Welcome back to The Flyover, your daily midday digest of what local media outlets and Twitter-ers are gabbing about.
Get Ready for an E•MO•TION-al TC Pride
Big Pride news: This year’s musical headliner is Carly Rae Jepsen, as LGBTQ+-beloved a contemporary pop star as there is. And in a TC Pride first, she’ll be performing at the big ol’ Armory, rather than at the Concert in the Park (which ain’t happening). What’s CRJ have to say about her status as a “gay icon”? “Honestly, that’s kinda been the gift of my career. I did not expect to have that come into my life.” Ticketing info is here—looks like you can only buy eight tickets at once, which is good news for those of us with seven or fewer friends. Ms. Jepsen is coming off a Coachella appearance, and will release a new single, “Western Wind,” on Friday. Can’t wait till then? There’s a trailer for the song, which is unfortunately a thing we are doing now. In my day we didn’t have trailers for songs. We didn’t even have videos sometimes! We just closed our eyes and imagined things. We rented our telephones from the telephone company. TV went off the air at night. Our years started with 19. We…
Won’t Somebody Please Think of the Institutions!
Here’s the thing about U.S. institutions: They stink. The various branches of American democracy, including the fourth, exist to reinforce our country’s role as a top-down, racist, and sexist global financier/arms dealer. It might not surprise you to learn that the grade-school civics grads who run the Star Tribune Editorial Board hold a different worldview. As abortion rights face extreme peril following leaked SCOTUS plans to overturn Roe v. Wade, the Strib department tasked with divining good opinions arrived at: “For the moment, however, we’re more concerned about the future of the Supreme Court itself.” (Suckers for flag-saluting sanctimony and political credulity can read their take here.) The piece makes one passing mention of the court clawing back rights from an entire class of citizens, focusing instead on the childlike belief that the unelected, conservative court operates on a celestial, lawyerly plane above all ideology. But, mostly, it asks questions of questionable consequence: Who is the leaker? Why’d they leak? Will their leak be punished accordingly? We’re more concerned about fundamental healthcare rights being stripped from half of the population—and, thankfully, the Strib’s news division has its priorities straight with this excellent report.
Jam & Lewis Bound for Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
And speaking of rotten institutions… the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame announced its annual slate of inductees today. No one on the big list of performers, selected by Rock Hall voters, was from Minnesota and therefore we are not professionally obligated to have any opinions about them in this space. But two local sons will enter the Rock Hall via a different means. Minneapolis-bred superproducers Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis will be smuggled in under the “musical excellence” category—one of those fudgy means by which the Rock Hall inducts worthy musicians who voters don’t have the good taste to select. (The other “musical excellence” inductees this year are Judas Priest, who, while rockin’ enough in their own right, are not really musically “excellent” except maybe in the Bill and Ted sense.) Jam and Lewis, of course, came up alongside Prince, were among the premier architects of the Minneapolis Sound, and hit their highest peaks working Janet Jackson. “I was shocked quite honestly,” Jam said, as one does under such circumstances. “As far as career recognition, it’s as big as it gets to me. It’s huge to me. People that are members of that club, so many of them are people I admire and love.” Fun fact: I (Keith) am a RRHOF voter. (I know, right?) Funner fact: No one I voted for made it in this year.
Twin Cities Parks Top List, Need To Work on Equity
Lists! We love to read them, especially when we come out near the top. And that is certainly the case in this year’s Trust for Public Land’s ParkScore Index rankings, which put St. Paul at #2 and Minneapolis at #5. The study looks at the 100 most populous cities in the U.S. Park systems in each city are ranked in five categories: access, investment, amenities, acreage, equity. Some fun facts: 98% of Minneapolis and 99% of St. Paul residents are a 10-minute walk away from a park. Minneapolis parks excel at providing splash pads (4.4 per 100,000 people!) and recreation/senior centers. St. Paul is also doing well with rec centers, as well as bathrooms and basketball hoops (1.7 per 20,000 people). Some not-so-fun facts? While both cities “knocked it out of the park” so to speak in terms of access and investments, both need to work on equity. For example, if you live in a mostly BIPOC or low-income neighborhood, your nearby parks are much smaller and have fewer amenities. Washington, DC took top honors this year, though its park playground rankings are suspiciously low. (Only two playgrounds per 10,000 people? Get it together!)