August 2008

Kalamazoo College Offends Me: The Cubs/Sox Debate

kalamazoo.college.jpg“All hail to Kazoo all hail,
to our school we will e’er be true.
Let us make the air resound,
let our hearts with joy abound
as we give a cheer to old Kazoo…”

Yeah, sure.  Sounds good. 

Believe me.  I love my alma mater, Kalamazoo College.  Kzoo gave me real world experience.  Kzoo gave me friendships that have survived over a decade now.  Kzoo taught me Chinese, which is the sole skill that ensures I will eat from day to day.  Verily, because of Kalamazoo College, I can gorge and not worry about where my next meal or Old Style is coming from.

Apparently those attributes come at a loss.  Apparently my donations aren’t enough, my participation in “the world is my campus” campaign has not reached enough galaxies.  Apparently the good folks at Kalamzoo College don’t read Red State Blue State.

But they should.

They should know.  How could they not know?  The whole baseball world knows, and since the whole baseball world is perfectly representative of US American life as a whole, one could reasonably assume that Kalamazoo College would have their s**t together.

Obviously not, because they sent me a request to support the Cubbies:

Kalamazoo College.jpgIs it not a careless act to assume that a Kalamazoo College graduate living in Chicago is a Cubs fan?  Is it not presumptuous to automatically characterize a Kalamazoo College graduate living in Chicago as a Cubs fan?  Is it not counterintuitive to the Kalamazoo College creed of “diversity, diversity, diversity” to label me — a Kalamazoo College graduate — as a Cubs fan, simply because I live in Chicago?

Apparently Kzoo — my dear alma mater — has been victimized by the very seedy stereotyping it strives to eschew. 

Look, I get it.  Kalamazoo College ain’t cheap and its typically affluent graduates who move to Chicago tend to move into neighborhoods known for their gentrification and ideal aspirations of the ‘good life’.  Lincoln Park, Gold Coast, Wrigleyville… sure, these are cool, fun neighborhoods where one may oft find me actually enjoying the views; they’re also cool, fun neighborhoods where I don’t live, for I prefer the working-class US American-esque mix of Irish, Italian, Chinese, Mexican and African-American neighborhoods on the Southside. 

drunkcubsfan.jpgAgain, I get it.  It’s cool to be a Cubs fan.  Though I’m not completely sure how this phenomenon developed over a hundred years of tumultuous baseball, I am quite certain that it at least stems from the ballpark’s proximity to meat-market bars full of trust fund college kids; and said trust fund college kids’ ongoing tradition of getting completely obliterated before, during and after the game has somehow led Chicago newbies to embrace the imagery of being a perennial loser.  It’s a party!  Who cares who wins or loses, right?  Getcho drink on!

Do I sound jaded?  You bet your ^ss I am.  Perhaps this is because I have been assaulted by these raucous rowdies on more than one occasion: once in a Wrigley Field restroom, surrounded by meat-heads who did not find my 2006 World Series title patched Yadier Molina jersey acceptable attire for a Cubs/Cardinals game; and once for wearing a pink shirt on my way to a gig near the ballpark (I look good in a pink shirt).  Of course, I am not counting the time I had to walk down Sheffield wearing a blazer (after a game) to meet a friend on the way to the opera because in that instance, the drunken idiot merely threw his beer on me and shouted “don’t you f***ing come around here (*burp*)  dressed… like… that (*puke*)” and I suffered no bruises nor physical injuries — just a brewing dislike for allowing open containers and bumbling idiots on the street.

So yeah.  I’m jaded.  No way around it.  And until I see Wrigleyville clean up its act, I will continue to be.  Believe me dear readers, I know that not all Cub fans are like my “biggest fan” and not all Cub fans are like the socially sterile individuals mentioned above.  Believe me, I know a lot of wonderful, intelligent, successful people who just happen to love the Cubs.  That’s great and they’re wonderful people and I cherish them for that.

But I am sincerely bothered by Chicago outsiders assuming that baseball in Chicago only exists in Wrigleyville, that anything and everything south of Madison Street is equivalent to that found in a war-torn third world country, that if you’re educated and have a decent job there’s no way you can live on the Southside nor support the White Sox. 

