This morning, I’m on a panel at the Niche Magazine Conference that is being held in Nashville this year. As the organizers (who are an extremely fun group of people) are from California and most of the attendees have never been to Nashville (at least, from my unscientific research), I’ll forgive them for thinking Nashville is a place where people wear cowboy hats. In some ways, the part of Nashville they’re in (the Hutton Hotel, for those familiar with Nashville) is a bit more Portlandia than El Paso. But that’s okay. Whatever people think Nashville is, even it’s it wrong, tends to be something that’s fascinating, so put us in cowboy hats — that’s okay with me.
Obviously, music is the top of mind connection people have when hearing the word, Nashville. Country (putting “& western” after country is something we don’t do ’round here) is a term that covers lots of ground — everything from really bad stuff you can hear on commercial radio to incredibly good stuff that you can hear because a Nashville resident, Al Gore, invented the internet. (I’m not sure, but I think Al Gore was in Nashville when he invented it, so I guess that means you can thank us for the internet, also.)
It’s okay that what Nashville is really like is not what people who haven’t been here might think it’s like. For the most part, it’s better.
A week or so ago, I ran across this press release from an organization called, Public Policy Polling related to a four-month national poll it conducted regarding American’s “impressions” of each state.
Turns out that Tennessee comes in #3 as the most favorably viewed of all 50 states.
Considering that #1, Hawaii is an island paradise and that’s like cheating and Colorado, #2, has the Rocky Mountains, being #3 is ain’t bad.
As the 12 readers of this blog know, I am quick to taunt reporters who see such press releases and then display why journalism students should be required to take statistics courses. My practice, as I’ve admitted before, is to ignore all statistics unless they support a bias I have.
As I have a bias when it comes to liking Nashville, I’m happy to fully endorse the findings of any poll that reveals people have a good impression of Nashville and the state of Tennessee (even the parts of the state that I may not have such a good impression of, personally).
Y’all come spend money. We’ll be friendly.