A long time ago, in a beautiful but cold place far far away, a communist dictator built a colosseum. Being committed to the populist flim-flam most totalitarians use to get help in seizing power, he named it “The People’s Stadium” – although “the people” only got to use it with the permission of the dictator’s cronies.
And the dictator built a train – “The Peoples’ Train” – to bring people from the miserable, decaying, crime-sodden cities to The People’s Stadium.
The dictator and his cronies planned a massive rally to celebrate their power and perspicacity; the entire world’s media would be there to see the dictator’s work.
And the dictator worried: while he put on a slick facade for the foreign press, some of the locals were unruly, and parts o the city were falling apart.
So the dictator took steps to make sure The People wouldn’t screw up The People’s Event at the People’s Stadium before the eyes of the world. First, he barred The Hoi Polloi from the Peoples’ Train, to make sure they’d never encounter foreign visitors.
And then, to take no chances, he deployed his Army in the People’s City, to make sure the locals stayed in line.
Minneapolis officials are calling on Gov. Mark Dayton to mobilize the state National Guard for the Super Bowl, amid questions about whether the city’s police force has enough officers to effectively patrol neighborhoods and handle other demands.
Even with dozens of departments across the state pledging to send officers to help with security, Mayor Betsy Hodges and mayor-elect Jacob Frey wrote in a letter on Tuesday that the city’s police “cannot by themselves meet of all the safety and security needs of the 10 days of Super Bowl LII while maintaining public-safety operations for the entire city.”
When I wrote my book Trulbert: A Comic Novella ab out the End of the World as We Know It, I wrote the scene in which a thinly disguised Roger Goodell-type NFL commissioner exacted concessions out of Minneapolis’ dictator, Myron Ilktost, to be as over the top as I could imagine; a complete NFL takeover of all civic resources, free transportation, prostitutes, whatever the NFL wanted. And when I went back and edited and re-wrote, I massaged it to make it even more over-the-top. I was satisfied that real life could never imitate my fiction.
Kudos, Roger Gooddell and Mark Dayton. You’ve proven me wrong.