Sunday, January 21, 2007

Highs and Lows in GeminiCities

Reaction to Jay Weiner's opinion piece in the Strib has started to come in. [It's time for 'U' to drop the ball. Startribune, January 14, 2007.] And it is not good. Today's Strib had the following comments in the letters section:

Should 'u' drop football?

Follow Chicago's lead

Jay Weiner is correct ("It's time for 'U' to drop the ball," Jan. 14).

Remove the burden of big-time football, and perhaps our great university can begin to match the intellectual vibrancy of the University of Chicago.


It had to be said

Bravo for Jay Weiner for having the courage to state the obvious truth about University of Minnesota athletics, with special attention to the football program.

Most of the public knows that his facts and his solution are correct, but it's impossible to find a politician with the nerve to state those truths out loud, and Weiner's column in the Jan. 14 Opinion Exchange section may be the first truly honest piece about university football ever written by a Minnesota journalist and published by a newspaper in the state.


And address the stadium

I hope University of Minnesota President Robert Bruininks, the Board of Regents, Gov. Tim Pawlenty, the Minnesota Legislature and the taxpaying public consider seriously Jay Weiner's Jan. 14 proposal that the university drop football.

I believe that this could be the much-needed, long-overdue first step to scale back intercollegiate athletics at the university and put them in proper relation to the school's primary mission: educating our young people and serving as a multifaceted resource to the people of Minnesota.

Whether football is retained, scaled back or dropped, I also believe the Legislature should ASAP rescind its horrendous bill of last session authorizing construction -- mostly with taxpayer dollars -- of a new (and unneeded) football stadium.


On the "cultcha" front

The Bonzo's went to see a preview of the upcoming Michael Frayn play "Democracy" at the Park Square Theater. We are blessed in GeminiCities to have very good live theater. Being of low class in the culture business Mr. Bonzo had never heard of Park Square, but of course Mrs. Bonzo knew all about it. Mrs. Bonzo saw Copenhagen, another wonderful Frayn play, on stage in London. Mr. Bonzo has not see Copenhagen but has read the play. So we are Frayn fans. Having grown up in the time of Kennedy and Willy Brandt the play was fascinating to the Bonzos. The actors were outstanding, many of them being experienced actors from the Guthrie, another temple of cultcha in GeminiCities. AND the director was Jon Cranney of Children's Theater fame who has directed Copenhagen in the past with some of the same actors. The reviews are not out yet, but a la the old Siskel & Ebert show, Mr. and Mrs. Bonzo give two thumbs up. Futher information, but not a review, can be found here.

Note added (I-30-07): a mildly critical Strib review has now appeared.

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