Great idea! |

Great idea!

Barry Smith
Barry Smith

The Aspen Ideas Festival is a gathering of some of the best minds in the world on an astounding variety of subjects, all coming together and discussing, pondering and even generating, yes…ideas.

I worked as an AV Guy for part of this conference, and I have to tell you, it was aptly named, because as I sat there for five days, I had some ideas of my own:

IDEA: Gloves that automatically cut your fingernails for you while you wear them. Socks, too.

IDEA: If you happen to be at the Aspen Ideas Festival, and the room is packed so full that you have to stand in the back, RIGHT next to the AV Guy who is sitting in front of his command console trying to do his job, maybe it would be worth considering to NOT nervously click your ballpoint pen just inches from his ear for the entire hour.

IDEA: People aren’t likely to stop taking methamphetamines, so instead of busting the meth labs, why not work with their proprietors and encourage them to include a multi-vitamin in their formula? At least that way meth users would be a little bit healthier.

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IDEA: If you’re having a round-table discussion about ideas in a big round room, and it’s totally packed, and the air conditioning isn’t on, and it’s the middle of summer, maybe someone could prop a door or open a freakin’ window. Though I guess I could do it.

IDEA: Should anyone ever decide to create a combination jail/surf camp, they should call it “Hoosegowabunga.” This is one of my better ideas, so take your time and sound it out – it’s totally worth it.

IDEA: Future Ideas Festivals should be kicked off in this manner:

“Hello Aspen! Are you ready to think?!”


“Are you ready to cogitate, mull, ponder and deliberate?”


“I can’t hear you!”




“No, there’s no point in yelling louder – the reason I can’t hear you has nothing to do with volume, it’s just that I’m so wrapped up in my own thought process at the moment that I can’t hear anything.”

IDEA: A movie called, “How I Learned To Stop Worrying And Love My Tendency To Parody Movie Titles.”

IDEA: A book called, “Zen And The Art Of Making Up Mundane Activities To Go At The End Of The Statement ‘Zen And The Art Of…'”

IDEA: A song called “Giardia” sung to the tune of “Gloria” (G-L-O-R-I-A!).

IDEA: At some point you realize that you are the only common denominator in your life. This is good news, but it may not seem like it at the time.

IDEA: If you get caught doing something really stupid or embarrassing, simply announce (with a sudden change in manner and enthusiasm) that you are the host of a new hidden camera show! Point to a random object in the distance and say that it’s the camera. While everyone is looking at it, run.

IDEA: Maybe statistics don’t tell the whole story.

IDEA: The X Games – For Kids. Young kids. Featuring “extreme” versions of Red Rover, Hide and Go Seek and Duck, Duck, Goose. Also, The Toddler X Games, with dangerous new variations on This Little Piggie, The Wheels On The Bus Go Round And Round and Eenie, Meenie, Miney Moe.

IDEA: Everybody should send me a dollar. In return, I promise I will NOT make you wear a colored rubber bracelet.

IDEA: The only true revolution is consciousness. This is good news, but it may not seem like it at the time.

IDEA: Doesn’t the word “IDEA” start to sound weird after a while? I mean, try it: “Idea, idea, idea, idea, idea, idea, idea, idea, idea?” See what I mean? It even looks weird.

Why is this? I have no idea.

Barry Smith, an Aspen-based freelance writer, moves his lips while writing this column, and hopes you do the same while reading it. E-mail him at or visit his web page at

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