Christmas spirit takes hit in Fairmont, Minn., where Scroogey theater owners denied a strangely famous local resident entrance to their property when dressed in his electro-luminescent “Tron” suit. TIME’s Newsfeed blog says: “Back before the Disney remake, Jay Maynard was a superfan of the original video game and movie, TRON. He gained widespread internet fame after obsessively documenting his intricate costume. From there, he became a convention darling and appeared on a handful of late-night talk shows. But apparently the staff at a Minnesota movie theater hadn’t heard of him. They refused to let him watch “TRON: Legacy” while wearing his light-up suit. Maynard says he believes the staff thought it would be too ‘distracting.’ But when you’re watching a movie with tons of flashing lights and a bleeping electronic soundtrack, are you really going to be easily distracted? We say this is an act of nerd injustice.
James Lileks tracks Maynard down and posts at the Strib’s PopCrush.
“Q. Are you contemplating civil disobedience? Just showing up and saying deal with it, I’m Tron Guy?
Tron Guy: If it was summer, I would think about it. That costume is anything but warm and this is a Minnesota winter.
Q. It’s not like you told them you were going to sit in the theater glowing blue, did you?
Tron Guy: I was planning on basically being outside the theater itself in the concession area. That would make TMZ happy.
Q. Do you just have the one famous costume?
Tron Guy: Just have the one, and it’s beginning to show its age. The unitard is really showing the effects of age.”
The redoubtable TMZ did a spot on Tron Guy.
The New York Daily News, among others, is reporting that the Brett Favre-sexting-Jenn Sterger story is actually “ookier,” as my wife likes to say, than previously thought. “According to TMZ, Favre, who allegedly sent graphic text messages to the TV personality in 2008, also requested to see a video of Sterger masturbating. The request, reportedly sent via text months after the X-rated photos were exchanged, may be one of the documents included in the NFL’s investigation of the football star.
An earlier Daily News story quoted a former University of Texas athletic director saying:“ ‘The corporate world is 25 years ahead of sports. Sports organizations still tolerate major athletes acting like little boys,’ said [Donna] Lopiano, who served as the chief executive officer of the Women’s Sports Foundation from 1992 until 2007. ‘They are still in the dark on gender issues. There is a desperate need for education.’ The NFL does not have formal anti-sexual harassment policy, but it did team up with Northeastern’s Sports in Society this fall to develop a workplace-conduct program that focuses on ‘gender equity and respect,’ according to a Nov. 16 release.”
The Winona Daily News picks up AP story about a single mom in tiny-but-not-crime-free Renville who came home to find a thief had stolen all the Christmas presents: Diane Lecy of Renville says strangers have sent her hundreds of cards and presents. She says the gifts exceeded anything she could have provided for her 8-year-old son. Lecy came home Dec. 14 to a broken window on her front door. A burglar had made off with the lone Christmas gift she could afford for her son, along with gifts for his teachers and bus drivers and a bag of groceries.” … and a bag of groceries? Did they leave the DVD of “Bad Santa”?
This is good news, I guess. Gov. Pawlenty signed an emergency order allowing fuel oil truck drivers … to work 15 straight hours without any mandatory rest. Paul Walsh at the Strib writes: “While increasing the on-duty time, the order also creates certain temporary restrictions: Drivers can work no more than five consecutive days under the eased rules and then must take off 34 hours before returning to duty. Unchanged at 10 is the number of hours that drivers must be off duty between shifts. The order is in effect now until Jan. 7. It covers deliveries of diesel fuel, gasoline, fuel oil and kerosene. Also, it only applies to smaller ‘non-articulated’ trucks, rather than semitrailer trucks.”
Winter has just begun (officially), another storm is rolling our way for the weekend, and the city of St. Paul is already $1 million in the hole on snow removal. Dave Orrick at the PiPress writes: “But busted budgets don’t mean a broken bank, and interim Deputy Mayor Margaret Kelly said the city has ample savings to cover expenses incurred so far. Still, officials note, there’s plenty of winter ahead, and it’s unclear what the end impact will be. ‘We’re thinking we’re going to be about $1 million to $1.3 million over budget in (Public Works) spending,’ Kelly said. ‘We’ll have to dip into the fund balance for the Right of Way Maintenance Fund. … This is why we keep fund balances.’ That Right of Way Maintenance Fund is filled by assessments each property owner in the city pays annually, based on a property’s street frontage. The $30.1 million fund is intended to pay for pothole-patching, alley maintenance and snow removal, among other things. Running the Right of Way Maintenance Fund dry wasn’t supposed to be the plan, Kelly said. ‘This means that the reserve is depleted, and it makes next year more challenging, especially if January is bad,’ Kelly said.”
“No longer operative,” I believe, is the phrase Pat Anderson is looking for. The unsuccessful GOP candidate for governor and auditor — who famously said, “The problem with lobbyists is that they exist” — is … becoming a lobbyist. Rachel Stassen-Berger posts at the “Hot Dish Politics” blog. “ ‘I still believe that. But the problem isn’t with lobbyists themselves; the problem is that our current “big-government” system creates the need for them,’ she wrote. According to records with the campaign finance agency, updated Wednesday afternoon, Anderson hadn’t yet registered any clients.” In other words, she’s doing the only truly patriotic thing she could do.
It’s not exactly Rooster Cogburn with all guns blazing, but the PiPress editorializes in favor of taxpayer cash for a new Saints ballpark in Lowertown, while disparaging the Vikings’ mega-mega dreams. “The Vikings are part of a profitable, mega-billion-dollar enterprise (the NFL) that drops more coins between the seats than it would cost to build a whole network of friendly little Lowertown ballparks. The Saints? They sell hot dogs for two bucks. With a projected $6 billion state budget deficit and a ton of work to do just to cover the bills for the basics, talk about spending public money on pro sports facilities is more grating than usual. Even so, it’s hard to imagine there won’t be some kind of a deal — involving ‘new revenue’ of some kind — to fund a stadium and keep the Vikings from bolting.”