Just one Man’s Infesto

 

Y’all this is downright pitiful. Ain't nobody got time for this campaign; but here we are in a sad state of affairs in local politics. It's a new day for the old guard and a good ole time for the good ole boys. And the courage to come out and really stand for something is diluted like some day old sweet tea left in the sun. The flies are buzzing around and the bugs are all in the sugar. Im talking about getting real. Im talking about saying what you mean with at least a hint of sincerity. Lets quit kissing babies, and start kissing some ass! I’m not asking anyone to develop a comprehensive philosophy- the days of critical thinking have been compromised. I’m no longer even asking for basic facts- uninformed opinions have turned into soundbites and I’m hungry for more than just one bite. I want a feast! Hell, I want everyone to feast. Lets quit drip-feeding municipal coffers to blueblood native sons and turn on the damn spigots! Them belly full but we hungry! We want action, we want the politicos to quit pussyfooting and dictate some memos. If you want to converse, define your terms!

 

Corruption

Get in there and do some damn work. Get your hands dirty. No more acting like you got clean hands. Lady Macbeth would be proud as hell. We’re not washing out spots, we’re washing out entire neighborhoods. We’re opening the general funds to the general public. Its a pay-to-play program and it goes to the highest bidder. The store is open and we’re keeping extended holiday hours. It’s a fire sale, and like our hot chicken, no amount of water will put out the back-end burn.

 

Hypocrisy

Let’s get real. Making promises, breaking promises- what’s the difference? Left, right, libertarian, progressive, it’s all a long-con with short term benefits for the victor. Run on a progressive platform, then get a little power and start making unilateral and uninformed decrees- we got that! Run on a pro-life platform, while making your mistresses get abortions- we got that too! We got ethics officers cheating and stealing, we got family values men of gawd groping little girls, we got fiscal conservatives voting for taxes, we got social liberals worried about who’s kissing whom. We got tribalism acting like bipartisan compromise. The spectacle is a daily delight.

 

Influence

Who’s the man behind the mask? Who’s the wizard behind the curtain? Who’s the dude under the desk? We’ve gone overboard getting under the table: and staying on the sidelines means you’re really in the game. We got contractors all over town getting green tags because they know someone downtown. We got vendors getting contracts and giving kickbacks to get up front. We got affluenza. We got green money from blue-in-the-face red-handed greed. The power doesn’t run for office. The power gets appointed. The power finances. The power is omnipresent and determines the parameters of discussion. You think you got a voice? You get one vote on election day- you don’t get sit-down dinners over donated vino. They got the gold mine- we get the shaft.

 

Taxes

Oh mama jama! The Big T! Does it really need to be spelled out? Or should it be spilled out? Feed the machine, then bleed the machine. Impose taxes on property, but then give away exceptions to big investors? Implement a sales tax but then cap it for large purchases? Hell, we cant even implement a tax without implementing its own negative. Entice billion-dollar investments to add to the tax base but seduce them by promising not to tax them? Me confused. We don’t get a synthesis from thesis and antithesis- we get inorganic synthetic nonsense. So, just be real about it. Snake oil for wounds we don’t even have. Let’s sell some venom in order to up the units sold of anti-venom.

 

It ain’t me babe.

I’m a symptom of the industrial disease. I’m an ant in the hill. I’m one off-key iteration of a thousand new voices. They thought we were getting rusty, so we got galvanized. But I’m the wrong dude! Dude said it was cool, but that dude ain’t me. I’m no good at the program. We need more CHIT spread far and wide. We need handfuls of it to spread CHITstains like double yellow lines on the road to nowhere. We’re the redlined blueprints that havent been revised. White-faced and green, we got no business at City Hall. No experience, no site plan, no wayfinding measures to bring us round back again square against ourselves. We’re a psychogeographical ‘derive’ just wending thru the (as of yet undeveloped) woods by the train tracks. And me? I’m lost in the morass. I’m no hero, I’m not even the antihero. It’s the mother of all lodes and the anti-mother is in charge! That single mug shot from the past ensures that fantasy can last and last. Its an infestation and I’m just one critter trying to find my way. Unfortunately for a town that takes itself too seriously, I found my way to the Davidson County Election Commission not just once (to pick up the nomination petitions), but twice (to return them). I was just a dude who knew enough people to sign my paperwork in a 24-hour period. I really had better things to do- literally, I was trying to hang some gutters and downspouts. I figured I’d see what it was all about and dip my toes in, And now I’m stuck knee deep in a damn manifesto. I was trying to kick the old ways back on their heels while they’re walking on their tippy toes- trying to hide the CHIT. But you can’t hide from it, you can only expose it, give it warm sunlight and water. It’s beyond time, and needs someone well-versed in the poetry of application and infiltration. We need an expert for execution!

