Bridge Conspiracy Theories

Just got back from joining the downtown lunchtime bridge gawkers. Nobody can get closer than two blocks out. Pretty tight perimeter of cops and yellow tape. There is tape blocking off the Stone Arch Bridge so emergency personnel can cross back and forth, so hundreds of onlookers were congregating on the 3rd Ave. Bridge sidewalk, alongside the Mill Ruins, and on top of the tall mound in Gold Medal Park. The most popular vantage point was the Guthrie, with people waiting in line for the Endless Bridge, although the best spot was the large windows next to the entrance to the McGuire Proscenium Stage. Even from there, couldn’t see much with the tall trees obscuring most of the scene, just the crumpled green steel and the sheared off concrete on the East bank of the river.

I’m still an onlooker, listener, and watcher in this thing. We don’t even have an accurate death toll yet. None of my friends or family were drowned or crushed. But people that should know better are already pointing fingers and playing the blame game. Nick Coleman even took the opportunity to blame the Twins Stadium in his rushed out pop protest single, “No More Collapses.” Sure, it sounds a little familiar, but what did you expect from Nick? “Ohio”? Trust me, “No More Collapses” might strike some stale poses, but it’s a classic rock anthem with a chance to supplant Prince’s “Guitar” as the old guy on auto-pilot hit of the summer. Point is, I don’t want to fall behind; it’s time for Stephenhero to shake off the daze and put some odds up. Let’s really play the 35W bridge blame game, huh? Who has the most to lose? The most to win? Anyone need the action already? Pin the tail on the donkey, or the elephant, or the front office, or the news director, depending on how “media savvy” you are. And remember, if I’m a conspiracy theorist, you’re a coincidence theorist.

God 11/9
Republicans 7/2
Democrats 2/1
MNDOT 4/1
The Twins 10/1
Glen Taylor 40/1
MnSpeak 100/1
The City of Minneapolis 150/1
Star Tribune headline writers 200/1
Network news 1000/1
The Red Cross 10000/1
Homeland Security Breach 100000/1
ULF blast originating from Augsburg College 150,000/1
Kevin Garnett 1000000/1

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5 Responses

  1. I read that article, and nowhere in it does he blame the Twins for I-35 collapsing. Pity, because when you take that out of your post you don’t really have anything to say …

  2. Coleman really thinks that he can post anonymously on your blog in the 3rd person and we won’t catch on? C’mon Nick, you can do better than that.

  3. Why do you hate freedom?

  4. Here’s the offending sentence:

    “Both political parties have tried to govern on the cheap, and both have dithered and dallied and spent public wealth on stadiums while scrimping on the basics.”

    It’s just a lazy criticism, and it’s Nick’s faux-populism, Pohlad-is-a-symbol-of-the-evil-rich hobby horse (I would love to see one of Nicky’s tax returns sometime, btw). Coleman insinuated that funding for bridges was going to the ballpark the night after the collapse, before the investigation into why the bridge fell into the water had begun, before an accurate death count, before the names of the missing were released. There were people still in the water. I do hope that this collapse spurs government spending on roads and sewers and schools, but the fact is, culture is important too. There has to be stuff to do in a big city. This stadium money didn’t come at the expense of the kids or the roads or the bridges. I think building a stadium is one of the few things the government has gotten right lately–actually spending money on something the urban public can use. I agree with Coleman on this point: our leaders are cheap. This isn’t the anti-tax league’s fault though; I think it’s more of a Midwestern thing: you know, Just Good Enough, whether it’s the Dome or bridge design. And frugality isn’t all bad, and I recognize the waste that can come with big, slow, government bureaucracy. But sometimes you gotta spend money to make money. Minneapolis is cash strapped, with the Governor and the Mayor playing no limit hold ’em with everything from the police to the library system, but the stadium is the biggest infrastructure gift Minneapolis has ever received. Ryback and the City Council didn’t work to build it; they didn’t want anything do with it. Democrats used to care about building stuff, big public works projects, like stadiums, bridges, highways–now they’re as bad as Republicans. What happened?

  5. obama

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