When to Play the Hokey Pokey...

No, not like Trina means...

We all remember the hokey pokey, right?
You put your right hand in
You put your right hand out
You put your right hand in
And you shake it all about
You do the hokey pokey
And you turn yourself around
That's what it's all about!
I got to thinking about this earlier today when one of my friends said, "at some point, you gotta get real with people."

A while ago, I talked about the back and forth I was doing with myself about whether or not to express my true feelings to a friend about her relationship. Ultimately I decided,
What's important to me, though is that she see what I'm talking about for herself. It's not enough for me to tell her -- she'll never learn the lesson life is trying to teach her -- but I don't want her to get hurt cause this guy is a jerk.
In other words, she's my friend and I care, but I'm a firm believer that there are just some lessons you can't be taught by outsiders. You have to learn them by going through them.

Now, some of us are less hard headed than others and we're quick on the uptake. Others of us (me) have to be knocked around a few times, especially if it requires relinqushing things we think we should have. But either way, there are just some lessons life has to teach us and no matter how much our friends want to change that, they can't.

So when my friend said, "at some point, you gotta be real with people... in talking about the same friend, I started to agree with that, but I got to thinking... is it "at some point" or "in some cases?" Is it that every time one of your friends is trippin, there comes a time where you have to, as a good friend, let them know? Or is it only in some cases? I think it's the latter. I think that sometimes we have to step aside and let folks fall on their faces. Sometimes they'll get up, brush the dirt off and never step in that hole again, but other times they'll jump right back in and we have to let them.

I believe this is so because I also believe you can't help someone who doesn't want help. And even sometimes the people who ask for help don't really want it. When a friend asks you to help them understand why they keep falling down, you can point out that there's a hole in their path and they will be receptive (that is, look down and see the hole). On the flip side, trying to convince someone there's a hole in their path when they didn't ask, and don't see anything wrong...well that's a bit harder.

SO... is it "at some point" or "in some cases?"


A.Smith Rant

I was having a good day today. You know what? I'm still having a good day. I made a few active decisions, including blocking people on gchat and ignoring messages, so I'm having a good day still, but I got some stuff to get off my chest.


First off, I really hate being told to calm down. In fact, 98% of the time, I'm not riled up and telling me to calm down, effectively pisses me off and makes me not want to deal with you. In other words, telling me to calm down makes me....well... not calm.

For starters, I am a calm person. It's one of the things people tell me they like about me. Therefore, it would stand to reason that a person would almost never need to tell me to calm down. If I'm typically calm, then when I'm not calm, it would seem it would be with reason, right? In that case it would be inappropriate to tell me not to have an uncalm reaction to a situation that illicits an uncalm reaction. That's like telling a person not to cry when their mother dies. Or not to leap for joy when they get a raise. Or not to be angry when their dog chews up their favorite pair of shoes. Where do we get off telling people how to feel?

Further, I've repeatedly discovered that people tell me (and others) to "calm down" because they've been caught in something. Maybe they jumped to a conclusion and got a response that didn't hesitate to let them know they were wrong.

Instead of saying "my bad" these assholes say, "calm down."

No, you calm down. You calm down, re-read, or re-listen and let's try again you misquoting, misunderstanding, jerkface.

::deep sigh::

Ok. That's it. I'm done with this. I've said my piece and I'm going to go formulate some ways to let folks know not to tell me to calm down that don't involve cussing and yelling...


Throwback Post - Creative Writing

Back in 2005, I started a blog on xanga. Recently I was perusing some old posts, and realized I wrote some really fresh stuff back then. From time to time, I'll re-post some things from over there on this blog.

