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"I don't think we can laugh at Kansas any more"

The great state of Kansas has decided it has had enough of being a national and international laughing stock, and "the Kansas Board of Education this afternoon repealed the controversial science standards that cast doubt on evolution. The board voted 6-4 — along its moderate-conservative fault lines — to adopt new standards that eliminated most of the old standard’s criticism of evolution, which mainstream scientists said was unwarranted and unscientific". (Source).

Apparently the latest Kansas "science standards are the fifth for the state in eight years".(Source) Must have been rather confusing for the youth of Topeka, and a near-constant 'hold the 13th chapter of the biology text book'.

Further digging shows that Kansas has an official state amphibian in the 'barred tiger salamander', which is nice, and shares roughly the same motto as the RAF, in 'Ad astra per aspera', as opposed to 'per ardua ad astra'. Same sense though. Perhaps our elected officials would be causing less harm if they were to focus on creating official borough, county etc invertebrates, mosses, waltzes and the like.

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Blogger Praguetory said... 3:35 pm

Time for a hall of fame thread, C.  



Blogger Croydonian said... 4:48 pm

Erm, as in this one, or you need me to raise my game?  



Blogger Doctor Syn said... 4:48 pm

We can always laugh at Kansas. It's Kansas.  



Anonymous verity said... 4:55 pm

Why would anyone laugh at Kansas? It is a red state. That is all that counts.

In fact, I can't think of any state that is intrinsically funny.  



Blogger Croydonian said... 4:58 pm

I think that one could fit Vermont in to a few punchlines.  



Anonymous verity said... 5:04 pm

What's funny about Vermont? I cannot think of a single funny thing about Vermont. In fact, I can't think of a thing about Vermont.  



Blogger Doctor Syn said... 5:10 pm

Verity:

In fact, I can't think of any state that is intrinsically funny.

Yes, no state in intrinsically funny. But it's an American thang.

People in the lower peninsula of Michigan find Yoopers as funny as people from Ohio. And everyone finds Kansas funny because it's, erm, Kansas.

One of the side benefits of federalism, I'm afraid.  



Blogger Doctor Syn said... 5:10 pm

This comment has been removed by the author.  



Blogger Croydonian said... 5:13 pm

Vermont has a self-described Socialist senator in Bernie Sanders.

P.J O'Rourke is forever making hay over Vermont's enthusiasm for whales, what with it being a singularly landlocked state.  



Blogger CityUnslicker said... 5:18 pm

California is funny too. What great stories;

Ford paying the LA mayor int he 60;s to rip out the railroads.

Arnie as 'Governator' driving a humvee and passing stringent environmental taxes

Hollywood stars in Prius'

source of the world's diet fads

What is not to like/laugh at?  



Blogger Doctor Syn said... 5:27 pm

...a singularly landlocked state.

Erm, which dictionary are you taking your definition of 'singularly' from? :-)  



Blogger Croydonian said... 5:34 pm

Dr S, this one will do. I was using it in the sense of 'remarkably' rather than of 'unique', as a slender majority of US states are landlocked.  



Blogger Doctor Syn said... 5:43 pm

Fair enough, boss. Fair enough.  



Anonymous verity said... 5:49 pm

Dr Syn - People all over the world make fun of their near neighbours, but the joke isn't national or international. "We",meaning the British and Americans at large, "do not laugh at Kansas".

I don't think CA's funny, either, although, as they say, when the US was tilted, all the loose fruits and nuts rolled out there.

Croydonian - I didn't know Vermont was a whale-loving state. Perhaps we could send Cherie over.

I cannot believe there is something that P J O'Rourke wrote that I missed!  



Blogger Doctor Syn said... 6:13 pm

"We",meaning the British and Americans at large, "do not laugh at Kansas".

Huh? Says who? If 'the British' choose not to laugh at KS, that's fair enough. But where in heaven's name do you get off proscribing what 'Americans at large' may or may not laught at? You're a Briton living in Mexico; your expertise about American humour is precisely what?  



Anonymous verity said... 7:20 pm

Dr Syn - my "expertise", which I do not claim for myself, is that I was brought up and schooled largely in the US and lived part of my adult life there too.

Please look up "proscribe" in the dictionary and use it correctly in future. Not everyone is as forgiving as I am.

I simply remarked that I have never heard Kansas at large as being a well-known target of humour.

(I have a sneaking suspicion that Croydonian couldn't resist the allusion in his headline, knowing he was skating on thin ice.)  



Blogger Doctor Syn said... 8:35 pm

Verity -

Your expertise or experience (take your pick) fails you. I am an American expat who spent the first the first three decades of his life in the same fly-over states of which Kansas is a part, and I can assure you that Kansas, like Ohio and Minnesota and a host of other states, is indeed the butt of many jokes.

As for my use of 'proscribe', well, I have the relevant volume of my OED here at my elbow. Your point is what, exactly? Oh yes, you're the commenter who, on another blog, attempted to criticise a fellow commenter on some distinction between 'while' and 'whilst', despite the evidence of both the OED and Fowler. But them I'm sure you know best.  



Anonymous verity said... 8:54 pm

I am not going to bore with pedantry, but your usage of 'proscribe' was incorrect in the context in which you used it.

I think when Croydonian wrote "we", he meant the Anglosphere. I do not think he was writing from the point of view of American midwesterners. Although he may well have been; he is full of surprises.

