These last couple weeks had Minnesota feelin' kinda cool.
Especially the folks over at the Science Museum of Minnesota, who aren't used to national attention, but (wisely) seized the moment when it came their way.
After the character Dustin was seen wearing a vintage museum sweatshirt on an episode of Stranger Things 2, the museum was overwhelmed with inquiries from people wanting to buy this purple dinosaur-centric apparel. Every nonprofit dreams of the day random strangers call up begging to throw money at you.
Problem was, the sweatshirt no longer existed. So the museum quickly rushed to get an order reprinted, and last week put them for sale on its website... which promptly crashed, due to a flood of visitors.
The museum has since reported sales of $600,000 worth of Dustin's Brontosaurus hoodie. What a coup for the science museum! And look, here comes a blogger for the Washington Post to pay them a compliment for their business accumen!
Well, that seems sort of condescending. Right? Or are we just being extra Minnesotan about this?
Like, it's not the Smithsonian, but ... who is the Washington Post calling small? The Science Museum of Minnesota measures around 370,000 square feet, meaning it's roughly comparable in size to the Minnesota State Capitol. Would the Washington Post write a story headlined "Report of 'raging boner' roils a small state capitol"?
Sometimes headline writers take liberties with a story in the name of getting extra web hits, something we at City Pages abhor and have never even considered. In this case, the writer and his headline are in agreement:
By believing in itself and behaving just like a big boy-museum, that's how!
Like, look, here's a list of museums in Minnesota. Know what would be really weird? If everyone with a Netflix account was clamoring for throwback apparel from Ed's Museum in Filmore, a "former grocery store displaying the belongings of local character and lifelong hoarder Ed Krueger, including toys, packaging, magazines, player piano rolls, and a dead cat." (Side note: Holy shit, Ed's Museum sounds great.)
The Science Museum of Minnesota, meanwhile, has 600 full-time employees and an annual budget of around $90 million. Something like 170,000 schoolkids visit it every year.
The writer of this Washington Post story, "author and certified public accountant" Gene Marks? He's from a place called Bala Cynwyd, Pennsylvania, population about 9,500. His entire town could come visit the museum someday.
Actually, they should. Everyone should. Do not let the Science Museum of Minnesota become "a small museum in Minnesota" known mostly for a cool hoodie that once appeared on Netflix. Clearly, it is far too large, and our Flyover Country ego far too small, to suffer that fate in silence.