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:
Is 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.
Again, 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.
And 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?