Breakfast of Champions: 11/28


From the print issue, Matt Snyders' feature recounts the experience of living at the Mall of America for a full week. I don't mind saying that this is a hilarious read with a number of laugh-out-loud moments, and I'd say that even if Matt Snyders wasn't holding my dog hostage. Web-only content includes a photo slideshow with images by Nick Vlcek and an audio slideshow with a fitting soundtrack: "You Are The Generation That Bought More Shoes and You Get What You Deserve" by Johnny Boy.

When Paul Demko first pitched his story about a local farmer who lost everything to a flood, we were in a news meeting. Always looking for web-only content, I asked Demko if I could take some photos for a slideshow that would run around Thanksgiving, because the story involved turkeys. Demko gave me an appalled look and said, in a who-the-hell-is-this-guy deadpan, "The turkeys are all dead." I'm not even going to pretend I had a retort.

Sarah Askari's column about the electronic duo Beatrix*JAR also has a terrific photo gallery by Emily Utne and a sample MP3 of the group's work (click the link in the right-side box of the story to download). The band's name reminds me of Sarah Jessica Parker's character in LA Story, whose name is spelled SanDeE* (Big S, little A, little N, Big D, little E, Big E. With a star at the end!).

The blogs are hopping, too. On the Blotter, Kevin Hoffman has updated Boy, Interrupted, our story about a local man suffering from an eating disorder. Jeremy has been involuntarily committed to a treatment facility.

Jonathan Kaminsky has an amusing tale of copper and robbers. Well, one alleged robber anyway. Since I know you're wondering, I'm not related to the Frederick Shaw named in the post.

It was all Anthony Bourdain all the time at Culture To Go, with Jessica Armbruster's interview with the famous chef preceding Paul Demko's roundup of local media reaction. Matt Smith broke the string with a post about Diablo Cody's award nomination.

Later today I'll also resist the trend of food blogging with a music review from last night's Vast Aire and Copywrite show at Whiskey Junction, featuring a Q+A with Vast, photo gallery and sound files.


I would be remiss if I didn't mark a significant event in the life of an American icon. Hulk Hogan is getting a divorce. Alimonimania is running wild!

The Hogan story embodies much of the American narrative: excess, humor, drama, and a little sadness. Much like the experience of living at the Mall of America. And I remember from my childhood fondly the pictures of Hulk Hogan rocking out to the strains of Rick Derringer's "Real American," creating images unique to the United States. A song that might go along with an audio slideshow. With images not unlike the web-only photos from one man's journey through the Mall of America.

On the topic of American ideals, the Fifth Circuit Court has extended limits on freedom of speech. This is antithetical to fundamental democratic values, including freedom of the press. Freedom of the press which, incidentally, allows journalists to write stories about American icons such as the Mall of America. This right also extends to photographers and musicians who set their work to images.

OK, Snyders, can I have my dog back now?