Thursday, June 22, 2006

Kansas: More Enjoyable When Ignored

A recent news story (see the links below) recently revealed that a video ad of Kansas will be shown in Times Square three times an hour for eighteen days. Created by the Kansas Department of Commerce, this advertisement seeks to make Kansas residents happy with their state and generate positive nationwide publicity about the place as well. I suppose there are reasons why Kansas needs to reveal a more positive image, such as the negative publicity generated by the Board of Education’s decision to teach something called intelligent design and Reverend Phelps’ trips across the country to protest the funerals of soldiers killed in Iraq. Craig Miner in his history of Kansas argues that the state has been characterized by the extreme views of crackpots since its creation. Those kinds of people don’t go away; in fact, some of them get elected as the state’s attorney general.

I would prefer that very few people learn about what we have here. It’s true that small towns in western Kansas have been losing their populations. The state could absorb about half a million new residents comfortably if they were to move to those more secluded parts of the state. If they were to move to places like Johnson County or Wichita, they instead would generate more sprawl and more congestion on the highways, neither of which we need. I would prefer that the state maintain its current level of pollution, without an increase caused by additional cars and more people requiring tremendous amounts of electricity. There is no reason why we should acquire the problems that characterize the East Coast.

If anything, we who live in Kansas should thank those crackpots who bring negative publicity to the state because they help to keep people from moving here. Otherwise, Kansas risks becoming like western Montana or the area of Wyoming near Jackson Hole where large amounts of people have been drawn to the natural beauty and bring with them the pollution and high prices that they were hoping to escape.

News Story: