By CHRIS PACKHAM
Graduation Season: In what can only be construed as a colossal mistake by the regents at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, I gave the commencement address to the graduating class this week.I'd called the business office to yell at someone about some bullshit fees they were still trying to collect for some classes I'd dropped out of years ago, and every time somebody told me they couldn't help me, I'd demand to talk to their immediate superior. Against all plausibility, I eventually got kicked all the way up the ladder to university Chancellor Dr. Guy H. Bailey. There was some miscommunication on my end, and Bailey somehow came away with the idea that I was the Carl Sagan Endowed Chair of Astrophysics at Cornell.
Most regulation commencement addresses affirm the student's search for knowledge while looking toward their future, and unfortunately, as a millenarian fundamentalist Christian, I actually don't believe that any of these students have one -- except insofar as boiling for all eternity in a sea of hog entrails is a "future." I opened with the observation that, in event of Holy Rapture, my gown and mortarboard would be "unmanned." I'd just gotten to the part of the Book of Revelation where the plague of indestructible locusts led by Apollyon, chief demon of the abyss, ravage the wicked forces of the antichrist, when Bailey personally dragged me away from the microphone and security hustled me out of the building.
Similarly, I expect that sooner or later, someone is going to drag Ross Balano, my new favorite Midwest Voices columnist, away from his keyboard, probably screaming "ATTICA! ATTICA!" On Wednesday, he coined a new term, "Big Abortion," to refer to the mammoth multinational corporate abortion industry you read so much about in the Wall Street Journal. It's a callback to archaic business writing terminology such as "Big Steel" and "Big Cotton" that your great-grandfather used back when he was giving Werther's Original candies to your grandfather for being such a special, special little boy. Today, Balano is accusing Kansas Governor Kathleen Sebelius of, uh, personally advocating for back-alley abortions, or something? It's priceless, and related to Dr. George Tiller and Phill Kline. It appears on the same page as the obstinately sane Yael T. Abouhalkah, demonstrating the diversity of opinion at Midwest Voices, which bodes well for the future of the Star until such a time as the Euphrates River dries up and is prepared for battle from the armies of the east.
Does Craig Nigrelli think girls are yucky? A special investigative report: In an unintentional shopping mall caricature of the "straight" community confronting the "freaks," Craig Nigrelli at KCTV Channel 5 exposes the Ménage nightclub in the West Bottoms in a shocking report set to an extended dance remix of the late Robert Palmer's "Some Like it Hot."But don't get the wrong idea: Nigrelli definitely does not like it hot, soundtrack notwithstanding, as evidenced by his on-camera bullying of a not-at-all douchey-looking club manager. He also gets on-camera comments from some pleasantly trashy-looking club patrons outside -- for such a stridently anti-boner correspondent, Nigrelli's report sure does linger over a lot of exposed flesh. When management wouldn't allow cameras into the club, a KCTV Channel 5 producer went undercover, paying the $20 cover and presumably gawking at patrons like a farmboy visiting the big city for the first time. He gives his sexxxy eyewitness account of all the sexxxy sexiness from behind an identity-obscuring, and very sexxxy red drape. Definitely worth watching if you're a fan of inherent, unintentional contradictions, which I totally am. TEN POINTS FOR GRYFFINDOR!
Suck it, you provincial hill-folk: As usual, I spent the morning looking for local media stories which I could then make fun of, when Google threw up this unexpectedly insulting road block:
Maybe Kansas City isn't large or populous, Google News. And maybe we do have open sewage running through our toniest shopping district. And sure, our schools teach the controversy, but at least our kids know that the power of prayer is the only real way to keep the AIDS off, as evidenced by our African-level rates of HIV infection. Maybe we don't have your fancy cars or your flashy clothes, Mr. Google, but we have our pride, and a vibrant Payday Loan District, and also apparently at least one sex club. And you can never take that away.