Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Blogger Appreciation: Tony's Kansas City

Like it or not, Tony's Kansas City is the 800 pound gorilla of the Kansas City blogosphere. Just as local politicians assure me that they never read my blog (even as they discuss what I've written), local bloggers often claim not to read Tony. It's a subtle attempt to deny the oversized impact Tony carries.

A list of legitimate complaints against Tony could consume a lot of pixels before exhaustion. He's sexist. He's racist, while frequently resorting to the race card. He's often wrong on the facts, and he's unapologetic about it. He's wildly unfair to some, and he has been cruel to good people. He's an abrasive braggart. And so on.

I'm not here to explain all that away. There's no big "but" that I can add on to that prior paragraph to explain how those things don't matter, or that they are overshadowed by a greater good.

Tony has, however, created a space for the rest of us, and democratized the local internet presence. Nobody is quicker to recognize and draw attention to new blogs, and direct the attention of his readers to the work of a beginner.

More importantly, he's created a freedom to be your own voice. By being as obnoxious as he is, Tony has deflated the pomposity of local bloggers before they get too full of themselves. By being rude and insulting, he inoculates us from the deadening weight of being on our best behavior at all times.

On a deeper level, Tony's work approaches performance art. What does it say about Kansas City that serious people in polite company have mentioned the alleged lack of footwear on the Mayor's wife? Similarly, can anybody deny that the Star's editorial board yearns for Tony's ability to recognize and generate interest in a story? Who knows how many journalists might still be drawing a paycheck if the Star had Tony's ability to predict what stories will capture attention?

Finally, let's not forget the incredible amount of work that goes into putting a blog out. Tony produces more links, more commentary, and more entertainment than any other local online presence. And he does it on days when he's tired. He does it on days when he just wants a break. He does it when he's down in the dumps, and on days when his mind is simply empty. His consistency is astounding - all by one guy.

I disagree with Tony on many things, but no other blogger has had as big an impact on Kansas City. More than any individual in town, he has stood up for the average Joe's right to be heard, and he has poked pretense in the eye. He has done it with mind-boggling persistence and occasional hilarity. He is an amplifier for the local blog scene, and, without him, we might still be heard, but the tone might be too mellow to notice.

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17 Comments:

Blogger m.v. said...

totally agree. he does staggering amount of work and half of my reader is filled up with links I picked up on TKC. maybe he should turn on plaza lights this year (if they have money to do it).

4/07/2009 9:02 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The second-to-last paragraph assumes Tony has emotions.

It's also easy to produce an obscene amount of content when you don't have a job.

4/07/2009 10:32 AM  
Blogger mamagotcha said...

Yeah, I resisted reading him until just a few weeks ago. I still tend to skim, and I wish I could set some sort of no-graphics toggle. But he definitely is the go-to guy for local dirt.

I've wondered whether Tony is just one person, though.

4/07/2009 10:46 AM  
Anonymous Nuke said...

As far as I an tell Tony is one person. Several local bloggers have spoken with him.

I for one would like to meet him, because not all bloggers are the person you would think from reading their work. I have been happily proven wrong about not liking people based on their blog. Once I have the real person in relation to their "voice" I am usually happier.

But my curiosity aside, I cannot argue that he posts a ton of info, or that his content is often rough to take.

4/07/2009 11:11 AM  
Blogger JustCara said...

I adore Tony - he's really who helped me get my blogging started and I will be forever grateful to him for that. People can dis him all they want, but that mofo has made his mark on KC in a way that he never could have done working for conventional media like print or even radio.

If you don't like his pictures, use Firefox and add "Ad Block" to it with the setting to filter his pictures.

4/07/2009 11:28 AM  
Anonymous Andrea said...

I also credit Tony for helping me really get started with my blogging and for providing me with a ton of traffic back in the day. I used to be a loyal reader of Tony's site, but as the racism, sexism & just general hatred increased, my loyality decreased. I took his site out of my Feed Reader awhile back and haven't missed it. Maybe I'll turn on Ad Block and check his site out again sometime.

4/07/2009 12:03 PM  
Blogger Tony said...

What can I write? Thank you Dan, your analysis is on the money and I appreciate being part of this great series of posts.

4/07/2009 4:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I thought it was so hilarious when he made fun of the girl at the star for losing her job because she was fat! And then all of the comments were about her sitting on their faces! Great stuff!

4/07/2009 4:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You left out "homophobic."

4/07/2009 4:58 PM  
Anonymous John L said...

I enjoy the hell out of Tony and you captured many of the feelings folks have about him.
It is the most read blog that no one reads in KC.

4/07/2009 5:48 PM  
Blogger Radioman of Kansas City said...

Yup he's everything you said, everything the comments have said. That adds up to that he's a good read, whether you agree with him or not.

Fact is, I found your blog, from his link to you. And when he mentions my blog, my analytics go up. Youre absolutly right that he's given us freedom and license to do what we do. I wouldn't have started, had I not started reading him.

But the dog picture yesterday did go too far!!

4/07/2009 8:40 PM  
Blogger Jason said...

I agree with you. I live in Springfield and I check out TKC every day just for an overview of what's happening and the links he provides to other bloggers.

4/07/2009 10:21 PM  
Blogger KC Sponge said...

I happen to like the pictures. =)

He's pissed off a lot of people that I love, but hey - so have I.

Cringe-worthy comments aside, he has his finger on the pulse of this city and his fist up the ass of the newsmakers of this town.

4/08/2009 9:24 AM  
Blogger May said...

"On a deeper level, Tony's work approaches performance art."

I think that is EXACTLY why his blog cracks me up so much. Love this post.

4/08/2009 10:31 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"I for one would like to meet him, because not all bloggers are the person you would think from reading their work. I have been happily proven wrong about not liking people based on their blog."

No, I've met Tony, and he's no different than what you would expect from reading his blog. He will stare at your boobs (if you have them) and use the word "broad" as if it's a normal word to use in 2009 when referring to women. He has the sallow look of someone who doesn't have a job and spends a lot of time in a basement (generating all that "content.") And that's about it.

As for his blog, he does put a lot of local info in one place which is great, but I've found that wading through all the hate, sexism, homophobia, soft core porn and other crap to get to the good/interesting nuggets just isn't worth it to me. Too much poison. It's sad.

4/10/2009 9:28 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What's wrong with you people? The whole point of blogging to begin with is no one needs to give you a license to do anything. TKC doesn't help you. He holds you back, for all the reasons Gone Mild thinks are beneficial. It never fails to make me sad - all these great smart people out there bringing up legitimate complaints about MSM, ethics, etc. And when they get a way to publish for themselves what do they do? They play into and amplify and reward the exact things that ruined the MSM system. Tony isn't in blogging for truth or to help bloggers - he's in it for self promotion, to go on the radio, to get invited to luncheons to speak on getting your message out, to get paid for media marketing ideas, all that. All that's based on putting out stuff to keep people reading - even if he doesn't believe it - and keeping local bloggers under his thumb and afraid of him so he can stay on top, and if he can do that by claiming he loves bloggers it's easier. He needs you to be beneath so he can be on top, otherwise the image doesn't work and he doesn't get what he wants.

4/13/2009 2:21 AM  
Anonymous inafunkaboutthefunk said...

I can't believe it... Dan has posted something that I agree with. Kudos to Dan for acknowledging Tony in a reasonably gracious and decent way.

And to Tony... keep on trucking Big Guy :)

4/16/2009 1:15 AM  

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