Roger Marolt: Roger This | AspenTimes.com

Roger Marolt: Roger This

Roger MaroltThe Aspen TimesAspen, CO, Colorado

This is truly idiotic. There is a group of local goody-two-shoes from the Aspen Institute Community Forum who are concerned enough about civil discourse in this town that they are trying to raise $50,000, a good portion of it from taxpayers, to do Miss Manners knows what in order bring vocal critics of local goings-on under control. And the city of Aspen is considering the request for support. How stupid can we be? What’s next? No bulging neck veins, pulling out your own hair or banging your head against walls?You want nice? I think it would be nice if these morons would stop trying to tell everybody what to do all the time.OK. That may be a little harsh. On second thought, no, it’s not. What other recourse do we have to vent against stuff that makes us so mad we feel like spitting broken glass? We all know words are safer than sticks and stones. I’ll save the polite ones for stuff I don’t care about, thank you. If I attend a public meeting, I’m not going there for a job interview or to discuss the weather. I’m putting myself through the torture of sitting through it because they’re hashing out a cause I believe is worth fighting for, and that’s what I’ll be aiming to do. When I get my five minutes to comment, I’m going to make it count. I respect other table-pounders who are there doing the same, even if I don’t agree with them, but I don’t think I need to tell them I value their input when I don’t. That would make me a disingenuous, butt-kissing liar. I’d rather be thought of as rude.The primary pretext for going forward with this movement to make the town more bland is that it will improve the democratic process because, as it stands now, there are apparently many people with terrific ideas who are too intimidated to stand up for what they think is right because the political climate is nasty and dominated by ornery killjoys. How these wimps got up the nerve to express their fears to the Committee for Good Manners is still a mystery.Look – men and women have died in wars to protect our freedom to say just about whatever the hell we want at just about any damn time we want to say it, and you mean to tell me that there are people in this town who are afraid to speak up at a City Council meeting because somebody who disagrees with them might call them a nincompoop? Please.Another reason organizers give for this push for becoming pushovers is that “certain things aren’t done around here. There’s cultural and accepted ways of behavior here.”I guess if you are trying to engineer behavior, you might as well go all the way and revise history, too. I mean, what are they talking about? This town has a long and rich history of rouges and unruly characters snagging on the seams of the social fabric. Our history has been to revere these volatile characters, not revile them. For crying out loud, we’ve elected many such reprobates to run this town, and most did a satisfactory job!If you ask me, this town needs a few more loud and proud butt-kickers at local meetings to stand up and tell the lawyers, land planners and global warming carpet baggers exactly what they think in uncensored, unedited, and no uncertain terms. Sugar coating? I’ll take the bitter, sour and salty any day.We are American adults. We have the right to bear lungs! We can decide how to conduct ourselves in public. Attempts to gag us by shoving the flag of politically correct discourse down our throats, and sending us the bill for it, might be the final step in the complete sanitization of Aspen – Big Brother welcomes you to Pleasantville! Be beautiful, drive an Audi, dress fashionably, and use only language certified by the Aspen Institute Community Forum.If you spend fifty grand to set up sensitive discourse training, who do you think is going to pay attention to it? It will be the namby pambies who support this kind of thing to begin with and who probably don’t cuss, curse or shout much anyway. I doubt the scoundrels who are the perceived problem are going to voluntarily line up to be vocally neutered. I know I won’t. If the clowns on the Aspen Institute Community Forum don’t like it, they can kiss my … Thank you very much for reading this today.Roger Marolt feels like he just wrote a country song. Sing your own verse at roger@maroltllp.com.