Meanwhile, Back at the Ranch: 3.14
As a native Kansan, I do my best to keep up with news from my homeland. Of course, that's fairly difficult in Los Angeles because the people/press here, quite rightly, don't give a flying f*ck about Kansas. I mean, really, why should they? News out of Kansas is invariably depressing, after all-- it's all tornadoes, droughts and right-wing morons.
There are rolling hills.
Whenever I tell people that I'm from Kansas, there are several stock responses:
1) "Oh, you're from Kansas? I'm sorry."
2) "Did you grow up on a farm?" [ed. note-- no]
3) "Really? I could've sworn you were from somewhere. . . else." [read: better and/or cooler]
4) "Really? Me too."
You'd be surprised how often I get #4, especially among ultra-hipsters and industryites. What's interesting to me, though, is the fact that so many fascinating, engaging, intelligent Kansans have ended up in California. While growing up in Kansas, you'd never suspect that so many cool people could have come from such a relentlessly-unhip place. Further, it's awfully odd that so many of them end up in California. Or is it? I, for one, don't think it's a coincidence.
We were driven out.
Run away, Dorothy!
Are you listening, Kansas? You sent your best and brightest fleeing for the coasts with your stupidity, intolerance and stubborn refusal to see the consequences of your actions.
A bit of background for the non-Kansans. The Kansas State Board of Education is bitterly divided over the 'theory of evolution'. The members from the non-retarded parts of the state [Kansas City and its suburbs, the college town of Lawrence, and, to an extent, the 'cities' of Topeka and Wichita] favor science standards that essentially require evolution to be taught as part of the standard science curriculum. The members from everywhere else are right-wing nutjobs who think that God created everything in like, a week or so, and therefore, evolution should be 'de-emphasized'.
I was still in high school in Kansas in 1999 when the conservative whackos gained a majority on the school board and launched the latest in a series of evolution debates that should've ended with the Scopes Monkey Trial in 1925. I wish you could've seen our science class [AP Biology] when the controversy broke-- our teacher had to restrain some of us more adamant evolution-believers from smart-smacking the few kids stupid enough to defend creationism. And those very same aggressively science-friendly kids nearly all fled to out-of-state universities upon graduation. The point is, my friends, that Kansans are not monolithically stupid.
But at long last, the mind-numbing debate over the issue has spawned something positive, something that gives hope and solace to thousands, if not millions of people all over the world-- The Flying Spaghetti Monster. I know many of you out there are already devout Pastafarians. I, too, have been touched by His noodly appendage.
This is my new God.
In all seriousness, Flying Spaghetti Monsterism makes just about as much sense as "Intelligent Design" theory.
If you've got some free time and you're interested in contacting Kansas Board of Education members, here's the link. Remember, the four intelligent people on the board are Sue Gamble, Carol Rupe, Bill Wagnon, and Janet Waugh, so don't bother with them. Personally, if you're looking to get some kicks, I'd recommend calling Mrs. Iris Van Meter at home. Here's her number: 620-839-5621. It'd be best to call her while coked out of your head at 3 am. [London Cokehead, you can call whenever you want]
And if you want to see something really scary, check out the biographies of the members. My favorite is Connie Morris, whose "autobiography, 'From the Darkness: One Woman’s Rise to Nobility', has been published by Huntington House Publishers. The book is Connie’s story of recovery through Christ from incest, rape, domestic violence, substance abuse, and poverty during her early years in the Appalachian Mountains region." And this woman sits on the Board of Education in Kansas.
Can you see why I left? Can you see why all the smart kids are gone?