You wrote: "your expertise about American humour is precisely what?"

I told you what.  



Blogger Newmania said... 9:18 pm

Perhaps Dr. Syn the way to settle this would be for you to tell everyone a joke the punch line for which was Kansas. If it was generally found to be side splittingly amusing then you would have scored a magnificent victory.If not ..not. Verity was , I think , suggesting that no state is intrinsically funny. Given the vast pool of gags in your chuckle pouch it should be simplicity itself to demonstrate her error. Come on ,” Why don’t you tell the whole class”. …I wouldn1t think it was so hard . Really.

Anyway,I could do with a laugh I `ve got Flu .....


I `ll be back in bit with some tape for my sides , some head holding on equipment and a bowl.  



Blogger Newmania said... 9:22 pm

..tumbleweed scuds by and a small yellow dog sniffs forlonly in the gutter.....time passes......  



Blogger Doctor Syn said... 10:07 pm

Newmania -

All my sympathies for anyone who has flu but my goodness, have you been chug-a-lugging the Night Nurse?  



Anonymous verity said... 10:28 pm

Thank you, Newmania.  



Blogger Peter Hitchens said... 10:33 pm

22 postings
A new star is born  



Anonymous verity said... 10:36 pm

Where's PHitch these days?

I just wrote the above line, and voila!

PHitch, we've had over a hundred posts on this blog. Don't you remember NuLab words and phrases we loathe? Like 'in partnership with', etc? It's in the Hall of Fame now.  



Blogger Peter Hitchens said... 10:54 pm

Please don't visit my blog verity, its obscene.
Well not really, I have a couple of lovely photographs of Cameron (fully draped)  



Blogger Peter Hitchens said... 10:57 pm

And "Verity" you need to get your own blog , doing so is no more difficult that posting (well a bit)
The world needs a "verity" view on life , IMHO  



Blogger Newmania said... 11:07 pm

It is funny and has the virtue of being quick .I miss your comments though PHITCH.Pity you can`t do both.
I `m rationalising my blogging efforts. I `m doing one or two tedious longwinded preens a week and a few gags otherwise to pass the time.I like other peoples to much

BTW-I disagree ;there are too many bloggers and too few good commenters.I am overjoyed to see the saintly HG back.  



Anonymous verity said... 11:10 pm

PHitch - it has been suggested many times,but I can't get enthused. I'm perfectly happy running into other people's blogs, bashing out quick comments and running out again. But thank you for the thought.  



Blogger Newmania said... 11:14 pm

....and of course delighted the equally saintly Verity is not , I hope, leaving us soon, he hastily clarified!!  



Anonymous verity said... 11:14 pm

Agree about HG. Her comments are always informed, well-written and often very entertaining.  



Anonymous verity said... 12:56 am

And, Croydonian, a 'barred tiger salamander' may be very sweet, but there is nothing like an iguana for sheer, stupid cuteness. They can freeze in the middle of a run for, oh, over five minutes. They think if they stay very, very still, you cannot see them. They are so dopey.

There was one I encountered (in a city carpark that had tropical terrain around it) which was around 50" long and was burnt orange and lemon yellow. It was simply lovely. Also simply stupid, It couldn't get out of the way of the car, no matter what we did. We tried to shoo it off, but it kept lumbering under the car and keeping v-e-r-y still.

It's OK. We got it out for long enough to turn the car around and exit. In the rear view mirror, I saw it crouched there dully, awaiting the next surprise. Or maybe just crouched there dully.  



Anonymous verity said... 2:38 am

Croydonian wrote: "Further digging shows that Kansas has an official state amphibian in the 'barred tiger salamander', which is nice, and shares roughly the same motto as the RAF, in 'Ad astra per aspera'. Interesting to note that the barred tiger salamander shares a motto with the RAF.  



Blogger Croydonian said... 9:35 am

I do think that one of the downsides of living in a temeperate isle is the comparative dearth of lizards. I suspect there's a really bad joke about the Night of the Iguana to be had, but I suspect everyone has suffered enough.

As to the headline, it was a feeble attempt to shoehorn in the only quote about Kansas I could think of.  



Blogger istanbultory said... 10:37 am

No dearth of lizards or the like in these parts.
While Kansas is an extremely religious state and therefore stridently anti-abortionn, in 2004 a full 37 percent of the state of Kansas voted for John Kerry. Expalnations?  



Blogger Praguetory said... 10:49 am

Verity, I would love it if you did a piece on Felipe Calderon for my blog as part of a "Conservatives dominating North America" piece. Can I tempt you?  



Blogger Praguetory said... 10:50 am

I meant series not piece the second time. C - I've got a car-sharing MPs post going. A suggestion from you would be appreciated to get the ball rolling.  



Anonymous verity said... 2:01 pm

Croydonian wrote of his headline: "As to the headline, it was a feeble attempt to shoehorn in the only quote about Kansas I could think of." Just as I suspected and noted above.

Stamboul Tory - No. I cannot imagine even one per cent being simple-minded enough to vote for John Kerry. It is one of those inexplicable things. Like why anyone would vote for Tony Blair, even once.

Prague Tory - I will only have time to do something short, but I agree that the fact that the entire N American continent - around 440m people - is governed by conservative administrations is important.  



Blogger CityUnslicker said... 3:05 pm

IT - Kansas is full of very large university's with many students from other states. Some of the major towns like Lawrence are completely dominated by students.  



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