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The SS Kansas Is Not Void Of Humanity

There’s a mesmerizing video making the rounds lately on the Internet. It’s a computer animation of the sinking of the Titanic. The whole thing takes place in “real time,” meaning in exactly the amount of time that the real sinking happened: 2 hours and 40 minutes. The tragedy unfolds at a languid pace in an eerie silence.

Interestingly, there is no attempt made to depict the people involved. Over 1,500 died in that tragic sinking. The decision not to animate them was respectful and appropriate.

But we are consequently left with the spectacle of the sinking of a beautiful ghost ship - no crew, no passengers. There’s something rather unsettling about the vision of such a majestic edifice, built for the comfort and enjoyment of its passengers, gradually meeting its end, completely void of humanity.

Of course, I thought of Kansas - impaled by an iceberg of conservative extremism, helmed by an ideologue captain and his crew of submissive legislators. Do they think our ship is void of living, breathing human passengers?

This so called “experiment” of Governor Brownback’s is a real-time economic and social disaster affecting real, live people. Those are not lab rats trying to desert a sinking ship. Those are school children, educators, the disabled, the elderly, the impoverished, middle class families, and people from all walks and stages of life, all trying to keep their heads above the silently rising water.

And quietly losing the battle to do so. While the captain and crew don’t even bother sending out an SOS.

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