuck.  Stupid is as stupid does and this inbred town defines stupid.  And it continued with more lies and false promises when naturally as all girls here do (they are far from being called women) complain about their last most recent failed fuck.  I laughed as I have been gone 8 days and called that one as I knew one of them could not sustain it even that long.  Her comment was he needs to work on some stuff, that I’m sure but start looking in the mirror.  More lies and more stories and I left thinking that at least I can leave as my hostage situation is coming to a close.

But even walking to the liquor store last night I walked into another Nashville moment - a robbery.  Race cards tossed which of course led the clerk to lessen the grip on the bottle (he asked for money first before bagging and handing the bottle and then called racist) and then what happened? He grabbed it ran out the door.  This is everywhere and it is denied, ignored or simply accepted as a part of living and doing business in Nashville.

Tennessee made another top ten list-one of the least educated States in America.  Where I am from, Washington, and where I live now, Jersey, made the top ten of most educated.  And this morning the Governor signed into law another hate bill preventing adoption by LGBQT people by those faith based groups; logic behind the hate was religious freedom. Sure what.ever.

Come to the south and get some spit in your coffee followed by a brain freeze.  I never contracted Stockholm Syndrome and it explains also why I needed a drink yesterday but it was hard to find just one reason.

Saturday, January 18, 2020

Time for the "Talk"

For the better part of my professional life I tried to mentor both boys and girls with an emphasis on boys as they were the largest portion of discipline problems so I tried varying techniques, from giving them classroom management duties, to simply sharing food or just talking.  The just talking part truly works as they have few women they talk to on a simple social basis that is not connected to family or duty.  I in turn met amazing young men whom I hope have become amazing older men.  In turn I tried to be open to young girls about issues other than those that seem to dominate dialogues with female teachers and female students - part lecture, part mentor - it is not an easy role with girls at that 13-18 mark and they are in fact by far more challenging to connect to than their male peers.  That may be me as I gravitate to men as friends and as I am really in the asexual category - the Jo March type if one must (although we know that Alcott was trying to write about a woman who was not into men at all and may have found more companionship with another women, she was like her doppelgänger, a spinster.)

So when you are not married, not identifying with a sexual group and seem to travel alone no one know what to do with you and the past three years in Nashville really tested the mettle on what that meant to be identified only by one's vagina or by one's checkbook.  I guess I am more Aunt March than Jo in that respect but hey Meryl Streep bitches!

As  a woman of "a certain age," a "spinster" an "old maid" I find it hard to find the tribe that accepts the "lone woman." Funny we are still suspect despite the fact the vagina is closed for business so what we are after exactly must be something to do with an old shoe and children or woods and candy houses.    Yes women are evil, cunning, duplicitous and we are after youth and vitality so watch out Dorothy or a house will fall on your head.  Or worse we are just ignored entirely.

Funny that I am not brain dead and have depth and wealth of experience that has nothing to do with my checkbook as the power of observation and history is how we have the present but hey I live very much in the now with my eyes on the road ahead and a glance in the rear view mirror to remind me where I just was is worth a road trip if so inclined.   And I miss kids and being in school and I want to get back to Teaching albeit temporary to have those meaningful moments and exchanges that rewarded me and in turn enabled me to grow and learn even in my dotage.

We have a concierge desk here in my building and they vary in demographics the same way the city outside my door does but most are male and in my exchanges I am always amazed that age is rarely a factor in distinguishing differences among men and I realized that regardless of age, men seem to feel safer being a prototype or if one must a stereotype and it was from reading Peggy Ornstein's article in The Atlantic about her new book, Boys and Sex, that enabled the light bulb above my head to alight.

In Nashville I tried to mentor young Ethan for reasons that to this day make no sense, perfect sense and some sense when you put this entire story in perspective. The lack of meaningful work, the social isolation, the feeling I was hostage to Vanderbilt and my dental work and the process of aging without family really hit home so I make no apologies for doing right or doing anything to befriend and love this young man as one would a son.  What I did not know was that his duplicity was not about issues that I was comfortable with, sexuality, but in fact religion and faith that was ultra conservative and radical in its beliefs.  As a result a boy I loved was a boy I became afraid of.  I was afraid of the children in Nashville for not the same reason but in the same way as I have never experienced such damage and destruction that these children demonstrate in their behavior and largely due to both poverty and religion as a supposed balm to compensate for all that they lack in life.

