Category Archives: Nashville

Shooting Tourists Three Years In A Row

Happy July Fourth, Nashville! Our responsible gun owners accidentally shot at least two people celebrating the Fourth in the only way your well-regulated militia can: by forgetting about gravity, gun safety, and all the rest of that gun-grabbing libtard nonsense:

Amberly Buckner said she is relieved her 7-year-old son wasn’t home Tuesday night when a bullet came flying into her bedroom in Hermitage.

“It was probably 11-ish when I went to lay down,” Buckner said. “I laid down on my bed, looked up and there was a hole in my ceiling.”

She had spent the evening watching television behind the noisy backdrop of neighborhood fireworks.

“I didn’t really hear anything out of the ordinary. It just sounded like Fourth of July,” Buckner said.

She had no idea some of those noises were actually gunshots until she saw the bullet beside her bed.


While watching the mammoth fireworks show on 5th and Broadway, a tourist from Michigan, 48-year-old Paul Lickteig, felt pain in his chest. Police say he thought he’d been hit in the chest with a water bottle. It turns out he’d been shot by a falling bullet. He was treated at Vanderbilt University Medical Center and released on Wednesday.

Another woman who drives for both Uber and Lyft said she was stuck in traffic watching the show when a bullet flew threw her front windshield.

“All of a sudden, I hear this loud pop and the glass shattered, and I looked down and glass was all over me and then I see blood on my hand,” said the woman who did not want to be named or pictured.

“I got so lucky,” she added, pointing to the bullet hole just inches from her seat. “My head, I was driving. My head was here and you see where that’s at.”

This is the third year in a row that tourists attending Nashville’s massive Fourth of July celebration downtown were hit by “celebratory” bullets. A 2015 effort by Democratic legislators to ban celebratory gunfire was rebuffed by gun lobbyist John Harris, however:

“It’s perfectly acceptable conduct,” said John Harris, executive director of the Tennessee Firearms Association.


“Because it’s their right to do it if they want to,” said Harris.

Harris says if someone wants to celebrate that way, the government shouldn’t stop them.

Got that? Shooting your guns into the air willy-nilly like a crazy idiot is perfectly alright, according to the gun extremists who own our Republican supermajority.

Who does this make sense to, exactly?


Filed under gun control, Guns, Nashville

Trump In Nashville

You Are My Hero

What a bizarre event.

Trump’s campaign started robo-calling supporters in a four-county area 48 hours ago offering free tickets. The optics they were going for, of course, was, “thousands of people lined up to get in,” which isn’t as hard as it sounds when your venue is the Municipal Auditorium, not exactly the largest rink in town. However, they got the crowd they wanted: thousands of people were, indeed, lined up … all the way down James Robertson Parkway, all the way up to the state capitol, all the way around the building. I’m guessing there were 15-20,000, but I’ve heard other figures that are higher. Let it be said: most if not all of these folks could have fit inside the Titans’ football stadium. But that wouldn’t have provided Trump with the necessary ego-gratification that comes with a “standing room only/thousands turned away” narrative.

Several protesters made it inside the Municipal Auditorium, by the way. Some chanted “no ban, no wall,” and got tossed out. Some turned their backs and left. One, a doctor, unfurled a banner and was ejected (but not arrested). Unfortunately, the coordination of the protest was poor so I’m afraid the message got watered down. Watching the televised speech, you could see something was happening that Dear Leader didn’t like. Maybe other cities can learn from our experience and do a better job of planning and coordinating ahead of time.

As for me, I was out on the street with both supporters and protesters. Any delusions that this wasn’t garden-variety bread-and-circuses were dashed by the dozens of pro-Trump merchandise tables outside (and huge Trump/Pence merchandise BUS, yes, it was a bus.) And from the looks of those selling the merchandise, not everyone submitted a head shot and full body shot.

As for the protest, again, there didn’t appear to be a lot of coordination. Protesters were scattered until around 5:00 or so, when the protest crowd really started to swell. It’s frustrating to me that there were so many different groups doing so many different things — there was the immigrants’s rights group, the #Resist group, the women’s group … people, can we not all talk to each other? Because nothing looks lamer than 30 people in pussy hats carrying Planned Parenthood signs through a crowd of 10,000 Trump supporters — especially when there were a couple hundred other pussy-hatted folks just a few blocks away, unaware of the march. Would have been nice if we all could have marched together, you know?

