There’s movement brewing beneath the surface of Minnesota’s lakes and it’s not muskies trying to evade the lures of ice fishers. No, this movement is a kind of severing, a formal reckoning with one of Minnesota’s most recognizable literary figures—Garrison Keillor.
All 11, 842 of Minnesota’s lakes have made an unprecedented decision to request to be excluded from any of Garrison Keillor’s future novels, merchandise, or intellectual property.
“Look, this wasn’t a decision we made lightly. This has been a long time coming,” Lake Bemidji explained. “Smaller lakes like Acorn and Chub are the ones who really started making waves about this in the greater lakes community. You know, Brainerd and Superior aren’t going to be compared to Lake Wobegon but these smaller guys, they’re really getting the brunt of this crap.”
Lake Wobegon, is not a lake but a fictional town that is featured in much of Keillor’s work, the name of which he claims “sounded Indian to me”.
“What we’re dealing with here is a guy who has made the calling card of his entire career a made up lake that’s actually a town whose mythos leans into tired tropes of white Minnesotan culture peddled as “heartwarming satire”’ Mille Lacs Lake argued. “Also, it all just seems racist, right? Lakes don’t want to be associated with all that, lakes should be associated with cool things like bikinis, rainbow trout. and jet-ski pyramids.”
Minnesota’s lakes felt that now would be as good a time as any to push for this request as they’ve had time to spare during the coronavirus pandemic with less traffic in and around the lakes in general. As Lake Hiawatha points out, it’s something that should have been addressed a long time ago.
“Last October, we decided enough was enough. Garrison Keillor has caused enough embarrassment and shame to the collective Minnesota Lakes identity. He’s tainted the brand. Prince did incredible stuff for Lake Minnetonka’s image and what has Garrison Keillor done besides forcing us to be associated with a self-important pseudo-intellectual sex pest?”
As signature collection is well underway, Red Lake is confident that they will no longer have to deal with the burden of association with Garrison Keillor.
“I finally feel like we have a solid case here. We want to be accessible to everyone and while we still have a long way to go with that, breaking ties with this guy is a solid first step. I wish I could get on the cover of Minneapolis St Paul magazine every time I felt bad for myself when I had to face consequences for my own actions but I don’t have that privilege.”