Richard Carnes: Sure, we’re a nation of whiners |

Richard Carnes: Sure, we’re a nation of whiners

As much as I hate to agree with the partisan pencil neck, maybe former Texas Sen. Phil Gramm was right last July when he called us a “nation of whiners.”

It’s difficult to even check your mail around here lately without being subjected to another Sad Sack hard luck story, or having to endure someone’s political tirade over how (insert political hack of choice) has ruined, or is in the middle of ruining, our town, county, state or nation in general.

Face it, we are all walking, talking soundboards of opinion, complete with boom-mike mouths and dogmatic ears, eager to share our judgments of how, why, when, and where this whole economic mess began, yet quiet as a Peanut CEO when it comes to offering realistic solutions.

But don’t get me wrong, I am probably more guilty than most, and spend plenty of time bending the ears of those who allow me to do so.

People need to vent, and who can blame them? All you have to do is look at some of the local nonsense occurring right now, while we’re smack dab in the middle of the worst financial fudgefest 99 percent of us have ever faced.

The town of Vail just blew another $16,000 for the pleasure of having a paid consultant tell them the apparently amazing fact that “price is very important” to potential home buyers.

Wow, who’d a thunk? I would have happily told them that for one-tenth the price, and even paid for and picked up the coffee and donuts.

The entire Eagle County logo clusterfudge is so small in overall financial significance yet so large in principle that I blame no one for wanting to go kick Menconi in the shin just for the hell of it.

And if you really believe Vail Resorts has your best interests in mind by announcing the continuation of the Epic Pass for next year, I suggest you use what little cash you have left to enroll at CMC for a quick refresher course in Public Corporation Objectives 101.

You can lead skiers to the mountain, but you can’t make them spend money.

Then there are the goofballs with their heads stuck in the sand making web comments about “all the cars along the Frontage Road” on certain weekends, so “how could we be in a recession with all those cars?”


It’s like going to Mile High Stadium only on Bronco game days and not understanding why all the vendors aren’t making a fortune because they’re so damned busy every time you want another $9 chili dog.

It’s, um, seasonal, Bubba, and bills are due year-round.

But to be perfectly honest, I’d much rather listen to friends and neighbors unleash their grieving stories 24/7 than have them retreat further into their own little emotional hell-hole, never sharing their frustrations to the point they build up like tiny volcanoes and explode all over the valley.

Sharing is therapeutic, and besides, we don’t need the mess.

Either way, today is Mardi Gras, which is French for Fat Tuesday. So hooray, let’s do shots and celebrate the fine art of surrendering.

Maybe a good hangover will inspire an actual solution or two.

Richard Carnes of Edwards writes a column for the Daily. He can be reached at

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