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A Rant and a Rave


Fri, Jan 18th, 2002
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Monday, December 31, 2001

Last week, in this very paper, there appeared a quote from Garrison Keillor where he extolled the value of true newspapers: those that report crime, uncover scandal, and feature a few "irreverent columnists." This troubled me personally, because, while I am a columnist, and I take my job seriously, I realized that I'm seldom irreverent. I think I need to be more irreverent.

To me, an irreverent columnist is one who rants about injustice, or says the things nobody else will say. Sort of the person who boldly proclaims that the emperor has no clothes. It's not that I don't have strong opinions. I do. It's just that whether I express them has never kept me up at night. I figure that my opinions are just that-mine. And nobody else really cares to hear them, as they all have their own.

But the real problem may be the curse of many Minnesotans-I am chronically polite.

People around the country refer to "Minnesota Nice," which I think means we'll do anything to avoid making someone else uncomfortable, including expressing strong opinions. I believe it is the rare Minnesotan who enjoys "rocking the boat." The phrase "live and let live" originated here. I'll confess that I've lied for the sake of politeness. Nothing serious-just little white ones like "Yes, I love the gift!" or "No, it didn't hurt when you stepped on my foot."

Still, the lure of irreverence is strong. I decided to think of something that makes me mad and try ranting about it. The task of coming up with a topic was more difficult than I imagined. Maybe it's not the right season for forcing anger. After awhile, I finally came up with this.

I really, really hate it when people spit on sidewalks.
Maybe I stare at the ground more than the average person, but it seems I'm always stumbling upon the product of someone's throat and/or sinuses. Nothing turns my stomach faster. Plus it demonstrates such a lack of regard for public space. With just a little common courtesy, life, even in public places, could be so pleasant.

That's really not much of a rant. For one thing, what rational person will argue against me? "Gee, Bonnie. I think public sidewalks are the perfect place for the average citizen to deposit bodily by-products."

I think a truly irreverent columnist would choose something more controversial. But I'm new at irreverence. So-all you sidewalk spitters, stop it! Right now! I mean it!

But ju .....
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Are You Game?

Fri, Jan 18th, 2002
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Monday, January 21, 2002

A quick note on the NFL playoffs which are in full swing with the Vikings sitting on the couch watching on TV like most everyone else. Look for the Rams, Eagles, Patriots and Ravens to go to the next level. The Packers ..... 
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Lost

Fri, Jan 18th, 2002
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Monday, January 21, 2002

My hands clutch the steering wheel and the cord of the CB radio. My knuckles must be as white as the snow that imprisons me in my car. The strong competent voice of my husband comes over the radio: "Nan, where are you? ..... 
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Turtle Dreamtime

Fri, Jan 18th, 2002
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By John LevellMonday, December 10, 2001

While long winter naps certainly seem appealing, a cold weather snooze lasting some five or six months is just a tad bit excessive. Factor in not a breath of fresh air or single bit ..... 
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Check out the heirlooms

Fri, Jan 18th, 2002
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Virginia CooperMonday, January 7, 2002

Even in the midst of winter there is always something to say about gardening. It's time to check out those catalogs and order your seeds for this year's garden.

What is open pollinated?

Wha ..... 
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The Compass Never Tells the Truth

Fri, Jan 18th, 2002
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By Wayne PikeMonday, January 14, 2002

I am somewhat skeptical of those directional compasses that you buy to keep in the car. My grandfather’s compass that he had in his 19 Ford was the last one that I knew of that worked properly, with the po ..... 
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What about Fillmore County?

Fri, Jan 18th, 2002
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Monday, December 24, 2001

When I arrived at my office last Monday, there was a copy of the Sunday Winona Daily News waiting for me in the entry way. Under a front page story “Published farm subsidies stir up debate”, which listed the top 20 Wi ..... 
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Fri, Jan 18th, 2002
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Fri, Jan 18th, 2002
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