By On the occasion of our 20th anniversary
By Gustavo Arellano
By R. Scott Moxley
By Alfonso Delgado
By Courtney Hamilton
By Joel Beers
By Peter Maguire
By Charles Lam
Kansas City update: There are plans to build a Wonderful World of Oz theme park just 20 miles from downtown K.C. The park would be based on L. Frank Baum's classic children's books, one of which later became the classic movie starring a drug-addled Judy Garland and a fleet of archetypal flying monkeys so terrifying that they are singularly responsible for most drug addiction and all erectile dysfunction. Baum was a man who loved children and championed the underdog, whether it was the beleaguered Munchkins or the beleaguered Native Americans, about whom he wrote in 1890: "The Redskin is extinguished, and what few are left are a pack of whining curs who lick the hand that smites them. . . . The best safety of the frontier settlements will be secured by the total annihilation of the few remaining Indians. Why not annihilation? Their glory has fled, their spirits broken. . . . Better that they die than live the miserable wretches that they are." Enchanting, and coincidentally, the same argument that was later made regarding a drug-addled Judy Garland.
San Francisco update: I put the words "San Francisco" and "bizarre" into a search engine and came up with 866 hits. Imagine how many I would have gotten if I'd put in "Frisco" and "bitter."
The Only Good Indians: Some have protested the Baum-inspired park, given his views on Native Americans. What these people don't realize is that in Baum's day, words such as "annihilation," "die," "lick," "conquest" and "total annihilation" were all terms of respect (as in, "Lick me, your majesty."). Park supporters believe all this will be forgotten once customers are enjoying the "Great Moments with General Custer" attraction, having a good scare in the "Haunted Trailer" of shaky old Chief Feel-Like-Firewater-When-I-Pee, or dancing the night away to the cool rhythms of Anthrax.
Consensus: Do you really think any of the Baum stuff bugs the folks of Kansas City? These are the same people who smear "war paint" over their pasty skin when attending games, where they shout, "Woo-woo!" while pretending to tomahawk someone. The name of the team is the Chiefs, for chrissake! Them heap tacky. Go 'Niners!