Random Things that Fall Out of My Head

Frank Michels

Frank Michels
Nashville, Tennessee, USA
March 29
Frank Michels is a songwriter, musician, and producer in Nashville, Tennessee. He likes to dig in the dirt and plant flowers, cook tasty things, walk his dog, and play really fast riffs on a telecaster guitar.


NOVEMBER 5, 2012 7:42AM

Only One Day Until I Can Stop Hating My Neighbors

Rate: 11 Flag

                               yard signs 

As my dog Sam and I stroll around this affluent Nashville neighborhood for our nightly walk, one thing is very clear. Just about all of my neighbors for blocks around are big Romney supporters. Passing by each well-tended large lawn fronting the large houses, I am greeted by 2 or more Romney/Ryan signs next to the street, complete with little waving flags. If there are any Obama supporters in the area besides me, they are cowering in their bunkers until the war is over and they can resume normal life again.


It’s tough being a liberal in a very red state, and I have the added disadvantage of working in the country music industry, which is loudly backing Romney and other Republican candidates with both money and personal appearances. Actually, a lot of musicians and other industry professionals are Democrats, but for the sake of our careers we don’t bring up that uncomfortable subject in mixed company. We all remember what happened to the Dixie Chicks, the great girl trio that was on top of the world until lead singer Natalie Maines mentioned that she was embarrassed by President George W. Bush at a concert in England. The reaction here was as if she had been caught butchering babies, and the group’s records were banned from country radio, sending the group into a tailspin from which they never recovered.


Dixie Chicks 


So I don’t have an Obama sign in my front yard, which I admit is a little bit cowardly. But I’ve still got to live here after the election, and get along with all of the other folks on the street, who are actually pretty nice as long as we keep the conversation confined to gardening, how lousy the Titans are this year, and when are we going to have another yard sale.


My wife and I are people of modest means, and we were able to move into this neighborhood because we bought a house that had been wrecked by bad renters, and fixed it up. But just one block away, houses are selling for over a million dollars, and the mansion in the TV series “Nashville” that young singer “Juliette Barnes” lives in is just a quarter mile away. There are no black people or Hispanics living in the neighborhood that I know of, and the residents are overwhelmingly Christian, white, affluent, and enthusiastic consumers of Fox “News.”


Juliette Barnes house 

"Juliette Barnes" house


I think Obama is going to squeak out a win in the election, and the Romney signs will probably come down pretty quickly after that. I’ll breathe a sigh of relief, because I don’t like thinking bad thoughts about my neighbors. I know that we all are being manipulated into this us-against-them mentality by the increasingly partisan political parties and their media outlets, and that if you sit down with folks one-on-one, you realize they can be reasonable and willing to compromise.


But not until Wednesday.


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Thanks for this post. You know, Minnesota has a very good music scene too. And nice affordable houses.
I understand what you're on about. Until we moved here, we were living in a house we renovated ourselves, just a couple of blocks away from 90-year-old mansions. I don't think I need say on which side of the political fence those owners sat.

(You making the trip to Chatham with MW?)
No, she's got some different band members this tour...
I saw the NSA's files on your neighbors. Seriously, they're worth hating.
It's funny to read this as I lived in the South, I get it.
But now I live in a very liberal town and my neighbor is the one Romney fan around. He is having no qualms at all about shouting for, posting signs for, and generally being obnoxious for, his candidate, the lone presence in the area, loud and clear and incessantly.
I guess liberals don't shun nearly as well.
I live in an area where I know and/or know of lots of old hippies, antique draft-dodgers, artists, back-to-the-landers, etc., and yet the county votes overwhelmingly conservative.

Of course our Conservatives are probably left of the current Demos, tho starting to edge more right...
My brother lives in Louisiana, which is the reddest of the red states. He's learned to keep his mouth shut about politics with neighbors and co-workers, which is a hell of a way to live. But I know what you mean: most people are pretty reasonable one-on-one.
The most fun is "Pretending" you're voting for Romney! That is; without saying anything. To Wednesday! R
mary s is hinting you should move, but minnesota climate is an acquired taste. should move, but i recommend auckland.
My state will vote for Obama! Hooray! But, alas I live in the Central Valley, a Romney corridor for sure. Many of my neighbors and friends will vote for Romney. Long, long time ago we all learned to keep politics off the table. We can agree on plenty of other things; like our love of country music. I was so bummed about the Dixie Chicks and still can't believe how even today they haven't recovered.
I try not to hate anyone anyway, but it's tough during an election process to stay peaceful. Hope all goes well, and that we needn't fear after tomorrow that our nation will be under the yoke of oppression all the further....
Peace, bro'......
We have the only O sign on our block. I feel your pain.
You can come out! You can come out! ---- we won!