Right now, I’m sitting on the rooftop deck of the Student Union at my college. The sun is setting, I’m streaming a soon-to-be-released album from a band that I’m rather fond of* and, according to the weather widget on my macbook, it’s 68 degrees. This is about as close to bliss as I’m going to get. To accompany this, I have an amazing view of Kansas City, more specifically the “Midtown” and “Plaza” parts of it. The town is lit up and shining bright, and you can almost feel the pride emanating from just about every damn person here. The Royals not only made it to the play-offs but somehow managing to get to the World Series, and every Kanas Citian (City-an? City-ian? Fuck it just pick one)is on the verge of loosing their shit in a very positive way. Because of all the excitement surrounding this city lately, as well it being a silent rule that you WILL wear blue (or dare face the consequences) I’ve been thinking about pride and one’s love for where they live or where they’ve come from.
First things first, I really don’t give a shit about baseball. For me, it’s pretty fun actually being at the game, especially once I’ve convinced myself to drop a ten dollar bill for one watery beer, but other than that, I’ll take football. Or reading a book.
As a kid, I grew up in Lee’s Summit, a burgeoning suburb of Kansas City. It was a whitewashed, middle-class standard-issue suburbia existence, but it wasn’t bad, other than learning to deal with white people who swore up and down that they weren’t racist, when in fact they were. But I always saw people who got overly zealous about Kansas City and HAD TO HAVE KC memorabilia for every part of their body. (no word yet on KC condoms, but something tells me a product like that is on its way) I never understood what the big deal was, it’s just a city. It has its good, its bad, and it’s barbecue. Oh, and if you’re from the area, you automatically have to love Techn9ne, even if you don’t like rap.
All of that changed when I actually moved from the suburbs into the city. I moved out to the midtown/westport area where the bars were a-plenty, the living was cheap, and some sort sort of “ill shit” was guaranteed at all hours of the day. Suddenly, I was engaged in the ongoing of the city. I was one of the many blood cells pumping through and sustaining life for it. The “city” was so different from the “suburbs” culture. The people and the way of life was just so, fuck I don’t know. I wish I could really hammer it down in an explainable way, but all I can say is that to live it is to love it. I imagine that this is the same for many people, growing up and moving to where all the action is at. Hell, a lot of people probably don’t like it, which is completely understandable too.
Wait, where the fuck was I going with this? I guess what I’m trying to say, in a manner that isn’t entirely cohesive, is that I have a newfound respect for, and am happy to say, that I’m from Kansas City. It’s my home, and always has been. One day I may move, and I would love that too, but for now, I’m happy here. (until the godforsaken shit storm that is our midwest winter arrives, then I want San Diego)
P.S. I still don’t own any “KC” gear, and I have no intentions whatsoever of ever purchasing any. Well, maybe a t-shirt. Actually, fuck the t-shirt, I’ll take a KC bottle opener. There, I’m meeting in the middle.
P.P.S One thing that I didn’t talk about, that I probably should have, was the other people’s fandom for Kansas City. Did they have the same life experiences? Were they merely wearing a shirt that they picked up from Price Chopper on the cheap? Are they exhibiting behaviors that fall in line with American’s tendencies to be super nationalistic? Oh well, maybe I’ll look into that later on.
*The album I was listening to was “Keep You” by Pianos Become the Teeth. A rather depressing album all in all, but damn good. Check them out if you enjoy La Dispute, Make Do and Mend or Touché Amoré.