What’s the haps, hep cats and daddy-o’s?
For many years my byline was a little misleading: “Writes about Sedalia’s youth culture.” This was never really the case — I typically covered topics that were relevant to people of all ages. “Writes about Sedalia from a youthful perspective” might have been a little closer to the truth but that’s too wordy. Now I’m just a “Democrat Columnist.”
But don’t get me wrong; I still understand the youth of Sedalia. It’s not complicated.
Here’s a few tips for invigorating Sedalia’s youth culture:
• Kids these days are embracing technology at an earlier age, and the Internet has begun to affect their taste. Writing words using only letters is so passé — we should replace them as frequently as possible. The letters on every single sign, banner and placard around the city should be replaced with as many characters, numbers and emoticons as possible. Welcome to $3|)@|1@, or better yet, $3|)\/||3. Now that’s | — 33+, bro.
And if a word must stay, then we have to put a pound sign in front of them, so that they can trend on Twitter. Everyone knows that if you have a hashtag, they will tweet. And we can sneak a tiny QR (quick response) code in the middle of it.
• Every member of the city administration should have a social networking presence; to better connect with the community, part of the job description should include maintaining a Twitter account, Facebook profile or a blog where they give the public a little glimpse into their working life of the people who run the city. They can defend unpopular decisions, fight for their favorite local causes and engage the community directly via the Internet. The city of Sedalia Facebook page is a good start.
• We need to wire the entire city with speakers and constantly play music at a reasonable volume, as though we lived in one giant open-air mall. Justin Bieber, Taylor Swift, One Direction, Bruno Mars and Pitbull will be some of the artists featured on rotation, intermixed with songs from Guitar Hero and Glee and that sweet new movie that totally used that one song from like, the ‘70s or whatever.
• They like outrageous style for the sake of outrageous style.
The Oregon Ducks football team has become one of the premiere college teams over the years — they’ve been to two Rose Bowls in four years, and won one of them. They made an appearance in the 2011 national championship game and won the Fiesta Bowl against Kansas State last season.
Part of this resurgence is because of the fine work of now Philadelphia Eagles head coach Charles “Chip” Kelly, but that’s not the only reason. Nike co-founder Phil Knight is an Oregon alumnus and has used the power of his equipment and apparel empire to outfit the Ducks with cutting-edge uniforms. The team rarely ever uses the same uniform combination of jersey, pants and helmet more than once.
Some football purists can’t stand the swaggering style of the Ducks, but word is that the recruits love it.
What’s the point? Obviously we need to start up a Division I NCAA football team right here in Sedalia, and then turn the uniform knob up to 11.
• Or generally, we could make things a little more snazzy around here. Prospective future residents flee Sedalia partly because many things about it are far too conventional. Paint City Hall mirror silver, put purple flames on the sides of the city trucks and draw up plans for a horrible and garish new city welcome sign.
Not many people would immediately recognize Park City, Utah — it’s a town of just more than 7,500 people that is a short, straight line from the corner of Utah’s notch. But once a year it turns into the movie mecca known as the Sundance Film Festival. What do they have that we don’t have?
Furthermore, we should replace all Sedalia floors with bounce floors. Replace the city water with Hawaiian Punch, hire geneticists to create a special color of grass and distribute the seeds to all residents and clear some land to start a junkyard for a highly specific and desirable kind of junk.
Or, uh, maybe not.