Tag Archives: KC Star

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

In Which The Star Politely Requests That We Stop Stealing Its Stuff

nojoewedidntstealthisoneHow do you know when you’ve reached a certain level of notoriety? When you’re called a thief by the powers that be at the city’s paper of record, of course. And now, alas and at last, we’ve joined the rarefied ranks of those accused of purloining photos from the Star. We received a very polite but stern email from one Joe Ledford, Assistant Managing Editor for photography, in which he firmly says “Hey. We took those. Stop stealing them.” Fair enough.

To whom it may concern,

The Kanas City Star photo department is requesting that you immediately discontinue using The Kansas City Star copyright photos from your web site. Posted on your web site today was an image of  “stretch” and another image from the Renaissance Festival.

Thank you for your cooperation

Despite the mangled grammar — misspelling “Kansas,” using “copyright” instead of “copyrighted,” using “from” instead of “on” — we get the general message. However, when I replied to ask if Joe would like us to take down the photos in question, I got zilch. Nada. Cold shoulder. So, Joe, since you have obviously read this site in the past, I’ll ask you this way: you want us to take down these photos or what? We don’t want to get sued. Comment or email, if you please.

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Filed under Crime, Media, The Arts

Evaluating the Star‘s Position In A Shifting Media Landscape

IMG_1668We’re frequently hard on the local paper of record around these parts, but our complaints are spurred by our great disappointment in the apparent demise of a once-great institution. The Fourth Estate is a vital part of both our culture and our democratic republic, and it saddens us greatly to see newspapers around the country facing bankruptcy — or worse. We understand that financial necessity often dictates who can and cannot stay on staff at a newspaper, and we further admit that each of us was a liberal arts major, making us woefully inadequate in the world of business analysis (even if we do contend that most business curricula are shockingly ill-conceived and irrelevant). However, a visual interpretation of the Star and two print cousins makes for an appropriate and rather disturbing case study. After the jump, visual comparisons and a bit of a discussion about just why this is so bad. MORE

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Crazy Star Blogger Walter Winch Declares End Of Modern World; Claim Falls Into Unread Internet Ether

walterwinchhasamessageforyoukansascityTracking the asinine online ramblings of Star blogger Walter Winch (though please note that the paper takes care to separate itself from his opinions on the KC Earth Notes blog) has long been a peculiar passion of ours. Where else can one find the sprawling diatribes of a man committed to the cause of environmental fundamentalism — in the venue of a totally unread and widely ignored online forum? The answer, quite simply, is “nowhere.” That’s why we were somewhat alarmed to see that Walter has gone ahead and declared the end of the whole structure of industrial capitalism; after all, doesn’t this mean we’re in a bit of trouble? Have we plum tuckered out the system? Is Walter right? Does this transcend mere Earth-caretaking and point to something larger within our nature? Let’s let him explain it.

Our global economic system that has been unfolding over the past one-hundred years or so will, I think, slowly (maybe not so slowly) creak to a halt. It’s unsustainable, especially if another two billion people believe they’re entitled to the same standard of living as much of the West has had over at least the last 60 years…

If we Americans can take our blinders off fairly soon (being optimistic), we just might be able to adapt better and faster than anyone else to the changes that are rapidly approaching. No motherhood, apple pie, and free-market blather will stop what’s coming our way.

NOOO! According to Walter — who truly boasts one of the worst photos anywhere on the Star‘s site; he looks like an extra from The Last Starfighter — we need to make some serious changes, and fast. So, how was this bold prediction greeted on the Earth Notes blog? Um… crickets. No comments. No angry emails or letters to the editor. In a word: yawn. Come on, people! Do ye not realize that Walter is like a modern-day shrouded prophet? One day soon, our global system will indeed fall — and Walter will be there laughing at your lamentations. Of course, no one will hear him then, either. Alas.

