October 2, 2002
Light the fires, gather the mob, heat the oil, and let’s go chase down Roger Marolt. So tragic to see this native son betraying his community and practically destroying the public forum.
Drawing and quartering would be too good for this satirist who suggested we move the landfill to Wagner Park and has forever divided the rich and the poor with his letters.
For God’s sake, you mavens of morality at The Aspen Times, lighten up! Reading your recent editorial about Marolt’s antics, I found myself thinking, “These people need to get out of the valley for a little fresh air and if they’re abstaining from anything, please let the abstention end.”
Have we become so serious here that a few letters complaining about bicyclists making too much noise on the bike path (well done, Roger!) make that prankster a “liar,” and a “betrayer of the public trust.” Please pass the Dramamine ?cause I’m feeling some motion sickness.
Sure the letters forum is meant to be a frank give and take, never anonymous and signed by a real person. If Marolt had gone on some sort of warpath trying to destroy a business or a reputation, then maybe your editorial would have had bearing. But any half-wit could see that his letters were meant in good fun ? a gentle prodding at the social conscience of Aspen.
We have a long tradition of that sort of thing here in Aspen including Freddy Fisher, the banner welcoming Clinton when he was president (“Inhale to the Chief”), shrines to the Grateful Dead on Aspen Mountain, a once-bawdy Wintersköl parade, and dozens of other gestures that breathe a little light into the town.
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I suppose what gets me most about your editorial is your comment about Marolt trying to divide the community. And the Aspen Times unites the community?
Is there not an issue that The Times doesn’t try to whip into a hot froth to sell copy? Is The Times so evenhanded in its own editorials (anonymous, by the way) that it can pretend to judge Marolt from on high?
Let me be one of the first to say that your own editorials play fast and loose with the reputations of some of our very good citizens, including Marolt.
And now this unbelievably silly policy of having to deliver a letter to the editor in person with a picture ID. Who’s managing that place? John Ashcroft? You’re right ? you’ll get fewer letters and, guess what: fewer readers.
The day that this town becomes so serious that a harmless practical joke becomes a morality play is the day it’s time to call a real estate broker in a more tolerant community ? like Salem, Mass.
P.S. Please see attached birth certificate, DNA sample and retina scan as proof of identify.