Richard Crowson

Editorial commentator

Richard Crowson is not only a editorial commentator for KMUW. He's also a cartoonist, an artist and a banjo player.

You might have heard him play with his band Pop & The Boys or with his wife at their standing gig at Watermark Books & Cafe. Richard is also KMUW's editorial cartoonist.

Ways to Connect

Alberto G, flickr Creative Commons

What we got to do, is we got to nip Commonism in the bud. And by “Commonism” what I mean is Common Core. Common Core is Commonism.

We didn’t have no Commonism when me and all them other Kansans got our learning. And just look at what a bang-up job we done! Our smartness done made this state we got here into a sort of compost pile that attracts the bestest and the most brightest.

Richard Crowson
Beth Golay


A Kansan In Brownbackistan

To the tune of Okie from Muskogee: 

(Or view the video of Richard's performance below.)


We don’t like schoolin’ here in Kansas

Education’s something we abhor

Instead we give our money to the rich folks

And then we cut our services to the poor

We don’t need good highways here in Kansas

The wealthy, they’ve got jets to fly around

Who cares if our bridges rot and crumble

And make a few school buses tumble down


Richard Crowson

Woo hoo! Roll over, Beethoven! Tell Tchaikovsky the news! Rock and roll is here to stay! And by “rock and roll,” I mean earthquakes.

Kansas Geological Survey representatives recently testified at a legislative hearing. They said it’s not the fracking, it's the reinjecting of salty wastewater from the oil and gas drilling process into the earth. In other words, it’s not the frack, it’s the brack--brackish water injection.

It’s not possible for me to discuss the Paris shootings without being self-referential, so please forgive me if I sound as if I’m making this tragic global story about me.

I’m not a particularly brave person. I never served my country in uniform, and as a child, never wanted to be a fireman or a policeman. Those folks are courageous.

Crossett Library, flickr Creative Commons

2015! Good grief it sounds like a year right out of the future! There’s just something about the way “2015” sounds that makes me think of cars that fly and people that get out of them wearing silver Spandex jump suits.    

Where is that dazzling future that my Weekly Reader predicted, back in 1962? Ok, we sort of have the “television phones” that once seemed so alluring. But no flying cars. No pills that reconstitute into full steak dinners magically. No robot house servants.

Kevin Dooley, flickr Creative Commons

When I was little I’d wear a big grin, round Christmastime, round Christmastime

The cars were shaped like toasters then, round Christmas way back when

All the coats were plaid and everyone had the funny looking caps with the big earflaps

All the kids would be grinning from flap to flap round Christmastime back then

There was no such thing as a shopping mall round Christmastime, round Christmastime

You shopped downtown if you shopped at all round Christmas way back when

Scott Beale, flickr Creative Commons

We’re careening towards Christmas!

I adore this season in part because it’s one of those times when people behave in dramatically uncharacteristic ways. Stone-faced, no-nonsense types suddenly put bright lights on their rooftops! Guys that look like “Dog, the Bounty Hunter” can be seen contemplating assorted, delicate fragrances at Yankee Candle stores! Little old ladies in tattered coats with overdue utility bills put dollars into Salvation Army kettles!!

It’s late November and sandwiched tightly between our travel plans, meal preparation, shopping delirium and inevitable family drama, hopefully, will come a few moments of gratitude. We do have, after all, an entire day designated for it.

One person I know doesn’t have any problem opening himself up to feelings of gratitude. He doesn’t view the glass as simply half full, but rather, he marvels at the wonder of the glass itself. And that may be because he knows so well that there are so many folks out there with no glass set before them at all.


Well, Baby, I’m sad, and I’m down
‘Cause I’m progressive but I live in a conservative town
My next door neighbor’s just the nicest guy you ever could meet
But he’s a deep shade of crimson from his head to his feet
I vote left, but never right
All my candidates get beat up every election night
But this time I thought a victory was within my grasp
But then they counted all those red votes and I lost my ass-pirations