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October 19, 2005
Temples Of Our Times

My weekly column in the Daily Standard reviews the connection between the Minnesota Vikings' Love Boat cruise last week and the ongoing worship of self-obsession in American society:

What temples do secular societies build? Lately in America, cities and states have increasingly found themselves funding and building vast offerings to professional athletes and the games they play, even though the owners and participants of these games make enough money to house themselves quite handsomely. Why do communities foot the bill for this, and what does it say about the people who support the practice?

That question moved from a vague philosophical debate to practical and uncomfortable introspection for many in Minnesota last week. The Minnesota Vikings have long demanded a new venue in which to play their games--one funded by taxpayers and from which the proceeds almost exclusively support the privately-owned team. ...

ACCORDING TO allegations aired in the local news media and confirmed in the main through player interviews, team members flew in high-priced prostitutes from Atlanta and strippers to accompany them on a two-boat cruise on Lake Minnetonka. The partying quickly got out of hand, with players having sex with the prostitutes while the cruise boat personnel had to stand by and continue serving the athletes. The cruise ship personnel alleged that some of the players harassed female staffers and others forced their way behind the bars to ensure that the booze flowed freely. Forty minutes into what was supposed to be a two-and-a-half hour cruise, the two captains compared notes about the activities on both boats, and then informed the cruise company--which ordered them to return immediately to shore.

I also discuss the connection between this incident and that from Kellenberg High School and their canceled prom. Hopefully, CQ readers will find the column an interesting perspective on the issues.

One final note -- I will be interviewed by Mara Liasson early this morning for NPR about the conservative debate on Miers and spending, but I do not know when the interview will air or whether she will use it for a column instead.

UPDATE: The interview will get aired on Friday morning on NPR. Mara Liasson couldn't have possibly been more gracious during our brief period together. She does a fine job as an interviewer, and I think that many in the audience will get pleasantly surprised.

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Posted by Ed Morrissey at October 19, 2005 6:39 AM

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