In high school I used to write these things I called ramblings. I would write exactly what came to mind as it came to mind. They became pretty popular. My friends and classmates would always ask to read what I'd written during class. Below is an example of something I wrote a long time ago. I don't quite remember the catalyst, but there's still some truth to this in my life. This was originally posted 7/5/2005
I have deep dark secrets
That you would never believe
I have skeletons in my closet
That should never be seen
I have dreams that are crazy
And fears that are absurd
I have ridiculous expectations of myself
And it seems that nothing works out the way that it should
There was definitely a point in my life
Where there was nothing stable, consistent or good about my life
But I managed to hold it all together
I managed to keep up the happy-go-lucky appearance
People trusted me with their deepest secrets
Helping me to forget my own secrets
My own demons
My own nightmares
Giving me something else to focus on
I’m now slowly working towards a point
A place in my life
Where not only can I admit that there’s nothing
Or good about my life
But rather that I have fears I can’t explain
Demons I cannot fight
And a life that seems to have been in vain
My path – the one that I was created to follow
The one created for me by Christ –
Has been long and arduous
But I believe, because I’ve been told
And this belief gives me hope for a brighter tomorrow
That I’m here for a reason
And I feel that my desires
To change the world – to really really change the world
Are there for a reason
I want to reach a place in time
Where things are what they are
And I know how to live with that
Where I don’t have to be in control of my own destiny
Where I can let go and let God
Where I can move out of the way
So that I can be moved to be the best person I can be
So that I can make everyone proud
But most importantly
So that I can look myself in the eye when I get up
Because I don’t know how to do that right now
So where am I today
What’s the state of my mind
It’s topsy-turvy and nothing is clear
I go to sleep, I wake up
Someone asks how’s life
I respond that it’s best when I’m sleeping
What I want I can’t have
What I need no one offers
I want to be happy twice a day
I want to share that happiness with those around me
I need someone to hold my hand, hug me
And tell me that no matter what everything is going to be just fine
And then I want to walk away knowing that whether I believe that or not
Is completely irrelevant
What is relevant
Is that I live my life
Every day
Like it is my last
That I learn to appreciate the trials
The tribulations
The general heartache
And find in it a brighter day
So I have demons I can’t fight
Skeletons that should never be seen
And fears I can’t explain
But I also have health
And hope
Above all other things, I have hope
Faith, too
Faith in the unseen
The unknown
The inexplicable
Faith that God seriously has a plan for me
And that if I’m patient, he’ll reveal it to me
Faith that I’m going to find somebody who understands what makes me tick
Even when I don’t
Faith that I will be able to surround myself with people who have ambition
People who are strong
People who are deliberate in their actions
People who take a genuine concern in me
And people who, from time to time, care far more for me
Than they care about themselves
Knowing that I am doing the same thing
I have faith in these things
And while I know that these demons may haunt me forever
That these skeletons may reveal themselves
And that I may be forced to face my deepest fear in order to replace it
With one that will behoove me
I also know that there is at least one person in this whole world
Who would give their life for me
No hesitations, no conditions no regrets
And for whom I wake up every day
And who pushes me and my buttons
More than that, I know that on this earth
There existed someone who loved me before I was known
Enough to die for me
And who wants me to wake up for him every day
And I’m working on that
I really really am
I give because I feel like I will get, eventually
But I also give because I have so much
And there are those with so little
And I have a heart so big that I can’t share it with the world
And I know there has to be reason for that.



I've attended my fair share of funerals. In fact I've been to far more funerals than weddings. But my uncle's funeral was by far the hardest.

For my whole life my uncle lived with my mom and I. Now, as I've mentioned before, my mother is the youngest of 14 children. 7 boys, 7 girls. So, I've got lots of relatives. But this uncle was always there. My whole life, this uncle was there. And now that he's gone, I realize how much his mere existence was ingrained in my heart.

I remember being younger and frustrated with my friends who acted like it was a big deal. "I don't know. He just does..." I would say when they would ask why. I didn't need to know why. That was my uncle. He slept in the room down the hall (then in the room across the hall when we moved, and then in the basement apartment when we moved again). That was all. He was there when a drunk man broke into our basement. He was there when my mom and I would fight. He was just there.

My uncle was a part of a lot of firsts for me. He gave me my first job -- $5/week to clean his room. He sold my first car to my mom -- a Chevrolet Corsica that drowned less than a year later. He let me drive his Cadillac. He was the first person I ever picked up from the hospital.

