Andy, Steph and I watched the Vikings simply beat themselves. It was an eerie, horrible time. This photo essay, dumbly, documents our pain as it happened.
This was the scene downstairs at S. 12th over the weekend. I was out of frame for much of the game, watching from the chair on the right. :37 in is my personal favorite. Herbach slunk off to the kitchen and Steph whispered “I don’t think he’s coming back.”
Contrast to the jubiliant scene on the other end of the Mississippi at Ills Manor.
When Nate and I were kids, and we would come to our dad with some minor complaint about television programming or homework or each other’s personal habits, he would often shake his head and chuckle and call us both the “nattering nabobs of negativism.” Oh, that would get us so upset. What is a “nabob”?
It was, of course, many years before we realized he was just throwing around a beloved old Spiro Agnew line that Bill Safire had written. The Vice President made that quip sometime around 1970, when my dad was 20. I imagine him as a young man, laying around a living room in Cincinnati and drinking a Hudepohl, and hearing Agnew deliver that zinger on the radio and chuckling derisively. Agnew and Safire’s political orientation aside, it’s a really good line. Good enough for dad to ironically adapt it for everyday speech, at least, and use through the mid-1980s.
We all do that; these memorable lines from the world of politics make their way into our everyday speech. How many times have you met some minor accomplishment with a sarcastic “yes we can”?
Above I have posted my favorite example from the last ten years. I probably mumble that exact phrase to myself once a day. I mutter it everytime something is not going my way; when I stub my toe, or miss the bus, or read a “Best of the ’00s” list and find Sleater-Kinney nowhere on it. I like it because the rhetoric is so inflammatory. Try it: next time your Reuben comes out and they’ve skimped on the saurkraut, shake your head and shout “Skimping on the saurkraut?” and then deliver the line.
(Actually, I usually drop the “no, no, no” and the “Not…” at the start, and rephrase the first sentence as a rhetorical question, but still, same idea.)
Since it’s been a dreary, rainy week (here in Minneapolis, anyway), and there’s been so little to get excited about regarding President Obama lately (even Molly and Mel seem much less chipper on the subject these days), I thought this would be a good time to share with you a favorite personal entry in the Dreams I Had About Barack Obama sweepstakes. Remember there was once a semi-popular blog on this subject? Last updated in May, 2008. Those were the days, huh?
Anyway, it went like this: during the campaign, Barack and I had met, and struck up a wonderful friendship. On his off-days campaigning, he’d fly into Minneapolis and we’d get together in my dream apartment (which was much nicer than my non-dream apartment). We had beautiful matching velvet waistcoats and matching trousers that we stored at my place, and we’d put them on, play Moody Blues records on my turntable for a few hours and sit around talking about poetry. We’d do this once a week; it was how we both unwound from the pressures of our lives. Velvet’s a comfortable fabric, you know? A lot of cute stories about our meet-ups were appearing in the press (Barack’s Velvet Pantsuit Parties: The Trees Are Drawing Him Near! Inside, We Find Out Why!).
One day, before our appointed meeting, an aide (let’s say it was Rahm Emanuel) pulled me aside. “Andy,” he hissed. “These get-togethers with Barack have to stop.”
I was perplexed. “But why?” I asked.
Rahm stared at me with a look of barely contained rage. “The velvet jackets. The fucking Moody Blues. It’s all too effete. It’s not the kind of image he needs in the press right now.”
“But…but…,” I stammered.
“It ends now.”
I was on the verge of tears. “But Barack and I love the Moody Blues,” I wailed.
And so we did. In the dream. Above is ”Minstrel’s Song,” from 1960-something. Happy Friday, reader.