Wobegon When?

Is there a nonlethal way to stop Garrison Keillor?

Garrison Keillor claims he'll go quietly.

The host of A Prairie Home Companion, which comes to the Oregon Zoo this week, has promised to retire from his show sometime next July. If he keeps his vow, the nation's radio waves could be free of Keillor in less than a year. But the 73-year-old Minnesotan has made such promises before, only to balk.

Brace Belden doesn't want to take any chances.

Belden is a San Francisco anti-Keillor activist who started the "Cancel Goddam Prairie Home Companion" petition on Change.org last month. Since Keillor announced plans to retire and hand over the show to Chris Thile, a mandolinist in the band Nickel Creek, Belden says simply canceling the show may not be enough. \

WW: When did you start hating A Prairie Home Companion?

Brace Belden: I can't even remember—it's like being born addicted to methadone. I came out of the womb sick with it. Like there's never been a time in my young life when I didn't know about and hate stupid-ass Garrison Keillor. But I started hating it more when we ran out of CDs in my girlfriend's truck.

What do you hate about it?

I could spend the rest of my shitty life listening to A Prairie Home Companion and walk through death's fucking doors not knowing a thing. The show is an abomination—an entire hour of nothing but one man's insane, repulsive fantasy. "News from Lake Wobegon." My God. What a nightmare. It's inoffensive, it's bland, it's plodding. You can feel the wrinkles growing and the blood draining out of your dick. It's a radio show for guys who married their high-school sweethearts. Model train music. He stretches that hour into eternity. There is absolutely a hell, and it's in Minnesota, and its demon king is fucking Keillor.

Why is it allowed to remain on radio?

I'm of the opinion there's only one rich, retired dentist in like Ohio or something who just sends NPR a 10-figure check every few years with "KEEP PRAIRIE HOME COMPANION ON ALL THE FUCKIN TIME" written in the memo part. Either that or you're deaf and just enjoy the vibrations. I could imagine the show has pretty soothing vibrations.

Keillor is a national menace, and if Obama really wanted the sun to shine on America, he'd hang that son of a bitch from the Empire State Building and usher in a new era of prosperity and maybe free up eight or nine time slots on NPR.

You don't think it's enough to just let him hand the show over to a mandolin player?

If someone continues in his shoes, I'm going to cut my ears off and feed 'em to his widow.

I think Obama will listen to the petition, though. It's his last year, and people are all excited because he stopped wearing tan suits and lit up the White House rainbow. I think, as his final act, he will pardon Mumia and order the arrest of Keillor to face charges of high treason and sabotage.

Do you really think A Prairie Home Companion is worse than other NPR programming like Car Talk and This American Life?

Absolutely worse than all that other shit. My main thing is that This American Life—schmaltzy and saccharine as it is—at least is varied. Like there's a different show every week, and at least it's run by a Jew—my people know showbiz unlike this schmuck Keillor. Car Talk never seems to be on when I'm listening to the radio, but I'd gladly listen to some bozo drone on and on about how aerodynamic PT Cruisers are forever into eternity until my fuckin' skin falls off than hear the dumbass news from Lake Wobegon.

So you're an NPR fan?

Thing is, I support public radio—not with money, of course, I make like $4 an hour—but I would absolutely vote for any candidate who ran on a platform of hanging Garrison Keillor.

The only solution is, as I see it, to kill Keillor. Like a strong message must be passed on—that this sort of wrinkle-man tyranny will not stand in the greatest country in the world and also history.

And you believe a petition can make that happen?

Absolutely. I believe in the American dream, and I firmly trust that Americans will act upon our shared dream of Garrison Keillor's public execution. I'm a patriot, after all. 

GO: Garrison Keillor's A Prairie Home Companion America the Beautiful Tour is at 7 pm Friday, Aug. 28, at the Oregon Zoo, 4001 SW Canyon Road, 226-1561, oregonzoo.org. $42.50-$82.50. All ages.

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