Thursday, January 20, 2011

Caribou and Moose

Nineteen degrees below zero. That is how cold it is supposed to be tonight in Minneapolis. That is actual air temperature, not taking into account the wind chill. I truly believe that human beings were not meant to live in a land that can create temperatures this frigidly ridiculous. The peoples who settled Minnesota years and years ago should have just kept on walking. They should have headed west to California. The Golden State. They should have left this frozen chunk of land to the caribou and moose.

Unfortunately for me, they did not. They settled here. They created cute little towns with funky names like Sleepy Eye and Castle Danger and Marine on St. Croix. They brought with them a settler's resolve and sense of autonomy. They built communities based around individual rights. They valued freedom and liberty for all people. They opened their borders to immigrants, bringing with them a wealth of cultural richness. They developed extensive social service programs. They elected free-thinking officials who were not afraid to stand up for their constituents. They created a vast park system and took steps to protect the natural world around them. They embraced the arts and became the Midwest's biggest hub for theater and art outside of Chicago. They came to value their gay and lesbian citizens and were eventually named the "Gayest City in America" by The Advocate magazine.

All of these qualities invited young, idealistic, free-thinkers to settle within Minnesota's borders. These characteristics are what first brought me to Minneapolis. The attributes that compelled me to leave the warmth of the south. These are the exact reasons I chose to stay and raise my family here.

So here I sit. Freezing my ass off. My toes are numb. My fingers are barely able to type. I am chilled to the very bone. I am beginning to believe that I will never be warm again.

Damn settlers. Damn cultural richness. Damn "Gayest City in America." I tell you...caribou and moose should be the only thing living here.


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