Friday, May 02, 2003

"Minneota Nice = the Minnesota State Government" 

I've been thinking about the increasingly shrill tone of my fellow faculty and administrative staff over impending budget cuts. So too has Mitch Berg (archives not working, scroll to entry titled "Minnesota Codependent".) This is brilliant.
Then, last week, during the debate on the Concealed Carry Reform bill, some of the anti demonstrators carried signs: "Guns aren't Minnesota Nice". Note, again, the parallel - Minnesota Nice equals a state monopoly on self-defense.

Minneota Nice = the Minnesota State Government.

Now, let's forget the absurdity of anthropomorphizing an inanimate body like government with human qualities like "nice" for just a moment. Let's take it at face value.

The people of Minnesota are in a relationship with this anthropomorphous body; let's call it "State". "State" demands a lot; if you don't spend enough on her, she gets peevish; if you don't give her enough attention at election time, she acts neglected, but if you pay her too much attention she wants more space. She assumes all the power - "I can never trust you with it..." - and then mishandles it. The focus is always on her and her needs.

And in exchange for all this fiscal and emotional attention, we get...passive/aggression cloaked as "nice". Enablement of a genuine addiction, plus she's inviting all her friends to the party. If we only refrain from disturbing here, she'll keep being "nice" to us; we're too tired to want to fight about it anymore.

In other words, Minnesota and Minnesotans are in a codependent, dysfunctional relationship. Even a little abusive; the abuse is all psychological, of course, but it's there, the constant threats of disaster if you don't do things her way.

Our incoming union president says "The Legislature is not valuing public higher education." And the only way you can show you value it is to pay more taxes.
To borrow a phrase, faculty are facing �the perfect storm� at the legislature this session. Diverse factors, such as overzealous tax cutting in recent years, a sluggish economy, and a sudden lurch to the right on state politics following the Wellstone memorial just prior to the election, have combined to produce the worst political environment in decades for pubic employees and higher education constituencies.

...How the budget and labor issues will ultimately be resolved depends upon the willingness of the Republicans to accept the DFL proposed tax increases.

Don't you love this "sudden lurch to the right on state politics following the Wellstone memorial"? What, were we all overcome by some mass psychosis after watching the moron Rick Kahn hand the Senate to Norm Coleman? This quote comes from the legislative lobbyist for the union that takes $652.50 of my money to represent me. Money doesn't buy what it used to.