I loved telling people that my uncle was part owner of one of the best known cab companies in the city. I was proud of him.

I cried when my mom called to tell me he died. At first, I cried from the shock. By the next day, I was crying from fear. In fact, I spent a good portion of the next day sleeping so that I wouldn't cry. What was I afraid of? How the loss would effect my mother. See, as an only child of a single parent, I feel major responsibility with regards to my mother's safety. And while my 72 year old uncle couldn't have necessarily stopped an intruder (though, my uncle was a G, so I'm not saying he couldn't have) it was comforting to know he was there. His loss highlighted for me how much I took that comfort for granted.

By the time I got home on the third day, I had quit crying publicly. I didn't want my mom to see me breaking down and in fact, the one time I did cry (which was mostly about my uncle but sparked because of something else) she begged me to stop because she couldn't handle it.

The fifth day was his funeral. I made it all the way until my mother and I reached his casket and then all bets were off. I cried through the whole thing. I just couldn't believe he was gone. I kept looking at the casket through the tears and thinking "he can't be in there... he just can't..." and as they lowered him into the ground, all I could think was "I can't believe my uncle is in that thing..." Even now, I imagine him in that coffin and I get emotional. It was hard.

My uncle and I didn't go fishing together. We didn't sit up late and have deep conversations. In fact, my uncle was a man of very few words, but he was always there. I loved him and he loved me. He was a generous man, always wanting to help his family and I get that same trait from him. We are both loyal and helpful to a fault.

In the days since his funeral, I've cried for a myriad of reasons. Like when my Godmother, his ex-girlfriend, told me, "well, he did what he promised his mother he would do." I asked her what she was talking about and she explained, "he promised your grandmother he would take care of your mother and he did..."

I cried when I thought about what if he suffered. What if he woke up in the middle of the night and knew he was dying but couldn't cry out?

I cry now -- just because I feel a little bit more empty. I can't explain how a man with whom I have no pictures, no awesome one-on-one stories with has died and effected me so. All I can say is he was my uncle and he was a great man and I feel different now than I did a week and a half ago.

But I do think about one summer when I was home from college and he got sick. He had the flu. My uncle was a worker -- the only reason he didn't wake up and go to work was because he was sick so for him to be in the bed, it was major. I stuck around the house during the day, though no one asked me to, to make sure he was ok. I wouldn't leave unless my mom was at home. I don't know that anyone, including him, realized I did that -- but he was my uncle and I loved him.

Shortly after Easter weekend he had to have heart surgery. I saw him every day before the surgery. I was so scared the surgery would kill him. Ironic that, in fact, it may have contributed to his death. But I called all the time and asked about him. My mom assured and reassured me that he was fine, he was getting stronger and he was getting better. Just a few days before he died, I was told he was gearing up to go back to work.

I still cry when I think about what his death will mean to my family. One of my aunts asked me if I thought we would get back to normal. I told her not for a long, long time.

I broke down the morning I had to fly back. My mom apologized for not having made sure I was ok through it all. "You've been so strong for me and it hasn't gone unnoticed," she said. And as I wept into her shoulder she added, "I know you loved him."

I miss him. I can't explain it, but I do. I loved him and I feel like a piece of me went in the ground with him. My heart aches and I think it always will. This world lost a great man on May 11, 2010. I don't say that because he was my uncle, I say it because it's true.

James S. Smith - you are missed. So much.
James Smith

James S. Smith, 72, of Chattanooga, passed away Tuesday, May 11, 2010, at his residence.

He was a veteran of the United States Army. He retired from U.S. Pipe & Foundry and was owner of Mercury Cab as well as an airport shuttle driver.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Eddie and Alberdia Smith; sisters, Rosetta Smith and Bessie Smith Eatman; brothers, Roosevelt Smith and Olice Smith.

