Border Wars: The Fight for Nothing at All

Border Wars

I often muse about what it would be like to have relocated to a city without a strong and divisive college rivalry. Don’t get me wrong – I like living in Kansas City (quite a lot, actually). But when I moved here, I was unaware of how significantly one’s alma mater could be translated into a marker of one’s social worth. For those unaware, Kansas City is an urban hub in the Midwest that, despite the name, straddles two states: Kansas and Missouri. While there are a number of colleges and universities within the city itself, Kansas City is populated by very large numbers of people who been schooled at either the University of Missouri, Columbia (“Mizzou” or “MU”), or the University of Kansas (better known as “KU”) in the nearby town of Lawrence. Continue reading “Border Wars: The Fight for Nothing at All”

There’s No Place Like Home, Part 2: How You (Yes, You) Became My Data

magnifying glassA few weeks back, I published a post about the interesting politics behind regional identity, focusing specifically on Kansas City, which is where I currently live.  In that post, I talked about how the narrative of “flyover country” allows certain regions of the United States to be highlighted as valuable, interesting, or otherwise unique at the expense of others depicted as having little cultural value, this despite the fact that such portrayals are often patently false or otherwise completely subjective.  If I may quote and condense that post, my main point was this: Continue reading “There’s No Place Like Home, Part 2: How You (Yes, You) Became My Data”