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A Rant and a Rave


Fri, Dec 28th, 2001
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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, Dec 28th, 2001
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Monday, November 19, 2001

The NBA season is fully underway. Youd have to live under a rock not to have seen MJ, his Airness, firing away for the Wizards. After all, TNT and NBC plan on having the lowly Wizards on the tube whenever possible; t ..... 
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Neither Snow nor Rain nor Dark of Night

Fri, Dec 28th, 2001
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Monday, November 26, 2001

On my usual late morning walk down our Big Woods road, I cross the bridge over the South Fork, pass the road to Jaymour Larson's old place, round the big curve and am nearing the tall post that once supported Pancake ..... 
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Turtle Dreamtime

Fri, Dec 28th, 2001
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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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All About Amaryllis

Fri, Dec 28th, 2001
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Virginia CooperMonday, December 31, 2001

What can you say about these amazing flowers - except Wow! After last weeks' column on forcing bulbs for indoors, several neighbors have asked for more information on growing these gigantic beauties.
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The Sky Above the Ice Below

Fri, Dec 28th, 2001
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By Wayne PikeMonday, December 31, 2001

Celebrating the turning of a page on the calendar seems like celebrating another sunset. We are happy to still be here to enjoy it, but we should feel that way every day. I guess if a person is looking fo ..... 
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What about Fillmore County?

Fri, Dec 28th, 2001
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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, Dec 28th, 2001
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Fri, Dec 28th, 2001
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