The jury is no longer out…
Not George Zimmerman’s murder trial, I’m talking about the pending demise of bookstores (and down the road libraries). You don’t have to drive very far to pass the fossilized remains of once booming businesses like Blockbuster Video. Drive into Lawrence on K10 for a KU basketball or (shudder) football game and you’ll pass one.
Blockbuster didn’t even have enough pride or cash left to strip the signage off its building, so it stands as a high profile reminder that DVDs and retail video rental are not long for this earth.
Kinda makes you feel sorry for what remains of the once giant corporation. Until you think back to the thousands of mom and pop video stores Blockbuster ball-busted. Continue reading
About that Negro Leagues museum controversy Kansas City Star readers were treated to yesterday…
For starters it’s a rehash of a story that ran on Alabama.com last fall. Minus, of course, some of the positive points the proposed Birmingham Negro Leagues museum will have that KC’s Negro League’s museum doesn’t.
“What we don’t want to happen is a museum just for the sake of history,” says Chuck Faush, chief of staff to Birmingham Mayor William Bell. “It has to be living, breathing history.”
A museum with fewer static artifacts like KC’s and “more focus on interactive technology than stagnant displays,” Fausch says. “We’re taking a 21st Century approach that historians and enthusiasts alike are going to want to be interactive. It’s going to have to be an experience.”
That’s undoubtedly one reason Kansas City’s Negro Leagues museum is worried.
And opening up a satellite branch in a former YMCA on the Paseo hardly seems a cure. Continue reading
Fresh off the announcement that Graham Zusi, Matt Besler, and Aurelien Collin had been named to the starting 11 for the MLS All-Star Game, Sporting Kansas City picked up a much needed win in steamy Chicago.
And all three of them had good days on the pitch. Zusi picked up a curling goal in the 7th minute, on what looked at first to be a cross. But the ball bent and bent, and Kei Kamara provided just enough of a distraction to the Chicago keeper, allowing the lob to find the side netting. Continue reading
A tip of the hat to today’s Sunday Star…
I’ve been bagging on the Sunday newspaper a lot, citing its lack of news content. Hey, if they want to keep up – in a small town way – with the Sunday New York Times, the Star needs to at least make its filler features somewhat newsy. For example, by adding investigative pieces.
As usual today, there’s no real front page news, but at least Mike Hendricks piece about a rival Negro Leagues museum in Birmingham, Alabama and (yet) another feature milking the so-called controversy over building a billion dollar airport (that won’t cost local taxpayers a dime) had news flavorings.
That said, I’m not sure what to say about today’s third front pager, a ditty about a small town Missouri store that sells Peach Nehi Floats every summer.
Washington is ablaze with immigration issues…
Illegal immigration, to be specific. Like the border security bill being debated with finger pointing galore by both parties.
Do I have an opinion?
Damn right, I do, and it’s bipartisan!
You see, the issue is personal to me, and several people have brought it up lately. Continue reading
Thou shall not steal…
Whether tis nobler to win the hand of fair company by straightforward, above board bargaining, or merely to wheel out the local largess and leave the tab to taxpayers to be choked down a later point. Like former KC Mayor Kay Barnes did when she gave away the farm downtown and left taxpayers in the lurch at the Power & Light District and Kemper Arena.
Ever since, the mantra at the Kansas City Star has been something akin to, Don’t make ridiculous deals to lure businesses across state lines – especially from Missouri to Kansas – via sweetheart tax giveaways.
Which is pretty much what Topeka did in enticing Mars Chocolate away from the however many cities and states in what Saturday’s headline in the Star describes as “A Sweet Deal.”
Sweet indeed, but for whom? Continue reading
What a difference a career makes
Sometimes, when you hope and dream about something long enough, it can come true. A mysterious boil on your privates retracts, allowing you to sleep a little easier. The utility company made a mistake and they owe YOU some money instead, chief. The stink that had you contemplating the cost of an exterminator? That was just your daughter’s hamster decaying softly behind the bookshelf.
And one morning you wake up, and the Kansas City Royals made all the moves you wanted them to make.
Jeff Francoeur, jettisoned.
Chris Getz in Omaha.
Kelvin Herrera, ditto.
All is right with the world except for the fact that the team is still maddeningly inconsistent and, despite an early June flurry of success, no closer to being a true contender than before. Continue reading
As the opening whistle approached, the rain let up and a huge rainbow appeared over Sporting Park…
So in front of yet another sell out crowd, KC started with a good spark, good energy.
Though the visiting Vancouver Whitecaps have never beaten KC, they got the next best thing thanks to a perfect free kick from Camilo in the second half that leveled the score at one apiece, which is how the game ended. Continue reading
I got a video from Mark Helprin which was an interview in Chicago about his new book and I’ve transcribed it here for you.
I sent Helprin some of my posts last week and he sent me a You-Tube video of his interview at a Chicago event last fall (11-28-12)about his new book; “In Sunlight and In Shadow,” a novel set in New York right after the war.
The two lead characters bear more than a passing resemblance to Mark’s parents and the book is rightly seen as a tribute to that generation, now as it is about to pass from the scene. I met Mark more than twenty years ago through politics.
(We were introduced by Armand Eisen, a classmate at Pembroke Country Day School).
Helprin is responding to the question:”What is your new book about?” asked of him by an interviewer at the Chicago Humanities Festival: Continue reading
In another life I’d have been at the KCBOT that last Friday for its sad send off…
I earned my first paycheck there when I volunteered to help out over the Christmas holidays in the mailroom of my family’s firm, B.C. Christopher & Company. I was 15, pretty much a geek and $1.25 an hour was a lot of dough to me then. So much so, that when I returned the following summer, my dad refused to let me to work any overtime – even though they needed me – because he didn’t want me ranging around loose with too much money.
