Cultural Anthropologist Jason Whitlock Finally Explains Street Culture To KC

jasonwhitlockissmoothwiththeladiesRegular readers of this site know that we are no fans of Jason Whitlock, the Star‘s painfully unfunny sports race columnist. His commendable reporting skills have slipped in recent years, replaced by tired rants, pitiable reliance on allegedly hip slang, and odd digressions about the female body. But at long last, Jason has turned his sights to his true passion: explaining street culture to staid white people. Finally! The city has long awaited a professional anthropologist who could delve into the minds of black youth and plumb the depths of their upbringing, bringing shallow and pithy analysis to the pages of a once-great paper. And now Jason has his chance with the little donnybrook over in Lawrence. So prepare yourself, for Dr. Whitlock is about to begin. MORE

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Filed under Crime, Education, In the News, Jason Whitlock, Media, Race & Ethnicity

Time To End The War Of Attrition Plaguing The Star‘s Letters Section

Dear Kansas City,
Look, we get it. A lot of you are upset. A third of you think that President Hope is running this country into the ground. A third of you think racism is driving any and all criticism of the administration. And a third of you pretty much don’t care, which makes you the worst portion of the pie chart. But for now, let’s focus on the yeas and the nays — those all-too-vocal citizens who are reenacting the Thrilla in Manila in the pages of the Star‘s Letters to the Editor section. Every day for about three months, there has been a letter either warning of a looming apocalypse or warning of the lunatics saying such things. Today’s letter, a rambling, illogical, and shrill missive, from Leawood’s Pam Zubeck is evidence that the debate has finally gone too far. Some samples of its low points:

It doesn’t take a talk show host to make reasonable, rational individuals realize there is something wrong with the way this country is being run today… News flash to the left: You don’t own the First Amendment… It seems to me the 9/12 protesters are the very people who are trying to save this republic… The “progressives” of 1776 gave their lives, fortunes and sacred honor so we can be free. The “progressives” of 2009 in no way resemble the “progressives” of the American Revolution… The 2009 progressives want enslavement to the government… Don’t call yourself a progressive and then say you’re in the same league with Washington, Jefferson, Adams and Franklin, because you’re not even close.

Well. I’m not sure I have the energy to point out exactly why Ms. Zubeck has deep-sixed reality so fervently, but perhaps a message to the respective sides will help us end at least one theater of this war: the Star‘s letters section. Because, you know, we need more room for stuff like this. Anyway, to the lecturing. MORE

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Filed under Economics, Education, In the News, Media, Politics, Race & Ethnicity

Oh, of course the heart-shaped potato woman is from Methdependence. Key quote: “We were afraid he might just toss it,” she said. “I’m a little sad. It’s like when one of your children grows up and sprouts wings.” Yeah, that’s exactly what it’s like.

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So What The Hell’s Going On In Lawrence These Days?

nowheresaguywhoknewhowtofightinlawrenceThe talk of Kansas City this week, at least between the sports fans among us, is the very odd (and perhaps totally unsurprising) contretemps between gridiron athletes and hardwood athletes. The word among the local media is that tensions between the two squads are long-running but heretofore suppressed, or at least kept out of the spotlight. However, with the e-discussions of Tyshawn “point plankn” Taylor, the whole conflict has bubbled to the surface. The cause, shockingly? Ladies. Ah, men — have we ever fought over anything else? (Religion, I suppose. And oil.) In today’s Star, the elegantly named J. Brady McCollough manages to score some interviews with anonymous former athletes, who tell JBM that things were pretty much always thus.

“It’s always been a feud between basketball and football players,” said a recently graduated former KU football player who asked to remain anonymous. “It’s been an ongoing thing.”

A recently departed former KU basketball player had the same experience.

“It’s about who’s more popular on campus with the girls and stuff like that,” said the player, who also requested anonymity. “It’s escalated really bad now, but it’s always been there.”

So what are we to make of this? KU has an ascendant football program — cupcake opponents notwithstanding — but it’s not like the basketball program is slipping. Mount Oread has always been the traditional province of Naismith’s game and its players, but with an upstart, Mangino-led football program, it’s probably only natural that a turf war would erupt. But fights in public? Players being ushered into SUVs and whisked away? Emergency meetings with Self and Mangino? Pretty ridiculous, especially under the watchful eye of the even-keeled (and Uncle Festerian) Lew Perkins.

The local media is all atwitter over the event, and is chronicling the various local opinions. Can we expect suspensions in the matter? Elite athletic schools, of which KU is indisputably one, are loath to suspend the athletes who bring in the money, but in this case the pressure may come down from the new chancellor and old, rich donors who are sick of such juvenile behavior. Stay tuned, I guess.

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Kansas City: Premier Destination For Portly, Imprisoned Baseball Fans

chubbyvisitortoaroyalsgameDon’t you just hate it when you really have your heart set on catching the Red Sox/Royals series, and then you go and get busted for “interference with official acts and violation of a protective order”? Yeah, us too! I mean, here you are looking forward to seeing a mediocre baseball team play a team with the most insufferable fans in the game (“Sully! We drove wicked fah to see the Sawx in this town with bah-becue!”), and then an arrest comes your way. Sigh; life is unfair. Oh, unless you happen to be imprisoned in Keosaqua, Iowa, in which case: have fun at the game!

An Iowa man serving a 10-day jail sentence walked out of jail on Wednesday to attend a baseball game in Kansas City with his family…

Barker will attend the Red Sox game in Kansas City with his father and brother. Barker’s father, Norman, said Wednesday that the family had been planning the trip for 3 months and they haven’t been able to attend a game in 25 years.

Waggoner said Barker’s request was approved “as a special consideration for the family.”

Um. Hadn’t been able to attend a game in 25 years? Perhaps you could have done so had you avoided every Dunkin’ Donuts outlet you passed in that time, sir. And what’s with the general subversion of justice here? Wayne Knight Mr. Barker was convicted of a crime (harassing a local family by calling as many as 60 times a night) — and thus forfeited his right to attend any and all sporting events during the period of his sentence. Nah, nothing about this adds up at all. Glad you chose our city, though.

Photo via KMBC.

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A nice story about Greensburg in today’s NYT, mentioning the work done by KU grad students and staff from local architecture firm BNIM.

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Tyshawn Taylor Blows Old Media’s Mind With Bizarre Facebook Rants

perhapstyshawnshouldsticktostandardinterviewsIf you’re a fan of KU basketball — and good god, you people are everywhere — then you already know that noted student-athlete Tyshawn Taylor got into a bit of a fracas yesternight in front of the Union. Alas, we suppose. The real story here, though, is Taylor’s preferred means for dealing with this situation — namely, by keeping the cyberworld updated on his opinions via grammatically and syntactically questionable Facebook updates.

“I got a dislocated finger ..from throwing a punch ..so don’t let the news paper gas yall up aite,” Taylor wrote.

Minutes earlier, around midnight, he wrote: “real (racial slur)s do real things .. point plankn.”

His earlier posts indicate there may have been escalating tension.

“keep my name out ya’ mouth for you get smacked in it,” he wrote at 11:12 a.m. Tuesday, and 30 minutes later he posted, “never get outta character .. I’m always a G about it.”

About 4 p.m., Taylor posted, “(racial slur)s be muggin me ..you know I’m mugging back.”

We hear that “always a G about it” was actually the rejected title for Billy Joel’s “She’s Always a Woman.” No word yet on what this will mean for Taylor’s future with the Self Crew, though you can see a suspension rounding the corner of Mass St.

Incidentally, “point plankn,” whatever the hell it means, is pretty much the new favorite phrase around the Bovine Comedy offices.

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