As a result I hated every minute living there and dread going back and the snow storm enabled a 24 hour delay and I welcomed it as another opportunity to find peace and worth by just being here.   In my exchanges from my new Yoga instructor to the boys and the desk and those at my coffee shop I have a sense of positive energy and perspective that makes me relieved to know that both men and women are out there with a sense of self and a sense of community.

I am looking forward to reading Ms. Ornstein's book as I have long thought men and boys don't know women as simply women, those who are are not tied to them via the vagina through birth or sex but there to be friends, mentors, colleagues or leaders, that neither want them for monetary gain or status but as people and fellow humans on life's road.  We have done a real shitty job when it comes to equality in finding and establishing friendships across gender and age. We need a new lesson plan when it comes to teaching both genders about sex and sexuality.

One of my recent conversations with a young concierge was about sexual assault and the current crop of famous or infamous charges and trials that include R. Kelly, Harvey Weinstein, Bill Cosby, Jeffrey Epstein and Michael Jackson.   In the case of the latter he feels that the boys,  now men, were lying as they did not exhibit qualities or behaviors of those who have been raped.  Well is that because men exhibit different behaviors, take on different qualities after assault or are you speaking from a place of personal experience, knowledge or is there a "type" or "way" one behaves regardless of gender after being assaulted?   He refused to believe any Michael Jackson parallels despite the fact that R. Kelly had not been convicted of assault in 2008, Jeffrey Epstein had been charged with Prostitution versus assault, Bill Cosby had been only convicted after a mistrial the first time and Weinstein has not gone to trial nor made it to court in the past and there are many others who regardless of fame have not been charged with sexual crimes as it is one area of criminal justice where we have a serious matter of failure with regards to investigation and in turn convictions. And to assume that anyone who has been assaulted acts in a "way" that would somehow be a flag or scarlet letter to let those around you know that you have been harmed is rather unfair and again marks one to be remembered for the worse thing that happened to you be you and adult or a child.  There are ways to recover not forget but live and thrive in life if the type of support and help are available and accessible in which to do so.  But as one who knows you don't recover ever and your relationships are affected but not all become hookers, drug addicts, crazy, etc.   I watched the light bulb on his head go on when he realized I might be speaking from personal experience and while I agree that we can see Michael Jackson differently we are no different than any Jury who finds those innocent who are likely guilty or more importantly those guilty who are innocent.  We have streets full of the former and jails full of the latter so the real issue is how to believe, to hear and to trust that we have all the information needed to make the right decision about an other's life even outside a court of law.

But then again some people don't want to believe regardless we have to believe "our truths" which in the ever increasing narcissism of America no one exemplifies that more than Trump; Trump is the perpetual man-child from the temper tantrums to the pouting face to the calling of names he represents all that nature versus nurture shows how a man of privilege becomes a man of denial.  From sexual assault to high crimes and misdemeanors we have what we have now and we are all now in the courtroom in which to believe or not the truths as they are presented as facts.

How we learn about ourselves, our gender, our roles in society are tied to nurture.  We have the families or more importantly the lack thereof in some cases to aid in determining our place in the larger picture.  We have stereotypes and prototypes that are models and guides in which to follow or to ignore or use to our advantage.  No two snowflakes are alike and that metaphor applies to all of us. We have a real problem in America with regards to the two most obvious factors in nature - sex and race - as they are observable and in turn we use what we see to judge and to assign, a type of conviction if you must qualities and characteristics that we have learned to apply.  It makes it easier and in turn requires less work and commitment to actually know people, learn about them, have awkward conversations, honest conversations and even fun ones as they all take work and that shit is hard!

All sex is oral. Try talking to someone you don't want to fuck with or fuck, not of the same gender, race or age or sexuality about this topic.  Bet you can't won't or don't have time.  Change that to race and it is no less awkward.  We don't like to heavy lift that is America and what makes us great.   We get others to do it for us.

