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HomeCommentaryWe need to concentrate on building up, not tearing down

We need to concentrate on building up, not tearing down

Hank Bonecutter
Hank Bonecutter

As a member of the Clarksville/Ft. Campbell area media, I have certainly seen and heard my fair share of complaints.  In fact, I’ve probably fired off a few of my own, while hosting Clarksville’s longest running morning show, the “bone show,” which can be heard daily on WJZM 1400 AM, and live online at Wjzm.com.

As Clarksville’s oldest radio station, we have covered more local news than any other radio station in Clarksville.  During my 37 years of broadcasting experience, I’ve been witness to numerous political machines, and influence.  The leadership we’ve had over the years is responsible for where we find ourselves today, as one of the most exciting cities in the state. 

What bothers me now is the “tone” of our society.  A pervasive sense of anger and frustration.  An impatience over the slightest of things.  The national debate has been fierce for a number of years, but lately I’ve noticed a “ramping up” of anger and frustration.

This is partly being driven by social media, blogs; but also by the failure of the mainstream media to maintain the tone of civility that it did in the past.  It seems that today the news we get is slanted one way or another. So much so that I began to “cringe” when Fox News was the focus of criticism by other news outlets.  I remember a day where you never mentioned your competitors.

The current philosophy of the news media to be intentionally designed to makes us choose sides, when before, we were just informed.  We scream at the TV when we watch politicians “promise” to make change, or continuosly blame the other party, or my favorite, “this is a Tea Party downgrade”.  Really?

On the local level I’m seeing and hearing a real frustration with city government.   There’s good cause for that.  The county government recently raised our taxes by 26 cents, yet because it was for education nobody cared.  Plus, county government just doesn’t get as much attention as the city.

Now with a new mayor, everybody has a solution to all our problems.  Johnny Piper had no problem making a decision, and keeping the city moving forward.  Like him or not.

Mayor McMillan’s challenge is to convice us that she can lead us through this tough economy.  She didn’t expect the CDE disaster.  She didn’t expect to blow out a knee.  She didn’t expect to be diagnosed with MS, but the “chatter” about what she’s done so far has been interesting.

A lot of people I thought were close to her, and helped her get elected, are frustrated.  Sounds like it hasn’t worked out like they thought.  I don’t know.  But what I do know is I’m tired of it.  I’m not interested in walking clubs, and swimming clubs, and cooking demonstrations. I want to know what is your vision for this community.

I want the city council to quit acting like middle schoolers, and find a way to pull together and make the best of it.  So you got knocked off a choice committee?   Big deal.  You ran for City Council, not chairman of the Gas and Water committee.  Get over it.  She’s the mayor.  She can do what she wants.  We the people will decide if we want her back.

When was the last time you sent a word of encouragement to the mayor?  To your city councilman?  To a cop?  A firefighter?  Anyone?

Quit the bitchin already, and lift up the leaders of our community, and while we may disagree, we all need to pull together and make the best of what we’re dealing with. Great things are happening here.

So encourage someone today.  Tell them “way to go” or “thanks”.  See if it doesn’t come back to you.

Just my two cents.

Hank Bonecutter
Hank Bonecutterhttp://www.clarksvillesmotorcycle.com/
Hank Bonecutter is a retired broadcaster and media consultant based in Clarksville, Tennessee. His career includes stints at WKDA/WKDF and WKQB Rock 106FM, WLAC-AM in Nashville. He concluded his career as owner/talk show host at WJZM-AM in Clarksville. Currently the President of Bonehead Promotions, he's an advertising consultant and media strategist. An avid motorcyclist, Hank blogs about his travels exclusively at www.clarksvillemotorcycle.com and www.clarksvilleonline.com You can follow Hank on on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/dodgintheroadkill/, on Twitter at https://twitter.com/?lang=en, and Instagram https://www.instagram.com/dodgetheroadkill/?hl=en  


  1. Well said, Hank. I too am really tired of Americans bemoaning how bad things are here, airing so much vitriol about the political, social and economic situations that we’re facing.

    Friends, we live in a culture with higher levels of economic affluence and political freedoms than any other that has ever existed!

    I know some people have struggled deeply in recent years, and there are problems on Main Street, Wall Street and both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue, but, recession, debt and downgrades notwithstanding, let’s keep things in perspective: We don’t live in Somalia where 30,000 children have starved to death this summer. We don’t live in Syria where troops are firing on their own unarmed countrymen. We don’t live under any number of despots whose whims are the law of the day and “free and fair elections” are oxymoronic.

    I’m reminded of an interaction I had five years or so ago with an apparently very affluent woman in the Philadelphia airport. We had arrived from London and were amid an angry crowd standing in yet another slow-moving line when she said, “This is a tragedy.” I looked at her and said, “No ma’am, this is an inconvenience; Rwanda was a tragedy.”

    Let’s keep some perspective friends.

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