By Dashiel Carrera
For far too long, this publication has misled you; for that, I am sorry. You may have discovered the minnesota review at the back of some bookstore and thought, “Finally! Someone actually wrote it!” But of course, we did not. You may have even weighed the book in your hand and thought, “Who would have thought that when I finally found it, it would be over 100 pages?” But of course, not a single page was devoted to what you really wanted, and instead you were left with a collection of excellently-written contemporary literature and criticism.
I think it is time that we atone for this wrong. Though I have never been to Minnesota myself, I have access to Wikipedia and a blog, and am prepared to express my opinion. That’s all it seems to take these days, so without further ado, here it is: the real Minnesota Review.
Minnesota is a pretty cool place. It likely got its name from the phrase ‘Mnißota,’ a Sioux tribe phrase which translates roughly to “cloudy water.” Apparently, in order to describe this to early settlers, the Sioux tribe dropped milk into water. I like to think of the little drops of white spreading out into the rapids, swirling around the fish and into the murky depths as a metaphor for the fluid and flexible culture which Minnesota cultivates (but again, I’ve never been to Minnesota).
Minnesota is the 12th largest state in terms of area, and the 22nd most populous. It is known well for its “Minnesota Nice” culture, a courteous, reserved, and mild-mannered culture which prefers agreeableness and understatement to aggression and self-expression. This culture was famously depicted in the 1996 cult film Fargo, in which a mild-mannered Minnesota car dealer hires two hitmen to kidnap his wife. Fargo’s a pretty cool movie, so I gotta give Minnesota points for that. Also its size and population make it a formidable foe if placed head to head in battle against any other state.
There are also a lot of great musicians from Minnesota. Bob Dylan grew up in Hibbling, Minnesota before he moved to the famous East Village 60’s folk scene. Hüsker Dü is also from Minnesota, a band perhaps best known for their blisteringly fast double-length rock opera Zen Arcade. Also hailing from Minnesota are Prince, Owl City and The Replacements.
Minnesota also has low rates of premature death, infant mortality, cardiovascular disease, and occupational fatalities. Minnesotans have long life expectancies and get lots of physical exercise. In 2014, Minnesotans earned the 10th highest average score on the ACTs of any state.
You know, I started this review to right a wrong, but I’ve become convinced: Minnesota is cool. Minnesota is kind, and Minnesota has a very distinct culture in a part of the country where long plains can blur together. I’m proud to work for a publication that pretends to write a really long review of Minnesota twice a year.