Well, I’m sick of it.  The Southside is just as much a part of this city’s baseball culture and metropolitan grandeur as the good folks up north, and if you want to hate me, go ahead, but don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

obamasox2.jpgAnd I’m not alone.  I just happen to be backed up by a modern day messiah who assures me that, Yes, I can.

Let us make the air resound,
let our hearts with joy abound


How’s that for diversity, Kalamazoo?

Peace,

Jeffy

May I Propose a Trade?

kid.crying.jpgAs has happened in years past, the trade deadline frenzy wore me out and left me for dead.  With all the craziness around the league where names like Bay, Ramirez, Griffey, Teixeira, Rodriguez and Farnsworthless are changing into new uniforms, I’m not sure how I should feel.  I know I don’t feel good; but I suppose when it’s all said and done, life could be a lot worse.

Take the Cubs for example.  Having just swept the Brewers, they’re sitting pretty right now atop the NL Central, owning what could be the best starting rotation — thanks to the acquisition of Rich Harden — in the league, yet their fans — frenzied to the max — are out beating up Brewers fans in Milwaukee, bludgeoning Sox fans at little kids’ birthday parties, and writing me continuously obscene hate mail like this:

“…f***in cards s*** no trade no bullpen izzringnhausen is worhtless peace of s*** you f***ing s***hole who wont right me back but you prolly scared coz i put you inyour f***in place you b****. pujols willl prolly break his face from being on such a s****y team. you think ur so hot stuff wel ur not so you can eat a big fat d*** you f** b**** cubs rule sox s*** cards dead…”
cubluvr1995@yahoo.com, July 31, 2008

That sure is some way to express one’s excitement regarding his team’s chances as we get into the latter two months of the season.  Now don’t get me wrong, when the Cardinals or the Sox do well, there’s nothing that makes me feel better than going out and beating the living snot out of a guy or better yet, writing incoherent expletive-ridden emails from the safe anonymity of my mom and dad’s basement.  The difference is: I’m way cool about it.

But the senseless beatings of non-Cub supporters are not that important in the grand scheme of the world.  We US Americans have a decision to make soon; and the way things stand now, that decision won’t be too difficult. 

Recently, Senator John McCain, finally cognizant of the fact that he is about as camera-friendly as a seventy year old scab, hit the airwaves with a new attack ad relating Barack Obama’s popularity of Hope politics to the flagrant shenanigans of infamous celebrities Britney Spears and Paris Hilton.   Uh, yeah.  They’re like one in the same.  I can hardly tell the difference.  Shall we?

Thumbnail image for britney.spears.jpgThumbnail image for obamasox2.jpg

paris.hilton.jpg

Yes, it’s clearly obvious to all who have eyes that Obama’s appeal carries the same sentiment and clamor that comes with these two lovely ladies and their raucous good looks. 

Thank you, John McCain, for taking the time to educate me on this issue.  I’m sure that there is nothing more important you or your campaign could be working on right now what with two wars and an economic crisis being such minor inconveniences.

Dear readers, this odd political angle of strategizing towards the completely ignorant is a bit tired.  This cries out that McCain has lost whatever semblance of an edge he might’ve had at one time and therefore, his message has become stale, moot, boring. 

ron.paul.jpgMay I propose a trade?  Would anyone mind if the GOP pulled out a Manny-like deal and traded John McCain and Rick Davis for Ron Paul?  Sounds like a pretty good deal to me.  Paul is a hard-lined Libertarian-rooted Republican who actually represents the conservative ideals of eradicating Big Government; he also uses the “R” word with conviction and is just as tired of the sickening state of US America as you and I are.  He’s a funny guy — even charming to some degree — and most of all, he would make this race (which, has already become more boring than Clinton v. Dole ’96) an exciting one to watch.

Is it too much to ask the GOP to make this necessary move?  We can extend the deadline… push back the convention if we need to… just this once.  Let’s do it!  I believe that US Americans deserve a good, entertaining political fight and just think of how fun it would be to see Ron Paul and Barack Obama debate the finer points of smoking weed.  Heck, they might even end up agreeing on something!

And that, dear readers, would be a beautiful thing.

Don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeffy

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