Yes, I've been to that mall.

Upon hearing that there was a terrorist attack at a Minnesota mall, I thought: what took so long?

Upon hearing that daughter was heading off to a street fair where they've blocked off the roads so people can mingle and eat and listen to bands and enjoy themselves on a day you can't call anything other than the latest ration of summer we'll be granted, I thought: don't get blown up.

The first makes sense. The second doesn't. Ever since 9/11 it seemed that malls were obvious targets - I mean, THE MALL OF AMERICA is a pretty big symbolic target. I had to tell Daughter that if anything happened, don't run down the hallways. Run into the store, into the back, and into the service corridors. But nothing happened, here. I no longer walk into a Mall thinking "perhaps" any more than I get that sick tweak in the gut when I see a jet flying near downtown.

The stabber, according to the news, attended St. Cloud University. Worked as a security guard. His Facebook page says - and this is a first - that he is from Fargo, North Dakota.

Yeeeeah. That's not on the Fargo Forum's website now; get cracking, guys. So he came to Fargo when he was 9, from Somalai. Judging from his Facebook page, he was into Wiz Khalifa and the Mavericks basketball team, so it seems he got the swing of things - but the Facebook page entries end two years ago.

Our paper today had a story on a local Somali woman trying to combat radicalization. Her nieces were wounded in the Nairobi Mall attack.

It wasn’t long before Hassan encountered pushback in the Somali community. One of the project’s two main prongs would be the development of “community-led intervention teams” — groups of Somali leaders and educators enlisted to identify and intervene with young people believed at risk for radicalization.

But as her task force began seeking volunteers, in the spring of 2015, the FBI conducted a series of raids in Minnesota targeting young Somali-Americans suspected of trying to join ISIL. The raids alarmed and angered many in the Somali community. Their anxieties mounted when three of the young men were convicted on federal terror charges in June after a grueling trial. Six others pleaded guilty before trial.

One summer evening after the trial, inside a popular Minneapolis community center, a dozen young Somali-Americans stood before an audience gathered to speak out against the federal anti-terrorism effort.

“Yes, we do want resources,” said one young man. “But we want it because we deserve it, not because we are a problem that needs to be solved.”

“Why is the DOJ involved in something like this when they should be taking care of criminals?” asked another.

The young critics are among several dozen allied community groups and religious centers, including the local chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, to speak out against the federal pilot project. They argue that the effort, dubbed Countering Violent Extremism, is based on the premise that religion or nationality determine someone’s propensity for violence. They have called it “fundamentally discriminatory.”

When Luger introduced Minnesota’s arm of the federal project, he explained that it focused on the Somali community because it had been “disproportionately targeted” by terrorist recruiters since at least 2007.

That hasn’t convinced some longtime local Somali activists like Burhan Mohumed. Mohumed, 26, helped organize the July community center meeting and has been a vocal opponent of the Minneapolis pilot.

“Anybody in the law enforcement community, they’re not there to see how you’re doing — they’re there to ask for information,” Mohumed said in an interview. “Where can we go if you see me as a problem?”

We'll find out more about the dead stabber in the week to come, and I suspect we'll find out no more than the basics: quiet kid, smart, no outward signs of problems. Mental health issues are being raised, to use the passive construction. We'll hear about tensions in the community between the "white, B-plus, Minnesota-born citizens," to use our governor's description of the people who should move to another state if they are uncomfortable with newcomers. He also said he was . . .

. . . appalled at the terrible attacks on innocent Minnesotans in St. Cloud last night. If true that they were motivated by religious bigotry, I condemn them even more strongly. … I ask everyone in the St. Cloud area and throughout Minnesota to rise above this atrocity and act to make religious and racial tolerance one of the ways in which Minnesotans again lead our country.

Why is someone in International Falls or Pipestone being asked to rise above this? What did they do?

That quote above, taken from the paper's website, excised one line from the Governor's statement:

There is no place in Minnesota for intolerance of all Americans’ constitutional right to worship according to their beliefs.

You know, they weren't worshipping. They were shopping.

Daughter came home at 8:30 after a long happy day. The street fair went great.

No one blew up anything.



Never express your confusion about gender identity in front of a statue.

