For those of you who are faithful readers of this magazine, it may seem evident that we avoid politics or anything hinting at activism. This is because I dislike politics (probably because I fear confrontation). Forgive the “I,” but it is I who determines the editorial direction of this magazine while it is our managing editor who determines much of the editorial content. The problem is, as many activists will tell you, food is politics. If this is true, then the flavor of politics depends on your point of view. Your culture, your background, where you live.
And therein lies the problem. By serving one, you alienate the other. Yes, food may very well be political but really, around here, mountain biking can be political. Whether you are riding your petrol-fueled four-wheeler or pedaling your $4000 bicycle, you are most likely annoying the living hell out of somebody.
But issue after issue I fear we are letting down an important part of our population. As we gain more and more traction, we have the opportunity to influence, or at least shine some light on, policy (ugh, just typing the word “policy” makes me a little sleepier than I was two seconds ago). For each issue, when I sit down to write this letter, I think, “I should be writing about something meatier.” Something with heft. “No doubt,” I can hear you say. Water rights. GMOs, soil depletion … zzzzzz.
“Why do you feel that way?” Michael Thunder inquired after I expressed the above concern to him.
Thunder, an accomplished writer and writing coach, was the owner of The Tea Room in Durango before he shut it down to go up to his hilltop house and do absolutely nothing. “Nothing?” I asked, seeking clarification. “Yes, nothing,” he said. “Dolce far niente.” This roughly translates to the sweetness of sitting on top of a mountain
and doing nothing much to your wife’s chagrin. It sounds better in Italian. In his defense, the nothingness is deliberate. He would call it contemplation. It’s apparently an express train to enlightenment.
“I don’t know. I am not sure,” I replied to his inquiry.
“Well stop that. It’s a judgment. You should write about what’s on your mind,” he replied.
I think, “that could get me arrested.” Besides, if I weren’t judging myself, then what would fill my days?
If we were to use this platform to affect policy (I am getting drowsy again), we would alienate half the population of Southwest Colorado – be it the red half or the blue half. Thus, in my opinion, it is a losing proposition.
Spoiler alert: I am about to deliver a platitude. But only as a setup. It doesn’t help, of course, that for the past 20 years or more, the political climate of our country has been wicked. (Okay, done.) And just when you thought it couldn’t get worse, it did (although I am writing this in March and you could be reading this in June and the storm has now subsided, the birds are chirping and we are all holding hands as we teach the world to sing in perfect harmony). It is almost impossible to avoid. It’s like living in a house with parents (or children) who constantly fight over who is right and who is wrong. It makes one strongly consider the perks of living solo – in an RV deep in the Baja.
So my perspective is this: hide here. We want to be an oasis from that fray. Red or blue, vegan or carnivore, Birkenstock or steel toe – it is safe to enter.
Rick Scibelli, Jr., Editor and Publisher
PS: While we, the staff, avoid pushing an agenda, we do happily publish essays submitted by our readers, regardless of their point of view. We publish them under a “Reader’s Opinion” tagline. Write us!