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Olathe Woman Trumps Health Care Opponents With Wild Misreading Of Bible

marygoodwinssaviorYou know who hated Obamacare? Jesus. No, it’s true! The lackluster carpenter and sometime savior — curiously, also one of history’s most prominent liberals — was a committed opponent of the Big Government solution. Don’t believe us? Just ask Mary Goodwin of Olathe, the metro area’s holiest hamlet. In a letter to the Star (via the Unfettered Letters blog, which is perhaps the greatest source of comedy in KC), Mary offers both a searing indictment of government-run health care and a perplexing misinterpretation of everyone’s favorite story book. Mary plays the antepenultimate trump card (assuming the penultimate and ultimate trump cards can only come from Jesus and God, respectively — in nomine patris et filii, after all): we shouldn’t support health care because Jesus wouldn’t support it. Poor logic, thy name is Mary Goodwin.

I have found recent letters in The Star implying that God would be in favor of a government-run health care plan ridiculous. One of those letters (8/16) purported to be from a minister who had seen several people suffer because of a lack of medical insurance.

I would urge these individuals to read the Bible again. Not once did Jesus say it was the role of government to take care of the needy. He said you should do it. Expecting the government to take money from one party and give it to another is to support a violation of the Eighth Commandment, “You shall not steal.”

Next time you are concerned about someone in need, don’t call for the government to empty the pockets of others to take care of that person’s needs. Empty your own.

Where to begin? First, it’s true that Jesus never said the government should take care of the needy (render unto Caesar, etc.) — but let’s remember that J.C. was operating under a Roman pseudo-dictatorship, not a pluralistic republican government. While we’re at it, let’s recall that Jesus never addressed a great many things, abortion among them. Second, saying that public health care violates the Eighth Commandment is simply a befuddling misreading of that particular portion of the famed dectet. What the big man meant that day on Mount Sinai is that you should not actively take things from your neighbor, not that wealth cannot be redistributed in equitable means.

Further, by this reasoning, our entire tax structure represents a violation of the Eighth Commandment — aren’t my tax dollars being taken and being used to support roads in poor neighborhoods? Blasphemy! Finally, we’d gently remind Ms. Goodwin that we’re already paying for the care of those who cannot afford it, via emergency room and indigent care, which is often bizarrely overlooked by opponents of public health care. So is it an idea Jesus would support? Maybe. Maybe not. What we can be certain of is that Mary is no expert in exegesis.

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Filed under Media, Politics, Religion

Star Sports Blog Dabbles In Austrian Philosophy

wiselyusedinuponfurtherreviewThe Star boasts some pretty mediocre offerings when it comes to the blog department — ahem — but for some time we’ve been fans of Upon Further Review, the paper’s SABRish, by-the-numbers blog. It fires much-deserved shots across the bow of the Tim McCarvers of the world, and provides a nice analytical take of local sports franchises. And imagine our surprise when we got a glimpse of today’s Favre-centric post and espied a photo of Ludwig Wittgenstein, philosophy megastar and hero of linguistics nerds the world over. They use a famous quote of his (complete with anachronistic spelling!) to describe the media madness behind the Brett debacle, but that’s not the extent of this blog’s good stuff:

And as for Favre Fatigue, is that really his fault? Or is it the result of a ubiquitous media blare that never shuts down? The information machine not only never stops churning, but it has a nasty tendency to grab hold of one particular batch of high-octane fuel and burn every last drop.

Huh. From the sea of gray flannel paragraphs emerges some well-dressed prose. Much of what you read on the Star‘s blogs isn’t worthy of a high school paper, but this one (along with Faith Matters, Dollars & Sense, Crime Scene KC, TV Barn, and Back to Rockville) stands as a contender. Nice work.

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KC Star No Longer Pussyfooting Around With Headlines; Vows To Call ‘Em As They See ‘Em

bicycle_thiefYikes, the Star is not mincing words when it comes to describing bike thieves:

Thugs beat cyclist, steal his bike in River Market area

Two thugs beat a 49-year-old man with a 2-by-4-inch piece of wood and stole his bicycle Thursday night near Fifth and Oak streets.

The victim, who lives in the area, was walking with his 10-speed bike about 7 p.m. when one man hit him in the head with the wood, knocking the victim down. That attacker and another man then punched the victim in the chest and abdomen and took his bike.

Holy crap, a two-by-four? Indeed, that is a key thuggery tool.

The kansascity.commenters are already all over this story — in fact, we’re going to give a few of them the stage…er…computer screen for a moment. Read on for some entertaining bits… Continue reading

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Filed under Crime, In the News, Race & Ethnicity, Strange news