It lasted seven episodes. The voice, of course, is Sterling Holloway. Here's a good summation of the wonderful 70s, from a comment on the YouTube page:

Best that I can figure, there were eight episodes aired between January and March of 1979, although a ninth was scheduled but pre-empted by an NBC News special about the Three Mile Island nuclear disaster.





There's something to be said for the cheap, quick, exploitation movies. The flicks that grab a sparking wire from the popular culture - a panic piece in a mainstream publication, a shocking news story, a subtle trembling fear running through the bourgeoise foundations. And that something is:

These movies are usually short.

It's 59 minutes.

Check out this wild crazy party, with flaming youth engaged in sinful dances of lust:

Oh yes, that's him. As despicable punks go . . .

He's utterly detestable. He's everything you hate in a JD. Amoral, mocking, and not half as smart as he thinks.

After he gets out, everyone's impressed. Even Fake Christopher Walken:


Guys like this, you just want to smack 'em. Anyway. The Wild Youth learn that the obligatory Nice Guy in this picture was in a game of chicken with a truck, the nice guy chickened out. So naturally he must be taunted in the most irritating fashion possible:



This leads to a fight with bongos. I mean there are bongos while they fight.

Synopsis. (SPOILERS.)

A rebellious punk of the beat generation spends his days as an amateur dirt track driver in between partying and troublemaking. He eventually kidnaps his buddy's girlfriend, kills a few police officers and finally sees his own life end in tragedy.

And what does this say about America? Ought we not wonder what it is that drives so many youth to the pitfalls of Beatism?

What's that, you say - these aren't the right questions? You're correct. The right question is why imdb's synopsis is so wrong. He killed one police officer in a traffic incident. As for his life ending in tragedy, here's the life-ending tragedy that ends his life, tragically:


That's it. Now, his friend's life ended in tragedy because his friend was dead, killed when he got in a wreck, , and Johnny felt responsible and gave himself up but he'll probably do six months for reckless driving. If that.

Clockwork Orange it isn't. It can't be. The times required that these films be made to sate the need for Kids Today to see something like themselves on the big screen. The times also required that the coolest guys - the ones with no remorse, the ones who just - didn't - caaare, maaan - get their comeuppance, to remind everyone that they would not be allowed to have legitimately recognized sexual unions, procreate, get good jobs, and join the Rotary. So they had to pay - which probably made them even cooler to the hard cases in the audience, because either they died, which was cool, or they went to jail, where they would be cool and come out cooler, or just because they maintained the state of Not Caring right up to the end.

What I can't stand about these characters is their idiotic insolence. They have no style. They're all sneers and mock humility, a persona calculated to enrage the generation that was off in the jungles getting shot when these kids were in diapers. That famous JD line - what are you rebelling against? / I don't know, whaddya got? is useless nihilism. But I repeat myself.

But hey, they must be serious and deep. They're alienated.

We're told that alienation is a dire wraith that afflicts the dispossessed and drives them to drastic actions. If you're a Crazed Loner who shoots up a movie theater, alienation means you absorbed rabid-bat-mad theories from the internet, which fed into your mental illness and produced the desire for random retribution. (The amount of attention spent on your motivation, and what it means about the Troubling Undercurrents in America, depends on the side to which your ramblings tilt.) But if you have creative pretensions, "Alienation" is celebrated as a sign of wisdom: the brilliant soul who seems clearly cannot help be alienated from this wretched assemblage of cruelty and avarice. Some people will always side with the Alienated, because they get it. They have pierced the greasy cheesecloth and apprehended our society for what it is, and reject it. Bravo! Such perspicacious insight. Such bravery.

So. For some people there's an intellectual inclination to lean into the Alienation explanation, because it suggests a finer-tuned sensibility. The people who fit in, they're the phonies. You know, the jocks. The business majors. The sons and daughteres of immigrants who adapt, adopt, improve. But the Alienated ones, they have a lesson for us all.

It's like saying the guy who rowed his canoe out into the ocean has something to teach us about building a house.

That's the last one of those for a while. Back to school usually means Teen Flix, but now that we're into the second half of September, I'll have to . . .

Wait, what will I do? It's too soon for Monster Movies. You'll have to wait until next Monday to find out! Also, you'll forget the matter the instant you leave this page.

Matches await. We're coming to the end of this batch of restaurant updates; only two weeks left. After that, I'll have to -

Wait, what will I OH SHUT UP


blog comments powered by Disqus