27.7.06

SO STAY HOME AND GRIPE. It's summertime, and we can depend on Minneapolis Star-Tribune columnist Susan Lenfestey to go someplace and be miserable.

Back home in Minneapolis I start the day with the media equivalent of bran and hardtack. My teeth grind, my stomach knots and the little needle on my rage meter pings over to the red zone.

Up here I take my coffee looking out at Lake Huron, a sweep of clear, fresh water that shimmers over the distant horizon like the world's biggest infinity pool, which in a way it is. After the religious wars and the oil wars -- if there is an after -- they say it'll be the water wars, which puts those of us situated in the middle of the five Great Lakes sort of in the catbird seat. Or in a war zone.

But she has the misfortune to go holidaymaking on Mackinac, with what appears to be the Detroit to Mackinac about to finish.

Every year hundreds of sailboats race up Lake Huron to Mackinac Island, a trip taking anywhere from one to three days, depending on the wind and the size of the boat. The 80-foot turbo yachts finish first, looking like something out of a bad Kevin Costner movie with their sinister high-tech ash-black sails, and then the smaller boats with old-fashioned white sails straggle in, crisscrossing the straits like flittering moths.

It's all very pretty, except for the TV news choppers whirling overhead and the cannon that fires as each boat crosses the line.

These sailors come ashore with an all-too-familiar swagger of privilege, claiming dehydration and sexual deprivation from their weekend ordeal on the open water. Unlike their less lucky counterparts stuck in, say, the 115-degree heat of Iraq, these guys have free Bacardi rum and a whole slew of sturdy Michigan Girls Gone Wild, bare midriffs and breasts billowing like spinnakers, to slake their various thirsts.

Cry. Me. A. Great Lake.

Shot in the Dark was also less than impressed with the column.

"DON'T YOU PEOPLE SEE? THERE'S GOING TO BE A WATER WAR! RIGHT HERE! QUIT HAVING FUN! IF YOU'RE NOT OUTRAGED, YOU'RE AN IDIOT!"

"AND KNOCK OFF ALL THAT DRINKING AND SEX! CONCENTRATE ON POLITICS!"

Creepy, indeed. More at Kool Aid Report.

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