Kansas Suffering From Serious Inferiority Complex

Editorial written by James Baughn on Monday, October 3, 2005

from the toto-we're-not-in-the-same-kansas-anymore dept.

The disease known as political correctness isn't confined to California or the East Coast anymore. This epidemic, which causes seemingly ordinary Americans to become offended by the most trivial things at the drop of a hat, has now infiltrated one of the great bastions of Conservatism: the State of Kansas.

Symptoms of the problems began to surface last July, when an advertisement for the Kansas Lottery was scrapped because some people thought it was "insulting." As part of the promotion, somebody would win a trip to a Royals game and the Worlds of Fun amusement park -- both on the Missouri side of the border in Kansas City.

The radio spot said, "The Kansas Lottery considered giving away an intimate rendezvous to Cawker City, but a giant ball of twine just isn't too romantic. So, we decided on a great escape to Kansas City. We also toyed with the idea of a getaway to Garden City, but nobody could actually say that with a straight face."

For those not familiar with the exciting topic of Kansas tourist attractions, Cawker City is indeed the home of the World's Largest Ball of Twine. The original purpose behind this 8,000-pound tourist gimmick is not entirely clear, but it does serve as a clever way to briefly distract visitors from the uncomfortable fact that Kansas is as flat as a pancake. Well, actually, scientists have determined that the state is actually flatter than a pancake.

The lottery brouhaha was not an isolated incident. This week, the mayor of Topeka expressed outrage at a Hallmart birthday card poking fun at his city. The card, labeled "CSI: Topeka", shows investigators looking at a dead body, with one saying, "Looks like he was bored to death."

In a quote printed in the Topeka newspaper, mayor Bill Bunten said simply, "I find it offensive." Then, in a strange fit of hypocrisy, he picked a fight with West Virginia for no apparent reason. "It's probably drawn up by somebody from West Virginia who hasn't been here."

That sounds suspiciously like somebody suffering from a serious inferiority complex. The mayor becomes offended at a harmless joke, and then proceeds to overcompensate by lashing out against another state that had nothing to do with it. Hallmark, after all, is not based in West Virginia. It's based in Kansas City, Missouri, and even has a plant in Topeka.

As it turns out, both the lottery promotion and Hallmart card were reportedly drafted by fellow Kansans. These were supposed to be innocuous examples of self-depracating humor.

However, because of the growing wave of political correctness in Kansas, joking is no longer allowed. We can't call Kansas boring. Instead, in order to prevent somebody from getting offended or feeling inferior, we'll have to resort to describing Kansas with P.C. euphemisms, such as "vertically challenged landscape", "excitement deficient tourism", or "yawn enhanced scenery."

The conservatives in Kansas are busy railing against teaching the "theory of evilution" in schools, but they have wasted no time in embracing one doctrine of liberalism: the look-at-me-I'm-easily-offended-it's-a-crime-to-hurt-my-feelings mantra. The good people of Kansas need to lighten up before they wake up one day and realize that they've become what they despise most: a Left Coast ultra-liberal.

As for me, I will continue to travel through Kansas on I-70 at night and hope that I can reach Colorado or Missouri before sunrise. I don't want to get bored to death.