Oh, Memphis

Memphis is absolutely one of my favorite cities in the world.   I love so much about it–the history, the creepy factor, the music, the feeling like something ridiculous or wild could happen at any moment.  And it pisses me off and makes me feel so helpless the way the state treats Memphis like you’d treat an old woman shitting in your back yard–oh, well, there’s Myrtle, don’t look, kids.  Don’t encourage her, and thank god she’s in the back yard where no one can see her.

I read this and I just about cried.  Yes, let’s not even give kids in Memphis a chance.  That’s just great.

14 thoughts on “Oh, Memphis

  1. I hate to sound crass, but the County vs. City issue isn’t just about race – it’s actually more about property value. I’m not sure which is worse. I’m against government-funded schools on principle, though, so I just roll my eyes at this crap and thank god that I don’t have kids.

    I do agree with you, even if we’re not on the same page as to why, that this is a REALLY ignorant and selfish thing for the city schools to be doing. They claim it’s going to lower taxes for city residents…but they all pay county taxes, and those are going to go up to pay for the city school deficit if this goes through, so everyone’s taxes are going to go up, anyway. It doesn’t make any sense.

  2. I’m not sure I see your connection of Memphis’ problems with the state, unless it is the state laws governing what constitutes city services. If that is it, I completely agree.

    I really don’t understand how you can call yourself a city and not be required to provide basic municipal services, such as schools and emergency services. Most of the satellite cities in Nashville are pointless. Take Forest Hills for example. Why is it a city? It has a zoning board and that is it. It is a neighborhood association.

    In Virginia, an incorporated city is required to provide all municipal services to its residents or it can’t be a city. That makes sense. The Memphis/Shelby County thing is ridiculous and counterproductive.

  3. Hold your horses, folks. This is nothing to panic about, it’s just the first step toward consolidation.

    As it stands, city residents are paying more into the school system and getting less out of it than county residents. The system we have right now is not fair to inner city kids. Memphis can’t rightly collect taxes and disburse them into the county system, so the only way to consolidate the two systems is to put it all in the county budget.

    “They claim it’s going to lower taxes for city residents…but they all pay county taxes, and those are going to go up to pay for the city school deficit if this goes through, so everyone’s taxes are going to go up, anyway. It doesn’t make any sense.”

    Well yes, that by itself wouldn’t make sense, but you’re leaving out the fact that city residents are presently paying a share of taxes for a school system they do not use.

    And by the way, government-funded public education isn’t just for people with kids. That’s a very narrow point of view, and every time I hear that libertarian garbage I just want to punch someone in the face. Public education is also for business owners who need a literate and competent labor pool, it’s for an informed electorate who needs to be equipped to make intelligent ballot choices, and it’s for people who drew the short straw in the birth lottery and deserve a chance at the American dream.

    Public education is the cornerstone of our republic, and if you think it’s so worthless I invite you to come to Memphis where there are large segments of the city who do not enjoy the benefits of a free education and see how they live. If that’s what you think the whole country should be like, you’re daft.

  4. And by the way, government-funded public education isn’t just for people with kids. That’s a very narrow point of view, and every time I hear that libertarian garbage I just want to punch someone in the face. Public education is also for business owners who need a literate and competent labor pool, it’s for an informed electorate who needs to be equipped to make intelligent ballot choices, and it’s for people who drew the short straw in the birth lottery and deserve a chance at the American dream.

    Public education is the cornerstone of our republic, and if you think it’s so worthless I invite you to come to Memphis where there are large segments of the city who do not enjoy the benefits of a free education and see how they live. If that’s what you think the whole country should be like, you’re daft.

    A to the men. I’d add the fact that crime-control costs could far outweigh any “savings” you might enjoy in the short term, as large numbers of young people with no hope for meaningful work, coupled with a strong desire for “things”, will likely turn to crime as a means to get those things.

    Auto- it might not be fair to to say that only Libertarians espouse that belief, as it has long been a Republican dream to profit from a privitized system.

  5. My point is just that everyone, including people in and near Memphis, in this state seem to have just given up on Memphis and seem content to let it sink into the mire. If this is a way to force justice, then I support it. My concern is that this is an attempt to abdicate responsibility.

  6. Education is the cornerstone of our republic. Public education these days is a joke.

    And, where in Memphis are there large segments of the city who do not enjoy the benefits of a free education ?

    I don’t understand that statement.

  7. Um, I DO live in Memphis, thanks, and I’m going to agree with Rustmeister (who also lives in the Memphis area) that our city schools are a fucking joke. And the “libertarian garbage” pertains to the fact that education is a privilege, and the second you start treating it like a right, the value of that education goes down (look at things that aren’t explicit rights, but have been deemed necessary and then regulated by the government, then tell me they’re high-quality…try to, anyway). And in order to see the results of that, we’ll once again loop around the the city schools – kids are all but forced to go, and they don’t want to (I have a little bit of insider information into how they act in classes – a lot of them get free lunches and are basically being paid to go there, and they treat it like dog poo they stepped in). You know what? Let them quit school and start working early if they want. They’re distracting to other kids who actually want to be there, and with that No Child Left Behind crap, the kids who would ordinarily be excelling are being held back by the ones who couldn’t give less of a shit. And vice-versa, you’re not going to be able to give the kids who truly need extra attention that attention when you’re worrying about trying to get all of your kids ready for one arbitrary test that dictates whether you get more funding. It’s ridiculous.

    In order for education to work for you, you have to work for it. If you don’t want that education, it’s not going to do you a damned bit of good to go to school. Trust me on that one.

    Don’t make assumptions about why I say things, please.

    As far as “consolidation”, fuck that. The policies present in the city schools will turn the county schools into educational crapfests, and the policies present in the county schools will not translate into the city schools, because they’re too far gone. You can quote me on that one – and if you’re really a resident of Memphis, you can see it, too. It’s a terrible idea from a lot of perspectives.

  8. Nice, Squeaky, just keep writing off entire generations of kids and see where that gets you.

    MY idea, as crackpot as it may sound, is boarding schools. Yes, boarding schools, where kids can actually study and get away from the hellish nightmare they have at home. If we’re going to break this cycle of poverty and hopelessness, it’s going to take something revolutionary, and yes, it will cost a lot of money.

    It’s like the old Auto Parts commercial: You can pay me now, or pay me LATER.

    Auto is right here; we need ONE school district and ONE school board because Memphians are subsidizing the suburban lfestyle, not vice versa, because these costs are ALL of our costs, and if you don’t like it, move to Idaho or somewhere whre you don’t benefit from the Memphis economy.

  9. I read the link.

    The author appears to frame the issue as a metro govt. v. separate city/county govt. issue.

    That’s not the issue. Virtually every county in Tennessee, except Shelby, has a consolidated school system regardless whether that county has a consolidated govt.

  10. Um, my twins go to a Memphis City school. And it’s effing amazing. Not all of them are, but watch the big blanket comments. And

    Go Downtown Elementary!

  11. I’m not “writing off” anyone. The problem is not going to be fixed by consolidation – the problem needs to be dealt with where it originated, which is within the city government. To consolidate would only be to spread the problem around on a grander scale, which doesn’t help anyone. Again, don’t put words in my mouth.

  12. And PeskyFly – the generalization is because the majority of the schools I’ve come into contact with or heard about are not awesome. There are a few that are nice, but unfortunately they are in the minority. Congrats on finding a good one!

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