September 28, 2007

Nick Coleman: "Intellectually Deficient"

It's been awhile since I've performed a solo literary ass rape on Nick Coleman's tripe, but THE DROUGHT ENDS TODAY:

You knew the powers that be would take bold action after the collapse of the Interstate 35W bridge. And it didn't cost a dime!

That's right, ladies and gentlemen, Nick Coleman is still ranting and raving about the 35W bridge collapse, the cause of which has yet to be fully investigated, but which Nick feels he's expert enough to opine about as if he knew it was going to collapse a week before. Because, Lord knows there were countless Coleman columns penned about "structurally deficient" bridges prior to Aug. 1, 2007. Why, Coleman was a veritable fountain of outrage when it came to the condition of Minnesota bridges. Just kidding. Coleman was more outraged about President Bush giving a thumb's up sign that Coleman mistook for the middle finger. Not that there was ever a follow-up column on his part correcting that error or anything.

The Minneapolis bridge was one of 70,000 "structurally deficient" bridges in the country that Americans have worried about.

Oh, really, Nick? Americans have worried about those bridges? Really? Besides you?

So government officials are going to make us stop worrying. Not by fixing bridges -- that would cost billions -- but with smoke and mirrors and baloney.

Smoke and mirrors and baloney? See also: Nick Coleman columns.

Here's their idea: Change the terms. State highway officials want engineers to stop scaring us with spooky labels. You may have thought it was the sight of cars in the water and crying people trapped under tons of concrete and twisted steel girders that scared us. Nope. It was the terminology.

Or, hey, maybe they've realized idiot columnists like Nick Coleman are hoisting the term "structurally deficient" up as some sort of damning indictment, as if "structurally deficient" somehow means 70,000 bridges nationwide are going to collapse tomorrow. Gosh, it's almost as if Nick Coleman is guilty of the kind of unnecessary fear mongering he's so quick to accuse others of.

So our highway departments have rolled up their sleeves and, with American know-how and a "can-do" attitude, have begun a rebranding effort to lull us back to sleep.

No, Nick. They're engaged in a rebranding effort so morons like you don't seize upon a lazy narrative rather than actually looking at the facts of the matter.

No more unpleasant labels such as "structurally deficient." We need something soothing.

Not "soothing," dipshit, just more accurate in description, so dung heaps like you don't equate "structurally deficient" with "OMG! We're all going to die!"

I suggest calling them "Ready For Rapid Gravity Removal" bridges. That's what happened to our "structurally deficient" bridge. It fell down. And it killed people. Or perhaps I should say, it lowered itself into a river and some citizens were inconvenienced.

Which of course lead to Nick Coleman "Penning reactionary drivel," or "Obsessing over an isolated incident and insisting it's the result of a much larger problem," or "Writing complete and utter crap."

Brave leaders, including Gov. Tim Pawlenty and Lt. Gov. Carol Molnau, who also serves as Boss of Highway Construction, have done little more than pose for pictures while avoiding responsibility and robbing money from other overdue and underfunded highway projects to try to pony up the front money for a new I-35W bridge. They can't keep the state highway headquarters from falling down, but they are re-engineering English.

Who shot who in the what now?

Normally, someone would have to cite proof of such rapid fire allegations, but Nick's accustomed to his nonsense slipping past the editing desk like water through a strainer.

They have priorities.

One brave new wordsmith at MnDOT asked this: If car dealers call used cars "previously owned," why can't we find a term for "structurally deficient" that isn't unpleasant?

Wait. What? Is Nick being sarcastic here? I would hope so. Otherwise, he's making a pretty serious charge.

"Death Trap"? Too gloomy. "No Tax Bridge"? Too truthful.

Wait! I have it!

Instead of "structurally deficient," let's call them "faith-based bridges": Close your eyes and pray you get across.

Okay, I'm going with Nick just being sarcastic, in that "Nick trying to be funny but failing miserably" sort of way. You can almost imagine Nick driving around the Twin Cities, bracing himself and casting a wistful eye at a picture of his family on the dashboard just before he crosses each and every bridge and overpass. Such is the life of someone lacking a life. Sad thing is, there are people who actually read his nonsense and nod enthusiastically, so eager to adopt the most simplistic of bridge-collapsing narratives.

Whatever these geniuses decide to call bridges like the one that fell into the river, I don't think they will fool anyone.

Not with Nick Coleman on the case, forever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever.

"Great idea," Larry Decheine said sarcastically on Thursday as he was watching workers dismantling the 35W bridge wreckage. "Let's not face facts. Let's just change the wording."

This is, of course, the Nick Coleman "man on the street" interview we've all come to know and love.

Decheine, a retired Mounds View city worker, came down from Blaine with his wife, Georgia, and their friends Ray and Carol Fortuna of Ham Lake to view the disaster site from the 10th Avenue Bridge.

It was their first look.

"I keep thinking about that little baby that went into the river, with her mom," Georgia was saying. "Innocent people just going about their innocent little lives. It's really sad."

I told her she had it all wrong. There is nothing to worry about. We are working on coming up with better terminology for shaky bridges.

Sad thing is, I can actually imagine Nick saying such a thing. In fact, I wouldn't be one bit surprised if he conducted interviews in just such a way so as to elicit the kind of quotes he thrives on. Oh, wait. . .

"Yes, words are the cheap treatment," a 79-year-old retired 3M engineer named Tor Flatebo said when I explained the Word Fix to him. Flatebo and his wife, Lisa, came from Oregon -- where Flatebo has designed 30 bridges -- for a grandson's wedding, and to see the bridge.

Ooh, let's cap "Word Fix" so as to grant it extra meaning. Also, note how Flatebo came to Minnesota from Oregon for a grandson's wedding. . . AND to see the bridge, as if they both carried the same weight. Oh, sure, their grandson got married, but they took far more pictures of the bridge, by gum.

"Whatever they call this, it's a disaster for sure," he said. "You can see that. The bridge wasn't watched properly. They are all rusting away. It never should have happened."

Watched properly? There are bridge watchers? All what are rusting away?

Nearby, an amazed Danish banker named Mikkel Gronning was staring at the wreckage with his wife, Pia, and their two children. Planning a summer visit to Minneapolis to see relatives, they were stunned by the collapse.

Nick Coleman: your one stop shop for "amazed Danish bankers."

"We worried, 'What's going on in this place we are going?' People died here! If this happened in Denmark, the people would be angry and some politician would lose their job. This would never be forgotten. People would talk about this for 100 years."

It's at this point Nick must have looked up and realized it was close to 5 p.m. That's the only way to explain the completely nonsensical ending to this completely nonsensical column.

Well, that's Old Europe for you. Those people just don't know how to solve problems.

They would never be smart enough to change the words.

Cue the crickets chirping, and the sole coughing guy towards the back of the room.

Posted by Ryan at September 28, 2007 09:01 AM | TrackBack

This guy is an utter and complete idiot! I can't believe the Trib, or anyone for that matter, publishes his crap! At least it gives you something to do.

Posted by: Autumn at October 1, 2007 11:48 AM
StumbleUpon Toolbar Stumble It!