Also, it seems I must remind people once again that staying home and Tweeting about a protest is not, you know, the same as actually protesting. And here’s a fun fact: you can Tweet from a protest! Really!

So I was a little disappointed in the protest, but I left around 5:45 pm. At that point I’d been walking around in the freezing cold for 2 hours and had a nasty windburn. I understand good vibes were shared later in the evening.

Below are some more pictures from the event:

Some Slogans Never Get Old

Some Slogans Never Get Old v. 2

Great Sign!

Random Shouty Guy

Random shouty guy, religious edition


Filed under Donald Trump, Nashville, protests

Ruining Nashville For Fun And Profit

Nashville is a progressive city, in many regards a liberal city. But all of that is window dressing for the kind of city Nashville truly is: a developer’s city. Always has been, always will be. Developers own this town (always have, always will) and each successive liberal, progressive Democratic mayoral administration seems perfectly happy to turn our quality of life, livability, sustainability and affordability over to the leeches who have sucked this city dry of all that made it special in the first place.

A perfect example of this is our policy regarding short-term rental properties, aka AirBnB, VRBO, etc. Last year Nashville’s Metro Council passed a law regulating (and taxing) these rentals, the logic being not doing so would push this activity underground and cause the city to miss out on a revenue source. Ever since it’s been a nightmare for neighbors and overwhelmed our zoning department:

Enforcing these regulations has forced Nashville inspectors and zoning enforcement employees to devote a large part of their time just to check on short-term renters. What the city thought would be permitting for 200 individuals and investors turned into more than 1,000 applications.

“Since we set our first date for permitting, it has absolutely inundated our department,” Herbert said in an interview with The Courier-Journal.

We’re actually closer to 2,000 now. The ordinance as passed is completely unenforceable, and therefore useless. It has also enriched developers mightily, while making Nashville’s housing crisis worse. That’s because in Music City we allow both kinds of STRs — those operated by actual homeowners, and those operated by LLCs.

The image rental platforms like AirBnB present is of a carriage house or extra room rented out on weekends by a nice family living in the main house; the owners are people who are on-site and available to monitor their renters and able to make a little extra cash to pay their mortgage. Indeed, that is the very image that is pushed by right-wing think tanks like the Beacon Center, an ALEC-spinoff which has sued Metro Nashville over its ordinance (no doubt at the behest of AirBnB lobbyists). Those rental situations may indeed exist but in Nashville, they are not typical. The typical short-term rental in Nashville, at a whopping 80%, are investor-operated businesses, condos and apartments.

And herein lies the problem: years ago, Metro Nashville’s Planning Department (a wholly-owned subsidiary of the private, for-profit development community) commissioned a study about population growth trends. This study found — shocker! — that the region was expected to grow by a whopping 1 million residents, prompting headlines like this one in our developer-friendly news media:


Thus launched the long-range plan for Nashville’s growth known as “NashvilleNext,” which included the usual dog and pony shows known as “community input meetings.” I went to a few of these meetings. Attendees were given tasks like putting colored stickers on a map to indicate where they want to accommodate these newcomers; I know of one such meeting in which attendees crammed their stickers into the city cemeteries. Not exactly a useful exercise, but I digress.

The point of this was to give the process the veneer of “community input,” while the Planning Department went ahead and did what it (and the developers) wanted. Thus our new long-range plan calls for infill in our wealthy and desirable neighborhoods. The large lots and green space we once enjoyed are now filled with the dreaded “tall-skinnies,” detached properties which in defiance of all logic are still called “duplexes” under Nashville’s weird definition of a duplex. They loom over their neighbors and sit on concrete pads where one house with a yard and trees used to be.

We have been told by our city leaders that we need to accommodate this infill, that “everyone needs to do their part,” and take that loss of our neighborhood character and history on the chin because “ZOMG a million people are coming!”. And yet, after five years of a building boom and with thousands of new homes being built all over town, we’re still seeing headlines like this one:

Nashville struggling to meet demand for new homes

With all of this building going on, why are so many new houses showing up on AirBnB, VRBO, etc., as short-term rentals for bachelorette parties? Nashville, why are you doing this? If we truly have a housing shortage, why are you letting developers and real estate companies clear away lots that contain perfectly good homes — many times, even, the affordable “workforce” housing we so desperately need — only to build luxurious new homes that are then used by tourists? Why?

