Carnes: Enough, leave already
It has become apparent of late that too many in Happy Valley cannot afford health care or housing, transportation or recreation, season lift passes or concert tickets, cultured food or top-shelf booze, yada-yada or yada-yeeda, or some combination thereof.
To those young and old alike, I shout, without any guilt whatsoever but with my fair share of humility, “See ya!”
Don’t take it personal boys and girls, but come on, let’s face reality together, shall we?
You gave it a shot. You tried your best to make it work. One, two, even three jobs at once still wouldn’t cut it. But hey, it was not some delusional divine right to move here and attempt to survive in the first place, just the freedom to choose to do so.
We all relish in that same freedom.
Chances are you arrived with the odds of financial or career success already stacked higher than NFL warehouses with Michael Vick jerseys, but none of you showed up with failure on your mind.
Besides, we are well aware of the resilient spirit needed to make such a commitment in the first place. Making it in the mountains has never been for the weak or faint of heart (just ask the Stone Creek School guy).
Those that were already here for your inaugural appearance welcomed you with open arms, as we do those arriving today and will do for those arriving tomorrow (except for those pesky illegals, of course). But perhaps it was an eye-opener when you finally understood socialistic-tendencies and mountain living do not go hand-in-hand.
This ain’t Switzerland.
Some will tell you Happy Valley’s survival depends upon perseverance and sacrifice. Others will swear about pulling up one’s own bootstraps or having the courage to make the really tough decisions, like deciding between rent and that new snowboard.
Still others (myself included) will say most of it is just luck ” some bad, some good ” but somewhat dependent on luck nonetheless.
If you’ve had more bad than good, and are waiting around for the off chance of local governments stepping in to take care of you, then I suggest you start packing instead.
Give it up. Leave, already.
We have dealt with most of the issues long before you got here, and will be dealing with all of them for years to come. They are our responsibility, and we will tenaciously suffer the consequences, both positive and negative.
But seriously, don’t knock yourself. You helped while you were here.
Now go and take care of your family or yourself, which should have been your first priority anyway, as opposed to where you lay your head at night.
Life’s not about where you live; it’s about how you live it.
Yet for those waiting behind patiently for tax-funded assistance, I can only say, “Hit the road, Jack (or Jackie).”
“But Richard, what about the new housing coalition?” you ask.
Stop it, we don’t need no stinkin’ housing coalition.
We have no desire for yet another in a long line of tax-funded committees telling us “Hey, guess what we discovered ” housing is a problem!”
To paraphrase one of today’s most celebrated orators, Shrek, “Government-funded committees are like onions; each layer stinks progressively worse than the last. The more time you spend with them the more they make you cry …”
And never forget Newton’s long-overlooked Fourth Law of Motion: For every action there is an equal and just as damaging government program.
Don’t get me wrong (although a few of you most assuredly will), the vast majority of those possessing the fingers of government handouts mean well, they just don’t have the fortitude to allow forces beyond their control to be managed by such things as free markets, weather, terrorists attacks and celebrity opinions.
“But Richard, we have to work as a team,” you shout. “Remember, there is no ‘I’ in team,” you insist.
Well, there is no “I” in government either.
No one is entitled to live here, much less guaranteed to do so comfortably. If you can no longer make your life work in Happy Valley, then I say thank you, thanks for trying, good luck wherever you end up settling.
And I mean that sincerely.
Come back and visit sometime, and as long as global warming hasn’t killed us all, we’ll still be here. In the meantime, I leave you humming the famous words of the Von Trapp Family: “So long, farewell, auf Wiedersehen, goodby-eye.”
Note: The preceding opinions belong to Richard and are not necessarily shared by this newspaper… but they should be.
Richard Carnes of Edwards writes a biweekly column for the Daily. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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In Eagle County, the most commonly reported dead bird has been the Wilson’s warbler, which is yellow. Dead yellow-rumped warblers have also been a common sight.