Carnes: Commenting on the comments (column) |

Carnes: Commenting on the comments (column)

Richard Carnes
Richard's Rulings

It’s not too difficult deciding which is more entertaining when it comes to Avon’s barn issue: letters to the editor, online comments or personal emails.

The best part, of course, is how engaged Avon taxpayers are, as the issue hits home for all involved to one degree or another.

The volume of letters playing to either side of the fence is a perfect example of democracy in action, albeit the typical “let’s raise hell after the fact” response from those feigning shock and surprise.

“They did what?? How dare they!”

As anyone who has ever bothered to pay attention, normal small-town politics at its best.

Yet it’s the online comments that are more revealing than anything.

The most obvious aspect is how partisan they quickly become, but the political bias usually only shows from those posting anonymously.

One cannot post a comment on the Vail Daily website without a Facebook account, but one click is all it takes to find a Facebook account totally void of information other than a fake name — usually, one based upon a bad pun or a movie character.

These are the cowardly types who take a local political issue and immediately condemn those they disagree with as Libtards, DemocRATS, Republiturds, Rethuglicans, snowflakes (which for some bizarre reason can apply to either side) and other nicknames not appropriate for resort town newspaper consumption.

They are easily the most entertaining of the bunch, but they are also the least informed concerning the local issue they have the “courage” to comment upon.

Entertaining, yet powerfully naïve.

As for personal emails, I can only reflect on the ones I personally receive, and while entertaining, most are juvenile attacks questioning my relationship with my mom.

Overall, my favorite comments come in three flavors:

  1. Those who attack shared opinions, and then continue by sharing theirs.
  2. Those who agree with one opinion, but how dare you have another opinion at the same time that they disagree with.
  3. Those disagreeing with your opinion without even reading it yet taking the time to comment on your opinion that they were pre-convinced they would disagree with either way.

Opinions are like storm snow total predictions — most are based on the same satellite data, but vary greatly in proportion to one’s personal desires and whether or not their business counts heavily on reservations or Front Range weekend traffic.

With problems around the world like the pope hiding R. Kelly’s use of underage girls at Robert Kraft’s Florida “spa,” a North Korean lovefest in Hanoi, more world policing by the United States in Venezuela, a heavily armed Coast Guard member with a liberal hit list and a New Deal suddenly colored in green, a little perspective goes a long way for an old barn in a resort town.

Let’s try to keep that in mind while this issue searches for a conclusion.

Richard Carnes, of Avon, writes weekly. He can be reached at

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