What does Peavey Plaza say to you, when you can't control information, a picture of Prince, that's one for the gun owner, and Dear Mr. President.
The problem with history is eventually it encompasses a period of your life that seemed like yesterday. That's, perhaps, what is at the heart of my revulsion at the idea that Minneapolis' Peavey Plaza is now on the National Register of Historic Places.
The Peavey Plaza screams the '70s, an awful time in the life of most baby boomers. There was a war, the draft, the Nixon years, and disco -- perfectly forgettable elements of the '70s. And '70s architecture reminds of what we'd like to forget.
You might see a wonderful example of Modernist landscape architecture. I get it. People like it. I see the Ford administration and K-cars, not to mention the '70s style of urban development which involved knocking down a beautiful old building, and putting up some '70s modernism.
And concrete. Oh, so very much concrete!
(Photo via Flickr by Maddymonkey. Used under Creative Commons license)
But, of course, I'm not an architectural expert. The ones who are said Peavey Plaza is as glorious as Central Park in New York. And, to be sure, if you let city officials have their way in matters of preservation vs. development, ugly office buildings win every time.
Still, another urban addition to the National Register last week suggests the sort of architecture worth fighting for: art deco. Witness the City Ramp in Spokane. So beautiful, so original. So not dominated by right angles and rectangles. Oh,and so historic!
Peavey Plaza screams a time worth forgetting to me. But I recognize the different abundant and heartfelt love Minneapolitans hold for it.
What does it say to you, Minneapolis?
It was only coincidence that MPR reporter Tim Post's story about the difficult time social media is providing educators occurred on the same day an apparent racial incident spilled out from the walls of Washburn High School in Minneapolis.
Is social media a force for good? Or a pain in the neck? Yes.
"A lot of times there's word that gets out before we are sure what's happening," said Linda Madsen, superintendent of the Forest Lake school district.
On one level, Madsen said, social media is a great way for students to reach out to their parents when something is happening at school, such as a lockdown. They can let their parents know that they're safe when something occurs.
But Madsen said the speed of social media posts can lead parents to call schools to find out what is going on before school officials have gathered all the facts themselves.
In her letter to parents of Washburn students this week, principal Carol Markham-Cousins sounded a similar theme. The incident had occurred days earlier, but hadn't risen to public knowledge until it began spreading on social media.
Because references have been posted on social media sites and students are talking about the incident, it is imperative that our community receives this message and understands that we are aggressively responding. Parents can help their students be safe on social media by teaching them about appropriate behavior, empathy, and how to report abuse to the website administrators and trusted adults at school or elsewhere.
But it does raise an interesting question: What if it hadn't been on social media?
In the meantime, WCCO's Esme Murphy likely gets it right in declaring what other educators have declared in similar noose cases: Kids aren't very smart about the meaning of the noose.
In coverage of Washburn HS kids hanging of black doll-clear that kids did not understand historical perspective of lynching- history matters— esme murphy - WCCO (@esmemurphy) January 18, 2013
Which is why history teachers should have a lesson plan for next week, which begins with Martin Luther King day on Monday.
Here, try this as a starting point. Spread it around on social media.
Related: School fight in North St. Paul. (Pioneer Press)
Prince wouldn't allow cameras or cellphones into his concerts this week at The Dakota, so The Current's Andrea Swensson went all old-school court reporter on him.
I dare you to sit down," he teased, egging on the crowd and demanding that everyone get up and dance, and then launched the band into a blazing, bopping cover of Chaka Khan's "Ain't Nobody" that got the entire room springing dutifully to its feet.
"You better call the baby-sitter," he joked, leaving most of the vocal melody to his trio of back-up singers and half-scatting, half-rapping his way through the first tune. He switched to all-the-way rapping on the second song, 1994 single "Days of Wild," and kept the jokes coming, at one point pausing to admire Cassandra O'Neal's tempestuous piano playing and remarking, "It's windy outside... It's windy and Lisa outside!"
Read Andrea's (the finest blogger in the Twin Cities, people!) post here.
Related pop culture: In A Fragmented Cultureverse, Can Pop References Still Pop? (NPR)
Even more pop: Taking pop seriously (Scientific American)
In Grand Forks, Jared Christensen, an experienced burglar, picked the wrong house to allegedly break into at 3 in the morning. The homeowner had a gun, the Grand Forks Herald reports today.
The burglar was just coming out of his roommate's bedroom with a laptop inside his jacket, when Kaml confronted him.
"I was pointing my .45 at him and told him to stop and get on the floor and he just kept coming right at me," Kaml said. "We danced round the living room and kitchen a little bit. I've got a couple of purple toes; I'm not sure if he stomped on them or dropped the laptop on them."
"He kept telling me he was mentally ill and he just wanted to leave," Kaml said. "I had him by the jacket and had the .45 pressed against his chest. Then he pulled a pistol out of his pocket."
