Get off Depp’s back
Dear Editor:All these letters of outcry regarding what some feel was a colossal waste of money spent on the celebration of Hunter S. Thompson’s life really piss me off.Money spent on anything, which is of importance and value to the person paying the tab, is never money wasted. What is it that really bothers these folks who are so offended that HST’s family and friends held their celebration and said their good-byes? What would have been an acceptable monetary figure for them? Who has the right to complain and resent how anyone spends any amount of money earned?I have respect for Johnny Depp and his generosity in what he felt was necessary to honor his friend. I also have admiration for Rick McKinney, who hiked 500 miles from Yellowstone to Aspen, hoping to raise awareness of suicide and drug addiction, as his own way of honoring Hunter Thompson.A few weeks ago a short seminar was held in Aspen to address the issue of suicide. I know from personal experience that there is a major factor missing in the efforts to raise overall awareness. What is being overlooked is the financial cost and red tape involved for anyone who seeks professional counseling and antidepressant medication. This includes the so-called low-cost mental health clinics. Without medical insurance or funds to pay for expensive medication needed on a regular basis, I can understand why so many turn to the only affordable and easier option to them: illegal drugs and alcohol. If it were as easy and affordable to obtain the legal means of aid, we would see the suicide rate in this country drop significantly. Would people feel better if Johnny Depp had spent his money on providing medication to those who can’t afford it for whatever illness they suffer?Some issues aren’t as simple as the awareness to help prevent suicide, but should include how to make medications and counseling affordable. Get off Depp’s back. Jump on the pharmaceutical companies, or the doctors who won’t see you without leaving a $125 tip for a prescription for a 30-day supply of meds that will rake another $100 from your wallet if you want to complain about money spent.There will always be people who choose to live, and die, the way they feel is best for them. That includes how they choose to spend their money. Hunter S. Thompson was one of those people, as am I. Perhaps part of the awareness programs should include how those left behind can accept the logical, well thought out process many consider before making that final choice to depart.Kit O’Carraformerly of Woody Creek
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Aspen’s dirty downtown alleys are enough of a blight that the city government is taking the initiative to clean them up this week.