Survivors: son, James B. Smith; daughter, Jacqueline Smith Gunn; granddaughter, Chelsea Gunn; daughter, Sonya Wyche; sons, Darius and Loranzo Clark, all of Chattanooga; brothers, George (Barbara) Smith, Norman Smith, JC (Cynthia) Smith and Robert (Geneva) Smith; sisters, Alberdia Smith, Katie May Halfacre, Mary Smith, Viola Mayo and Sarah (Robert) Gilchrist; a host of other relatives and friends.



Last night, I got the bright idea to go to McDonalds and get 2 apple pies. I wanted something sweet and McDonald's is close.

For some reason, I decided to go to one other than the one I usually go to. I don't know why -- I just did.

About 2 blocks from my home, a kid ran from the alley into the path of my car. I couldn't stop. The force of my car threw him up onto my hood and his head shattered my windshield.

I was horrified. I was sure I had killed him. The smack of his body hitting my hood, the crack of the windshield and the thud of his body hitting the pavement was too much. I screamed in terror.

I threw the car in park and got out. By then he had rolled over. His eyes were as big as saucers. He was just as scared as I was. He got up and limped away. I screamed out to ask if he was ok and to tell him to sit down.

Everything after was a whirlwind. The police came, an ambulance came. The boy's parents came. So did onlookers. Many of whom told me that the 18 yr old was mentally challenged (a fact that became obvious to me very quickly) and that his mom didn't do a good job of watching him. "Stuff like this always happens with him." He was issued a $25 ticket and I overheard his irate mother say she wanted him put in a home. I prayed pretty hard for that boy.

When I got home, I found out my insurance -- which I pay, but has been kept up by my mother -- is only liability insurance and will not cover my shattered windshield. For someone who's planning a move soon and who doesn't get paid much as it is, this was a major blow.

But after today, I'm almost pissed at myself for being so upset over something so trivial...

This afternoon, my mother called me. I could tell she had been crying. My uncle passed away in his sleep last night.

My mother is the youngest of 14. 7 boys, 7 girls. I love all my aunts and uncles. This uncle has always been a part of my life because he's always lived with my mom and I. I broke down at my desk crying. I felt for my mom who has lost another brother in the last 4 years and I felt horrible for his kids. My family is grieving.

Yesterday, I read that a girl at my high school's alma mater was killed in a car accident. I remember when I was in high school getting there one day in the spring of my sophomore year and feeling something odd in the air. As I approached the quad, an area usually full of life and excitement, I saw groups of students huddled up. Some were crying. I quickly found out that a fellow student had died in a car accident the night before.

2 years later I had the same experience. This time, though, I knew what I was facing before I got to campus and as soon as my front tires hit the pavement of the long driveway down into my school's campus, I could feel the sadness. Like the campus itself was sad, not just the people in it. The further in I drove, the heavier it got. The night before, one of my friends had killed himself. I've told that story on this blog before.

All these stories share loss as a theme. I'm realizing that I'm really no better at dealing with it now than I was at 17 when my friend killed himself. I don't know if you ever get good at losing. Maybe what you get better at is cherishing things while you have it. I hope so, anyway. I really do...


Unexpected Results

The responses I've gotten so far from my open letter were varied and none of them were expected.

Let's start with responses from friends/people who know me intimately.

I've gotten ranges from "I'm going to do better" to "Took you long enough." Obviously a lot of people wondered what set me off. I've been relatively vague with a lot of people about that, because I don't want to blame any one person or thing. I want people to understand this came from things that's been happening.

I haven't yet heard from anyone who was offended by the letter or who felt like I was out of line. I'm not even sure who all has read the letter but as it relates to my friends, I'm less interested in what they have to say and more interested in what they have to do.

My favorite responses have come from people who don't know me personally. Some have been "internet friends" for years, others didn't know who I was before they stumbled upon this post. All of those responses have been some variation of "I see myself in that letter and I will do better" or "I know exactly how you feel."

