“”Minnesota: Land of Funny-Talking Hockey Fans Battling Odin For Survival[note 1] and Just Waiting to Be Your Acquaintance.
Minnesota[note 2] is a
Canadian province, then. Oh, no, wait, it's a U.S. state, don'tcha know!
Geography and lifestyles
Minnesota's up in da northern part of the United States and has over 10,000
Norwegian bachelor farmers lakes, you know, moose, mosquitoes, lutefisk, Lutherans, and da occasional collapsin' bridge. This state's not too bad, you betcha! All you need are a fishin' cabin in da Boundary Waters, a snowmobile (Arctic Cat or Polaris built by my cousin Sven up dere in Thief River Falls or Roseau, 'cause dat imported junk's not too good dere), a six month supply of Hamm's, an arctic-rated coat and earflap-adorned fur cap, and a radio so you can listen to KFYR outta Bismarck or CITI in Winnipeg to keep you sane during the long winter. Ja, dat's da life. Bundle up and venture out to watch da northern lights. Uff da!
The vast majority of Minnesotans don't speak like Scandinavians, such as in the movie Fargo. The only actor in that film who had anything resembling an authentic accent was Kristin Rudrud, who is actually from Minnesota. Also, Minnesota is only tundra between late November and early April.
Contrary to popular belief, Minnesota is not a "rust belt" state; the only part of the state that is really rust-belty is the Iron Range around Duluth.
is was led by Jesse "The Body" Ventura, who ain't got time to bleed can beat up your governor, whoever dat is even if yer from California. Since he got teed-off at the media and declined to run for a second term, state politics has gotten much less exciting as The Body was replaced by the uber-mediocre Tim Pawlenty who was then replaced by Democrat Mark Dayton. In 2008, Al Franken, ex-comedian and talk radio host, won the junior Senate seat in a six-month recount and court battle, though he had to resign in 2018 due to sexual misconduct allegations.
Minnesota is one of the most Democratic states in the United States; with the occasional exceptions such as, Tim Pawlenty, Rod Grams, Norm Coleman, someone terribly embarrassing, and someone even more embarrassing. Minnesota has the longest streak, out of all states, of voting Democratic in presidential elections (having voted Democratic every election since 1972). It has also produced such liberal icons as Hubert Humphrey, Walter Mondale, Eugene McCarthy, Keith Ellison, Paul Wellstone, Al Franken, Ilhan Omar, and, of course, Garrison Keillor. However, Minnesotans can be quite eclectic in their political choices, as evidenced by the election of Ventura; at the time he was elected, the state was represented simultaneously by ultra-liberal and ultra-conservative senators (Wellstone and Grams).
There is also a tradition of viable third parties in Minnesota. In the interwar period, the left-wing Farmer-Labor Party was a major political force, producing three governors, four senators, eight representatives, and a legislative majority before it was merged into the state Democratic Party in 1944. More recently, the Independence Party of Minnesota (Ventura's party), which was formed to support Ross Perot, has maintained major party status in the state since 1994, despite having no presence in the legislature. There are also two (likely astroturfed) pro-cannabis legalization parties which mostly serve as spoilers, such as in 2020 when they caused Republicans to win the state senate (which prevented the state from legalizing marijuana for the next two years) though DFL fortunately regained their trifecta in 2022 so hopefully they will legalize cannabis and make those parties irrelevant.
Claims to fame
Not to be confused with "Sweet Home Alabama"!
Other incredible claims to fame
- Minnesota Nice, an amusing euphemism for one of the state's most irritating features, passive-aggressiveness.
- Minnesota Public Radio (MPR) produces many well-regarded, widely-distributed shows.
- Bob Dylan is from Hibbing. So is the world's largest iron ore pit mine. So is the Greyhound Bus company. Must be a coincidence.
- The Mall of America
- The Mary Tyler Moore Show
- All its major sports teams (except the Minneapolis Lakers, which were around until 1960 when they moved to Los Angeles) are named after the state instead of the city they're located in, so we have the Minnesota Twins (Bloomington, then Minneapolis), Minnesota Vikings (Bloomington, then Minneapolis), Minnesota North Stars (Bloomington until they moved to Dallas, TX), Minnesota Timberwolves (Minneapolis), Minnesota Lynx (Minneapolis), and Minnesota Wild (St. Paul). The only prominent local sports team that breaks this pattern is the Saint Paul Saints, who play in the Lowertown neighborhood of, you guessed it, Saint Paul, one of the founding teams of modern independent baseball, who originally belonged to the Northern League until they moved to the American Association prior to the 2006 season. The Minnesota RollerGirls roller derby league also follows this pattern. Curiously, the Women's Flat Track Derby Association has an acronym that makes it sound like it's from Minnesota despite having its headquarters in Austin, Texas - it's pronounced "Woof-da."
- Mystery Science Theater 3000
- PZ Myers
- The Great Northern Railway
- Best Buy
- General Mills
- Control Data Corporation
- Cray Research
- Lizard People
- Da Coen Brudders — although why dey called dat movie Fargo instead of Brainerd — or even Moorhead — is still a puzzler.
- Da Great North Woods
- Da Mesabi Range
- The North Shore of Lake Superior
- Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness
- Arctic Cat and Polaris snowmobiles are both made in Minnesota. (Thief River Falls and Roseau, respectively. Unless some idiot moved the plants to China in my absence since then...)
- Voyageurs National Park
- Bemidji, which once had more lumberjacks than anyplace else on earth. Mmmm! Lumberjacks!
- The Mississippi River starts near Bemidji. Actually, it's more of a crick at that location; if one wishes to play Jesus, one can walk across it at the headwaters.
- Mosquitoes, blackflies, ticks, lakes, mosquitoes, and blackflies. Not necessarily in that order.
- Best fishing in the lower 48.
- August Schell beer, Grain Belt Premium (for the American blue collar swill drinkers), and Grain Belt Nordeast (for people who would like to pretend that it's still brewed there), Summit Brewing, Surly Brewing.
- The University of Minnesota is a fine liberal institution.
- The only state that didn't vote for Ronald Reagan in 1984.
- Rocket J. Squirrel of Frostbite Falls
- Thomas Friedman
- The Minnesota Iceman
- The Northwest Angle, caused by mistaken assumptions about the shape of the Lake of the Woods[note 3] when the border was originally negotiated, is not contiguous with the rest of the U.S. and is the only part of the 48 mainland states to be above the 49th parallel. Only around 100 people live there, and if they want to get groceries or go to school, they have to cross the U.S.-Canada border four times in a single day.
- Blu, a fictional Spix's Macaw from the 2011 animated movie, Rio.
George Floyd protests in Minneapolis
The Lake of the Woods, seen from Zippel Bay State Park
- ↑ The Minnesotans among us apologize for this interloper's exceedingly sketchy knowledge of Norse mythology.
- ↑ Pronounced "Minn-ah-SO-taa." "Minn-uh-SO-duh," by contrast, is how you pronounce "I'm not from around here."
- ↑ Which was assumed to be the source of the Mississippi river. It isn't (that would be Lake Itasca) and it actually flows into the Hudson Bay, making the area around it (and a small portion of Glacier National Park in Montana) the only part of the mainland U.S. that flows into the Arctic Ocean.