Why allow properties like this one, in the so-hot-I-gotta-wear-gloves 12South Neighborhood:


Or these in the (once historic, now transformed) Germantown neighborhood:


Or this in the East Nashville neighborhood, one of four adjacent tall-skinnies, all rented out to tourists and therefore off the market to be used as actual housing:


And it’s not just new houses. Old houses are off the market, reserved for tourists. Entire apartment complexes are being built, not for the housing we desperately need, but so developers can make money on the short-term rental market. This has made developers very rich, but it hasn’t helped Nashville’s housing crunch, and it’s also removed any free-market controls on overbuilding. Great for developers, not so great for us residents.

I have a few AirBnBs in my neighborhood. So far, most are in condo complexes on my street. These are condos that could be rented out to someone who needs housing, but instead profits some real estate company. I didn’t even know they were there, though I did wonder at the strangers I suddenly saw walking down my street, people I’d never seen before. One couple in particular I thought were homeless and living in the neighborhood park. (Sorry, dred-locked and tattooed tourists: hipster or homeless is a real thing.) When I saw them walking through a neighbor’s yard, I grew alarmed … then saw they were just taking a short-cut to an apartment. Never saw them again after that weekend, and so I’m guessing they were guests at the AirBnB I saw listed on the platform. Thanks for letting us all know, guys.

Telling us we have to build build build to accommodate projected growth and then not putting those houses and apartments on the market for actual residents is the kind of move that makes me call bullshit on Nashville’s planning agenda. It’s one of those glorious moves you can expect from a developer-owned town. Tell everyone we need to build like crazy, then let those houses sit empty most of the time. If Nashville’s city leaders really gave a crap about housing, they wouldn’t have allowed LLCs to operate short-term rentals in the first place.

Our Metro Council is currently weighing in on some tweaks to the STR ordinance, while our state legislature is looking at House and Senate bills that would prohibit municipalities from regulating or taxing short-term rentals at all (of course they are!). It’s all fun and games until someone gets a party house next door.


Filed under Nashville

Rewarding Bad Behavior

If you are a major American brand trying to burnish your pro-GLBT bonafides with company policies that embrace inclusiveness and tolerance, I salute you.

But if you are a major American brand proud of this record of tolerance and inclusiveness, then please stop talking out of both sides of your mouth:

Nashville, TN – Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam and Economic and Community Development Commissioner Randy Boyd joined Lowe’s in announcing the company will locate a new direct fulfillment center in Robertson County.

The home improvement company expects to invest approximately $100 million and create up to 600 jobs in Coopertown, northwest of Nashville.

Yes, this is huge for this community north of Nashville. And yet, Robertson County’s two representatives to the state legislature (Republicans, ‘natch) — State Rep. Sabi Kumar and State Senator Kerry Roberts — both supported the discriminatory anti-LGBT counseling bill. Both voted for it; in fact, Roberts serves on the Health And Welfare Committee which could have stopped this bill in its infancy, but every single Republican moved it forward. Shame.

This is the same bill which has caused the city of Nashville so many problems: the loss of conferences, backlash from celebrities and the like. Nashville, the first city in the state to pass an anti-GLBT discrimination ordinance, forbidding the city from contracting with companies that discriminate. Nashville, whose Democratic reps have opposed discrimination. But we’re the ones who pay, while Robertson County is rewarded for its intolerance.

I’ve mentioned it before (notably here), but boycotts don’t work if they don’t hurt the people who are doing wrong. Boycotts and bad national PR don’t work if they hurt your allies, not your enemies. And maybe we’ve reached a point where boycotts just don’t work, period (a position I have certainly stated before).

I don’t have the answer. I do know that claiming you’re pro-tolerance and pro-inclusion while rewarding the people who vote for bigots sends a mixed message. What are we to do?

Years ago I wrote:

Last year I had a conversation with a Very Famous Person™ who is generally regarded as a “forward thinker” on a lot of this stuff. He told me he sees the utter collapse of industry as we know it and the emergence of a new industry, one that is driven by these smaller communities. New products that aren’t harmful to the health or the planet will be created by members of the community. He told me social connectivity is the game-changer. Yes, walls are being put up, but as fast as they do people build ladders around them.