The latter category of comments have been the most helpful in me learning from this. One of the hardest things as I thought about how some of my friends were treating me was feeling like I was the only person who had made a lot of mistakes with regards to who I let in my circle. Knowing that there were people out there who also had these issues with their friends has definitely helped me.

The former category of comments were among the most unexpected. I think when you read a letter like the one I wrote, you immediately want to assure yourself that you are not like that. When you see those sorts of actions spelled out so cleanly and unmistakably, you probably plead with the universe to assure you that you are NOT that horrible. But to be be self-aware enough to read a critical note such as that and admit that you see yourself in it takes guts, courage and really speaks volumes about your character.

My favorite outcome of this whole thing has been the self-introspection I've done. It was important to me that I noted in my letter my own shortcomings. It was my way of showing that I am fully cognizant that there are areas that I need to work on and that the letter didn't come from a place of superiority, but rather a place of wanting to be better and wanting everyone around me to do shoot for the same thing. So I'm definitely working on me in this. I told a friend earlier that maybe the letter was step 1 - acknowledging that there are people I need to get rid of.

Anywho- those are the immediate results. Though they've all been mostly unexpected what I'm really excited to see the long-term results. Mostly for myself, but definitely overall. I'll keep ya'll updated. :)


An Open Letter to my Friends

Before I begin, I want to be clear about a few things. One, this is an open letter to my friends. Not some of you, not a few of you, not the young ones, not the old ones. Not the ridiculous ones, not the crazy ones. Not the good ones, not the bad ones. Not whatever group you can find that you don't belong to. It's addressed to you. Yes, you. You right there. Also, there are a lot of reasons I'm doing this, but the two I want to share are 1)it's too many of ya'll to get individual and 2)there's something about the open letter format that will help me make a much larger point. Finally, though I anticipate this backfiring in some way I haven't even thought of, keep in mind that I've factored that in and still, the desire to do this is strong. Ok, with that said, let's get to it, shall we?

Dear you,

I love you. I do. If I let you into my circle, I care about you a lot and I love you. I take friendship very seriously. I think if I call you friend, I owe you my loyalty, honesty and shoulder.

But you know that, right? Cause we tight...right?

I digress...

On the flip side of that, I think you owe me the same thing. The loyalty, the honesty and a shoulder. No more, no less than I owe you.

99% of you, however, couldn't give me loyalty, honesty or a shoulder if I labeled it, and handed it to you. I'm serious.

Loyalty - defines this word as faithful to one's oath, commitments, or obligations. For those slow on the uptake, that means when you say you're going to do something, you do it. For the overachievers among us, that means everytime. But factor in human error and such, I'll give you most of the time.

So most of the time when you say you're going to call, you call.

Most of the time when you say you're going to be somewhere, you are.

Most of the time when you say you're going to do something, you do.

But let's go a little farther, because we're talking about big shrimp here. We're talking about friendship.

When you say you care, you show it -- you go past saying it to showing it.

When you say you want to help, you do it. You go past saying it to, doing it.

Oh and get this right here... it means you don't talk about me to someone else disrespectfully. You don't tell them things about me that only you know and you definitely don't throw me under the bus with someone else.

As a loyal friend our friendship is important to you.

So all the times you told me you wanted to help because you cared, but never called me back and never showed up? You weren't being loyal.

When this became so much of a habit that I didn't even call you to tell you that something really major had happened to me -- that wasn't because I don't share things. That was because you're disloyal.

And yet, like an idiot, I still called you friend.

Honesty - defines this word as truthful or creditable

So that means when you speak, you tell things to the best of your ability in the most truthful way.

That means you don't pretend to be things you're not.

That means you don't purposefully set out to lead others astray.

But, again, gotta go further because we're talking about something major.

That means you don't voluntarily tell me that you want to see me, but never make plans to do so.

That means you don't call me friend and treat me an enemy.

That means you don't misrepresent who I am to others as it fits your needs.

Funny how honesty plays into loyalty, right? I mean an honest person does what they say they will do. A loyal person wouldn't set me up by telling me one thing and doing another, right?

Crazy ish, man. CRAZY ISH.

