Monday, December 3, 2018

Maudlin Monday

Another week begins and the morning news here in Nashville is full of carjackings, robberies and of course shootings.  The business of car sales/repairs and guns as well as insurance are profit making businesses here in the city of now.

The city of Nashville had to grow after it was nearly destroyed by the flood of 2010.  It led the city to have access to massive government funds as well as outside investors with cash in hand to buy up distressed properties and in turn rehab them.  It has what led to the bullshit stat of 100 people a day moving here when in reality it was largely intrastate relocations from the area whose own distressed communities forced them to come here to find jobs that paid minimum wage and were better than no wage.  The largest interstate mobility was from nearby states with equal economic challenges with Illinois and particularly Chicago as the leader in that migration.  So no not a lot of educated talented urban folks came here unless transferred here by employers who were also capitalizing on the need for workforce as the city rebuilt.  Funny the Mayor here who was charged with that failed to get elected to the Governor's job so the end of that type of chain migration to State jobs ended this election.  The state has issues with Nashville in ways that I am sure has to do with the fact that the largest percentage of educated individuals and liberal ones live here.  God forbid you would live in anywhere outside the region.  YIKES.

So when suddenly white collar businesses are planning to relocate here, Ernst & Young, Alliance Bernstein and Amazon they are wetting themselves with excitement.  This would mean a higher pool of income and of course support for pro business legislation with a strong anti tax sentiment.  If only Oklahoma had figured that out.    But I doubt many of the employees will be from strongly sophisticated urban centers and will be young enough to fail to be educated and engaged in the ways of the world here and thanks to that they will become assimilated quickly into the larger subculture of talking smack veiled under condescending bullshit.  But here is a city that thinks they are smarter but they got played like a fiddle in the local honky tonk with this deal.

Why anyone would willingly locate to a deep red state are simply doing it for a tax dodge and the idiocy of our local Government to hand over the check book.  There business and interests are not about the larger community but their own fiduciary ones.  They have failed to understand the local culture and more importantly the history of the region so I suspect they will find many ways in which to spend neither time nor energy in changing any of it.  So bye bye blue wave!

As I sting together essays to compose the book I am writing, Swimming in the Deep Red Sea, I am looking to actual historical data and to of course the theories that explain some of what I am experiencing.   I have learned that is is Emeshment that explains why the schools are highly dysfunctional as there is too much association and in turn attachment to the generational poverty and in turn racism to overtake the problems that exist.  They don''t care but they do not also know how to as they are as equally co-dependent on the varying institutions - State and Church - to find resolutions on how to change this dynamic.   And I have learned about the Culture of Honor that somehow justifies the endless violence and abusive behavior.  Boundaries here are only state lines they have few personal ones and it too lends to a real issue regarding sex and intimacy and may also explain the domestic violence that is a part of the problem as we are number four in the nation for deaths due to that problem.

I am also sure the Church in some tacit way encourages this using the text of the Bible to provide subtext, from discipline and beating as a form of control and subguation to the nonsense of the prosperity pulpit.  Excuse, blame and deny are all tenets of faith. This week I read an old essay from James Baldwin in the New Yorker that I thought leant further explanation of the role of the church and school and how it enables the continuation if not fostering of segregation and social discontent..

Much is blamed to the "outsiders" and the faces that come here to change their dynamics. I only wish that was true then crime would drop and the city would be safer. Wrong.  This too is a historical problem.  This is from Business Insider dated 2013 long before the peak migration began.

Why The South Is More Violent Than The Rest Of America
Erin Fuchs
Sep. 18, 2013, Business Insider

. Tennessee was the state with the most reports of violent crimes per capita in 2012.

The FBI's final 2012 crime statistics confirm a long-term and somewhat puzzling fact — the South has more violent crime than the rest of America.

The South accounted for 40.9% of all reported violent crimes even though it makes up roughly a quarter of the country, according to the final Uniform Crime Report for 2012.

Violent Southerners aren't anything new. In 1958, the South had a homicide rate of nine per 100,000 compared to a rate of three per 100,000 for the U.S., according to a paper in the Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology.

The South has continued to have more than its share of violent crimes over the years, even as the rest of the country gets safer, Radford University criminology professor Tod Burke tells Business Insider.

Of course, nobody really knows why the South is consistently more violent. There are a couple of pretty popular theories, though.

Legacy Of Violence in The South

One theory is that violence in the South is simply the way folks have always settled their disputes. This "subculture of violence" theory suggests that violence is passed from generation to generation, University of Maryland Criminology Professor Gary LaFree told Business Insider.

There is some evidence that Southerners are more predisposed to violence.

One experiment published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology found Southern men were more prone to aggression as part of a "culture of honor." In the experiment, a mole bumped into participants from the North and South and called them "asshole." Southerners were more primed for aggression after the insult. That is, their testosterone levels rose. They were also more likely to actually engage in aggressive or dominant behavior after being called asshole.

