Peace rally not the answer | AspenTimes.com
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Peace rally not the answer

I have been reading your paper online, as I live here in New York City. However, I grew up in Aspen, so I try to keep tabs.

I have been reading the letters from the Roaring Fork Peace Coalition and have read about Hunter Thompson and the rally on Saturday. It is nice to know that Aspen stays true to its roots as a place where the freedom of expression is not dead with the yuppies.

Although Mr. Thompson is a reputable and prolific author, friend of Johnny Depp and has been known to wield his own shotgun around his home, I do not think we can take this rally seriously. Printing an article about a bunch of burned-out yuppies from the East Coast dying for a new cause will do little more than deplete the stash of bibs over at Powder Pandas.

Saying that our president should “be removed from office” is really not going to help matters. Putting peace signs on a bib will do nothing other than get all of the “artists” in the community to use it as a spring-board for their own benefit.

Thank God Aspen exists, or everything would be New York City.

If the coalition does not want war with Iraq, then they have to do more than prance around talking about themselves. War is everywhere and it is in everything.

It is in our basic carnal psyche. It wakes us up in the morning. War is the antecedent. War promotes discussion. It promotes new books, it publicizes struggling bands from downvalley. War gives us something to say. War will never touch Aspen, because war has a home there below Lift 1A.

Really, if we do not want war, then we have to look within ourselves and find out what it is we really fear. Is it really the bloodshed and the threat of nuclear arms? That is given. But shouldn’t we be advancing beyond these basic reactions? Shouldn’t we be looking for solutions?

I ask people to level with themselves on this issue. If we do not have a war, then what should we do? Because the truth is, even if we do not have war now, we will have more hell to come. It isn’t going to go away. Wishing for fantasy will never bring peace.

Aspen reminds me of what life was supposed to be like. But it isn’t real. It is as much a suburb and fiction of the imagination as Hunter S. Thompson is to the general public. Aspen can have its rally. Aspen can wear bibs and get a few runs in before lunch.

In the real world, underground in New York, an African American man in his mid-50s, deaf and mute, scrubs the bottom panels of some swinging doors. While he sweats and makes minimum wage, he puts all of his money in savings. Every day at noon, he waits in line for his tuna sandwich as he greets his co-workers.

He uses his hands, and follows with an infectious smile. This man, of humble means, is proud. He is proud of his son. War will come and go, and all he knows is that he must get to work every day by 7:30 a.m.

He gets there by bus, by train and by walking. In negative-degree chill, he shuffles in on time every day. He is never sick, and he never complains. He does everything for everyone.

His little boy is brilliant and he comes to get his father every day at quitting time on the corner of 62nd at Broadway. They walk to the train station and return to their one-room flat in Flatbush. They love each other, and they nurture each other. Because his father works so hard, his son understands what it means to have passion and to have integrity.

These people, who would hardly fit in over at the Caribou Club have never seen a ski mountain, and do not lunch at Matsuhisa. These people do not get to go rock climbing and hut touring.

Make Snow Not War? Ski and avoid life? Avoid life and negate war? Ignore reality and stay in a bubble?

The real war we should be fighting is the war to end stupidity.

Why not find a way to help our country help its people? Why not create a coalition for scholarships? Why not build more libraries and foundations that give people a chance to know what it is like to dream?

I say to all of the locals, do something positive for your nation and its people. Wake up you ski bums! This will end war, and this will bring peace.

Helping people, like my co-worker here in NYC, will promote positive solutions. Taking care of our own nation will end war. Education is the answer, not the protesting of George Bush.

Elize Flug

New York City


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