Net: We begin a gr…


Net: We begin a grab-bag sort of day with

PARANOID RANTING

From ARM: The general public does not know it yet, but we are heading toward complete chaos and destruction. The ultimate fear of the millennium, also known as the Y2K problem, will prevail, and if our capitalist government does not stop emphasizing individualism through global mass media Net: Mass expression is always the key to making everyone different, right?, I will not be dancing and drinking champagne on Dec. 31, 1999. Net: Cool. We won’t be, either. We hear the squirrels are having one helluva party. No, I will be frightened of tomorrow. But then again, it is not impossible to help ourselves prepare for the future.
To prepare, you must listen to Yudof about the enhancement of community. I am sure Yudof and I do not share the same political beliefs, but we do agree this University must come together as the age of technology decreases our awareness of the environment around us. We must step away from these computers and begin to work with each other.
In order to survive Y2K, we must make this insensitive bureaucracy into a loving, open-hearted village. Only you can make a difference.

TODAY’S SQUIRREL LETTER
From Tyrone: Hello everyone. This is Tyrone — the talking squirrel of the University of Minnesota. Net: ACK!!!! Yeah, you know me. I am that little squirrel who yells every morning, “HEY, WHAT KIND OF FOOD YOU GUYS GOT? Give some of those Doritos, Sugar!” Net: Oh yeah, you! (major eye roll) And then, after I give that adorable look of starvation, you guys make fun of me. Well, I just thought it was time to come out and tell you all that after the revolution and the millennium, I will be the new mascot of this so-called “frozen shithole.”
Seriously, have you ever seen a real gopher on this campus? Net: Hey — we’d just like a fake one who could score touchdowns. Anyway, get prepared for squirrel power. And by the way, it’s getting kind of cold out here, so don’t forget to give me a little of that lunch. Later. Net: Much, MUCH later, we hope.

GARBAGE GRIPES
From Ben Solomon: I was sort of hoping for a loftier (or just lofty) subject for my first letter Netwards. Net: Wow. A letter writer with standards. We don’t know how to respond. Unfortunately, it’s about garbage. Net: In other words, nothing new. Specifically, dumpster pickup. Even more specifically, Aagard Sanitation dumpster pickup.
These are the jolly drivers who arrive uninvited in our back yards at about 5 a.m. (or even earlier) to slam dumpsters around and wake us up.
Guess what? It’s against Minneapolis city ordnance to do that. Not only is it illegal, but it’s a legitimate target of noise complaints. I know; I’ve done my research. I spoke with Nicole Magnan, a community policing specialist. She recommends calling noise complaints into the police whenever Aagard wakes us up. And, believe it or not, the number to call is 911 (no lie and I’m not making this up). The noise complaint line, 24 hours, is 911.
So when Aagard pounds dumpsters around at 5 a.m., you have recourse. Call 911, request to register a noise complaint “for the record” (obviously the police can do little right at that moment). Here’s the kicker: Aagard drivers can be fined hundreds of dollars (because they’re breaking the law and they know it), and Aagard can even lose its license to operate in Minneapolis.
I’ve spoken with Kevin Berger at Aagard (often). Despite his promises, Aagard drivers slam dumpsters around at 5 a.m. So I figure, if we can complain about our loud neighbor’s party or radio, we can complain about a bad neighbor who breaks the law every day of the year. Call 911. Complain about Aagard until they mend their ways. Net: Uh, wow. Investigation, recommendations, public policy — why don’t you come work for the Daily. Oh yeah — sorry we suggested it. We’ll be interested to see a response on this.

WHAT’S IN THAT DOUGH?
From Stephen: Hey! The next time the TV’s on, take a gander at the Pillsbury Dough Boy.
Isn’t he awfully quick and jumpy? I mean, besides Richard Simmons and the occasional crack addict, who else have you seen like that? Net: MC Hammer in his glory days, perhaps. Is this sending a subtle message to children? Is Pillsbury trying to encourage drug use, or worse, a larger cult following for the world’s ugliest Chia Pet? Come on! Net: We won’t finish the lyric.
Let’s have some responsibility here! Net: What!?!? And ruin our reputation? You’re asking a lot of us — but look on the bright side. Somewhere out there is an American Studies Ph.D. who just got his or her dissertation topic from reading your letter. You have done well, Stephen. We will hear from you again.

A FINAL THOUGHT

From The Silver Bullet: O omnipotent Net, purveyor of all things good: I would like put forth a query unto your vast pool of knowledge (or something like that). If ignorance is bliss, then why aren’t people having a better time? Net: Because they have not yet realized their ignorance, and do not understand all that is around them to make them happy. Put THAT in your pipe and smoke it. Thanks.
Oh, and remember everyone, watch out for us crazy cyclists.