You Can't Spell "Edina" Without "DIE".

« April 2005 »


For non-local readers who've inexplicably not heard of Edina before in this space, Edina is a suburb of Minneapolis. A very rich, very white suburb of Minneapolis. And as far as I can tell, they have an elaborate system in place to ensure that the public's perception of their little enclave never wavers. Like girls in a clique who coordinate their outfits for school the next day, the fine people of Edina must have meetings to ensure that nobody from Edina writes in to the local papers without being an utter fuckwad about it.

It's like Old Faithful. Every day, I read the letters to the editor, because knowing what stupid people think is vital to my work here. And occasionally, when I read the letters to the editor, thousands of tiny blood vessels under my skin spontaneously shatter, leaving my face looking like Mars. And not the gentle, kind, quiet Mars you see from the rovers, no. These letters turn my head into the Mars from Total Recall. Violent, brutal, and not one of Rob Bottin's finest hours.

And inevitably, when my face goes all redplanet on me, my eyes wander down to the signature, and there it is, the suburb of my nightmares, the land of milk and bleach, E-mother-fucking-Dina.

I mean, what kind of place produces people who write letters that call President Bush "incompetent"? Oh, I know it sounds good at first, but Edina Resident #468-2B3X only says it to shore up his cred with the paper while he makes the case that the Arizona Minutemen patriotic heroes "putting themselves in harm's way" to seal our porous borders. To be fair, he probably had to write the letter in a hurry before his volunteer shift started at the border to St. Louis Park*.

But that guy was a fucking saint next to the Liebman family. I say the Liebman family because, while the letter leading off in today's paper was ostensibly written by ten-year-old Jeremy Liebman of Edina, a careful semantic analysis of the words and concepts used in the letter leads any reasonable reader to the conclusion that LIKE FUCK IT WAS. As the security scanner in Total Recall stripped Arnold's flesh away to reveal the crappy CGI skeleton underneath, so does ACTUAL QUOTE TIME expose the agenda underlying "Jeremy"'s letter.

"I agree with James Lileks' April 17 column, "Take the new Walker -- please!" I am 10 years old and know a little bit about art. My parents have been dragging me from museum to museum since I was a toddler." Let's stop there for a second to provide important background information and definitions.

"The Walker" is the premiere modern art museum in Minneapolis. "The New Walker" is the just-opened new multi-million dollar expansion to that museum. "James Lileks" is a bit of an asshole who, in-between writing popular, kitschy books about Jello molds, writes a column for the Star Tribune that reads like Andy Rooney and Ann Coulter had a love child. Grumpy Old Lib'ral-Hating Man. I presume the new Walker came under his watchful gaze because it's new, which is bad; art, which is bad; and new art, which is really bad. Anyway, we continue.

"I was at the opening on Sunday. The Walker Art Center scares me. I have to admit some of this has to do with art I don't understand. The best thing I can say about the building was it provided some windows to remind me that there was a beautiful world outside." - There is no way in hell that a ten-year-old kid, even one raised in Edina, would:

  • Decide to critique a modern art museum.
  • Decide to offer that critique, unprompted, to the local paper.
  • And most importantly, EVER READ JAMES LILEKS' TURDCOLUMN.

If that wasn't enough of a giveaway, the third sentence, about being dragged from museum to museum is a dead giveaway. It's trying way too hard to create an image. Poor kid. Gets dragged around to museums, then gets scared out of his little wits by all that terrifying "modern art". Please. Nice try.

And the closer? The poetic closer, celebrating the beauty of nature outside the windows? Also very un-ten-year-old like. But more importantly, I go past the Walker every single day ont he way to work. And if parking lots, old apartment buildings, and ten-plus lanes of congested streetswath is a "beautiful world", then I'm a ten-year-old kid from Edina.

*Sorry. It's funny if you live here, but if you don't, try to pick the joke out from amongst the context.