If you’re like me, you’ve been absolutely riveted by the news coming out of Spain — or should I say, the autonomous region formerly known as Spain. I’m speaking, of course, about Catalonia, the on-again-off-again Spanish state that recently cast off the shackles of imperial rule and boldly declared its independence. That got me thinking… is it time for Southside to finally declare independence from Chattanooga?
There are a lot of parallels in our two stories. Catalonia is Spain’s most prosperous region and is known for its fabulous art, dining and nightlife. But the divisions between Catalonia and Spain go even deeper, spanning centuries of conflict. Through their unique language, history and culture, the sophisticated and sexy urbanites of Catalonia have distinguished themselves from the peasants of rural Spain, much like Southside’s gentry seems to inhabit an entirely different world from the the knuckle-dragging plebeians of Chattanooga’s suburban rim.
Now before anyone accuses me of being classist, I want to make it absolutely clear that I am not. It’s just that I, like the brave Catalans, don’t want my tax money going to help poor people that are socially and politically different from me.
Like Catalonia, Southside has a thriving culture, full of art and music and artisanal cocktails. On the other hand, a cup of Chobani yogurt has a more active culture than Hixson, Red Bank, East Ridge and Brainerd combined. And I don’t know what language they speak out in that barren hellscape known as Soddy Daisy, but it sure “ain’t” the same English we speak here on Southside.
But ultimately, economic factors weigh heaviest. Why should our vicious Southside property taxes support the unemployment checks, EBT cards, and methadone clinics of Trump’s America? We have needs of our own here in Southside, like for instance, building a new minor league baseball stadium beside the minor league soccer stadium we just built, goddamn it!
I can feel my heart pounding. I need to do some yoga. Maybe all this talk of Catalonian revolution has stirred my emotions. Or maybe I’m just cranky because I’m still waiting on this single-drop, pour-over coffee machine to finish my morning cup. It takes forever, but the flavor is irreplicable.