Mr. Smith Goes to Kenwood

Dane Smith is back, and he’s back with the panache that only serious money can sustain. Is this a good thing? As per Rupert Murdoch’s Pravda West, you decide! When last we saw our hometown hero, March of 2007, Dane Smith was walking the plank at the Newsreel of the Twin Cities, where the new […]

Legal Lolitas

I have always wondered why certain cars remain off limits to men of a particular age. What makes a Red Corvette more age-appropriate than a Mini Cooper? (Forgetting the conventional wisdom that posits the Corvette as "gold chain"—a sentiment unmasked as a simple prejudice with the Z06, a true American Beauty in red.) Or, for […]

If I were king of the fore-e-e-est

I hope you all noticed the bold initiative of the Star Tribune, as expressed on their editorial page on Sunday. Yup, they put their heads together, snorted and wheezed with the Herculean effort, pressed hard on their temples to concentrate the intellect, and made their endorsement regarding tomorrow’s "Super Tuesday" nationwide primaries and caucuses. And […]

Lost Files of the Star Trib Readers' Rep

Sunday morning’s aren’t nearly as much fun anymore. Not long ago I’d heft the Strib off the doorstep, chuck out the ads, the news and the sports and dig right into my favorite column, "The Readers’ Representative." Having worked for a decade and a half at a daily newspaper, I miss hearing first hand the […]

Over the Coals 2007

BUSINESS On the other hand, we recommend that you call Duluth “Paris.”A New York marketing research firm hired by Meet Minneapolis, the Minneapolis Convention and Visitors Association, to help with a branding campaign for Minneapolis and St. Paul came up with the suggestion that Minneapolis and St. Paul refer to themselves in their marketing materials […]

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Noam Chomsky says a well-informed populace is a necessary ingredient to any democracy. In other words, we’re boned. Newspaper readership is down, and showing no signs of reversing the freefall. And since they’re not reading, Americans are forced to rely on such reliable political indicators as gut instinct, party affiliation, and the ever popular "he’s […]

Randy, The Reader's Rep …

(A semi-regular Q&A with "Randy" the new Star Tribune Reader’s Representative, most frequently found on the corner stool at the Dry Dock roadhouse, in the shadow of the big microwave tower, Chaffey, Wisconsin.) Randy, Your Reader’s Rep: Dang but stuff piles up. I come back from baitin’ a few bear traps, havin’ a couple beers […]

Banana Republic Fades into the Sunset

Damn! Over here I keep a list of great story ideas and names of people I’ve really got to get around to catching up with, just to see what their story is today. Like MPR’s Bill Kling. Like all the guys who played in The Warheads years ago. And like Kirk Anderson, the former cartoonist […]

If you're going to insult me, cancel my subscription first

Here is the first sentence of today’s Star Tribune editorial on "Aiding Baby Boomers’ Search for Meaning": "The nation’s supernumerary baby-boomers have reached what’s being gently called "the second half of life," but the big generation is still doing what it has done since its diaper days: It’s demanding notice and altering the contours of […]

Strib's Hage to join Klobuchar

In what can safely be called a HUGE blow to the Star Tribune’s already shaken editorial staff, Dave Hage announced today that he is leaving the paper to join Sen. Amy Klobuchar’s staff as communications director. Office scuttlebutt holds that newsroom editor D.J. Tice will be tapped to replace Hage. That makes sense: Doug Tice […]