Sometimes five points of fakeness just doesn't seem to be enough. As such, here's five more reasons that Minneapolis needs to get real about itself. You can spell 'Minneapolis' without 'hypocrite', but that doesn't mean the two aren't connected.
Everybody in this city seems to think that they deserve everything they've got and just a little bit more. We even passed laws to legalize and liscense people to panhandle. Every offramp in the city is crowded with people carrying cardboard signs telling me that god loves me and that I should help them out with just a little money. I can't walk down Lake Street without someone telling me how their "car broke down - just trying to get a couple bucks for gas" or "just trying to catch a bus home". I've dealt with a lot of panhandling in other cities, but nowhere else do the people get so indignant when you don't want to give away your money. It doesn't stop at money, either. I can't light a cigarette in downtown without a couple of people immediately wanting one. What's mine is mine, but the people around here just can't seem to understand why I don't want to alter that arrangement.
2. Cosmopolitan and Accepting
Anyone from Minneapolis will be glad to tell you about how racism and sexism and any other related ism are all very rare in Minneapolis. We're a melting pot of so many cultures, they say. But this city hasn't melted at all. Nobody thinks of Minneapolis as a hotbed of social divisions, but they are there and they are strong. This city may keep promoting itself as somewhere that everyone can get along, but there's still a black area of the city and a Hmong area of the city and a white area of the city and a gay area of the city. And those borders don't often get breached. All these insular little neighborhoods that make up the city and everyone's too afraid to cross over. Even downtown, where mixing of people is at its greatest, the divisions still exist. There the divisions are vertical rather than horizontal of course. The privileged walk through the skyways while everyone else is down on the street. Those walkways were designed to shelter Minneapolitans from the cold weather, not from people who are different than them.
3. Environmental Concerns
We're lucky that Minneapolis really does have some of the cleanest air around. But are steps taken to preserve that air? Everyone drives everywhere in this city. The quickest way to go any distance is to take the freeway, after all. The mass transit in this city is a frequently bankrupt joke. It's going to be a while before we end up like Los Angeles, but we're moving towards that while LA is moving towards us. After so many years of knowing we have it good as far as the air quality is concerned, we barely pay attention to it anymore. One day we're going to wake up with a purple haze hanging over the city and wonder just how it got there.
4. Holding our liquor
Minneapolis hasn't had bars open past 1am for very long. But it seems like even that "late" 2am closing time might be too much for a lot of people to handle. I won't go out on the roads anymore at 2 in the morning, and I try not to walk around outside either. Every night - especially the weekends - the streets are filled with people who can't calmly hold their booze at this hour. Downtown lights up with people wandering around trying to remember where they parked (as if driving was a good idea in their state). I've seen closing time in other cities, and the people were rowdy, but nothing like this. The whole city of Minneapolis is still reacting like a teenager who finally got their curfew extended. Suddenly they can stay out to what they consider late and they're making every use of it. Maybe the teenager that is Minneapolis wasn't quite ready for a later curfew.
5. The News
Every town likes to think that they've got the best journalism around. Whether it's the round the clock fires & shootings & drug busts of Chicago or the far more sedate "here's a cute puppy to end the newscast" that we get here, everyone thinks that it's the best thing going. Well, I don't know where the best journalism is being done, but it sure as hell isn't Minneapolis. The less that's said about our 5, 6 and 10 o'clock newscasts the better. Every night we get the same three current events stories and then as much advertising as they can cram into the rest of the newscast and call it informative. The newspaper isn't much better. The Star Tribune, like all newspapers, is failing. And they're not doing anything to hold the ship together. They changed the layout of the paper last year in an attempt to raise sales. All it did was confuse people who had been reading the Variety section for years. And our free papers are no better. The City Pages - long held as the top free weekly in the cities, is 95% advertising these days. When I pick up an issue it takes me only a couple minutes to read Red Meat and maybe one article that actually interests me. I just hope they're recycling all those unread issues.