Friday, October 16, 2009
frankj's fantasies and the rhetoric of the "real" Tennessee
Blogging has clearly become too incestuous when I am tempted to write about someone who posts anonymously at another blog. But in this case I'm going to yield to the temptation and follow the trail until it comes full circle and perhaps disappears back into oblivion where it belongs.
Someone who goes by the name of frankj has been adding notes to posts over at Post Politics lately. He continues to put the word gay in quotation marks. Here's a sample:
Even if the GOP takes Haywood County out of Naifeh’s district, imagine a team of eager Kos-educated East Nashville and Sylvan Park volunteers, some straight and yes, some “gay”, swarming Tipton County from their Kitchens going door to door for the Emeritus! Naifeh will befuddle the GOP once again [sic]
The image is supposed to be one of hipster gays and straights emerging from their urban enclaves and invading rural Tennessee with their enlightened values to rescue a politician in distress (Speaker Emeritus of the Tennessee House Jimmy Naifeh) from the Republicans. First, let's point out the obvious, Speaker Naifeh doesn't need rescuing. He's a good bet in any fight. Second, frankj, your fantasy of East and West Nashville hipsters--straight and "gay"--running from their kitchens serving up clever meals and Kos-style politics around Tennessee makes me wonder whether you're a producer for Bravo. I couldn't have thought of anything that "gay" myself. Besides, Cooper-Young in Memphis is much closer to Tipton County than East Nashville and Sylvan Park are. Don't you know anything about Tennessee?
And that really leads to the point. Behind this fantasy is the rhetoric of the "real" Tennessee. frankj never uses the word "real," but that's the principle at work. East Nashville and Sylvan Park can't possibly be the real Tennessee, right? As it turns out, 20 district Council Members in Davidson County voted for the non-discrimination ordinance. That makes the map a little more complicated. There must be a crisis of where the "real" Nashville lies. Perhaps frankj would describe it as "creeping East Nashvillism." That's just a guess on my part.
But what is the "real" Tennessee? Is it only rural Tennessee? Is it only red Tennessee? Does it matter that there are GLBT people and people who are liberal in every part of the state in various numbers? Does it matter that many of who are now in the blue parts of the state came from the red and rural parts of the state and throughout the South? Let's take it further. Is rural Houston County not real because the majority of its residents voted for Obama? Those pesky East Nashvillians must have distracted McCain voters with delights they imported from Batter'd and Fried.
Perhaps the conspiracy goes deeper. I wonder whether frankj thinks Governor Bredesen is secretly out to sweep away the real Tennessee. He brought in Volkswagen to establish a European beach head that will cool Tennessee into a light blue. I bet the whole idea was cooked up at the Gerst Haus. Brilliant!