Love, Controversy, and Library Loons: This Week’s Newsletter Highlights!

This week’s edition covers stories 
from February 8th, 2024 to February 14th, 2024.

Today’s issue is 900 words, a 7-minute read.

Ebe talks Mayor Frey in “hot water”, Super bowl celebrities and fans hating on Tay Swift, and St. Paul Library card and the laser loon

Hi hi, it’s Ebe! It’s the season of love and social media feeds and grocery stores are sprinkled with hearts, cupids, and red and pink everything. Fun Ebe fact: tom-boy, kid me hated pink because it was too “girly,” but now it’s my favorite color! On par with the theme of love, this week I’ve been fixated on Whitney Houston’s 1999 live performance of I Will Always Love You—arguably one of the best love songs of all time. The pure love of music radiating from her singing always brings a tear to my eye. I’m just gonna…leave this here.

Whitney Houston – I Will Always Love You LIVE 1999 Best Quality

Mayor Jacob Frey in Hot Water

Someone who has not been feeling the love, lately, is Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey. The mayor has been in some hot water specifically for his comments on remote workers being “losers” at the February 6th Minneapolis Downtown Council annual meeting. Frey made the following comment about “at home” workers:

“I don’t know if you saw this study the other day, but what this study clearly shows, is when people have the ability to come downtown to an office and don’t, when they stay home, sitting on their couch with their nasty cat blanket diddling on their laptop … if they do that for a few months, you become a loser! It’s a study. We’re not losers, are we?”

Source: Bring Me the News
📸 Jerry Holt | Star Tribune

After being criticized on social media, WCCO reported that Frey had meant it as a joke and that the comment was taken out of context. Well, for full context, here’s a video of his full speech. What do you think? Was there a hint of sincerity there or was it simply a joke that didn’t land well?

Several citizens also criticized Frey last month for vetoing a Minneapolis cease-fire resolution in the Israel Hamas war, with one Palestinian business owner banning the mayor from coming into his store. Frey said that the language of the resolution was too “one-sided” and that it erased the history of Israeli Jews. Last week, however, the City Council overturned his veto, with 9 city council members voting to pass the symbolic resolution, which calls for an immediate and permanent cease-fire; humanitarian aid; an end to U.S. military funding to Israel; and the release of Israeli hostages taken by Hamas and the release of Palestinians held in Israeli military prisons. Although the specific language of the resolution is not publicly available, Frey had said previously that he would support a resolution with language more along the lines of the one that Hastings County, N.C. passed.

Super Bowl fans really don’t like Taylor Swift

This past Sunday was a big one as *Google searches* the San Francisco 49ers and the Kansas City Chiefs faced off at the Super Bowl LVIII! Fans celebrated as the KC Chiefs took home the bacon, but many had their eyes on the star-studded crowd, instead. Beyonce was there with her gravity-defying hair sitting next to her beau Jay-Z. Lana Del Ray, Paul Rudd, Lady Gaga, and Miles Teller were among my favorites. I only managed to catch screen caps of them on social media instead of watching the game, but I always find it interesting to see famous people out of their usual environments.


However, the lady of the hour, Taylor Swift, seemed to monopolize the screen time, which many viewers found annoying. Comments flooded social media with disgruntled users expressing their frustrations: 

I’m gonna stop watching the Super Bowl if I see Taylor Swift one more time,” one person wrote.
“This is a football game not a Taylor Swift concert,” someone else commented.
“The Super Bowl doesn’t need to be about Taylor swift,” a fourth person said.
A fifth added: “I am utterly sick of Taylor swift.”

Source: Newsweek

Even non-Taylor-Swift-fans were annoyed:

Taylor herself has been the subject of many a meme recently as a report revealed that she was at the top of the list for famous people with the highest Co2 emissions from flying. Ms. Swift tends to draw enormous controversy and attention, such as her 10-year feud with Kanye West, and has become a cultural phenomenon.

Personally, I find her to be a fascinating case-study on fame and the impacts of social capital as it relates to American tropes such as “the prom queen dating the high school quarterback,” but that’s a topic for another newsletter. Where do you stand on the Taylor Swift discourse? I’d love to hear your guys’ thoughts!

St. Paul Public Library and the Laser Loon

Rising from the ashes like a phoenix, this iconic rejected Minnesota flag design is being given a second chance. I’ve covered the journey of the re-design of the new state flag in past editions, and now I’ve returned to the topic with a fantastic update. The St. Paul Public Library is adopting the laser-eyed loon design for the face of their new, limited-edition library cards, and I could not be more thrilled!

📸 St. Paul Public Library

The submission was a fan-favorite before being rejected, but now it seems justice is being served for the loon. Patrons will soon be able to get the library card, and if you don’t manage to snag one, you can always get a sticker of the design to put on your current card.

As a strong library-advocate, I only hope that this encourages folks to make use of the wonderful resources our community libraries offer.

Stay informed, stay connected. 

See you next week! 

-Ebe, and the NewPrensa team

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Hi, friend: Ebe and Isabella here! 
We’re Communications Specialists by day
and enjoying the discount Valentine’s chocolate 
by night!

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