I graduated to the elevator department a year or two later. We leased or owned and operated about 30 country grain elevators and merchandised grain purchased directly from farmers in small towns like Mayfield, Kentucky and Gideon, Missouri. We sold it to firms that either processed the grain (like Archer, Daniels, Midland) and/or exported it (like Louis Dreyfus). Continue reading
Don’t worry about the silly things that this Country was founded upon…
Like Freedom. Because 237 years later we’re a shell of what we used to be. We’re nothing but an Empire rotting from within. Look at how many people are unemployed and are having to depend on welfare and food stamps if you don’t believe me.
This 4th of July caused me to look around at what we’ve become.
Everything is backwards. Lawyers subvert the law. Doctors dont heal anymore, just medicate. Teachers indoctrinate and punish free thought. Journalists peddle propaganda and avoid the truth. And our politicians are morally bankrupt and treat their constituents like serfs.
Maybe after 237 years America has lost its way? Continue reading
Just back from three days of sunbaked, 117 degree Las Vegas…
If you’ve never experienced that sort of heat before, here’s what it is like. Visualize stepping out of a pleasant, 78 degree, air-conditioned hotel lobby into a 117 degree oven. It’s almost like inhaling fire. And all that garbage about at least there’s no humidity doesn’t much matter at that point. It sucks the energy right out of you.
One of the must stops for my grandson Gage (and in all fairness for me, too)was In-N-Out Burger. Especially after all we’ve been hearing about that hamburger haven for the past several years. We hit the closest one to the Bellagio where we were staying at Dean Martin Drive and Tropicana, a $10 taxi ride away.
And trust me, we were prepared to experience the world’s greatest hamburger.
Not my friend’s half-drunk dad.
“Don’t blow off a finger or put an eye out or anything…”
That’s the advice my friend’s half-drunk dad gave us as he handed over a stained cardboard box filled with ages-old bottle rockets, blooming flowers, black cats, and Roman candles. We nodded our 10 year-old heads way too fast and ran off with the loot.
We finally figured out how to use a lighter after 5 minutes of jacking with it and lit up two crumbly punks. Did we blow a finger off or put out an eye or anything? No. But only due to dumb luck. We did, however, terrorize motorists, the neighborhood cats, and the old lady across the street.
Be safe out there people… Continue reading
It ain’t easy being Craig Glazer…
Truth be told, it’s a lot of work. There are hotties to bang (and put up with), wee hours radio and television shows to ferry comics to, movie deals to be made and exotic British sports cars to be driven. And that’s just the fun stuff.
There’s also a business to be run, bills to be paid, staffers to be hired and dealt with and a looming expansion back to Midtown Kansas City in the hooper. It’s a dirty job at times, and the gentleman we lovingly call The Scribe has to do it.
Which brings us to David Hudnall‘s cover story about “the Glaze” in the Pitch.
Glazer’s from one to ten take on the journalistic mugging? Continue reading
Don’t look now but notorious KC bad boy Craig Glazer – a KC Confidential refugee – is this week’s Pitch cover boy…
Courtesy of Pitch music and entertainment main man David Hudnall. The Scribe tells me the curtain will part sometime after 10 p.m. tonight on the alt weekly’s website – print pubs to follow tomorrow.
What to expect?
Pretty much anything and everything, since it appears Hudnall spent the better part of a month running down everybody from me to Craig’s dad, to the odd ex and however many Hollywood types.
Any shockers? Continue reading
When it comes to turning one’s passion into reality, few personalities are more strong-willed than Johnny Depp and producer Jerry Bruckheimer…
The long and winding road they traveled in order to turn the 1950’s Lone Ranger television series into a powerful tribute western took six years to pull off.
One major setback came in 2011 when Disney announced that production on the film would be delayed due to budget concerns—which were apparently spiraling at an alarming pace.
After alterations to the massive cinematic undertaking, production continued.
The final industry-estimated price tag: A whopping $250 million. Continue reading
After enduring absences from a half dozen of their regulars over the last month or so due to international duty, Sporting KC finally was able to field their “A” lineup on Saturday night.
Soony Saad got the nod up top, in for suspended CJ Sapong. And Benny Feilhaber was replaced with Lawrence Olum, who dropped into the Julio Cesar role from last year. Both Saad and Olum played well – Saad was probably the man of the match. Continue reading
A moment of silence please for the festival known as Kanrocksas…
Someday in the distant future, pop culture historians will look back – in momentary lapses of trivial pursuits – and wonder at what was to have become Kansas City’s Bonnaroo or Lollapalooza. Alas, it was not to be as the ambitious music fest imploded a month before showtime, leaving 70 or so bands to fend for themselves.
Enter promoter Live Nation, which stitched together a stellar lineup of Kanrocksas bound bands that came thisclose to selling out Starlight Theatre Friday with a kick ass five band bill, headlined by rapidly rising star, Imagine Dragons. Continue reading
What’s the matter with Kansas?
If we’re talking about the city of Lawrence and the KU Jayhawks basketball team, plenty. I live in Lawrence now and even though I still spend a ton of time in Kansas City, this town and this university isn’t all that hard to figure out.
I’ve got three words to describe how things are run here: Good Old Boy. Continue reading
When a man makes an “Oklahoma Guarantee” it behooves him to live up to it…
To that end, help yourself to this collection of letters from a group of school kids that I conducted a tour of the Kansas City Board of Trade for in 1981 while a member.
Today’s the last day of trading for the KCBOT. May the Kansas City Wheat contract as we know it rest in peace:
“Dear Mr. Christopher,
Thank you very much for taking time off work to show us around. My favorite part of the Board of Trade was when we saw the pit. I thought it was sort of funny when all the men would hassle one man and that man would try frantically to write everything down.
******* Continue reading