Kansas is a monolithic rectangular state somewhere at the point of no return in the midwestern United States. It sits at the western edge of the Bible Belt, and shows no signs of breaking free. It is tilted gently uphill from Missouri, to Colorado on the other side, and is (literally) flatter than a pancake [note 1] (with the exception of a string of small mounds known as the "Flint Hills" in the eastern half of the state). Don't expect any miracles out of nowhere in this relentless paradox of a state, because nobody's home and there is no room for a stranger. Don't open your eyes because there is a lot of dust in the wind. Just... don't go there.
Kansas is also a band that helped cause punk rock.
Over the past decade the state legislature has become increasingly beholden to the Koch brothers and their cronies. For a long time, Kansas was known as a pretty moderate and, at times, progressive state. The electorate, especially the rural electorate, got older, poorer, and watched Fox News for ten years. They are far more reactionary than they were in the past. The populations in many counties are declining, and liberals are fleeing the state in droves.
One has to give props to Kansas for volunteering to be the guinea pig for starve-the-beast conservatism. Brownback's March to Zero is pushing Kansas closer and closer to insolvency while at the same time yanking investment in their future workforce. Two-thirds of their state budget is taken up by K-12 and public college education. In 10 years they're going to see the results of creating a generation of dumbed-down hamburger flippers.
Things have improved in the last few years for Kansas. Politically, at least. In 2018, Laura Kelly (D) defeated Brownback's spiritual successor Kris Kobach (R), who beforehand had seemed like the clear and easy winner. During her first term, she vetoed a tax-cut bill that would have hurt lower-income Kansans, rebalanced the state budget after
Brownbitch Brownback's cuts, and was the first state governor to cancel K-12 classes in March 2020, following the first COVID-19 lockdown.
Notably, in 2022, Kansans made national headlines by voting against a constitutional amendment to end abortion. We're not all Bible-thumping conservatives, you know!
“”Is there anybody out there? Anybody at all?
|—John Lithgow as Joe Huxley, The Day After (1983)|
- There's nothing in Kansas.
- There are two Kansas Cities, right next to each other: Kansas City, Missouri (the bigger one where all the sports teams are) and Kansas City, Kansas (the smaller one).
- Wichita is a big city, pretending to be a small one.
- "There used to be a lot of Tatanka, but the pale man killed them all." -Chief Shitting Bull, Sioux Nation.
- Committing suicide in Kansas is redundant
- At least there's Lawrence, complete with their hilarious police department.
Famous Kansas-y things
- "Toto, I've a feeling we're not in Kansas anymore" ... "woof, woof!"[note 2]
- Evo-lution is bad, m'kay. (Well, it doesn't seem to have taken hold around here anyway.)
- Liberals are all longhaired hippies who dodged the draft. Yes, they still talk about that.
- "Bleeding Kansas".
- Arkansas.[note 3]
- Oh! There is a band named "Kansas", responsible for the hit songs Dust in the Wind and Carry on Wayward Son!
- William S. Burroughs (Holy goat, whodathunkit?)
- Fred Phelps and the Westboro Baptist Church: the most hated family in the world
- Does Bob Dole count as famous?
- Sam Brownback, who screwed the state over as governor from 2011 to 2018 with unrelenting supply side economics. We've been much better off with him gone.
- One surfer
- Amelia Earhart, pioneer of flight, and Buster Keaton, pioneer of film, are both from small-town Kansas (Atchison and Iola, respectively).
- Ottawa native Steve Hawley flew on the Space Shuttle Discovery's first flight, giving young Kansans hope of one day leaving the endless farmland and finding new life and new horizons.
- Strange things happen in Smallville.[citation NOT needed]
The Garden of Eden, sculpted by folk artist Samuel P. Dinsmoor
- Kansas Is Flatter Than a Pancake. It's also worth pointing out that, by their own data and definition of "flatness", in order for an area as large as Kansas to not be flatter than a pancake, it would need a mountain over 9.9 kilometers higher than some other point in the state.
- Translation: Praise the Lord!!!
- Get it? They got one of their own!
- Caldwell, Patrick, "Kansas Is Totally Screwed", Mother Jones (1/7/15 at 6:25 AM).
- Bosman, Julie, "Public Schools? To Kansas Conservatives, They’re ‘Government Schools’", NYT 7.9.16.
- Shorman, Jonathan, "Kansas has jobs, but where are the workers?", Wichita Eagle (25 September 2017, 6:00 AM). "Kansas is thirsty for skilled workers
at the price I am willing to pay!"
- "Kansas Votes to Preserve Abortion Rights Protections in Its Constitution," The New York Times.