And I see this happening around me in a hundred different ways. We homeschool our kids, we buy food at the farmer’s market, we have 500 different channels to watch on TV instead of 10, we get our news from blogs and Tweets not just the corporate fish-wrap and Villagers in Washington. We’re starting down the path of decentralization, it’s only just begun but a profound societal shift has been put in motion.

This idea still resonates with me today. If Home Depot personifies right-wing evil (pro-tip: it does!) and Lowe’s personifies political hypocrisy, I guess the answer is for me to find that cute little liberal mom-and-pop hardware store where everyone who works there agrees with me 100% of the time. Good luck to me.

The alternative is to try to root out the intolerance and bigotry the old-fashioned way, and just turn off all the other noise. The conundrum is that it isn’t just noise: you can’t check out of a national conversation on justice and civil rights and human rights; if someone is going to spout some intolerant BS, don’t expect me to remain silent about it.

I point all of these things out because I feel like we live in very complicated times, where the old rules about social action no longer apply. I have friends who live in Robertson County, I’m sure these jobs will uplift some really good people. But by the same time, these rural counties need to stop sending crazy people to the legislature. Because we all end up hurting in the long run.


Filed under corporations, GLBT, Nashville, Tennessee

Apocalypse Soon


Many of us in Nashville are getting a good laugh at the news that a survivalist company, called (hilariously) “4Patriots,” is opening its doors in the upscale, hipster neighborhood known as 12South. We’re all having a good time imagining shelves stocked with artisanal MRE’s, Chanel chemical toilets, or Gucci and Louis Vuitton gas masks such as those picture above (real, but created as an art project).

But we keed, we keed. This shop is the real deal, despite its location near hipster watering holes like Urban Grub, artisanal ice cream shop Jeni’s, and Reese Witherspoon’s new preppy clothing shop, Draper James. It’s a weird choice of locations, I must say. I can’t imagine following my stop at the Cupcake ATM and the hip homewares shop owned by Hank Williams Jr.’s ex-fashion model daughter to a place selling “survival food rated to last 25 years” (and it’s Glenn Beck certified, so you know it’s good!)

Maybe I shouldn’t worry. After all, it’s “by patriots, FOR patriots,” which means it’s definitely not for candy-assed liberal capitulators such as myself. (I love the testimonial from “Mark,” who says he now feels more able to feed his family in a time of crisis, and only wishes he could afford more of them. Ummm ….. )

I don’t get any of this, I never have. Certainly not in a city like Nashville. I sorta get it for people who live out in the sticks, where one ice storm or tornado can cut you off from the real world for a few days. I do not get the “patriots hiding in a bunker” BS. What kind of paranoia makes someone think they need to set by a 25-year supply of dehydrated soup? I guess the kind of paranoia the guy hawking the desiccated foodstuffs in the first place is selling, with ludricous claims about FEMA trying to buy out his supplier because,

I think that the government knows something we don’t and is worried that they see a full-scale disaster about to hit. And I think I found the factors that will trigger it.

Okay, whatevs, dude.

When I was growing up in the ’70s I remember my mom setting aside a couple of 50-gallon bottles of water in our garage, the kind that go in an office water cooler. And then she started saving cans of tuna fish. Whenever we asked her what this was for she’d answer, “for the revolution.” Interestingly, I’ve talked to several friends my age, and they all say their parents did the same thing around that time. Maybe it was the Arab Oil Embargo and the campus anti-war protests. Somehow, our parents’ generation seemed convinced the end was near.

And I do sort of get it for that generation. Mom was born in 1930. She was a Depression baby in every regard. Her teenage years were colored by World War II and all of the rationing that came with it. These were people raised on hardship and bread lines. So sure, I can see lines at the gas station and Kent State sending the message that maybe it’s time to stock up.

But now? Why now? What makes people think that now is the time to prepare for the apocalypse? Is it our pop culture? “The Walking Dead” and 9/11 and all that? Is it the paranoia of right-wing talk radio?

