Does ‘community’ matter, the things we do to animals, ‘boom’ times create ‘bust’ people, are you in there, and the Kluwe chronicles.
The Monday Morning Rouser:
We’ve lamented in these pages recently about the demise of one of the last drive-in theaters in Minnesota — the Cottage View in Cottage Grove, which will soon become a Wal-mart. Cottage Grove, like so many suburbs, whiffed on establishing “community” a long time ago; for the most part it’s a place like anyplace else. The things that make it distinctive are disappearing; and people would rather have a Wal-mart.
It’s too late for the drive-in, but in smaller towns around Minnesota, people seem to have a better appreciation of the sense of community and why it matters when it’s threatened by the forces that want to make towns Anywhere, USA.
Kayla Strayer, a reporter with the Worthington Daily Globe, recently moved to our fair state from the exotic land of Ohio, and found deeper traditions within the Palace Theater of Luverne.
At the end of the movie, they draw a name and that person wins $50. I guess this is to carry on an old tradition, which was fine by me and everyone else in attendance. Despite me crossing my fingers, an older man won. While he was being handed the cash he laughed and said, “Here just give it to my wife.” The saying, “There’s no school like the old school” is very fitting. (Someone once told me that and I’ve always wanted to use it.)
The lucky gentleman’s wife, crippled with age and walking with a cane, looked as sweet as she could be. As they headed toward the door, her husband walked right along her side. When they reached it, a few minutes later, I saw living proof that in fact, chivalry is not dead.
Pieces of the past — many of them symbols of the sense of community — are disappearing all over — Main Street coffee shops in small towns, for example. In
Edgerly Edgeley, North Dakota, about 100 miles southwest of Fargo, the rural town lost its coffee shop this summer.
So a couple who owns a building across the street started serving free coffee.
“The economy is getting the best of everybody,” Gene Hanson tells the Fargo Forum. “Just because we lost a business on Main Street doesn’t mean we’re giving up.”
Not like some communities.
Discussion point: What makes your community different?
It was the sound that might’ve instantly given people pause to reconsider zoos. On RadioLab on MPR on Saturday, a howling tiger in China reached listeners the way words never could.
“My heart still hurts when I think of that wild cat meowing behind bars. Thank you so much. RIGHT NOW I am going to research wild cat charities to see how I can help them. Thank you for a brilliant show!!” one commenter on the show said.
“The yowling of the tigers in the one portion of this episode brings me nearly to tears, and I’m not sure why. I’ve listened to this episode twice now, and each time this is the part that gets me. I’m not necessarily inclined to tigers, I find their future grim and that’s horribly sad, but I don’t stay up at night worrying about it (I probably should). So why it affects me I think is the whole production of the show and the way it’s presented- it really makes you feel for the animals- the dichotomy of the circus music going on in the background the laughter and such, clashing with this horrible image of metal bars and the sound of giant cats just agonizing in an everlasting prison of boredom and neglect. It’s horrible. Frightening. It makes me want to do more to protect wildlife, makes me wish I was more conscious of my environmental decisions- and that is why Radiolab is so great. It makes you want to act, makes you want to share, and it’s not just entertainment- it truly enriches your life. “
Here’s the show. The segment that’s drawn the reaction begins at 37:30. Brace yourself.
Related livestock: A farm where everyone knows your name…
Even more: If you don’t like the way farms operate, don’t move next to a farm…
The Fargo Moorhead area has been spared the worst of the economic collapse. Even during the worst days of the recession, the economy of the region was far better than the rest of the Midwest. The more that got publicized, apparently, the less it was true.
The Fargo Forum reports homeless shelters in the region, which usually thin in the summer, are turning away record numbers of people — many of them people who heard about the economy in the region.
But one official says the other problem is people who were forced out of their living situation in the oil fields by the arriving oil workers.
“John Angerame says when you love someone with advanced dementia — like his father has — you can’t help but wonder: Are they still in there?”
Related: Support is flooding in for a 27-year old baseball player in Massachusetts who has ALS. Pete Frates, ESPN says, has become a one-man public relations machine to raise awareness of the disease.
Vikings punter Chris Kluwe wrote a profanity-filled letter to a Maryland Republican official who criticized a football player for the Baltimore Ravens who donated to a gay marriage fundraiser.
Via Twitter, I stirred up the question of whether the profanity in a highly-publicized missive does more harm than good? Does it distract from the message? Does it prevent wider distribution? Does it make it easier to dismiss? Hey, Churchill didn’t need an f-bomb.
Kluwe responded on his Pioneer Press blog…
Secondly, I heard from quite a few sources (including my dad) that the letter would have been more powerful and delivered the message better without the swearing. That those who would refute the point could seize upon my colorful insults to dismiss the main thrust as little more than childish antics and egotistical displays of temper.
The swearing is there for a reason. What Emmett C. Burns Jr. wrote, what I responded to, was far more disgusting and foul minded than any simple scatological reference or genital mashup. His words degrade the very essence of the English language with their barely hidden venom and intolerant hate; drag it screaming into the muck of
iniquity by wrapping a mantle of seeming reasonableness around corruption and control; masquerade as discourse while screaming their very lie to any Heaven you care to name – I could go on.
Kluwe reprints his letter without the obscenities, substituting phrases that mock those who raised the point in the first place, ignoring the fact that many raising the point are sympathetic to the underlying issue.
Bonus: How children don’t succeed.
The role of fact in a political campaign has been a subject of controversy this year, as illustrated by a Romney staff member’s declaration that “We’re not going to let our campaign be dictated by fact checkers.” Today’s Question: How do you sort out fact from fiction during a political campaign?
WHAT WE’RE DOING
Daily Circuit (9-12 p.m.) – First hour: Understanding fact and fiction in the campaign. Guest: Jim Fallows.
Second hour: Black holes.
Third hour: Student loans and bankruptcy.
MPR News Presents (12-1 pm): Congress goes back to work this week. Today, congressional experts Norm Ornstein and Thomas Mann, who’ve written a new book about Congress titled “Its Even Worse than it Looks,” and former senator and vice president Walter Mondale offer his insights.
Talk of the Nation (1-2 p.m.) – Five years after the bubble burst, finally some good news on housing: prices, and sales, are up. But the story isn’t the same in every market. Economist Robert Shiller is the guest.
All Things Considered (3-6:30 p.m.) - Confusion over state voter ID laws. Two months until Election Day, and it’s not clear what new voter identification laws will be in effect. Some states now require voters to show a government-issued photo ID at the polls. But those new requirements are tied up in the courts.