Last Keillor post…

…really. I promise. I’m sure you’re all pretty tired of these.

But it strikes me, upon reading these various suggestions that Keillor’s heart is with the urban elite, that his sensibility has fled his small-town roots and mores, that certain particulars give the lie to this notion. I’ve got a lot of Prairie Home Companions on tape – a neighbor used to tape them, or at least The News from Lake Wobegon. And there’s one bit that has stayed with me especially well, though not so well that I can recall it verbatim.

Keillor was broadcasting from New York at the time, and he spoke (his tone dripping with derision) about a New York performance artist who was ruminating on The End of Civilization. Later in the episode, he discussed a husband and wife, sitting at the kitchen table before the sun came up, drinking coffee and putting life back in order after the previous day’s chaos. He said something like, “These people don’t talk about the end of civilization. For these people” – i.e. parents – “civilization is a job.” The audience thundered its approval. It was a great line, and hardly the notion of the urban elite: civilization is the passing on of a tradition, a heritage, a culture. You can sit by the wall and predict its end, or you can roll up your sleeves and keep it going.


  1. I agree.

    I guess I don’t see him as having defected to that demographic. Maybe people assume that because the elite love him.

    I think he still loves the little man. He recently read in NOLA and all proceeds went to the local radio station that is home to Prarie Home. He did local print press, etc, talking about his Katrina feelings.

    He was asked about any developing diva status- he said he prefers to fill his empty Evian bottle at the tap. Highly doubtful, but still endearing.

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