Friday, September 17, 2010

The Mississippi River You May Never See

I live near the Mississippi River. I work 500 yards from the Mississippi River. I grew up in a town on the river southeast of here. When I moved to this state at the age of ten, I was in awe of the fact that I was living on the western side of a geographical celebrity, lauded by Mark Twain and other artists; a waterway of continental historical proportions. I came to take it for granted, but every once in a while, it hits me again: that's the Mississippi River. This happened just a few days ago when babywhumpus pointed to the river and said "lake." I told him it was a river, the Mississippi River, and he repeated "Mississippi" perfectly. I again felt the pleasant weight of history, and felt fortunate to live here.

For the last four years, the University of Minnesota's Bell Museum of Natural History has been working on a film about the river entitled "Troubled Waters: A Mississippi River Story," and it was due to premiere on October 3.

Not anymore.

(Pay special note to the update in the grey box, because it could be that something fishy is going on at the University, and that's quite simply the last thing we need.)

From an administrative and budgetary perspective, pulling a premier this late means that money has been lost in labor and materials, simply related to the event. That's not even addressing the costs associate with the film itself. Something like this will continue to feed into a public mistrust of government and the University that has been planted and tended by our current governor (himself a graduate of the University). We have enough people taking aim at us without shooting ourselves in the foot.

All this to say: make some calls; send some emails. Might as well flood the president's office and copy URelations. Tell your friends. I don't know about you, but as a citizen of Minnesota, an alum of the U, and a current employee, I'd like to see this movie.

Via e-mail:
Via U.S. mail:
202 Morrill Hall
100 Church Street S.E.
University of Minnesota
Minneapolis, MN 55455
Via phone: 612-626-1616
Via fax: 612-625-3875

Office of University Relations
3 Morrill Hall
100 Church Street S.E.
Minneapolis, MN 55455
Phone: 612-624-6868
Fax: 612-624-6369

Link: Professor P.Z. Myers' post on this issue.

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