Archive for the 'minneapolis' Category

Because you’re mine, I walk the line

Conceptual artist Marcus Young has drawn a 2 mile line from the MCAD Gallery through Minneapolis to the Mississippi River.. The work of art is titled “From Here To There And Beyond”.  Click here to see a video of the line.

By following the line out of the MCAD Gallery, you’re confronted with questions such as: where am I going? How far is this line going to take me?  How far am I willing to go? Is this a path, an idea, a trail? His two mile line connects to the 2,300 mile line that is the Mississippi. 

TWO roads diverged in a yellow wood, 
And sorry I could not travel both 
And be one traveler, long I stood 
And looked down one as far as I could 
To where it bent in the undergrowth; 

Then took the other, as just as fair, 
And having perhaps the better claim, 
Because it was grassy and wanted wear; 
Though as for that the passing there 
Had worn them really about the same,  

And both that morning equally lay 
In leaves no step had trodden black. 
Oh, I kept the first for another day! 
Yet knowing how way leads on to way, 
I doubted if I should ever come back.       

I shall be telling this with a sigh 
Somewhere ages and ages hence: 
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I— 
I took the one less traveled by, 
And that has made all the difference. 

Robert Frost (1874–1963).  Mountain Interval.  1920

“No one has ever thrown down here”

There’s another group of beer drinkers and book readers out there.  According to this morning’s Strib, Books and Bars (or B&B as they refer to themselves) meets at Bryant Lake Bowl on a monthly basis to discuss books.  But, unlike Fight Club, they never throw down – pussies.  Besides what kind of sissy book club calls themselves B&B? 

However, they do have several things going for them:

  • An MC, Jeff Kamin, a former stand up comedian who “works the room.” 
  • They have a “John Hughes slow clap” when anyone utters something tedious such as “As an English major. … ” or “the second time I read this book.”  I suggest we employ said slow clap when Matt H. refers to his other Fight Club.
  • Sponsorship from a bar, Magers & Quinn bookstore and the Onion

Breastplate of Righteousness

The airport in our fair city suffers the ignominy of a US Senator soliciting sex in the men’s bathroom.  Apparently, there are certain bathrooms in the airport that if someone actually goes in there for a good honest shit, it’s like a breath of fresh air. 

The author of ‘God Is Not Great’ (future Fight Club selection?), Christopher Hitchens, writes an eloquent summary of Senator Craig’s predicament in this article in Slate.

Broader Sense of “We”

that which is common to the greatest number has the least care bestowed upon it.

Continuing our conversation about the US system of education and the No Child Left Behind Act: Does the America system of education suffer from the Tragedy of the Commons?  Furthermore, are we re-segregating into micro-segments in the long tail, becoming a divided society lacking common concerns?   A couple observations that support this pessimistic view:

  • A bridge falls down because no one wants to pay more in taxes to support our ailing infrastructure
  • Karl Rove leaves a legacy of divisive politics that tear down (Swift Boat) candidates instead of electing them

Gregory Rodriguez writes in the Los Angeles Times that people in the most diverse areas are the most likely to withdraw — even from those with whom they have much in common.  For instance, interracial trust is relatively high in homogenous South Dakota and relatively low in wildly diverse Los Angeles.  But it’s not just people from other races we don’t trust.

It turns out that in the most-diverse places in the country, Americans tend to distrust everyone, those who do look like them and those who don’t. Diversity, therefore, does not result in increased conflict or increased accommodation, but in good old-fashioned anomie and social isolation.

Rodriguez continues, “we may indeed find some sense of togetherness and common purpose in a truly broad, overarching identity called American. Maybe once we achieve that, we’ll volunteer more, vote more and be more willing to pay to fix our bridges.”  

On a separate but related note, I checked on voter turnout and it’s not as bad as I thought.  The United States Elections Project writes: Statistics on voter turnout presented here show that the much-lamented decline in voter participation is an artifact of the way in which it is measured.  The most typical way to calculate the turnout rate is to divide the number of votes by what is called the “voting-age population” which consists of everyone age 18 and older residing in the United States.  This includes persons ineligible to vote, mainly non-citizens and ineligible felons, and excludes overseas eligible voters.  When turnout rates are calculated for those eligible to vote, a new picture of turnout emerges, which exhibits no decline since 1972. 

Presidential Turnout Rates for Voting-Age Population (VAP) and Eligible Population (VEP)


To our friends, neighbors, and family…

The literary fight club members would like to offer our deepest sympathies to the friends, neighbors, and families of those who were involved in last night’s collapse of the St. Anthony Bridge in Minneapolis, MN – the place we call home.

While we speculate as to what caused this tradegy and try to figure out how it could have been prevented – let’s take a second to remember how lucky we all are to be alive and to have the good fortune to live in one of the most prosperous nations in the world.

While you let that thought soak in… take a few minutes to read the comments from NY Times readers on the day’s events.  Enjoy today.


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