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Lileks: One out of four Minnesotans want OUT

  • Article by: JAMES LILEKS
  • Star Tribune
  • May 3, 2014 - 5:57 PM

Some people thought the end of “The Wizard of Oz” was a bit depressing, as Dorothy vows never to leave the grinding poverty of rural Kansas again. Perhaps if you’d escaped death at the hands of a green-skinned psychopath who commanded an army of flying monkeys, you’d stay put, too.

Which brings us to a new Gallup poll question: “Regardless of whether you will move, if you had the opportunity, would you like to move to another state, or would you rather remain in your current state?” Only 25 percent of Minnesotans said they’d move. You’d like to think people said:

“The vibrant artistic community, the rich tradition of community and charity, a healthy and diverse job market, and the spectacular opportunities to enjoy Nature’s seasonal manifestations ­— who could leave?”

You’d hate to think they really said:

“I’d have to reprogram the buttons on my car radio.”

Perhaps you’re surprised that three-fourths would stay after the Anti-Joy Initiative we called last winter, but I’m curious about the 25 percent who want to go. Who?

• 13 percent are transplants who can’t wait to leave because Minnesotans are a cold, clannish tribe whose outward politeness masks a bottomless well of Scandinavian gloom.

• 7 percent are people who fit the above description but would prefer to contemplate their unspoken despair by the seaside.

• 44 percent are high-schoolers eager to see the big wide world, so, maybe University of Iowa?

• 14 percent think, “Well, if I can move to another state, that must mean my parole’s up.”

The number who would move will drop to 15 percent after two good months of summer. And if you say, “September will be a nice relief from the heat,” three out of four people will nod. Except for that one lady who looks at you like you’re nuts, but did you hear? There’s a FOR SALE sign in her yard. I hear she’s going back to Kansas.

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