Comedian, musician, podcaster and Nashvillian Chris Crofton asked the Scene for an advice column, so we gave him one. Crowning himself the “Advice King,” Crofton will share his hard-won wisdom with whosoever seeks it. Follow Crofton on Facebook and Twitter, and to submit a question for the Advice King, email bestofbread[at]gmail[dot]com or editor[at]nashvillescene[dot]com.
Dear Advice King,
You just moved from L.A. back to Nashville, both places with unaffordable housing, rampant gentrification and a horrible cost of living. Do you think there's any chance to live in a town that offers a sense of stability (besides a bunker in the woods), or will we be forced to continually jump from lily pad to lily pad, moving every two years, until we're finally forced to pay inflated rent forever to Elon/Bezos/Bill Gates?
—Matt in Mount Juliet
Man, you make me sound like a monster. In my defense, I gotta be where the fancy coffee shops are — I’m 90 percent scone! I need two lily pads, by the way — one just for my tweets!
L.A. was beautiful, but COMPLETELY unaffordable. And LONELY. Too fucking big! Nashville is a little more affordable, a lot more intimate, and, uhhhh — I'm trying to be diplomatic here — OK-looking? One of my favorite things about Nashville is it’s not near a desert, so hipsters can’t take mushrooms and prance through the cacti wearing white outfits. Nashville hipsters have to prance through glass-strewn laundromat parking lots, and take mushrooms at PetSmart. Is “hipster” still the right term? Is there a new one? Asking for a friend. An OLD friend.
If I were a younger man, I’d be trying to get an acid-house revival going in Johnson City, Tenn. I’d throw raves in the abandoned Hartsville Nuclear Plant. Maybe even open a pirate coffee shop in there. (A pirate coffee shop is like a pirate radio station except it’s a coffee shop.) I'd use the old reactor to run the PA system. Or I’d start an experimental theater company in rural Oklahoma. “The Okies.” We’d all be EXTREMELY confrontational vegans.
FUN FACT: I was listening to The Black Crowes when acid house was popular. I’m listening to “Stakker Humanoid” right now. It sounds good as hell. It sounds like the inside of Jeff Bezos’ stomach after he eats too much foie gras.
I need to calm down. This question has sent me reeling. It’s time for some actual advice.
Sadly, in order to leave the “lily pad” cities, you have to already have money. There is no money in Johnson City. There is no money in rural Oklahoma. Thanks to the lack of antitrust enforcement, there are about four companies that offer jobs, so we all have to live in cities where one of those companies is operating. And even if you work for one of those companies, there's no guarantee that you'll have health insurance. Those same four companies are putting their STAGGERING profits into hedge funds (Blackrock, for example) that are buying all the housing, too. So in a roundabout way, they’ll be your landlord! Make sure your credit rating is good! SPOILER ALERT: In a roundabout way, they also own the credit rating agencies! Fun times.
The only people who can afford to throw/attend raves in remote places are the generationally wealthy, plus the people who the generationally wealthy want to fuck. See: Burning Man.
Fuck it, Matt. Even without health care or money, an attempt at an acid-house revival and aggressively leftist street theater beats pissing in bottles in an Amazon warehouse. I’ll meet you in Muskogee.