Holding his six-shot revolver by its wooden handle grips, Kaml said he hit Christensen in the head two or three times with the butt of the handle. "I was trying to knock him out."
"I can guarantee you all my doors will be locked from now on," the homeowner said.
Related: What's with the thrill of shooting a gun? MPR's Sasha Aslanian went to a ladies night at a local gun shop. It turns out she's pretty good at it.
Bonus II: The ultimate full-moon shot.
In a recent op-ed piece, Rep. Keith Ellison, D-Minn., argued that the United States needs to change its policy regarding the use of drones. Ellison says strikes by the unmanned aircraft undermine U.S. standing around the world and may be killing more innocent civilians than the United States has acknowledged. Today's Question: What rules should govern the U.S. use of drones?
WHAT WE'RE DOING
Daily Circuit (9-12 p.m.) - First hour: This week on the Friday Roundtable, our panelists will discuss and debate the ideas put forth by Nate Garvis in his book "Naked Civics." Can cultural tools, as Garvis writes, really bring more positive change than political debate?
Second hour: BBC Documentary: Johnny Cash and the Forgotten Prison Blues.
Third hour: Minnesota is experiencing another year of low snow, prompting the cancellation of ski and dogsled races around the state. What impact are the mild winters having on Minnesota's economy?
MPR News Presents (12-1 pm): Historian Ronald White, giving a Chautauqua Lecture about Abraham Lincoln's second inaugural address, considered by many historians to be the finest inaugural speech ever given.
Science Friday (1-2 p.m.) - How the flu spreads and where it likes to live. And a lamp that's powered entirely by gravity.
All Things Considered (3-6:30 p.m.) - Presidential speechwriters talk to NPR about inaugural speeches.
Sounds like Greg Kami didn't need a gun to protect his castle.
Real men usually don't.
When Peavy Plaza has water in it, it is really cool. The city often doesn't keep water in it though and it makes it seem so industrial. I'm glad they can't demolish it. Now I hope they work to keep it is as beautiful as it is meant to be.
Re: #4) Does he know the people who were on during Morning Edition yesterday? The ones who succeeded in defending themselves by *saying* they had a gun, instead of actually using the gun? In terms of making the point that guns are necessary "for protection", none of these stories are very convincing.
Bonus #1: Just as I thought they aren't removing all of the scanners just some of them. And they will be replaced. Seems like they still think its a good idea.
#4: While it came out ok this time, I'm not so sure it's clearly "one for the gun owner." It seems the burglar not only almost took the .45 away from Kamil, he had his own weapon.
I'm actually not sure how either or both of them didn't end up dead with that kind of struggle occurring.
#2: Might it be a good thing if certain symbols lose their power?
To me, Peavey Plaza is where homeless people hang out.
Bob, I think you are totally off base. As a 25 year old Peavey Plaza is historic. It reaks of an era that was tough for my parents, and tough typically means significant. It signifies things my generation never got in the Suburbs, something styled, edgy and kitschy. It tells the chronological history of design in our city. Someday I want to be able to take my children on a tour of Minneapolis and be able to show them buildings and structures from every decade. It will allow me to teach them all kinds of history of Mpls and the US. It's like the ABC's of architecture. You don't just throw away the 'X' because we don't use it as much, or you personally think it's an ugly letter.
#4 - I would score this situation as a complete fail for the gun as a means of self-protection. The threat of violence only increased when the homeowner brought out his weapon and the burglar attacked him. Clearly - and perhaps thankfully - the homeowner didn't want to use lethal force but that made the gun useless and potentially a threat to be turned back on him.
Only when the burglar fled and thus was no longer a threat, the homeowner chose to fire and endanger his neighbors.
Bonus points: did having a gun lead the gun owner to neglect basic safety like LOCKING HIS DOORS at night?
We always lock our doors and I won't have to hesitate to 'defend' my home and family with the golf club by my bed.
Because when I think historic places, I think plazas! This designation has turned into a joke. Riverside Plaza? Please.
// Bob, I think you are totally off base.
Not sure what you're saying. You disagree with the opinion I have. Or you disagree with me having one?
Like I said, I recognize other people see it differently. And that's fine.
Peavey Plaza reminds me of a monstrosity *I* grew up loathing.
Ugh, just thinking about it makes me nauseous.
and, yeah, that's the Old North Church in the background and on the other side, Fanueil Hall. Gosh, what an assault on the senses.
Bob, this Peavey Plaza looks nothing like the "monstrosity" you grew up loathing.
Brutalist architecture. It's interesting if you have an open mind and read a little about the style. I like it. The courthouse in Buffalo NY is an incredible example of brutalist.
Yeah, kudos to Kaml for not shooting first, and also valid questions for firing at 80 yards.
Kaml would have been well within his rights and the legal system to have pulled the trigger as soon as he saw bad guy had a gun.
His failing was that he did not.