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Garrison Keillor, I Am So Over You

February 19, 2017

 

 

Garrison Keillor, I am so over you.

 

Sure, you are on tour this month with live shows that presumably rip off your successful formula for A Prairie Home Companion, the public-radio show whence you've retired after decades of success. But I wouldn't go near a venue that's hosting you anymore.

 

Good thing most of your shows in January are in California, far from the judgments you might suffer in Flyover Country.

 

Because clearly, you've abandoned the good denizens of the Upper Midwest who helped you create fame and collect fortune. You dismissed us as idiots after Donald Trump won the presidency with the help of many Flyovers. And you did it in a way that burned all bridges for me.

 

But more on that in a moment. Let me explain why I am taking this so personally.

 

Once I was one of your biggest fans. I'm one of those real-life Midwesterners that you so honored in your winsome monologues on A Prairie Home Companion for many years, a person who actually grew up in a small town in Wisconsin that was very much like your fictional Lake Wobegon, Minnesota -- a place where "all the women were strong, all the men were good-looking, and all the children were above average."

 

So loyal was I to tuning in to your program on Saturday evenings, and listening to your heartwarming tales delivered in that mellifluous voice, that on my first date with my future wife, I risked  playing the show on the radio as I picked her up in my Chevrolet Chevette. She -- of Italian descent and from Detroit -- didn't get it, but I didn't mind.

 

I also bought and read all your books and appreciated your profound insights into small-town life, and human nature in general, despite the fact that your progressive politics had gotten just a little too Frankenesque for me.

 

You never were that good a singer either.

 

And when my wife and I had two kids and they still were young enough that they had to come with me to the theater, I dragged the entire family -- basically kicking and screaming -- to that godawful Prairie Home Companion movie that came out in 2006, mainly to give you moral support. (It starred Meryl Streep, but that's an objection for another day.)

 

But I can no longer countenance your treason against the good people of Flyover Country whose basic decency, native intelligence and timeless values gave you a platform for success.

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