A Minnesota Link Roundup for People Who Aren’t Nerds about MN

I feel like some of these links might be kind of old news? But then again, not everyone obsesses about Minnesota culture like I do, so maybe not. Anyway, it’s all stuff I’m excited about, and 🎶 it’s my blog, I’ll rehash if I want to.🎶

1.This unbelievable man is running for the Minnesota Supreme Court.

Collage credit: Minnpost. Photo of Natalie Hudson credit: Briana Bierschbach

He’s the one on the left wearing the backwards baseball cap. His name is Craig Foss.

Here is his candidate information questionnaire. Let me pull out the highlights for you.

  • In response to a request for his campaign website, he answered, “No facebook [sic] or website. E-mail address is jacob0372@comcast.net.” (A Comcast email? Is he my parents circa 2015?)
  • In response to a question about why he’s the best candidate: “I do not know anything about the candidates running against me. I want to be elected as a Judge because I am unemployed and I want to work.” (Aldi is hiring right now, Craig. And Panera.)


Don’t let this happen. Vote in the primary election tomorrow (or today, if you’re reading this on Tuesday) and save yourself. And read this before you consider voting for his Republican opponent. And consider voting for this lady, because she actually seems like she kind of knows what she’s doing.

2. Borghild Dahl wrote a wonderful book in 1953. And I discovered it last week.

First (and only?) edition

I picked up Homecoming at the thrift store because I saw Dahl on the cover and thought Roald. No dice, but when I opened it up and saw Minneapolis mentioned on the first page, I was sold.

The first page

Homecoming is the (vaguely fictional) story of one Lyng Skoglund, a Norwegian immigrant growing up in the Twin Cities during the early twentieth century. It describes her dogged struggle to attend college despite rampant anti-Norwegian discrimination, then her experiences as a schoolteacher in a puritanical small town in Northern Minnesota. It is not as depressing as it sounds.

In fact, it’s the opposite of depressing. In an election year dominated by Islamophobic panic and anti-immigrant rhetoric, it’s wonderful to be reminded that an immigrant population can transition from “outsiders” to “founding fathers” over the course of a hundred years or so.

I mean, Norwegians! What would Minnesota be without our Scandinavian underpinnings, our pickled herring and our work ethic, our lutefisk and our stoicism? And yet, a century ago, Norwegians were seen as unassimilated white trash, extra af and a burden on society. How things change.

I wish it hadn’t taken a hundred years for that to happen, but at least it DID happen. It gives me hope for Future Minnesota, and for the futures of the awesome, hard-working, America-loving Muslim immigrants I have met in the last ten years.

But back to Homecoming. It’s a good book, a truly groovy look into the history of our state. You could buy it on Amazon for ten bucks, or you could wait for it to serendipitously find you in a used bookstore. Either way works.

Got all these books for under $10!

P.S. If you get out to the North Metro area, the thrift store in Elk River is an AMAYZING place to buy used books. They’re pretty much all under a dollar and I’ve found everything from Kafka to Christie to Lewis there. Note that it’s not the Goodwill in Elk River that I’m talking about, it’s the thrift store. The no-name one next to Menards. Check it out.

3. Dessa released a new single.

It’s called Quinine. It’s very listenable, as suggested by the fact that I had it on loop for three hours.

But I don’t know. It sounds like the average of every Dessa song ever to me. I was a little disappointed.

It’s still a good song though. (Especially if you thought quinine was pronounced “quinn-eye-n,” not that I’m admitting to anything.)

4. Undlin and Wolfe released their first music video.

It’s soft and pretty, like the hair of a Scandinavian sorority sister. Would totally win if it went up in Battle of the Gentle Bands.

5. Nethan released a new music video.

Enjoyable. Would NOT win if it went up in the Battle of the Gentle Bands.

6. The Atlantic wrote an article about the history of race and housing in the Twin Cities.

It’s great background on the inequalities we’re struggling to solve now.

7. Maria Bamford got a Netflix show.

You know who Maria Bamford is, right? If you don’t, you need to. Trust. Or don’t trust, watch this clip of her stand-up and know her awesomeness for yourself.

She’s a Duluth native who’s been making a name in the alt comedy world since…since a long time. She’s funny. Her Netflix show, Lady Dynamite, is also funny, and includes cameos by other funny people like Patton Oswald and Bridget Everett. Here’s the trailer.

Show highlights include hilarious stories about paralyzing depression and each and every time Bamford screams into a loofah to express her discomfort with emotional vulnerability. #relatable

Mastley out.

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