Counter-culture Journals (文革)

Counter-culture Journals (文革)

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Showing soon at the Intrust Bank Stadium

Here in the magic town of Wichita, in the armpit of Kansas, we now have a new name for a new stadium: The Instrust Bank Stadium. Were did we get this wonderful name? Does it have some magic or historical meaning? Does it just sound good when rock shows come to perform (if any ever do) Or, is it the $8.75 million the bank will give this stadium in exchange for the name.First we need a history of the stadium itself. A few years back a group of people, with a lot of money, approached the city council requesting a downtown stadium that would require moving or removing many old businesses and major reconstruction of the downtown area. Noticing that Wichita already has areanas it can't fill most of the time, the council voted it down.Next, the new arena people, not willing to take "no" for an answer, ran a petition drive to put the new area to a vote. The real fun began when our TV's were bomb blasted half hourly with commercial trying to get us to vote for a 1 cent sales tax that we would hardly notice for a year to build this arena, that we just had to have. They played games with the numbers on its cost and told outright distortions of the truth that even our local news paper, the Wichita Eagle had exposed.What really helped them was the youth vote wanting good concerts in Wichita from groups that often pass the town buy. The pro-arena people argued that a downtown arena would attract more groups and be cheaper to use than having to drive a few miles out of town for the Coliseum, our presently used convention centre for visiting bands.But when I called a few years ago asking why we get so few bands coming into Wichita, I was told they can't sell enough tickets here and they can't fill the stadiums we have. Interestingly enough our Wichita Eagle reported that Intrust has agreed to give another $1.75 million for a luxury suite and tickets to arena events.With ticket prices running from $60 to $160 per ticket for the average band, many young teens just don't have the money. How much do they save not having to drive as far as 5 miles from the north end of town and will that gas money really make these tickets more affordable.There are other problems. The city had trouble finding a good place for this monstrosity, there still won't be adequate parking and some of the businesses they pushed out are aimed at the poor, such as DAVs and they can't afford to relocate, they will just shut down.But someone is making a lot of money off this "white elephant," so it is now a reality- even though many of us saw through the hype. That brings us back to the name. We have Century II, the Coliseum and in the past we've had stadiums named after either famous people or rich folks that paid enough to get their names on a building, as if they were some major war hero or a founding father. When I was in high school we had a lot of groups come to these other theatres and a heavy sounding voice always promoted them. However there's something weird about hearing "Now playing at the Intrust Bank Arena: Frank Zappa and the Mothers, followed by the Heavy ('70s lingo folks) sounds of Black Sabbath and Pink Floyd." Imagine the shimmering and distorted heavy voice for that special affect. And at that time tickers were as cheap as $4.Back in my days Frank Zappa wouldn't play a building he couldn't tell from a bank. Some of us would wonder if Pink Floyd was going to pay there or open a checking account. And the grand daddy question of all: Does every building in the city have to be named after a corporate logo?So far in the magical whimsical surreal city of Wichita, the answer is yes. Everything you own and every park bench, must have a corporate logo. Don't leave home without one.

If your clothes and every item you own doesn't have one of these ---- your just not really an American. You lousy commy!

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