History-making music group for UMM - morris mn

History-making music group for UMM - morris mn
The UMM men's chorus opened the Minnesota Day program at the 1962 Seattle World's Fair (Century 21 Exposition).

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Just what is this "Northstar" publication?

I'm not sure what's up with this "Northstar" thing that was in with the Morris newspaper on Saturday.
I don't buy the paper but I always get a chance somehow to peruse it, mainly out of curiosity.
That "Northstar" publication appealed to one's curiosity on Saturday. I'd like to do some research to see how the heck it got distributed beyond the UMM campus. It seems not the type of publication suitable for distribution among normal, level-headed adults.
I understand both of these types within the human species: regular adults and edgy students. Even though I'm age 58 - definitely getting up there - I think I can grasp the mindset of your typical irreverent student. Such students have exploring minds which they are at liberty to exercise at this transitional stage in their lives. They are encouraged to think freely. We fawn over them too much sometimes, thinking they have more to offer than they really do.
Many adults might look back and feel some embarrassment about the avant-garde ideas they embraced once.
When I was in college, those on the left side of the political spectrum prevailed. They steam-rollered those who ventured to publicly declare they were Republican, while many right-leaning students no doubt opted to just stay quiet. Watergate was a fresh wound and fresh memory. 
We are reminded in the CNN documentary "Our Nixon" just how depraved the Republican administration of the late '60s and early '70s was. These were people for whom power was far more important than ideology.
Right now on college campuses, there is a highly assertive movement that isn't really Republican, it's libertarian. It's tea party-ish. This is the philosophy that obviously inspires "Northstar."
Why would the Morris newspaper allow such a strongly ideological publication to get nestled in with its Saturday issue? How many Morris area residents would know the background of this publication? How many of us might never have taken the time in our lives to understand the idiosyncratic ways of so many college students?
It's not that the non-college-oriented people are narrow, rather they have spent their lives in the nuts and bolts matter of getting by, of taking real responsibility and not dabbling in matters of philosophy. These people believe in direct and non-nuanced communication. Hats off to them.
Still, we must acknowledge the reality that college kids are outside of normal mature boundaries some of the time. Really?
If a paper like "Northstar" simply stayed within the campus boundaries, fine. We can expect all sorts of crazy thought and expression to be found within those ivy-covered walls. OK, I'm not sure how much real ivy we have out there. Or, if there's an "ivory tower." But the academic firepower of our University of Minnesota-Morris apparently has no peer.
Students in such a setting engage in exploration. My generation spoke out and protested on the war in Southeast Asia, the environment and on civil rights including women's empowerment. Turns out, some of the people who have irritated me most in my life have been women. We reap what we sow, heh heh.
There is a vocal element on college campuses now that sows pure libertarianism.
Frankly, I'm not sure how much of this "Northstar" thing we're supposed to take at face value. I'm nervous at this point in the discussion, because I have always felt I could be attuned to the college mindset, i.e. to be "hip." But heavens, I'm 58 years old. Am I still as sharp in identifying such things as sarcasm, parody, irony and hyperbole? To what extent are these ingredients in "Northstar?"
Or, is all of it to be taken literally? If it's meant to be taken literally, it's downright scary because of some of the incendiary language directed at certain individuals such as Sandy Olson-Loy. I don't even wish to repeat the most offending word.
Is it possible that Olson-Loy is "in on the joke" and that a lot of us prudes outside the ivy walls aren't going to get it? Huh? If so, I resent the intrusion of this publication into the community. And if it isn't meant to be understood literally, I resent it anyway, because a more direct means of communication would be preferable.
If people are left simply puzzled by "Northstar," wondering if it's just a concoction of pseudo-political silliness, it's offensive on the face of it.
People on campuses can handle this sort of thing - no doubt. In the community it's another matter.
If the motivation toward Olson-Loy - a totally sweet and intelligent person - was truly harsh, I'm not sure she wouldn't have legal recourse, maybe not toward UMM which after all is her employer, but toward the Morris Sun Tribune which was a party in distributing the papers.
I think the whole matter may justify an argument I made a while back, that UMM may not need a "paper" campus paper anymore. I think it's fine if there's a paper the purpose of which is to inform, as with upcoming events. As a political vehicle it just isn't necessary. All these pockets of ideologically motivated students can just go online and have a field day. They can interact, battle with each other etc.
The existence of piles of papers around UMM and beyond suggests UMM as an institution is facilitating this. It doesn't need to - not the kind of garbage that spewed forth with "Northstar."
UMM has a mainstream campus paper in The University Register. Mainstream, yes, but the Northstar crowd would describe it as "liberal." These kids would consider a ham sandwich liberal.
I have always found the libertarian position interesting and with certain narrow aspects that might be practical for implementation. If we allow these people to govern, heaven help us.
I can't imagine that the UMM administration is going to feel comfortable with "Northstar" continuing to get good distribution within Stevens County.
Unless we're "let in on the joke," or if someone would kindly like to translate it for us knaves, then knock it off.
- Brian Williams - morris mn minnesota - bwilly73@yahoo.com

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