A year or so ago, after moving to Lawrence, I kind of half-assed launched a companion website called Lawrence Confidential. The objective; take advantage of my being stationed here in LA and try and offer this laid back, basketball-crazy burg an alternative news and entertainment option.
After all, with the exception of the odd tabloid that came and went over the years – the Lawrence Journal World and the small town boss hawgs in the Dolph Simons family had thingspretty well buttoned up when it came to what passes for news here.
Alas I was too ambitious, a crazy year got the better of me and I didn’t have the horsepower to make a full time go of it.
The flip side of that coin?
As the recently defrocked editor of the Journal World told me the other day, this town is just too sleepy, too content, too complacent. And frankly, I have to agree.
There’s a handful of business dudes who run roughshod over the populace – often with the blessings of KU – and the rest of the folks are divided among those to whom college basketball is the center post of their lives and/or they’re suffering from a lifelong affliction of chronic shoulder shrugging.
Because when you get right down to it, after a little more than a year of living here, I haven’t the foggiest notion of what defines this town, outside of basketball and the mundane presence of the university and its ubiquitous student population and rental properties.
Let me drill down a bit further…
There are no true, standup civic leaders in Lawrence, not one…not really.
Just self-dealing, vested interests. That and a 95,000 strong herd of “contented cows.”
It took too much time to just manage a separate site. Time that I could have better spent writing a story of four every week. And by consolidating the two, that’s what I hope to accomplish.
I’ve always thought of Lawrence as a suburb of Kansas City.
That’s why I wrote about it so often in my column in the Kansas City Star. Some sports fans from Missouri and K-State thought it was because I was a homer for the Hawks, but I’m an Arizona dude. And now that I’m bunking here, the cult-like status of the Jayhawks is a total turnoff, rest assured.
No, I write about KU and Lawrence because it’s a satellite of Kansas City. Cowtowners come here for all sorts of reasons – to shop, buy clothes, dine out, partake of entertainment options – just like I did.
Pardon my saying so, but damn few people in Kansas City make a habit of hanging out in Columbia, Missouri or Manhattan, Kansas. Nor do they care much what goes on in those towns outside of sports or some dramatic crime happening.
Things like Starbucks screwing over the locals. Rumors about KU coach Bill Self‘s sex life. The nastiest, rodent-infested movie theater in the region and the health department that continues to turn a blind eye to the situation.
So as I prepare to turn out the lights and direct the other site here, allow me to liberate a few stories for you in the next day or two that ran on Lawrence Confidential in the interest of maybe showing you what you missed, what you might expect and preserving them for posterity.
Thanks for listening…