Letter: One flew over Aspen | AspenTimes.com

Letter: One flew over Aspen

Among all of the controversial issues that unnerve legitimate Aspen locals are two that are viewed as an outgrowth of the essentially unwanted, undesirable "new Aspen" idea:

1. Corporate commercial real estate development.

2. Residential increase among alien, urban/suburban creatures.

In each case, the underlying purpose intends to modify a natural wilderness of beauty (and truth) by means of artificial emplacements.

Recently, the psychological characteristics of the larger-than (Aspen)-life developers have been called into question, as if to suggest that as adults they have yet to advance beyond the Tinkertoy/Erector Set stage of their adolescence.

But little mention has been made of the well, or ill-being, of the "new alien resident" amid all of this artificiality.

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In a most revealing article in the New Yorker on Oct. 20 by Patricia Marx, "Pets Allowed," subtitled "Why Are So Many Animals Now In Places Where They Shouldn't Be?" Marx wrote: "What a wonderful time it is for the scammer, the conniver, and the cheat: The underage drinkers who flash fake IDs, the able-bodied adults who drive cars with handicapped license plates, the parents who use a phony address so that their child can attend a more desirable public school, the customers with 11 items who stand in the express lane. The latest group to bend the law is pet owners!"

In contrast to an actual service dog, "which is trained to perform specific tasks such as pulling a wheelchair, and responding to seizures," a new critter emerges: the ESA — "the emotional-support animal is more like a 'blankie' and defined by the government as an untrained companion of any species that provides solace to someone with a disability, such as anxiety or depression."

As one looks around Aspen, such people are legion.

Indeed, in a Western Slope Catholic parish (not Aspen), a parishioner was said to have appealed to her pastor to have her poodle baptized!

Yet another example of presumed Christian faith, wholly absent of reason.

According to Marx, in 2011, the National Service Animal Registry signed up 2,400 emotional-support animals.

In 2013, it registered 11,000.

In view of the foregoing, there should be little doubt of the condition of, for example, Smuggler Mountain's poodle-pooping masters.

In conclusion, and upon observing the overworn phrase "Body, Mind, Spirit" erroneously copycatted by the shallow-minded publishers of Aspen's glossy real estate magazines, it would seem appropriate for Aspen's clerical leadership — Catholic, Protestant and Jew — to weigh in on all of this absurdity and reveal the actual truth of the spiritual and mental condition of this town.

Art Allard

Aspen