Next Show: Sept. 27

Artwork and design: Kevin Featherly

Artwork and design: Kevin Featherly

Posted in Art, Folk Music, Jazz, Popular Culture, Rock and Roll, Visual Arts | Leave a comment
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Need I Say More?

Don't Hurt Children.

Amen.

Posted in Law, NFL, Sports, Violence | Leave a comment
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Kirk Anderson @ The Cheshire Club

Kirk Anderson

Kirk Anderson

Stand-up comedy by cats, for cats. Animation by the great Twin Cities cartoonist and illustrator, Kirk Anderson.

I will claim my small portion of notoriety here. I engineered and recorded Kirk’s voiceover for this animation about “boids”–and, yes, that is his own voice. I take no credit whatsoever for how great his animation turned out. Kirk Anderson is a big talent.

Posted in Animation, Art, Audio, Political Satire, Popular Culture, Video, Visual Arts | Leave a comment
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9/11

Photo: Kevin Featherly

Photo: Kevin Featherly

It was 10 years ago today. Three years after 9/11.

I was in New York for a national Society of Professional Journalists conference. Before I left the Twin Cities, I had contacted my old colleagues at WCCO-Radio. “Got anybody at Ground Zero that day?” No, they didn’t. So I was the guy. Their unpaid correspondent. And happy to be that.

Sept. 11 that year fell on a Saturday, and I was to be at Ground Zero with my primitive flip phone, which I would use to recite several brief dispatches live over the Minnesota airwaves from the site of the greatest calamity of our lifetimes.

As it happened, Tammy and I overslept. Comfy hotel bed, I guess. We woke with a start, realized we had half an hour to get where we needed to be on lower Manhattan, and practically got dressed in the subway car. Somehow we made it to Ground Zero with several minutes to spare.

What I remember most about that moment was the deep, yawning, walled chasm that separated one side of the pit where the Twin Towers once stood from the other. It was like looking across some gloomy, groaning urban facsimile of the Grand Canyon.

The other thing I remember most vividly is the sheer volume of people who were there to observe the third anniversary of 9/11, and the high percentage of them who were carrying signs of protest. They were there to, viciously I thought, accuse the Bush Administration of being party to the disaster–as though George W. Bush would have slaughtered his own people for some sort of inchoate, unidentified political purpose.

Or, if you’ll forgive a moment of rank partisanship, that he and his government were clever and capable enough to pull something like that off.

I’ve cried a number of times over what happened at 9/11. I’ll confess it happened only an hour or so ago, watching ESPN’s “Man in the Red Bandana” feature story on television.

But I never did as it was happening, not on that Novocain day in 2001. Not until long after I had filed my last dispatch for the day at Newsbytes.com, my long-lamented former employer where we spent that frantic day covering the telecommunications infrastructure damage wrought by those torpedo airliners, as well as the first stirrings that Congressional action might soon be taken to curtail our civil liberties.

That night, I plopped down in front of the TV and just absorbed wave after wave of shock. I was angry, yes, and probably sad. But I never cried. Not until around 3 a.m., on Sept. 12, when ABC News ran footage of the queen’s royal marching band in London, playing a flawlessly reverent “Star Spangled Banner.” Then the tears came in torrents.

(I was stunned to read later that Condi Rice had precisely the same experience, at precisely the same moment.)

Standing at the site three years later, flip phone in hand, I felt none of the raw grief I expected to feel. I experienced nothing I would call sorrow. Just the numb, somber hush of awe and incomprehension. How massive an event could this really have been? How tall was the pile of rubble before they carted it all away? Am I still, at this moment, breathing in suspended particulates of human matter? How could this thing really have happened, in this world?

I filed several dispatches for WCCO Radio over the course of the 90-minute long remembrance ceremony on that day, Sept. 11, 2004. Afterwards I neglected to collect the tape of my broadcasts, and I don’t remember what I said to the host on duty that day, John Wanamaker, when he was interviewing me from his radio booth in Minneapolis.

I remember only one of my comments well enough to recount it.

I stood looking around at all the tall buildings of Wall Street and Battery Park surrounding me on every side, and at the ugly void of a pit situated so awkwardly in their midst. I remember the thought that occurred to me in the moment, which I fairly blurted out live to a Twin Cities radio audience.

“John,” I said, “it looks like nothing here so much as a case of bad dentistry.”

Peace be with the dead, the survivors, their families, and us all.

Posted in History, Journalism, politics, Presidential Politics, Security, U.S. History, War | Leave a comment
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For Labor Day: ‘This Is What Democracy Looks Like’

For Labor Day, I thought I’d post my 2011 documentary on the public employees labor union protests in Madison, Wis.

