Monday, November 5, 2018

Microstory 966: Kansas City

I was born at a very young age in central Kansas. We moved around a lot, but always in either Kansas or Missouri. I live close enough to the border that I still spend a lot of time on the other side—I even work there all the time, including today—though I have no intention of moving to KCMO permanently. As I grew up, I felt like I didn’t understand the way people lived on the coasts. I didn’t dislike them, but I perceived a difference between me and them. I’m a midwesterner, and have no interest in changing that. A lot of people love where they’re from, or where they live now. But I do want to point out a difference between my town, and these others, while simultaneously making it clear I don’t think this applies to literally everyone. There’s an obsession that runs in the blood of all New Yorkers, and all Angelenos, all Seattleites, and so on. Many are so fiercely loyal to their respective cities that they either think everyone who doesn’t live there desperately wishes we were so honored, or we’re simply loyal to our own terrible homes. Go Interchangeable Sports Team! How many television series do you know that are set in one of the major coastal cities, or Chicago? Too many to name. Wikipedia lists only a handful set in KC, and I’ve only heard of two of them. I think the Z Nation gang passed through once. None of them is or was shot anywhere near here. Switched at Birth never had any seasons, and all the houses used blatant California architecture. So what’s the difference between you and me? Well, I love Kansas City. I love living in the suburbs, so a trip downtown isn’t too far, but also isn’t right here. We have all the good restaurant franchises, and a hoppin’ nightlife, even though that’s not my particular scene. That’s just like you. The difference is most of us recognize that it’s just a frickin’ city. There’s nothing inherently different about living here than somewhere else. You may think Hell’s Kitchen has the best pizza shop in the world, but guess what? The best anything doesn’t exist, because billions of other people live on this rock, and every one of them has their own tastes. This need to express an us versus them mentality is only detrimental to humanity’s progress, and does not reflect reality in the least. So thank you, Kansas City, for being citizens of the world. Someone should make a show about you. We can start with the thirteen or so I’ve come up with that don’t take place on alien worlds.

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