The breakdown of this, the application, the takeaway, if you will, is that you wouldn't know honesty if I wrapped it up in a big bow and put it under your tree with the label "honesty."

When given the chance to be honest, you choose not to be. When honesty would be easier, you choose the road less traveled. When honesty would strengthen our bond, you choose to break it.

But like an idiot, I still called you friend.

A shoulder - We won't waste time with a pointless definition. Here, let's get right to it.

If I can't get you on the ever...but you always get me when you call? That's not working right.

If you only seem to know my name (or number) when you need something? Oh gosh, this is so lopsided, we're going to need Jesus to pick it back up.

This could all be boiled down to this: Do you give me the opportunity to access you in the same way I give you opportunity? Be honest, you don't have to share with the class.

And yet, like an idiot... yeah you know.

Am I being too harsh? Nah. I haven't been harsh enough. Like an idiot, I've been letting you do whatever you wanted to. Not asking you for more than you gave me. Not withholding what you asked of me. Never complaining, always dutiful. Always thinking of how I can help you be better. Wondering, what I have that I can give you to help you achieve your goals. Who do I know? How can I help? These questions are always foremost in my mind with my friends because I, and brace your hats for this dude, love you.

I wasn't kidding when I said it. I care about you. I want you to be all the things you want to be plus some things you had no idea you could be. I want you to be happy and love life. And whatever I have to do, even sacrifice things, to help you with that. I'm game.

Simply put, I'm a better friend to you, then you could ever dream of being to me.

The irony is that it's so easy to give to people who give back, but I'm tired. I don't got it in me anymore to give one iota more to you than you give to me. Some sadistic part of me wishes I did, but you took it all. Every.last.drop.

So I'm the idiot here. For sure. Only idiots do the same thing over and over expecting different results. Only idiots let people treat them any kind of way and come back for more because they hope it will be different.

Yo, if I called you and told you my boyfriend never had time for me unless he wanted something, never called me unless he needed something, lied to me, hurt my feelings and was dismissive, you'd cuss me out for giving that dude the time of day.

But you? Apparently you get a free pass to do whatever you want.

Don't mistake this as me blowing up an incident or two into something bigger than it is. This is years, years of me watching you do the same thing over and over again. The lies, the misrepresentation, the manipulation. But probably what hurts the worst is being taken for granted and advantaged of. Being used for whatever you wanted and then discarded later. You pretending, when talking to me, to have a vested interest in my life and my future but then taking the first chance to sell me up a creek if it benefited you in any way.

If we want to go all the way live, I can tell you I dated a drug addict and even HE knew enough when he was screwing up to at least PRETEND to be sorry about it. You're either so callous or so dumb that you can't even see it. The worst among you still don't know this letter is directed especially to you.

What made me write this? A lot of things, but especially the fact that I'm tired of having moments every day where I seriously wonder why I bother with people. If all I'm going to get are selfish, needy, using, manipulative, sociopaths -- then why take the time or make the effort? I don't like feeling that way so I'm about to relax, relate, and RELEASE.

Am I perfect? Absolutely not. I'm too daggone sarcastic and snarky. I don't think before I speak. I don't use tact. Sometimes, I prioritize stuff the wrong way. I hurt people's feelings sometimes and don't apologize. I take stuff personally. I push the boundaries. But dammit, I'm loyal to your disloyal and dishonest self and help me sweet baby Jesus if when you need me, I'm not right.there.

But you know what? This letter wasn't ever really about you or to you. It was about me and for me because I'm the one who woke up one day surrounded by way too many users. Way too many people who only wanted me for what I could give them. Way too many people who have no idea about the things I've been through because it never occurred to them to ask or care.

I'm the one who decided it was easier to hold it in than share for fear that you wouldn't care. I'm the one who let you do whatever you wanted to do to me without calling you out for it. I take full responsibility for everything I did that got me here.

I'm the idiot - wait - I was the idiot.

Cause right now.

This shit is OVER.

You got it?

