Minnesota culture examined: are we great or are we awful?

So the news that Cowles Center Director Frank Sonntag has resigned his position, citing Minnesota culture as his reason for leaving, has sparked a bit of a wildfire in the comments section.

Some, as you might expect, took offense at Sonntag’s remark, and leapt to defend MN culture. Others said he was right to leave.

Commenter “Mateo” put it this way:

Let’s put this into perspective. We live in a state that, by and through its elected officials and political leaders, values unnecessary gay bashing constitutional amendments, record-low state taxes for millionaires, gun rights, taxpayer-funded pro stadiums, and casinos ahead of education, impoverished kids, the elderly, disabled, and certainly the arts. And we should be surprised that a theater and arts director from New York City cites culture shock as his reason for wanting to leave the state?

Minnesota transplant (from California) Matt Saxe had this alternative view:

We have 2 Democratic senators, a woman and a Jewish man, we have a Democratic governor, and my congressman is a Muslim. Thats pretty remarkable to me.

Lots of places around the country put money into pro-sports stadiums, so thats not a big black eye in my opinion, and culturally, we support the arts and have more arts opportunities than practically 95% of communities relative to our size. MN still has a great liberal legacy thanks to Humphrey, Wellstone, and Mondale. We care about kids and the elderly, and all. Sure we have Michelle Bachmann and other wing-nuts, what state doesn’t? Overall, I say we’re pretty good.

So which is it? Are we a cultural haven? Or a cultural wasteland? Or is it just how you choose to view your half-filled glass?