Embrace X Games
Roger Marolt’s well-written columns are usually right on target, but his most recent missive, “Yet another Aspen sellout,” missed the mark (The Aspen Times, Jan. 27).
Roger’s column suggests a bunch of reasons why old-time locals dislike the changes in town brought about by the X Games. It immediately reminded me of the old joke “How many Aspenites does it take to change a light bulb?” The answer of course is 100 – one to change the light bulb, and 99 to tell you how good the old one used to be.
The basic flaw in Roger’s logic is his statement that the X Games “are not who we are.” It’s emblematic of a common belief that Aspen should be the way “we” like it to be – except the giant fly in the ointment is that the “we” is always changing. By example, the Ute Indians didn’t care for the miners who showed up in the 1870s, ruining their pristine little valley. The old time-miners weren’t crazy about the Austrians who moved to town after the war. The Austrians didn’t embrace the hippies who rolled their VW vans (and doobies) into town in the 1960 and ’70s. The hippies weren’t in love with the Hollywood types and glamorous celebrities. Why should we be surprised that Roger, the quintessential Aspen native, is already grousing about the X Games? Complaining about change in Aspen is our national sport!
My personal view is that the X Games are wonderful for Aspen. A bunch of young, wild kids with long hair and outrageous clothes come to town and ski and laugh and drink and hook up with hot blondes. They throw a heck of a party for four days.
It sort of reminds me of when I came to Aspen more than 40 years ago, with long hair and bell bottoms (remember those?) and 207-cm skis and a smile on face every day! Anything that allows young people to visit Aspen is ultimately good for our town. We don’t want to turn into a community of old farts taking their Lipitor and eating their bran cereal!
I would like to suggest to Roger that he should look at the X Game visitors as Aspen’s seed corn. Just a few years down the road, no matter how scraggly they might look today, many of them will become doctors and lawyers and accountants and teachers and they will tell their children about a magical place in the Rocky Mountains that we all love. Fifty years from now, after many of us are long gone, those new kids might be riding the half-pipe in laser-guided purple Martian boards. Who cares?
The only thing that I ask is that they preserve Aspen’s natural environment and physical beauty and respect Aspen’s unique history. As far as I am concerned, they will be free to paint their own picture of “who we are in Aspen,” and my guess is that it will still be pretty damn good.
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