By On the occasion of our 20th anniversary
By Gustavo Arellano
By R. Scott Moxley
By Alfonso Delgado
By Courtney Hamilton
By Joel Beers
By Peter Maguire
By Charles Lam
San Diego update: Home to white supremacist Tom Metzger, Pete Wilson and every horny sailor with an ATM card, San Diego has this decade given us Łberposeurs Eddie Vedder and Jewel. Vedder, the Elvis of the '90s—both tortured, angry, millionaire rock stars with great hair—was recently quoted on a fan Web site as saying, "I don't need drugs to make my life tragic." Somebody hold me. Jewel moved to the city when she was 18 and is clearly the worst person to ever live. One of the trinity of evil waifs, along with Fiona Apple and Alanis Morissette, sent by the dark overlord to destroy rock music (mission accomplished!), she is a preening blowhard whose songs are three exits past pretentious. Miss Tormented Soul, when she's not making Kmart commercials, is releasing Christmas albums such as this year's Joy: A Holiday Collection, with standards such as "Joy to the World"—apparently inspired by a Kathie Lee Gifford Christmas special—and a vile rendition of "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" on which she caterwauls like a mescaline-addled elf.
Minnesota update: The state that gave us F. Scott Fitzgerald, Hubert Humphrey and Bob Dylan now gives us a 70 percent approval rating for Governor Jesse Ventura and a reception for Third Reich sweetheart Pat Buchanan that Herr Buchanan described as "warm." Of course, Minnesota once welcomed Calvin Griffith when he showed up with his major-league baseball team, formerly the Washington Senators, and renamed them the Minnesota Twins. Calvin was a meat-and-potatoes kind of millionaire who died recently and was eulogized as someone who just "loved baseball." Though he wasn't so fond of people. When asked a number of years ago why he moved his team to Minnesota, he said, "It was when I found out you had only 15,000 black people here. Black people don't go to ball games, but they'll fill up a rassling ring and put up such a chant it'll scare you to death. It's unbelievable. We came here because you've got good hard-working white people here."
Poetry in motion: When someone has as much to say as Jewel, it's understandable that she would want to be taken seriously. That's why she published a book of poetry (for which she received a $1 million advance) called A Night Without Armor. It includes "Sun Bathing": "I read a book/and the man thinks/I can not see/the wrinkled posture/of his son/as he is nudged./He thinks/I can not sense/four eyes/upon my flesh/as the father tries/to bond with/his teenage boy/by ogling my breasts." See, Jewel is a poet, not a sex object. That's why she will only allow herself to be photographed in low-cut spaghetti-strap tank tops, tight-fitting leather pants and big pouty lips. Just like Dylan Thomas.
Home game: Recent reports say that nearly eight out of every 10 Minnesotans own their own homes—strong proof, experts say, that the state's economy is doing well and even stronger proof that nearly eight out of every 10 Minnesotans do not want to freeze to death.
Consensus: In more serious news, many students are up in arms about the fact that changing admission standards at San Diego State have turned the school snow white. According to the San Diego Union-Tribune, the 20,000-plus undergrad campus has all of 183 African-American students, which ain't so good for African-American kids but makes SDSU a prime candidate if the Minnesota Twins ever decide to move again. As for football, we'll root for the Vikings.