Pinning Minnesota

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"Are you ready for pain?" growls Captain Freedom in the very Schwarzeneggerian sci-fi fable The Running Man (1987), as a sea of leotard-clad beauties swirls in the background. "Are you ready for suffering? If the answer is yes, then you're ready for Captain Freedom's workout! Yeah!"

Though those may be (hopefully) unapt words for Minnesotans anticipating Jesse "The Mind" Ventura's new term as governor of the Land of Ten Thousand Lakes (and by the way, his real name is James Janos), it would seem to behoove them to get ready for something. Rough-and-tumble populism? Muscular, mustachioed libertarianism? Ross Perot in tights? Let's take a look at the Ventura canon.

In The Running Man, Ventura's Captain Freedom is an gladiator-turned TV commentator (in a deft poke at today's NFL jocks-in-the booth culture) who hunts, and then grudgingly respects, Ah-nold. In Predator (1987), he's a gruff special-forces type who hunts a alien in the jungle, and grudgingly respects his commander, Ah-nold. And Batman and Robin (1997), he's a prison guard. And Ah-nold, as Mr. Freeze, is hunted and jailed. Ah-nold-less? There's Demolition Man (1993). Repossessed (1990), in which he plays himself. Take Major League II (1994). Please. Or Abraxas, Guardian of the Universe (1991), in which he plays, well, Abraxas, Guardian of the Universe.

Now he's guardian of Minnesota. And although this writer' all-time favorite Reform Party candidate was Dick Lamm (whose promising presidential run was knifed by the Ross himself), all of us here wish "The Body" the best of luck. And a pain-free term in the statehouse.