It's done.

It's a new world order, man, and we got rules in this thang.

Loyalty, Honesty and a Shoulder. Anything less need not apply.

I want you here, but you can't stay if you won't step your game up and step it up immediately.

Love (and yes, I mean that sincerely),
Ashley L. Smith

P.S. This ain't gotta be a big deal. It's not for me, cause when I put it here, I wiped my hands of it. To quote my BFF, "I'm rewriting my script and if you want a part in it, you gotta come correct."

P.P.S. Because I'm realizing now how many people who "kinda" know me are reading this, I feel like I have to add that I have some really amazing people in my life. I know that and they know that -- which was why I didn't mention that fact. Also, I feared that in mentioning that caveat, I would've given some folks the loophole they needed to reassure themselves that they're not who I'm talking to, so I add also that if you have to wonder, that speaks volumes.

Author's Note: I posted this, now, a little over 24 hrs ago and in that 24 hrs, I've had a lot of feedback. Mostly from people who don't know me "in real life." I'll probably do a post on the types of responses I got, later, but I want to say that in writing this it became a call to me to be a better friend in ways I hadn't considered. I hope that, whether you know me "in real life" or not, whether we're truly friends or not, this open letter will encourage you to do the same. I'm learning it takes a special kind of person to be a good friend.

Well is it me, or can it be I am a little too friendly, so to speak? Hypothetically say, I supply creativity to what others mistake as a form of self hate, only to make an enemy, which results in unfortunate destiny. They dog me out, then be next to me, just 'cause I am what some choose to envy.

No New Orleans

I guess since Hurricane Katrina in 2005, we've become desensitized to lower levels of natural disasters in cities.

Or maybe we only care when it looks like you can make a sexy political story out of it.

Last weekend it began raining in Nashville, TN and it didn't stop. More than 13 inches fell in 2 days. That's about 30% of Nashville's annual rain fall in 48 hours. The great city of Nashville sits on the banks of the Cumberland river and the river rose and flooded a lot of downtown Nashville.

Additionally, the Army Corps of Engineers was forced to release water from 2 dams and this water flooded other areas of the already super-soaked city. There were 20+ deaths in Middle TN (which doesn't only include Nashville), many families have lost everything as the vast majority didn't have flood insurance. The city is reporting over $1 Billion in damage.

One might think the national media would have jumped on this. Another major natural disaster in a large city (Nashville has a larger population than Atlanta, and ranks as one of the biggest Southern cities) with almost no recognition from the outside world.

You'd be very wrong if you thought that. Sadly wrong, even.

I don't expect national coverage to the extent that New Orleans recieved in 2005. For one, this flood wasn't that big or wide-reaching and for two, there were many other things at play outside of a city being completely under water. I don't want to get into a situation where we compare this to what happened in New Orleans in 2005, because for the most part they're not comparable.

But the question remains -- who's going to Volunteer for the Volunteer state?

Ironically, apparently only the state itself. All the stories you hear now are about neighbors helping neighbors. Which is great. And the state is recieving federal funding. The President called the Governor and the both agreed his presence, with all that is required, would take away from the relief efforts, for now.

But where's the national media coverage? Nashville could use the help of every state in the union, not just every city in the state.

On a larger note, I think the media ignores the South (except for Atlanta) all the time. I think that point has been proven in light of this.

If you go to now and search Nashville, all sorts of videos will pop up. But those videos we distinctly remember of Anderson Cooper in New Orleans as the city flooded, CNN doesn't have because they, like their other major outlet counterparts (and I don't mean to make it look like only CNN ignored this for almost a week) didn't pay much more than a footnotes' worth of attention until now.

I'm sure someone will say, and rightfully so, they're there now. Yes. They are (interviewing mostly country stars who have been effected -- thank God for Kenny Chesney who pointed out that he will be able to replace things, while other families will not). Nashville will come back, it will be fine and that will happen regardless of whether or not major media outlets notice. I'm just put off by what it means when newsworthy things are happening and no one cares.