Friday, January 17, 2020

Storm Coming

As I prepare for another trip to Nashville I had to laugh as it, along with the two of the other three major cities in the state - Memphis and Chattanooga - made the list of the worst run cities in America.  Shocking! No, not really.   What is truly amazing is the delusional state the residents and the pols have with regards to the city and its "desirability."  For whatever criticism residents in the tri-state area have in relation to the varying issues that in turn plague our area, I would rather live here than anywhere for the people and the place transcend all its problems by still being better than anyone could ever imagine.  They are genuine, they are real and they are proud; I cannot say the same for those of Nashville for every day another story another incident that continues to prove how they live and work dishonestly.

The place is crime filled and utterly unsafe.  There is little publicized about this as it would kill off the tourism trade for which the city relies but the place is a dump folks.  From traffic to lack of an infrastructure you would not realize how bad it is as the city continues to brag about the endless absurd development centered on the supposed Amazon campus that is coming to of course upgrade the city with high paying jobs and other bullshit that we have heard repeatedly from companies in exchange of tax incentives that never quite work out as promised.

The schools are a shambles, literally, the city run into the ground with endless issues about reconciling a budget when the State Legislature hits the first day off and running into the new year with its first bill another anti gay piece of legislation that has been kicked around the state house as long as I had lived in the area - the prevention of LGBQT families from adopting or fostering children if the agency does not approve of their "lifestyle."  What the fuck is Martha Stewart the doyenne of home lifestyle branding going to give one flying fuck over where one's dick or mouth goes? Really?

This lays in wait with the bathroom bill that has been hiding in the proverbial closet that no doubt will come again and sit next to the one that prevents couples from marrying with non-traditional officials or that Therapists can reject clients based on their sexuality so hey now that Tennessee has a Plumber as Governor, a religious right wing kook as one can imagine, who has no problems signing into laws absurd notions of block funding Medicare/Medicaid and of course vouchers for public education.  All while overlooking varying sexual and racist scandals in the legislature during his first year in office.   YEE HAW!

Is it any wonder that Microsoft canceled its second meeting with the Mayor's office regarding establishing a presence there.  They already have no income tax in Washington where they are located, have no reason to move to the red nut state for that purpose so what? They hope to find ill educated and trained workers to do shit at low pay?  And I do mean shit as we already now that Southern states are at the forefront of the Boeing crisis for their lax workforce regulations and requirements.  For the record Boeing's headquarters are out of Chicago and not Seattle but their legacy and prime manufacturing has long been in the region; However, the 737 Max (among others) was and is primarily a South Carolina project.   Right Lindsey Graham?  And its legacy is one of strum and drang.  Gosh shocking? No, not really.

My personal favorite right now is the ongoing Nissan scandal which Nashville and Tennessee takes quite pride about being the state as it is their home in North America. Well it is no surprise that the number two man in the scandal is a Tennessean.  Greed, corruption and lies are three traits that run through the area like the Cumberland, as deep and as dark as any river could be.  Lying like a river should be the new expression and since they are so religious there it may be time for God to baptism the city again as it did 10 years ago.

Lack of education, lack of support for education, training, consistent classicism and racism, religion and of course sexism and overall just plain fucking ignorance is the consistency in the South.  It would require every single generation to leave the area, find a city, get schooling, work among diverse communities and then return, begin to vote, to organize and of course demand change for this to eerie change.  Not.Going.To.Happen.

I have said that the culture there is one that took me very little time to figure out.  At first I was afraid, then I was petrified to think how I was going to live there (to paraphrase better song lyrics than I could write to describe my state of mind) and cope there for any reason let alone my dental reconstruction. When right out of the bat the Cops are sent to my door by my Dentist's office should have been a warning shot fired over the Fort that we are at war.  Instead I tried to reconcile, reconsider and compromise.  I will say that Vega has never disappointed, adjusting treatment, picking up the tabs for all the mistakes and alterations and just basically being amazing.  His interns were nowhere near as capable nor as engaged or as engaging as for they were often the part of the problem not the solution as they like the workers in the South have no ownership therefore no responsibility about their fuck ups.  It was as if I had a Boeing worker do dental implants and act as if it blowing up was just normal and shit.  Sure.

