Atlanta Out Loud

Politics and rantings and just stuff that catches my attention.

Sunday, November 30, 2003

|| 2:42:11 PM
Atlanta Out Loud

Thoughts of Atlanta, Georgia conjure up images of southern belles, mint juleps, magnolia trees, peaches and peanuts. And politics. This city is a political junkie’s mecca. The shenanigans, scandals and hoopla that goes on around the intersection of Trinity and Washington Streets where city hall is located is novel material.

There is a saying that you have to change planes in Atlanta to get to Hell. Our political climate might be a cooler version of the inferno, but it’s just the way things are done around here. What might be considered criminal in other parts of the world are standard operating procedure here. Atlanta could at times be considered the most corrupt city in the country.

Yes, the politics in this city are a kick in the pants. With this blog, I hope to illuminate some of the culture and politics here. Nothing here will be fiction, although it may seem so at times, but some will be pure opinion.

I hope Atlanta Out Loud will be welcomed by the citizens of Atlanta. I’ll write it mostly for my own enjoyment, but hopefully other folks will like it too. I searched high and low for a place where I could find out what the hell is really going on around here but to no avail. I’m gonna try real hard to give some inside scoop on the goings on in this city. With a newspaper that really doesn’t want to be in the newspaper business, and instead wants to be emperor, the truth is hard to come by around here. And ever since Neal Boortz went national, his exposure of the Atlanta circus has been limited.

Atlanta is often called the gem of the south. The city today is a far cry from what I remember growing up here. Although its' once southern genteel charm has taken on a modern sheen, Atlanta is a good place to call home. Indeed even the physical city glimmers today, thanks to a guy named Sherman who burned the whole place down during THE war that many around here refuse to end.

Atlanta is a place where directions to a friend’s home might include turning right at the Big Chicken. It’s a place where we’ll fry just about anything. Gun ownership here is not just a constitutional right; in one suburb it's a legal requirement of all homeowners. And here football is considered an organized religion. To outsiders, it seems we have our own language.

There are 132 streets named Peachtree, although you’d be hard pressed to actually find a peach tree growing along any of them. Both of those facts seem to drive out-of-towners mad. The other thing that people are amazed to discover is that there is no Tara, that being a place which existed only on the pages of Gone With The Wind.

True southern accents have also mostly gone with the wind. Native Atlantans are a rare commodity these days. Lots of folks came here for the Olympics and never left. Many of them are amazed and dismayed by the way we do things here. Yet, an awful lot of people who “ain’t from around here” can’t wait to move here.

That’s part of the charm. Atlanta has always had big dreams of becoming first a “world class city” and now an “international city.” Those are catch phrases used by many a politician to justify this or that adventure. As Margaret Mitchell once said, “Be careful what you wish for, honey child, because you just sure enough might get it!”

Today we struggle with being a vibrant diverse city along with the slow-pace and southern culture that makes us America’s biggest small town.

Y’all come back now, y’ hear?