There are other signs that a culture of violence pervades the South, Burke points out.

"If you look at the philosophy in Southern culture, more likely than not, the people in the South believe in capital punishment, in executions," Burke said. "They are more likely, again this is all statistically proven, they are more likely to believe in corporal punishment than other parts of the country. They are more likely to believe in military intervention abroad."

Poverty In The Southern States

Crime has long been associated with poverty, and many of America's states with the lowest per capita income are in the South — including Mississippi, West Virginia, Arkansas, Alabama, and Kentucky.

"One of the best predictors of homicide is economic stress," says LaFree, the University of Maryland criminologist. "A lot of the poorest places in America are in the rural South."

Hot Weather Leads To Hot Tempers

The summer months have been linked to crime waves in America, as the balmy weather encourages young people to hit the streets. Recently, an empirical study found that extreme temperatures do in fact lead to violence, speculating that hot temperatures made people more aggressive.

In the South, people are coping with hot temperatures, extreme poverty, and a so-called culture of honor. Maybe it shouldn't be that surprising that it's more violent than the rest of the country

That is the  real industry here and that is tourism.  Nothing will change that and it is the number one driver in every possible kind of vehicle - pedal taverns, horse carts, golf carts, converted school buses - that takes up the city streets.  And being the home of the slut fests is another reputation that cannot be ignored nor denied.  Drunk girls bring drunk boys and drunk people bring money.  To the tune of a billion as that is what the mile known as Broadway did in business last year.

Buzz Feed does a fairly good take on the reality that is Nashville. 

But the core residents and the business of  education here is another true focus. Vanderbilt is the white polished group of outsiders, the students are highly coddled and protected and the campus is very insular.  Adjacent to Belmont which is no less white but less secular then up the road is Lipscomb and to the south Trevecca which puts the no in secular in every way.  A Yoga teacher I know teaches yoga at Vanderbilt, both the college and the medical facility ( and yes they share a name as divorced people often do but their divorce was hardly amicable and they are two entirely different businesses) was reported on by a student that she used the word "period" when asking if anyone was on their period as she needed to give them alternates to any inversions. Yes this is America, Childish and very Gambino.

If you note that all the degree holders and educated folk cited in the Buzz Feed article work in the hospitality trade and they are not earning big bucks but they are working and that is all that matters here in the red zone.  Cheap labor like the cheap drinks keeps people coming and going and more importantly letting those of color go away.  So here in Nashville the only driver not allowing them to pull stakes and totally leave town are the Churches, strong churches need strong members. Many have adapted and have Spanish services the largest growth group across the Country and in turn selling properties to developers as a last ditch effort to keep some hand in the pot.  There used to be a fringe Church meet in the center behind my apartments on Sunday. During the week and weekend nights it was used as a party/meeting hall.  That too is gone and I am not sure I miss either.  Churches here are like pop up stores and they have services in bars, conference halls and the like as Jesus does not respond to gentrification in the South.  Jesus was a hippie and he is fine to rest his  head anywhere.  And he was white.

The reality is that this city is full of rude angry unhappy people.  Regardless of where one originates the truth is that there is something so unhospitable, so clearly divided by the haves and have nots that this resonates throughout and little will change that as that is and will be the culture as it always has been.   Today at the local high school a Teacher came in where I was placed for first two periods and it was obvious she hates her job.  She seem perturbed just with my newspaper on an adjacent desk and that I was keeping my things in an unused file drawer in a closet.   That I wanted to keep my things there and not take them with me seemed to confuse her and frustrate her and I as I walked out with all of my coat, my bag, coffee cup she said, "Thanks." My response, "Whatever."  So as the last two weeks of school is coming up, the holidays and then my surgery I am fairly comfortable that I won't be back here for a few months and regardless I will see to that. It is the people that make me hate it here, the lack of compassion, the constant demand for empathy when they themselves refuse to demonstrate it exhausts one.  And hence it all trickles down and out.  This is why the children are so damaged beyond repair they never experience a passion about anything other than fear and loathing.

Which may explain why the residents here they get substandard schools, odd charter schools each with their own bizarre history, from corruption to all out neglect of education; this week another charter is being investigated - Shocking, I know! Not really.  The lack of decent infrastructure from sidewalks, crosswalks, bike lanes to of course public transit.  Do you need buses when you need to hold the captives, I mean tourists in a core area of one and quarter mile?

The countdown for me begins on January 10th when the first process in my dental reconstruction begins and I have a ten month window in which to complete it.  I cannot nor will not spend my 60th Birthday here.  I could not be drunk enough to tolerate the idiocy and sadness here that is not a way to begin a new chapter and significant decade in one's life.   Some places are not for everyone and this place is certainly not for me.

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