AND I’M NOT THE GUY. I dont have the bank accounts, the friends in high places, the intel on the ground. I got no eye in the sky. I can’t read your mind. I thought the greased palm was a bar in Biloxi! Elbows need rubbing - but some got rubbed dry til they were ashy. Backs need scratching - but keep those nails manicured. Toes need sucking - but keep the funky jam. It’s a terrible job and we need someone willing to get dirty, but stay clean. We need dictation and then an evolved contradiction. Let’s get real here, we need someone who can ensure a smooth transition into a full-bore, total-whore CHITshow, and I can’t lie, it ain’t me. I’m just a newbie on the scene, out here practicing a set of skilled trades. No background in sanctioned sophistry (can I get a what’s-up from the lawyers!), no training in smiling robbery (can i get a robble-robble from the financial folks!), uninitiated in the ways of high crimes and un-reason. So, please spread the word about giving the old guard a new day.

 

Power Corrupts

Scrawled on the wall, baby! Its truth set in stone. From Lord Acton to the action in the streets, we’re talking about getting some of that spectacle! We need to quit imbibing the proverbial poisoned kool-aid, and embrace the post-modern, post-truth, primitive smash-and-grab operation happening downtown. In other words: “Get you some.”

I’m just stating a material fact about a material conditional: the infamous ‘if-then’ consequence. Don’t hold me to the fire, here, unless its hot to the touch, but I’m just harkening back to some basic logic. We can re-write the universal statement above as “if power, then corruption.” Power is sufficient, but not necessary. Where there's smoke, there’s a dumpster fire; where there is power, there is corruption. These people want the power, so by definition they want that Big C! Its guaranteed implementation!

 

This town needs an enema.

“IT City”? Really? Give me a damn break but keep the kit-kat in the car. Can a city have an ego? We know cities have a memory, but is its collective conscience self-aware? Let’s bring some big heads down to size. Developers are clamoring to get their foot in the door and we want to give them a leg-up on the small guy? What gives? There’s no need to incentivize something which needs to be slowed- we’re talking positive feedback loop on a negative. We gave the bank robbers the keys to the vault! Nashville is a great city, but the people who have built this town are now just boys and girls from nowhere. And now we’re finally coming home. But if home is a point in space and time, we’re screwed, because a point has no dimension and time-travel is still just a memory of a possible future. There are hundreds of cities in the world with just as many cool people doing just as much cool CHIT. Get real.

 

It’s all an act.

When you interact with the people in charge, its not a neighborly chat, you’re an audience to a monologue. You thought is was an improvised dialog exploring the issues at hand, but someone put their foot in the mouth and it’s not so tasty. All the world’s a stage and these power-people are merely playing us. Some shows have high ticket prices (private fundraisers, meet-and-greets) while some of the performances they’re literally begging you to attend (ads on your TV set, in your internet browser). They need an audience. It’s reality TV in real-time and it’s constantly live. It’s got everything you need for your complete entertainment and instruction: sun, sex, sin, divine intervention, death and destruction- it’s a once-in-a-lifetime production!

It’s a full roster of character actors and understudies, just waiting in the wings secretly hoping for the star to fall back to earth and get stuck in the mud. Where the heavens meet the earth, that’s where you’ll find the dirt. A bunch of also-rans constantly submitting their audition tapes. They all want to upstage each other to get downstage center: literally relics of a popularity contest that will never end. From a technical standpoint and appreciation of stagecraft, the most concerning things for us, the voting audience, is that the ‘master class’ is being directed by the untrained, unskilled, and downright dangerously untalented. In other words, its a sham bore, but the stakes aren’t poor ratings, it’s poor policy.

 

Get to the green room, go through hair and makeup, put on your wardrobe (cheap suit, pant suit, remember that black is slimming and to avoid horizontal lines!) and get in position. The blocking is still old-school proscenium style with a raised platform. The players recite their rehearsed lines in front of an audience in an amphitheatre setting. Folks, this arena is not a duplication of a classic theatrical arrangement- Politics is the original theatre!

 

In all seriousness: If a single one of the candidates for public office can explain to me how their campaign is NOT theatre, I will happily and graciously grant you the captive audience you so desperately desire.

 

See you backstage!

End scene. Close curtain. Exeunt omnes.