Tim Cooney recently wrote a letter to the editor critical of Elizabeth Milias. His psychological profile of Miss Milias, depicting her as an unfortunate person, troubled by difficult relationships, was both colorful and amusing. The underlying theme of Mr. Mooney’s letter is a call for more civility in Aspen. I applaud Mr. Mooney’s request. I have been pleading, since Nixon was president, for greater respect between citizens in our town.
I am afraid that Mr. Mooney’s criticism of Miss Milias rings hollow. What he really seems to resent is that Elizabeth is a hard-hitting, two-by-four wielding journalist with a pair of beach-balls swinging between her legs. I am sure Mr. Mooney would be happier if Elizabeth attended socialite teas, wore a crinoline skirt and kept her mouth shut. But what really seems to irk him is that she has the temerity to disagree with the Ba’ath party and its card-carrying members. Tim’s response is the time-honored, Aspen version of Whack-a-Mole. If you stick your head out in this town, someone will slam you with a mallet.
Tim seems upset that Miss Milias was “mean” to Su Lum. Mean? Are you kidding me? Elizabeth is not the person who coined the terms “greedheads” and “dirt pimps” to refer to the hard-working Realtors, developers and contractors in town. She is not the one who, in a public meeting, recently referred to one of our local homeowners as a “bitch.” If you really want more civility Tim, why not call for it on both sides of the aisle? Don’t write sanctimonious letters pretending that your delicate sensibilities have been offended. Didn’t your mother ever teach you about the goose and gander?
Elizabeth certainly has her own, no-holds-barred, pit-bull approach to Aspen politics. However, I suspect Tim isn’t looking for civility any more than OJ is “looking for the real killer.” What Tim really wants is to neutralize Elizabeth before too many of Aspen’s citizen’s figure out they actually have choices in government. Tim pretends to be offended by Elizabeth’s criticism. His faux sense of dismay reminds me of the famous scene in the classic movie “Casablanca.” Humphrey Bogart, the proprietor of Rick’s Cafe, is confronted by a gendarme “on the take” who shuts down the bar. The police officer, as he accepts cash for his own winnings, says he is “shocked” to find out there is gambling in here.
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