Let me give you “4Patriots” people some advice. Forty years after my mom set cans of tuna fish on a dusty shelf in our garage, my sister and I were throwing all of that crap away as we readied the family home for sale. We never used it. The tuna fish outlived both my parents. The revolution never happened and the apocalypse didn’t come. Hell, we lived in Southern California — we didn’t even need to crack a water bottle because of a goddamned earthquake! I suspect in 30 years your own kids will be tossing this stuff in a dumpster too, shaking their heads at the folly of mom and dad.


Filed under end of the world, Nashville

Stuff Happens

The Tennessee Firearms Assn. is making frownie faces over the Nashville fair board’s decision to suspend gun shows at the Tennessee State Fairgrounds. Metro’s legal department ruled existing contracts must be honored, and the state’s Republican legislature, predictably, is all, “can they even DO that??”

Meanwhile, as all of this rages in Nashville, there was an accidental shooting at a gun show at the Arizona State Fairgrounds in Phoenix last weekend. And now we’re finding out more about what exactly happened. In an effort to reassure other public venues on his itinerary, producer Bob Templeton of Crossroads Of The West Gun Shows explains:

Templeton provided new details on the shooting. He said a licensed dealer zip tied the weapon he was going to sell before checking the chamber.

According to Templeton the dealer sold the weapon to a man who cut the zip tie before accidentally firing a round, hitting his friend. The man who was shot is expected to recover.

That “licensed dealer” has been banned from future events. So we’re good, right? Just one bad actor, nothing to see here, move along! Meanwhile:

Crossroads of the West Gun Shows has a long history of holding safe events, said Templeton. Inspectors check weapons coming into the building, making sure they are empty and zip tied. They also go around checking displays to make sure weapons are zip tied, he said.

Loaded guns are not allowed, and all participants are required to thread a zip tie through their guns to show the gun has been checked for ammo and to prevent it from firing.

So I’m just curious: with this nice list of safety measures which are routine parts of any Crossroads Of The West event, how did this one vendor somehow manage to zip-tie a loaded gun? You would think that this incident would reveal a gaping flaw in Templeton’s security protocol. But, no, that would require a gun show producer to admit something went wrong. Banning a dealer is so much easier than ramping up security, right?

This is my favorite part:

“It shouldn’t be of concern to the folks who come to the shows because it’s not like guns are going off at the shows on a regular basis,” he said. “We’re grateful the young man who was injured wasn’t more severely injured.”

Thoughts and prayers, don’t worry, this never happens you guys! Except, you know, that one time, and that other time, and that other time, and this time, and that time, and this other time, and don’t forget this one … etc.

I mean, stuff happens, right? Even at gun shows. Each time the vendor is banned and guess what, stuff keeps happening. So maybe the vendors aren’t the only problem.

Note: For a complete list of gun show accidents, check out David Waldman’s Pinterest board.


Filed under gun control, gun violence, Nashville, Tennessee

Jim Cooper FAIL #2

I’m done with you, buddy. Seriously. You either lied to the Nashville Scene or were utterly clueless about this SAFE Act vote; either way, you don’t belong in Congress anymore.

Okay, Mary Mancini, Chris Moth, Jeff Yarbro … either of you want to move to Washington D.C.? Anyone have any other ideas?



Filed under Congress, Current Events, Housekeeping, immigration, Nashville, Rep. Jim Cooper, Tennessee

Nashville Mayor’s Race Gets Ugly

Election night update:

Going negative failed.

Dear David Fox: you had me at “focus on our infrastructure” and “we don’t want to be Atlanta.” You lost me at the pathetic “Megan Barry is a godless liberal” BS.

For my non-Nashville readers, we in Music City will elect a brand-new mayor on Thursday. The incumbent was term-limited, so August’s general election presented voters with a large buffet of fresh faces. Now we have a runoff between the top two contenders: Megan Barry, most recently an at-large councilmember, and David Fox, a hedge fund guy and former chair of our school board.

Nashville’s mayoral races are non-partisan, though Nashville is a blue dot in red Tennessee. This means most viable candidates for office are usually Democrats — or at least they say they are. And in my 30 years in this town I’ve always known our mayoral races to be mostly drama-free affairs. Not this time, though.

The first sign this campaign was headed to crazy town was when Fox’s wife, Carrington Fox, appeared in ads saying Barry championed causes that are the “extreme issues of the social left.” What those causes may be are left to the imagination. Doesn’t matter.

The message was clear: Barry is a LIBERAL. Gasp.

