Lessons from the State Fair
In your 9/9/09 issue, Matt Snyders explains, over about four pages, his experiences during every open hour of the Minnesota State Fair during its first week ("Fairmongering"). In 126 hours he observes the following: He doesn't like having his car searched; Spam is weird and offends him; fire-eating dwarves are briefly amusing; fake robots are curious; Midway games are still dubious; animals smell funny; and people in crowds are jerks. Most of this we all knew before we arrived. Nice work? Why waste all the time (and the expense account)? There was no investigation, discovery, epiphany, or even diabetic reaction to all this "research." Perhaps mention Lynyrd Skynyrd had only one original member? Express amusement at the "Go Girl" booth in the Grandstand featuring a device that helps women urinate while standing! Or even complain that a really shabby Butterfly House had taken the place of a long-beloved arcade.... Yet Snyders is due credit for one observation: Purple #4 jerseys seemed to be the popular fair-going wardrobe this year. Way to go.
The mystery continues...
All right, I'll bite on the tease. Why would Snyders not open his car trunk at the State Fair media parking lot?
Richard W. Conklin
A photo of war
Government doesn't want us to see it ("Postcards from the Edge," 9/9/09). Media doesn't show it. The gore of war. The blood. People hurt. People dying. So most Americans are unaware of the reality of war. That is the way that things usually have been until one recent day in the dust of Afghanistan. A young Marine by the name of Lance Corporal Joshua Bernard was hit. He was mortally wounded, and as he lay dying, a photographer took his picture. Against the wishes of the corporal's grieving family from Portland, Maine, and against the wishes of the government, the Associated Press published the picture. This moment of American tragedy and the clash between reality and unreality are captured by City Pages columnist TD Mischke in his "Postcards from the Edge."
Looking forward to Tomorrow
I read that Village Voice papers are now free to return Tom Tomorrow to their pages if they want. I hope you take this chance to add the cartoon back. It was valuable and often made my day to read it.
The ultimate aggregator
Please do bring back Tom Tomorrow. He boils down hours and hours of meandering patter into clear, concise, and meaningful comment.
Our language doth offend
I've just finished reading the first two lines of this article and was shocked to see the type of language I read ("Fletcher's Gang," 7/8/09). "Clusterfuck" was uncalled for in the article. Does the writer need to write that kind of language to entice readers to read the paper? This paper is worthless.
The God delusion
Several of my friends were disappointed by your listing the Fall Out Art group's happenings without mentioning that they are in-your-face Christian events. Please don't disappoint people who are trying to enjoy their weekend afternoons. I evicted the Fall Out group from Project Earth (Minnesota's hippie festival) by myself last summer for doing street theater, with glow sticks pinned to their clothes to make themselves look as if they were biblical characters, in the middle of the walkway at 2:30 a.m. I refuse to let them waste people's time or mess with people's emotions.
So Ani DiFranco thinks we should stop protesting and start supporting people who are doing good stuff ("Ani DiFranco Talks Obama, Writing, and Minneapolis," 9/17/09). And she likes Obama. Hmm. What do you like best about him, Ani? That he has supported war in Afghanistan for many years, and that, now that rape has been legalized there, he's expanding the war to support the same religious lunatics who oppress women? Or do you like that he's promoting merit pay for teachers based on students' test scores, thus eliminating one of the few remaining opportunities for creative teaching that the No Child Left Behind Act and its predecessors didn't already destroy? Or is it that he's unwilling and unable to promote an equitable health care plan like every other industrialized country has?