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Posted 2024 February 1
Let's face it: There's not much to say about this logo, is there? It's just letters, and not even particularly distinct ones at that. So let's just say that the logo is boring and forget about it.
So what can I talk about instead to let this review be longer than thirty-seven words? Well, I'm sure at least some of you are wondering about the whole "Kansas City, Missouri" thing. Why is one of the biggest cities in Missouri named after a neighboring state? And why is Kansas City, Missouri bigger than Kansas City, Kansas?
The story actually begins on the other side of the state of Missouri, near its tripoints with Illinois and Kentucky. (Yes, I said "tripoints". Missouri, Tennessee, and Kentucky actually have three of them. Don't ask.) This was home to a group of Native Americans who started migrating west for reasons I'm not going to get into because it's rather depressing, but let's just say that places like Jamestown and Plymouth figure into it. This group split into several subgroups, one of which settled in the area around what today is the Kansas City metropolitan area. These people called themselves the "People of Water". In their language, the word for "People of the Water" sounded something like "Konzay". Eventually Europeans showed up, and since Europeans mangle foreign names that they encounter (seriously, how to you get "Peking" out of "Beijing"?), "Konzay" somehow turned into "Kansas". Don't ask me where that second S comes from, by the way, because I have no idea.
(And while we're on the subject of that S, it's probably as good a time as any to say that you shouldn't ask about how the name Arkansas plays into this. It's apparently not clear whether the names Kansas and Arkansas are related at all, and if they are then it's a pretty distant relation, like how the English words "pencil" and "penis" are distantly related except that "pencil" and "penis" being related is way funnier than "Kansas" and "Arkansas" being related could ever be. And no, I'm not making the bit about "pencil" and "penis" being related up.)
Anyway, a couple of rivers meet in the area (not surprising if the people living there were known as the People of Water and it's nowhere near an ocean or lake) and although Europeans already had a name for one of the rivers (the Missouri) when they showed up in the area, they didn't have a name for the other. And since there were people in the area who were named the Konzay or the Kansas or something like that, they named the river the Kansas River. Which, since the river in question in the source of the Konzay/Kansas/something-like-that name in the first place, means that in a roundabout way the river is named after itself. It's basically the River of the People of the River.
So now we've got the River of the People of the River, a/k/a the Kansas River. And by this time, the area has come to be part of the United States. The area that today is Missouri has already become the State of Missouri, and the area that today is the State of Kansas is at this point unorganized territory. (What does it mean to be "unorganized territory", you ask? Well, among other things it means it doesn't have a name.) Some Americans decided that the area where the River of the People of the River meets the Missouri River (i.e., the River of the People with Canoes, which I suppose makes it the River of the People of with Things You Put in the River) was a good place to put a settlement. And since they needed a name, they called it Kansas. Not Kansas City, mind you, because the only other Kansas at the time was the river so there wasn't really any potential for confusion. But about four years later someone organized that unorganized territory just west of the city of Kansas, and wouldn't you know it, they called that new territory Kansas. So the city of Kansas became Kansas City, Missouri to avoid confusion with the Territory of Kansas. Or, if you prefer, it became the City of the River of the People of the River, in the State of the River of the People with Things You Put in the River in order to avoid confusion with the Territory of the River of the People of the River.
Of course, the area kept growing in population, which meant two things. First, the Territory of the River of the People of the River gained statehood, and obviously became the State of the River of the People of the River. Second, the City of the River of the People of the River in the State of the River of the People with Things You Put in the River started growing in area as well as population, and it pretty quickly reached the state line between the State of the River of the People with Things You Put in the River and the State of the River of the People of the River. Since cities in the United States are technically creations of states and thus you can't really have a city in two states, once the city crossed the state line it had to become a separate city. Now, the people in this new city could have been decent about this and choose some name other than City of the River of the People of the River. After all, there's no rule that says two cities have to use the same name when they touch but are in different states. Consider the examples of Memphis, Tennessee and Southaven, Mississippi or Cincinnati, Ohio and Covington, Kentucky. And to be fair, at first they did, because the first city in the area was called Wyandotte after the Wyandotte Nation (which means "Dwellers of the Peninsula").
But it didn't take long before someone got it into their heads to found another city called City of the River of the People of the River in the State of the River of the People of the River. And not too terribly long after that, the City of the Dwellers of the Peninsula and the City of the River of the People of the River (in the State of the River of the People of the River) were merged into a single city along with a few other cities, and damned if they didn't call the new, five-cities-merged-into-one city City of the River of the People of the River rather than choose one of the four other names. Apparently people in the area felt that since their city was actually in the State of the River of the People of the River, they had more right to be called the City of the River of the People of the River than the City of the River of the People of the River over in the State of the River of the People with Things You Put in the River did. Never mind that the State of the River of the People of the River wasn't even the Territory of the River of the People of the River yet when the City of the River of the People of the River in the State of the River of the People with Things You Put in the River was founded.
So there you have it: Why there's City of the People of— you're getting sick of that shit, aren't you? Fine: Why there's a Kansas City, Kansas and a Kansas City, Missouri. Basically, it's because the Kansas City in Missouri was there first and the Kansas City in Kansas was feeling salty about it.
It's not half as interesting as the words "pencil" and "penis" being related to each other, though, is it?
Final Score: 9 points.
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