Not long after that, the Fox campaign started running radio ads in African-American markets calling Barry an atheist.

OH. A godless liberal.

Now we’ve hit a new low with some ex-councilmembers of the conservative persuasion making the ludicrous claim that Barry omitted “under God” every time she recited the Pledge of Allegiance at the opening of council meetings.

And I guess she forgot to wear a flag pin, too?

This ridiculous labeling — liberal, atheist, godless liberal — is extraordinary for a mayoral race in Nashville. It’s the kind of thing one is more accustomed to seeing in hotly contested senate races, even presidential races. The fact that Fox is working with conservative groups out of Texas may explain some of this strategy. Others have suggested Fox’s real ambition is the governor’s seat, and this mayoral race is just a “branding” exercise toward higher, statewide office. Maybe.

I will say, there is an awful resonance to these attacks on Megan Barry. Are we really wondering if she says “under God” when she recites the Pledge of Allegiance? What next, rumors that she’s a secret Muslim? Studied at a madrassa? Maybe she was born in Kenya, too? Hey, David Fox: should we ask to see her birth certificate?

These are ugly, personal attacks, and while they don’t have the same racial undertones of the right-wing’s attacks on President Obama, they come from the same place. Label the opposition as “other,” “different,” and “not one of us.”

In other words: Unfit for office.

This is Politics 101 for national races. Making it a part of our supposedly non-partisan local races? Uh-uh. You lost me. Voting for David Fox is endorsing the kind of smear tactics that have infected our national discourse for the past 8+ years. Do I want this dirty pool to pollute my city? No, thanks.


Filed under Nashville, politics

Who Will Stand Up For The Poor, Beleaguered Hipsters?

Most of my readers do not live in Nashville, but I’m sure we can all appreciate the frustration one feels when they’re treated poorly by a retail establishment, have the cojones to actually complain about said rude treatment, and then the store adds fuel to the fire by acting all “whaaah I’m the real victim here!”

Such is what happened to my friend Tina, whose daughter consigned some clothes at the shop FLIP on 8th Avenue South. Here’s the exchange; let me preface all of this by saying that in this day and age, when there is some real shit going down in places like Charleston, S.C., calling for the fainting couches over a comment about hipsters is pretty lame all the way around. Get over your damn selves. You’re not all that special.

So here’s the set-up: In an effort to teach teenage daughter the value of a dollar, parents tell her to consign her cast-offs. Kid goes to FLIP and is ignored for an hour by rude and snotty sales staff. Store eventually takes a few items to consign, then when the family is out of town, store owner emails to say there are more rejections and they need to be picked up right now or they’ll be thrown in the trash. So mom does what anyone would do: begs for more time. They’re out of town, duh.

What follows is hilarious.


Good morning! Due to having minimal space for storing these rejected items, we can sometimes allow for minimal exceptions but we don’t currently have the excess space to store these items through the end of the month. The good news is we do allow a friend or family member to come pick up these items so we will need these to be picked up by their expiration date which is end of business 2/23. There are 2 items to pick up…a dress and a top.

All the best,

Note repeated use of the word “minimal.” They don’t have room to hold onto a dress and a top until the family is back in town, got it? It’s minimal at Flip. Or maybe they just couldn’t be bothered. You decide.

Here’s Tina’s response:


Thank you for always being so nice in your rejection of my daughter, her clothes and her requests. You guys are ALWAYS polite with your communiques.

The good news for you is that Camilla’s brother picked up her items and in doing so, also picked up several bow ties, therefore increasing your bottom line. The bad news is that we won’t be bringing Camilla’s clothes to your shop any more. After she waited for nearly an hour to get attention when she brought in her clothes (albeit with an apology) and you couldn’t wait a few days for her to get back in town, I just don’t see the benefit in working with this entity any more.

I know that you will continue to grow in your business and that it will be successful. You’re smart and you know your market. We’ve just been around too long to be swept up in the whole rude, hipster vibe.

This mom rocks. Wish she’d been my mom, for sure. What happened next, as the saying goes, will blow your mind. The shop owner emailed back. He was, shall we say, in high dudgeon over her “rude, hipster vibe” comment. Read on:


After reading your email below, there are several things that need to be addressed but what I’m most concerned about is your lack of sensitivity. To hear you disparage hipsters is very disappointing. We have come so far as a country but comments such as the one you made below unfortunately show we still have such a long way to go.

HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA!!! Sorry, couldn’t help myself. Back to the email:

For the last 4 years, Flip has partnered with a company called Diversity Builder (link below) and as you can assume by the name of their business, they work with clients to help foster a culture of diversity and sensitivity. One way we work with them is to periodically provide them names of people we believe need to be educated on how not to disparage groups of people. Our board meets monthly to discuss topics such as this and during our next meeting, we will discuss your email and vote on whether you should receive this training.

Tina, I see you copied Camilla and Theodore. I’ve copied Mark, Holly and Kelley. They are all part of our board and it’s important they understand what has been said. Last but not least, I know you will continue to visit businesses and be a great but difficult client to deal with. I wish you the best in your endeavors.

Shorter: “We’re reporting you to the Diversity Police, beeeyatch!” Seriously, “we will discuss your email and vote on whether you should receive this training”? OMG is this like the FEMA re-education camps Michele Bachmann was warning us about? Yikes!

You know, when Nashville became “It City” I didn’t realize that we created an “It City Gulag” to re-educate those not already down with the hipster thing. Considering some redneck roared past my house with two ginormous Confederate flags waving from the back of his pickup truck on July Fourth, I’m going to guess that the It City Gulag hasn’t been created yet. Or else we missed a few folks in need of diversity training.

So here is Tina’s response. It’s priceless.


Thank you for that lesson on diversity. I honestly didn’t realize that hipsters were a mistreated, maligned and marginalized part of our society and I am ashamed. To think of the time I’ve wasted on the homeless, LGBT and special needs communities! Quite simply, I am afraid that I am beneath this esteemed company’s target market. My offspring, however stylish and — dare I say hipster — have the misfortune of being my progeny with my tendency toward the sale rack at Target and TJ Maxx. Obviously I am neither educated, nor am I urbane enough to understand the nuances of sensitive language toward the delicate sensibilities of a retail business that is as customer oriented as yourselves.

I do apologize for the frustration I exhibited after my daughter waited, ignored, for nearly an hour while seeking assistance in the shop. I am certain that her purple hair and six foot stature were intimidating and insensitive to the marginalized persons in the shop at the time. I understand why you would eschew her and it is certainly my deep regret that I ever questioned it. I also apologize for detailing my despair after learning that her rejected items would be lost after waiting two-and-a-half-weeks to hear from your establishment if they would be rejected or accepted. It certainly is my very own fault that we were in West Virginia helping my aging parents out as my mother received diagnostic testing in the form of a heart cath and I was frustrated that the store would not wait five more days for us to return. As I stated, it was just good luck that my son could pick up the items as well as several bow ties, therefore ensuring your profit margin and meeting your high expectations.

I shall breathlessly await the board’s vote to discover if I need diversity training. Will it be at the store? Will my 2004 Honda Pilot with Obama Mama, Coexist, Human Rights Campaign, “My Dog is a Democrat” and a quote from Margaret Meade be an embarrassment in your parking lot? I’m afraid I also will need a handicap spot, as I have a rather nasty autoimmune disease and can’t walk very far. Perhaps I should just take it online so as not to sully your fine establishment by my insensitive, overweight and thoughtless person.

Meanwhile, I will set aside today’s tasks of writing my congressman on the ignorance of open carry in light of two people being shot at the Fireworks event on Saturday and instead focus on getting to 12S and East Nashville to do community service and make up for my thoughtlessness directed toward hipsters. I am so very, very ashamed.

Poor hipsters. I mean … seriously. Who knew they should be a protected class? I guess when gay marriage got legalized nationwide we should have seen this coming.


Filed under Nashville

Sign of the Times

Sign in front of what I affectionately call the Wingnut Bible Church located near my house:


The Wingnut Bible Church appears in this space about once a year. Last year they were (illegally) advertising a fringe U.S. State Senate candidate. Every Memorial Day and July Fourth they put dozens of American flags out on their lawn, too. Because Jesus was totally all about America, you guys.

Wonder if they’ll go all in with the American flag display this Independence Day or if they’re so disgusted with SCOTUS that they’ll take a pass.


Filed under gay equality, GLBT, Nashville, Tennessee