In case you’re wondering whether our state’s reputation is getting hammered for our State Board of Education’s recent evolution antics, the answer is “yes.” No less austere a group than the nation’s cartoonists have weighed in. OK, austerity is in the eye of the beholder, but personal prejudices aside, these guys are killing us.
Here’s a toon from Iowa. It’s by Brian Duffy of The Des Moines Register. You can double-click on it to make it larger. Brian uses one of my favorite devices here: the monkey school board. He draws from the “monkey on your back” adage. I especially like the “monkey suit” addition, tuxedo tails flying in the breeze. Monkeys and cartoons go together like peanut butter and jelly.
We swing out to California now for a slightly more evolved version of our beloved school boardians. Rex Babin of The Sacramento Bee delivers a sting with this drawing. Check out the Australopithecus-guy on the far right who’s flipping his lips, no doubt making a funny “B-b-b-b-b-b” noise.
On up to Minnesota we go for this bumper sticker treatment of our sad situation here in the Sunflower State. Steve Sack gives his readers at the Minneapolis Star Tribune a sad assessment of what our science classes are teaching. Thanks a lot, school board majority. You’re working economic development wonders for our “big-thinking” state.
Tom Toles at The Washington Post uses our old favorite movie, “The Wizard of Oz,” to savage us. Now we not only have the movie’s black-and-white image to live down, but also the polarizing actions of our pre-Scopes trial school board majority to further brand us as a colorless bunch of yahoos. Auntie Em and Uncle Henry are obviously locked in the shelter, eating sandhill plum jelly and bad-mouthin’ that ol’ highfalutin activist-scientist bunch of evil-lutionists!
So my question is: When are the people who are supposed to be concerned with eco-devo and business climate issues going to start speaking out about the damage being done to Kansas by our backward-leaning school board? Chambers of commerce, business leaders: Why the silence? We’re getting the kind of reputation nationally that all the four-color brochures and “branding” slogans in the world won’t be able to overcome.
I drew this cartoon about our image problem in 1999, and after comments I’ve heard on recent trips out of state, I have to say it’s worse than ever. Anyone else running into snickers from outsiders?
Posted by Richard Crowson
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