Richard Crowson Commentary

Politicians can run but they cannot hide from political cartoonist (and banjo player) Richard Crowson and his watchdog, Al. Tune in on alternate Wednesdays to hear the latest.

Richard Crowson

On a warm Kansas autumn day I made my way to our neighborhood elementary school. Every October they have a Fall Fest.

The proceedings always start with an amazing event: A huge parking lot square dance. Somehow the music teacher organizes a hundred or so elementary students and their adult relatives into twirling couples that doh-si-doh and promenade their way over the pavement. It’s a wondrous sight.

October is a month of hauntings! There have been multiple sightings of the living dead walking amongst us. This fetid, creature, lumbering trance-like down our streets, has returned from the grave.

Tomorrow is the first day of autumn, the season of breaths. Here in Kansas we pant through our sweaty summer months. Just when we don’t think we can take it for one more sticky minute, nature grants us this delightful meditative season called fall for catching our breaths.

With all due respect to Andy Williams, there’s an even more wonderful time of year…

It’s the most wonderful time of the year!
There’ll be tents and RVs
There’ll be buses and teepees – So be of good cheer!
It’s the Walnut Valley Festival time of year!

It’s the pick-pickingest season of all!
Guitars, mandolins, banjos
They even allow those
who play accordion
It’s the pick-pickingest season of all!

The Governor and his legislative cohorts did it again. They deprived Kansas of $800,000 in arts funding from the NEA and Mid-America Arts Alliance, all because they didn’t allocate enough state matching funds.

For 40,000 years, humankind has appreciated the arts. That’s how old the earliest cave paintings are. I wondered if those early humans had to deal with folks who undermine the arts like we do.

The governor's legislative enablers lost out in the primary the other day... but Sam Brownback is singing the same old song:

What would you do if I wrecked your whole state
If I gave all your dough to the rich
Won't expand Medicaid, I put schools in bad shape,
Drove the state's budget into a ditch

Oh, tell me why you elected my friends
I used to get by with the help from my friends
You voted goodbye to my Brownbacky friends

I have never truly understood political yard signs. Although I participate in this good ol’ American tradition, I’m not sure why. Political scientists tell us they make a miniscule difference, if any at all.

Crowson: Kobach 451

Jul 13, 2016

This year the book selection for The Big Read is Ray Bradbury’s dystopian masterpiece, Fahrenheit 451.

We’re all used to the well-intended but slightly threadbare cliché: “Just take comfort in the wonderful memories. As long as you have those, that loved one isn’t really gone.”

But sometimes, those old words of comfort ring true. For enthusiasts of bluegrass and old-time mountain music, dealing with the recent loss of Ralph Stanley, that phrase gives particular comfort. 

I got tired of tripping over our old dining chairs, stored in our basement. We replaced them months ago, but I tend to hang onto things too long. This past Saturday, we put all seven out by the curb with a sign saying “free.”

Throughout the day, I’d glance out the window, expecting them to be gone. But, no. There they sat, as cars impertinently flew by.