A Big Mess

the Stinson Brothers

Bob and Tommy Stinson

Everybody knew [ Bob] Stinson drank and drugged too much, but toward the end of of his life, it was becoming apparent that this problems ran deeper. Friends say he had episodes of delusional thinking. Sometimes they were free-associative; he could switch in mid-sentence from the song he was working on to the tree outside the window and back again.

Into the Black

Last December, I was driving down Stinson Blvd (no relation to the Stinson brothers, although Bob named an album after it) and I spotted a sign at the corner of Summer and Stinson for Techne R&D. This interested me in two respects: first, I’m a big fan of the Replacements—I truly believe that Bastards of Young was the greatest music video ever made and that Let it Be is one of the top ten rock and roll records. Second, techné (for the non-rhetoricians out there) describes the general class of activities which rhetoric is a part of. Sometimes translated as “art,” it isn’t really that at all. Carl Mitcham (paraphrasing Aristotle) perhaps described it best: techné is the ability to make with an awareness of the thing being made.

I vowed to return and make a photograph of the building with the thought of writing something about it. Sometimes, things don’t work out the way you plan. Your level of awareness can change in an instant.

Techne R&D - Nabisco

Not much to see here

The building itself did not have any logo or sign with “techne” on it. R&D just doesn’t have much resonance as a business name—too generic. The original sign I spied from Stinson was the only trace; I took a couple of snaps. This one, with the Nabisco building not far away, was only mildly interesting. Today, I found out more about what goes on beyond those doors courtesy of a WCCO story pointed out by Paul Schmelzer:

“We have changed the procedure to ensure they’re wearing goggles or a face mask while they are above that manhole,” said Hamilton.

The Met Council is changing the permit to say that the city has to warn the lab it’s coming to clean the sewer, and the lab has to stop discharging blood until they’re done. R & D told the city the blood shouldn’t present any risk, but Huebner’s still worried.

Blood blasting out of the sewers just off of Stinson Blvd? That’s just impossible to ignore. It seems that Techne R&D don’t really seem to know what a mess they’re making.

Update:There’s another blood story today (4/2):

“Today we spilled about four gallons of blood,” says Minnesota horror filmmaker Jon Springer (“Living Dead Girl”) of The Hagstone Demon, currently shooting in the Powderhorn Park neighborhood of Minneapolis. “We stained the painted concrete in the building, splashed some on the walls. I just got my ass reamed out for half an hour by the landlord.”

Update #2: it seems as if the new video from Low has a blood-drenched theme as well. I can’t believe that the commenter on YouTube thinks that it isn’t about U.S. foreign policy! I think I like the animated version of the video best.

Our bodies break
And the blood just spills and spills
But here we sit debating math
It’s just a shame
My hand just kills and kills
There’s gotta be an end to that