I respect my Dentist and she is a perfectionist but she is a woman in the South and Asian and that is already two strikes when dealing with the status quo.  Vanderbilt is not afraid to let anyone of another race and/or gender take a bullet when they fuck up. Ask the Nurse on trial for homicide who did nothing but give a drug she was ordered to provide.  Hell had the Waffle House shooter not finished the job, Vanderbilt did it for him.

Barely off the plane, no, not even off the plane I received the bill for my dental reconstruction contradicting the one I had, the one I had at home and informed them that I would send it to them once I got there the following day.  But in ever Gaslighting fashion (a common theme and occurrence in Nashville) I was told I was wrong, no such plan existed and so sad, too bad.  Really you could not wait until I got home to debate this?  This makes me wonder had I taken the Cops advice to find another Dentist for even he knew this was over the top.  I wonder if he was the one the day they found a car parked in the lot that looked suspicious.  That may be the time he realized his Police career was just cleaning up the shit from others mistakes?   Wear waders when you go to Nashville folks as you have shit to step over that is real deep.

Irony a storm is coming as I leave the area and perhaps that is a sign that I need to go to close out my business or simply like a storm, pass over, leave a stain and move on.   And move on I will do as each trip means closer to the end.  And from that I surely will never return.

Monday, January 13, 2020

Buckling the Belt

I spent the holidays in the Bible Belt.  First in Nashville to have another procedure to move forward on the dental reconstruction and then over Christmas and New Year in the low country, beginning in Charleston ending in Savannah where I ate as if just got out of prison.  I loved that area a year ago and new it would recharge and restore me to have to return to Nashville again after the New Year to move to the final stages of the process.  Vanderbilt as always never fails to disappoint and in turn another round of punches and returning to one's corner awaiting the Judge's decision. Of course this is about money and the original treatment plan and the cost of 11K which suddenly rose to 14K for reasons unknown.  As this plan is the same, it would have been completed by now had the dental malpractice not occurred across the street, the needed corrective action and in turn the delays required to heal leading to the additional months to complete the process.  As I did not pay for any of the work across the street I am unsure why I would pay for any increases in the process as nothing has changed nor needed to be since they had the parts, pieces and the same people doing all the same things they would have done four months earlier.  Not even off the plane did I receive a notice from the Dentist that they have no record of the plan but oddly knew I had paid 5K in July so what was that deposit, a guess?

Vanderbilt is a tremendous hot mess of a facility and it shows every time I go to the hospital or clinic, the turnover, the odd patient abuse and incidents that include tasering and arresting an irate patient, the prosecution and trial of a Nurse for homicide as she gave a patient the wrong drugs and other incidents of record that continue to plague the hospital and yet it goes on without recourse. This is modern medicine at its finest and it is why it is the ISSUE of the candidates and rightly so. That said it was interesting to see how Bloomberg was in Nashville while I was there and throughout the Carolinas I saw more posters and ads for Tusi Gabbard and Tom Steyer than others but the one TV ad with Mayor Pete was riveting as it was quite religious and biblical in tone. Welcome to the belt where Tennessee and South Carolina are tied for domestic violence rates and intolerance for those who share Mayor Petes' sexual identity.

I spent most of my time commenting on that issue that as a woman I am thought of us as nothing more than a vagina and a checkbook.   My worth comes largely from the checkbook as to many there I have no vagina worth exploring given my age so I better pay for any work to be done on that body part apparently.  Good to know as both are closed for business.

I have long thought that women in the South are raised to be genteel ladies whose worth comes from their vaginas. Without something attached to it by incoming or outgoing body parts a woman has no value nor purpose so she needs to keep her mouth shut but legs akimbo just in case someone has time to fill the gaping hole.   This in turn lends itself to an obsession about sex in ways that seem to transcend the religious ethic that dominates the landscape as most of the people there seem to spend down time sucking, fucking and humping then on Sunday thumping the Bible to make up for all that sucking, fucking and humping.   Its a full cycle of dirty laundry in the South.

