The Kansas City Star's Mike Hendricks has published another of his "nothing matters and what if it did" complaints, this one a column slugged "In the 'burbs, does it matter who's KC's mayor?"
From his soft perch on the minivan beat, he observes: "Over the past couple of months, the Kansas City mayor's race has come up exactly zero times in day-to-day conversation with suburban friends and acquaintances who work outside the news media."
Hendricks then hedges a little: "But on the off chance that the subject does arise at my daughter's soccer game or at the grocery checkout, I put the question to friends, co-workers, community leaders and the two guys who faced off in Tuesday's mayoral election."
Wait -- Hendricks leaves his house?
Nah. Why should he? He's a social-networking wizard, able to take the metro's pulse with a few keystrokes:
"I commute into the city every workday and spend more waking hours there than I do in my 'bedroom suburb,' " a pal of mine said via Facebook.
That's a longer answer than Hendricks received from mayoral runner-up Mike Burke's office, to which he apparently posed some kind of "why should people with decks know who KCMO's mayor is" query. He quotes Burke's rep: "Short answer: We are all one community." Hendricks notes that Sly James didn't answer him -- proof that the incoming mayor has a well-calibrated sense of media priorities.
Hendricks notes that he and his quoted Facebook friend both live in Lenexa, before he protests that the place that gave the world Paul Rudd is no mere "bedroom suburb." Perish the thought. It has an Applebee's and everything -- one of the businesses that makes Johnson County, as Hendricks puts it, a "net importer of jobs."
Finally, he wheels out his big gun: Mary Lim-Lampe, chairwoman of Mid-America Regional Council advisory committee One KC Voice.
"For a community organizer, it's hard to convince people we're interconnected," she tells him.
He mulls this over, gives a sage nod and then weeps for community organizers: "The job might be easier were there a unified transit system or another bistate effort like the Union Station redo." The columnist sighs a halfhearted closing zinger: "But don't hold your breath."
Wait, Mike, wait -- don't go yet. Are you saying your neighbors should give a happy Lenexa fuck about Kansas City, Missouri, and help build it a toy train? Or are you saying Kansas Citians should dry their net-job-loss tears and get over Johnson County? Someone get on Facebook and ask him.