Critique leaves Fargo chic shaken, not stirred
Fargo's media blitzkrieg of slick self-promotion hit a wall this month. Not just any wall, but rather one of those really thick, stubborn Midwestern walls that's just not going to break. The June issue of Mpls. St.
Fargo's media blitzkrieg of slick self-promotion hit a wall this month.
Not just any wall, but rather one of those really thick, stubborn Midwestern walls that's just not going to break.
The June issue of Mpls. St. Paul Magazine features a bit in its City Limits section (page 30 for those of you who just want to read it while loitering at Barnes & Noble Bookstore) that questioned Fargo's recently hyped revitalization.
In particular, the piece takes issue with an April write-up in another glossy mag, Travel + Leisure, which referred to the city as "the Seattle of the Plains."
"Last we checked," the Mpls. St. Paul Magazine says, "Fargo was still the brown-leisure-suit-with-white-stitching capital of North America."
In his brief, but scathing sketch, Adam Platt shakes the town's martini-slinging marketing foundation by declaring, "Fargo's just so 2002." He further throws salt on the wound by asking the exit question, "But have we told you about Grand Forks? Now there's authentic?"
Now that just hurts.
I've shared in ribbing the aggressive promotion of Fargo's newfound trendiness. It's the same way that family members kid each other, or friends joke around, or frat members shave off pledges' eyebrows. It's all about the love.
But Mr. Platt's bit of cattitude shows that Minnesota nice shares a split personality with Minneapolis mean.
Does Garrison Keillor know he talks like that?
The Christian thing to do would be to turn the other cheek, but as a somewhat proud son of Fargo, and a somewhat lapsed Catholic, I'm afraid I just can't let Mr. Platt's remarks stand. A shot has been fired across the Red River and a return volley is in order.
Therefore, I'm throwing down the proverbial brown polyester glove with white stitching (an elegant match to my leisure suit and white buckle shoes) to defend the honor of Fargo and its burgeoning hipness.
Mr. Platt, I demand you meet me at high noon on Broadway, during the Street Fair, July 15 through 17, so we can settle this like cultured Midwestern men.
I seemed to have misplaced my guide book on gentlemanly challenges, and can't for the life of me remember who gets to choose weapons, so allow me to make a few suggestions.
We can square off at 20 paces and try to poke each other's eyes out with calcified marshmallows through PVC blow guns. Although that might take out innocent bystanders.
Shall we say a cheesecake on a stick duel? Or shall we beat each other silly with cotton candy? Perhaps a more manly challenge is in store and we could see who could stomach more jalapeño poppers.
The old hotdog eating contest is always available, or if you prefer an homage to "Cool Hand Luke," I could arrange for a jar of pickled eggs to be set between us. If so, I could also arrange to have our stomachs pumped afterward.
After that, I shall gladly buy you a martini of your choice, while I indulge myself in a cool, refreshingly frothy and frosty Champale.
Readers can reach Forum reporter John Lamb at (701) 241-5533