Warning. Espresso fueled rambling ahead. Proceed with caution.
I’ve been seeing a pervasive trend lately. Especially in the creative industry active on social media. Especially in folks who came to Nashville from the West coast or the Northeast. Some arrived decades ago, some more recently. There is a trend.
A (Very) Brief History
First, a look back. When the money was good Nashville was good. Our street names worked, our statues weren’t a problem, and our school mascots stood strong. Even our churches worked – especially for the CCM set who leveraged church membership into fan clubs, income streams, and twilight careers. I even saw their merchandise in the Christian bookstores. Capitalism anyone? Ah yes, these folks took part. Heavily. And it was well with their soul.
Back to Today
Today, the money in town is trickling rather than flowing. The water in the well is harder to get. As a result, those who came to Nashville to make the money, and take the money, suddenly see a problem where for decades there was none. It turns out we’re a bunch of racist hicks down here! Our statues are threatening, our street names are problematic, our high school mascots are demeaning, our guns scare people, our churches are doing it all wrong, and the fountain of capitalism from which they drank so heavily must now be brought down – so they claim.
So I ask you – all of our streets were the same names when you moved here. All the same statues were in place and all the same mascots roamed the Friday night sidelines. You had no problem then. Did you neglect simple due diligence? Did you maybe stay silent for the sake of your income? Did you forsake these incredible morals you now profess in exchange for the Nashville image you parlayed into cash? All the same, did you not choose to move in, establish your career, call yourself a Nashville artist, and cash all the checks? I’m assuming they cleared because I saw you at The Cooker, Houston’s, and Morton’s grinning ear to ear like the Cheshire Cat. Hot money, good wine, big dinners, no protests, no problems at all.
You see, you weren’t thinking about any of this shit as you flew into D/FW on the compulsory trip to go stroke Jon Rivers’ ego at KLTY. I bet you flew first class too.
So today, instead of using social media to lament the political hot button issues of the moment, the more compelling Twitter post would be to tell us how you survived all these years, made all this money, worshiped your Savior, and enjoyed your success in Nashville – a town you now suddenly find so burdened with problems. I can’t promise to hit the “like” button, but I do promise to read with curiosity.