The Arrogant and Dismissive Times
A Journal Within a Journal
Several readers of my Downtown Kansas City Journal have wondered why I have posted very few items in said journal lately. I do not mean to neglect Kansas City as if it were an unimportant metropolis unworthy of my cosmopolitan attention. I feel that the Heart of America demeanor as it is presently displayed by Kansas Citians is representative of the average attitude of the people of the United States. Furthermore, I believe certain dominant institutions in Kansas City, Missouri, are virtual microcosms of larger modes of economic and political behavior. The smaller number of institutions and fewer power elite in Kansas City make the city a quick study for researchers who wish to understand the very heart of the United States of America.
I have neglected my Kansas City journal because I have been busy with several of my other projects. I will do my best to post something to the Kansas City journal from time to time. In fact, I have good news today: I plan on starting a journal within my Kansas City journal, entitled The Arrogant and Dismissive Times. I came up with the bright idea after reading an article in The Kansas City Star, wherein people in the know were quoted as saying that Jonathan Kemper, a member of the Kemper Family Dynasty, was "arrogant and dismissive." Since then, I have interviewed others who know him - acquaintances, associates, employees. Without any prompting from me, they described him as "arrogant and dismissive," someone who "turns his back on you."
I have not met Jonathan Kemper, but I have seen him a dozen times or so in the company of dignitaries, and I must report that the man has a kindly smile on most days, perhaps because I saw him around the building we both love, the one he made happen, "Jonathan's Building" - the new housing for the downtown Central Library.
As most of my readers know, I contacted Mr. Kemper on numerous occasions over the last several months, particularly in regard to my suggestion, submitted in the form of screeds, that the title, The Praise of Folly, by Desiderius Erasmus, be one of the titles displayed along with the others on the wall of the new library's parking garage. I also hand-delivered a "dedication" of the new library that I composed, with thanks to Jonathan Kemper for making the new library happen. Jonathan Kemper did not respond to any of the above.
I submitted the dedication to numerous local editors, all of whom declined publication. A Kansas City Star reporter (I think it was Eric Adler) contacted me about it, but he immediately lost interest and cut me off when he discovered that neither Jonathan Kemper nor any other very important person had commissioned me to write it. He figured I was a nobody, and he was correct - I am a nobody drifting through Kansas City's Compassion Zone, hence my activities are un-newsworthy if not unworthy.
Arrogant and dismissive. Well, I thought, I am myself arrogant and dismissive at times, as are many other people, so why single out poor (I mean rich) Jonathan Kemper? For one thing, his acquaintances claim arrogance and dismissiveness is a special fault among Kansas City's family dynasties. That is to say, they can afford to be openly arrogant and dismissive except when communing with people of their own kind. Still, I have encountered arrogant and dismissive people everywhere in downtown Kansas City society - on the street, on busses, in food courts, on escalators, in skywalk links, on elevators, in lower offices, in upper offices. Just yesterday I smiled at a lady in a suit and winked - she stuck her nose up in the air and ignored me with an expression that seemed to indicate that I had almost made her vomit.
Yes, I did notice that the higher one goes in a skyscraper, especially at the top levels where men wear big watches and phallic symbols of just the right length, the density of people who are arrogant and dismissive towards a nobody like myself increases, at least when I am not wearing one of their uniforms - in proper attire and given my acting skills I can usually breach their security. No doubt the general public are more interested in them than in the arrogant and dismissive grunts beneath them. Therefore I shall from time to time have something to say about the arrogance and dismissiveness at the highest levels of the Heart of America.
Downtown Kansas City Journal
June 24, 2004