Take it lightly when others weigh in on heavy issues

I am consistently amused when folks from different communities, and even different states, feel the need to chime in and write a letter to the editor to share their opinion as to how we should feel or, heaven forbid, conduct our lives. Recently, a woman from New York wrote to say we should just let the Halloween “zombie march” go on and leave those people alone. Are we so sheltered here in our own little paradise that we need outsiders to point out our idiosyncrasies? Or would it be better to just respond with, “Thanks, but we really don’t care what you think?” – Signed, If you want to tell us how to live, then just move here

The New York zombie apologist doesn’t hold a candle to the unsolicited advice sent from a Texas visitor in early October.

In that letter, an Amarillo resident bemoaned the abundance of rude restaurant workers, saying, “you can’t find a cold Budweiser or Bud Light on draft anywhere.”

The tippling tourist continued: “Heads up, Durango, not everyone likes that locally brewed beer. Sure, it may be local and fun to try once in awhile, but don’t forget that the people who spend the most money in your town are the tourists. Tourists will try the Durango beers once, but we want to go back to our old-fashioned Buds.”

Needless to say, that letter caused a brouhaha. Nonresidents can insult the town, but heaven forbid visitors vilifying the hometown hooch.

As you point out, finger-wagging isn’t just from the out-of-state crowd. Lifestyle admonishments can come from neighboring communities, or even outside the city limits. Or just down the street.

Rather than take exception to a published observation about your personal choices, celebrate the fact that the letter was printed for all to see and digest.

The freedom of expressing one’s opinion is something most of us take for granted.

It’s a great nation that encourages important public dialog about vital issues such as miscreants masquerading as the undead or Durango craft brews dethroning the King of Beers.

And be careful what you wish for. Advising people “if you want to tell us how to live, then just move here” will have unintended consequences.

They might just move here and thereby increase the population of those eager to have a say in how you go about your business.

Do we really need more buttinskis? Seems like there are enough already.

H H H

It’s time for the Mea Culpa Mailbag, Mayan calendar calamity edition.

Last week, Action Line observed that Durango’s proposed plastic bag ban might be a moot point since the world could very well end on the Winter Solstice based on an ancient Central American calendar “running out.”

Some lunatics – er, observers – claim the Earth’s magnetic poles will suddenly reverse at this time.

All that claptrap prompted loyal reader Mark Mahlum to ask some pertinent questions:

“If the poles swap on Dec. 21, will the five piles of iron scrap metal on the Florida Road roundabout pivot 180 degrees?”

“Will The Durango Herald suddenly shift from being a California left-wing mouthpiece and Obama lap hound to a heartland, right-wing Christian advocate for the unborn?”

“Will the Durango City Council adjourn for 60 days so the councilors with co-dependence disorder (control freaks) can receive much-needed treatment?”

Mark signed his email most excellently: “Mark Mahlum, Bayfield (Obvious. Huh?)”

Another anonymous wag speculated that if the poles reversed “maybe the Bridge to Nowhere would become the Bridge to Somewhere and everyone in Durango would suddenly want cats.”

Email questions to actionline@durangoherald.com or mail them to Action Line, The Durango Herald, 1275 Main Ave., Durango, CO 81301. You can request anonymity if you know what’s best for the rest of you people.

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