Can’t we all just get along? Nope. Here’s a better idea |

Can’t we all just get along? Nope. Here’s a better idea

The Aspen Times Editorial

This newspaper has long advocated an end to verbal violence and unruliness in our local political battles.

It has seemed to us that we could find more civilized ways to conduct ourselves in our endless disagreements over everything from land use to transportation. After all, we are adults, participating in decision-making processes that have profound ramifications for future generations. We should conduct ourselves in a responsible, rational way if we ever are to expect reasonable results. We have urged the valley to calm down, to lower the anger quotient, to find a peaceful path to resolution of the problems that trouble our community.

Well – boy, howdy! – that hasn’t worked.

So, in keeping with the spirit of the times, it’s clearly time to find a new way. And, as luck would have it, a new way seems to have revealed itself.

Our ever-alert readers undoubtedly noticed an item in one of this week’s Aspen Times daily editions announcing plans for a Tough Man competition at The Tippler, a nightclub and disco joint next at the base of Aspen Mountain.

For those who haven’t ventured outside their apartments this year, these competitions provide an opportunity for amateur boxers to get into a ring, knock someone into next week and earn a little money for the pleasure.

Normally the domain of thick-skulled Neanderthals and Rocky Balboa wannabes, this might be the answer to our ongoing political dilemma here in the upper reaches of the Roaring Fork Valley.

Since we never seem to be able to solve anything by talking, maybe we should turn to more time-honored methods for settling disputes – as in, “Hey, pal! Wanna take it outside?”

After all, haven’t we pretty much had it with recall elections that go nowhere, with initiative petitions, with endless advertising campaigns, with hate mail, with verbal brawls? So let’s drop the “verbal” and get on with it.

Taking our latest community controversy as an example, we could put together a “Moratorium Fight Card” that would bring spectators from all over the state. We could match Pitkin County Commissioner Mick Ireland against realtor Josh Saslov, for instance. That would ensure a somewhat fairer fight than pitting the lanky commish against, say, a construction worker or a brick layer.

And, last year, didn’t we all – at least once, in our secret heart of hearts – wish that John Bennett and Jeffrey Evans would simply duke it out to settle this train thing once and for all?

The winners of the bouts would be decided by surrender or unconsciousness, whichever comes first. No draws would be allowed. And, no, we’re not looking for fights to the death – naked, in a steel cage, in the middle of the intersection of Main and Mill.

Though, gosh, now that we think of it …

No, no, we put such thoughts behind us. We’re not barbarians. We look for a simple, bare-fisted fight between two well-matched combatants, ’til one cries – in the words of Macbeth – “Hold! I’ve had enough!” Of course, Macbeth wound up with his head on a pike, but that’s not what we’re looking for.

What we imagine, at worst, is the losing combatant on the ground, unconscious. And the matter settled – once and for all.

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