This Is What Democracy Looks Like from Kevin Featherly on Vimeo.

The Wisconsin State Capitol, March 12, 2011. Photo: Kevin Featherly

The Wisconsin State Capitol, March 12, 2011. Photo: Kevin Featherly

On March 12, 2011, I traveled to my home state with political cartoonist Kirk Anderson and Kirk’s wife Nancy Brewster–a St. Paul school teacher. We attended a massive public employees union protest against Wisconsin’s then-new union-busting law. The “Budget Repair Bill,” greatly diminished public employees’ collective bargaining rights, and had been signed into law March 11 by Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker.

The video includes a number of interviews with protest participants and observers. It was my first attempt at filmmaking. Some day I may edit it to make it a little more polished. But I am proud of what is there.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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The Guv & Me

Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton wonders why the guy in the funny hat has his arm around his his shoulder at the Minnesota State Fair, Aug. 23, 2014. It was my good fortune that the governor granted me an interview at the end of my run as political newspaper reporter for Capitol Report/Politics in Minnesota.  Photo: Matt Swenson

Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton wonders why the guy in the funny hat has his arm around his his shoulder at the Minnesota State Fair, Aug. 23, 2014. It was my good fortune that the governor granted me an interview at the end of my run as political newspaper reporter for Capitol Report/Politics in Minnesota. Photo: Matt Swenson

Posted in Journalism, Minnesota Governor, Photography, politics, St. Paul, State Politics | Leave a comment
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KevPage Updates

Thought I’d point out what isn’t necessarily obvious if you are entering this site through the front page. I have recently updated two of the pages associated with the navigation tabs under the banner.

The KevJournalism page has been spiffed up with some additional links to recent stories I’ve written, some photography, and an assortment of pull quotes taken from selected writings.

The KevCorporate page has also been updated to add some of my more recent corporate writing and video production. I still have to get permissions to display some of the graphical work I did earlier this year.

Enjoy.

Posted in Business, Journalism, My Published Writing | Leave a comment
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Photo of the Week: Distant Sorter

Photo originally published July 16 in Capitol Report and Politics in Minnesota. Machine operator Ningzhung B. Lee prepares to feed mail into an optical character-recognition scanning machine at the Minnesota Department of Administration’s Mail Services office. The operation is housed inside the Department of Transportation building in St. Paul, Minn. Photo: Kevin Featherly.

Photo originally published July 16 in Capitol Report and Politics in Minnesota. Machine operator Ningzhung B. Lee prepares to feed mail into an optical character-recognition scanning machine at the Minnesota Department of Administration’s Mail Services office. The operation is housed inside the Department of Transportation building in St. Paul, Minn. Photo: Kevin Featherly.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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Photo of the Week: Mark Ritchie

Mark Ritchie, Minnesota's Secretary of State, works at a stand-up desk terminal in his office in St. Paul. This photo was taken during what is my second-to-last reporting assignment as a correspondent at Capitol Report and Politics in Minnesota, where I have been a contributor since 2008. Is that a hint that I'm looking for something new to do? Indeed it is. Photo: Kevin Featherly

Mark Ritchie, Minnesota’s Secretary of State, works at a stand-up desk terminal in his office in St. Paul. This photo was taken during what is my second-to-last reporting assignment as a correspondent at Capitol Report and Politics in Minnesota, where I have been a contributor since 2008. Is that a hint that I’m looking for something new to do? Indeed it is. Photo: Kevin Featherly

Posted in Journalism, Photography, politics, St. Paul, State Politics | Leave a comment
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Photo of the Week: A United Front

Minnesota Republican gubernatorial candidates held a press conference Wednesday to demonstrate party unity in the wake of Tuesday's primary elections. Pictured, left to right are Kurt Zellers, Jeff Johnson, Marty Seifert and Scott Honour. Johnson, a Hennepin County commissioner, won Tuesday's primary with 30 percent of the vote. He will square off in the race for governor against incumbent DFLer Mark Dayton in the November general election. Photo: Kevin Featherly

Minnesota Republican gubernatorial candidates held a press conference Wednesday to demonstrate party unity in the wake of Tuesday’s primary elections. Pictured left to right are Kurt Zellers, Jeff Johnson, Marty Seifert and Scott Honour. Johnson, a Hennepin County commissioner, won Tuesday’s primary with 30 percent of the vote. He will square off in the race for governor against incumbent DFLer Mark Dayton in the November general election. Photo: Kevin Featherly

Posted in Minnesota Governor, Minnesota Legislature, St. Paul, State Politics | Leave a comment
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