Weekly Obsession: Our obsessions, from Powers Boothe to secession

Wednesday, January 2, 2013 at 4:33pm

Maybe Nashville oversold it a bit when Powers Boothe’s leering, scheming Lamar Wyatt described the city as “cultural and industrial juggernaut.”

But, as ever, in a year when a TV show incubated hopes the rest of the country would fall madly in love with us, Nashville — and Nashville — gave us a lot to obsess over.

We’ve chattered about serious topics from redistricting to NES’s profligate spending. And we’ve distracted ourselves by yapping about Burger King’s bacon sundae and whether the postal service will allow Antioch to be known as Nashville.

Being a year divisible by four, 2012 provided plenty of political obsessions. Tennessee Democrats, forced by an unlikely nominee for Senate, took on the oppressive strictures of the alphabet and Sen. Bob Corker eschewed the no-tax pledge that’s defined his party for a decade and made some maneuvers indicating he might have designs at the other end of Pennsylvania Avenue.

President Obama and Gov. Romney found no need to put their ads on our TVs — but, yes, TV found a need to feature us nationwide.

In year when we ceded control of our self-image to producers from ABC and spent our Wednesday nights playing spot-your-neighbor, the Chamber of Commerce spent millions of dollars reminding Nashvillians that their city was pretty great.

As if we needed a reminder.

Nature threw us a couple of punches. With a devastating left/right combo reminiscent of Brian McGrattan — he plays for the local hockey team, which you may remember occupies that shiny building at Fifth and Broadway, or at least they once did — spring slapped us with a pollengeddon and a mosqutiocaloypse, byproducts both of a largely snowless winter.

Peyton Manning flirted with the local pro football team — who made upgrades at their stadium, adding elevators and jumbotrons and a band stage — but ultimately all his dalliance did was remind everyone that there are two airports in town.

James Franklin kept Vandy on a winning track, but his favorite slogan — “Anchor down!” — is still silly, no matter how many bowls the Commodores attend.

While we wait and wonder if Rayna James will sing the anthem at Dudley Field, not everyone in town was so pleased with ABC. George Barrett — of course it was George Barrett — focused his idealism on another show on the network. The Citizen sued The Bachelor for its lack of diversity. The suit was dismissed in October — coincidentally the week Nashville debuted.

There’s still no new stadium for the Sounds — and, frankly, Wyatt is the man doing the most talking about it — and there’s still no west Nashville charter school from Great Hearts. Despite the many electronic signatures on a White House petition, Tennessee shows no sign of seceding from the union and Nashville shows no sign from seceding from the state. Some of us can have chickens — but others of us can’t, and good luck figuring out which is where.

The mayor passed a budget without much objection from the council, but Karl Dean’s money man, Rich Riebeling, got in a spat with Sheriff Hall about the process.

Now there’s a storyline for Season Two.

Indeed, the city has enough stories for a century’s-worth of primetime drama — and we’re obsessed with them all.