Don’t be a clown hater
Dear Editor:I am not sure why The Aspen Times hates clowns.That’s unfair – I should have said I am not sure why columnists Roger Marolt and Su Lum hates clowns.That’s not fair – I know the Su Lum column was a direct result of her … let me say … utter disdain for me.But Roger is a different story as we are friends. So his column caught me by surprise. When I heard about it, I said I’m sure he’s just trying to be funny. Or maybe he drifted back into one of his numerous alter egos like Lee Anne Marlets or Todd Coghi.But, after reading the column, I have come to the conclusion he might be suffering a bit of depression (it’s going around) from his exhausting weeklong Snowmass mayoral run from a few years ago. Why else would he say, “With the city of Aspen and the Commercial Core & Lodging Commission (CCLC) poised to unleash a gargantuan fiscal stimulus package for panhandlers on the Hyman Avenue mall later this month, downtown promises to be absolutely teeming with activity.”Sure, who doesn’t like a panhandler, but that is not what our effort is all about. And I say our, because a lot of people have put their time and effort into making this idea work, not Roger or Su, or any columnist that I know of, but a lot of other people.Our goal is not to drive traffic, although we might pick up a few downvalley families looking for a good time. Instead, the goal was to create a little memory – so locals and visitors can tell their friends how much “free” fun Aspen has to offer.I know that might not be much to the “big idea” people, but sometimes a little idea can have some big PR benefits.In response to this quote – “The greatest entertainment that any of us can hope to get from this project is to, once again, watch ourselves trying to choreograph messy vitality – I can only say that you’re welcome; I didn’t realize Roger understood our plan so well.And this statement, “What happens if the scheduled street performer doesn’t show up on time, or at all, one evening? How will that affect the spontaneity we are trying to spawn? Has anybody on the CCLC considered hiring a consultant to research that?”Right on! In our effort to create jobs we are accepting applications to fill that consulting position – hopefully you will apply.Getting back to the “panhandlers.” Another joke I’m sure – think of Letterman and the Palin family. We like to think of our local musicians, MAA students, and family entertainment performers as something more than panhandlers – I guess the proof will be in the performance. Finally, in the spirit of full disclosure, other than 80 percent of the guitar case donations, I am not getting a thing for my work. In a world in which you get what you pay for, I guess a little prayer might be needed.Andrew KoleAspen
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