One characteristic that I see shared among the women and some men is the ability to be amazing Sycophants.  These are individuals who take on the qualities and interests of the individuals they are obsessed with.   What some would define as Southern Hospitality is is fact and act as what they are doing is acting obsequiously toward someone important in order to gain advantage.  At times they remind me of the character in You, Joe, a stalker who seems misguided in his attempts to build relationships and some times well people end up dead.  (If you have not seen You on Netflix YOU should)

With Ethan I managed two different acts of vandalism towards my rental car and a few crazy moments with death threats in the form of Biblical verse.  Nothing says love more than defending murder through the use of a Bible.  Better to kill you with I guess.

Spending any time in Nashville makes me insane and having to go back again at weekend means another two weeks of fighting my sanity or protecting my vagina and checkbook from demands they are not willing to give.

To prove my point on my last day there I was having dinner at a local joint and started a convo with a charming woman to my left who had an idea for a musical that was utterly amazing and solid in its vision.  We chatted about the issues of obtaining legal song rights and what theater would or could be willing to produce this amazing concept when all of this had to end as her boyfriend was arriving and he was very jealous and possessive so she could not talk to anyone when he was around.  This is past waving a red flag and for me it was not just another hammer to the nail when I talk about how these women are valued it at this point split the wood.  This young woman who was into her 30s, had a job, an apartment of her own, had no children was not married to this man and yet was afraid of him? Are you fucking kidding me?  And he arrived and to say he had seen better days and better hair colors is one thing but another to see the rage and anger on his aged face.  I am 60 and he looked a decade well past mine.    We ended our convo and I began to speak to the man next to me on the right and we had a laugh as I saw that she and the satan's minion were leaving I turned and said, "It was a great convo we had and I am going to go all Southern and go in for the hug if I may?"  As I hugged her I whispered, "He doesn't believe in you and does not love you."  She responded aloud, "I know."  His face registered that exchange not knowing what I said and asked, "What did she say?"  I said, "I wished we had met sooner as we would have been friends" And he looked at me angrily and I offered at that point to jump on the bar and drop my pants if he needed to get a speculum to get up into my vagina as well since clearly that was all I am worth... they left.  The man next to me laughed and as he left he said, "You are a very interesting and intelligent woman and also very sexy."  I laughed and said thanks I appreciate that since I had shared with him my thoughts of being a woman who had lived in the South.   We parted and I turned to the Bartender who knew this woman and asked what the situation was, she confirmed he hurts her.  The end.

The obsession with religion to harm and do harm never ends from Christianity to Islam to it all shows that we have an insatiable need to use this to defend and excuse our behavior. The rise of Anti Semitic attacks of late and other acts of vandalism on Catholic churches  are further illustrations of how the ill find a way to act upon it.  (And yes Fundamentalism hate both Jews and Catholics for Catholics are devised from Roman paganism)   The recent article in the The New York Times about a online school - Prager University - is another irony that is a Jewish man who funds this and offers new ways to learn hate speech furthers my point.  I am sure that Ethan and his cohorts are strongly affiliated with it as just another way to continue to preach and school hate.

Another Minister is trying to circumvent hate by changing the dialogue and in turn the mission of his church to one of Social Justice.  Funny it was how I believed and raised but since that time we have seen a much more significant use of faith to politicize and demonize those who do not follow the faith in the same manner.  Yes Jesus loves and rules but apparently he was bipolar doing so.

And this weekend the Times also had an editorial discussing the concept of hell and it has no fury as it is never mentioned in the book of myths which only further proves one's point that it is all bullshit.

I dread my return to Nashville this weekend but I will move forward and continue to be an adversary to the bullshit that is thrown in my direction, good thing I have waders.  But it is exhausting to experience on any level but as I have said that the ends justify the means and if it means traveling back and forth will end this and in turn mean I never have to set foot in the South again then let's hit the road and I will notch up my belt for the ride.