Opinion | Susan Knopf: Island paradise
Sometimes I feel like we live in an island oasis. There’s everything here, and there’s everything out there. We’re not surrounded by water, but we are surrounded by another world.
In the past month, I’ve been to Dallas/Ft. Worth, Charleston, and three times to Las Vegas to help with an ailing family member. It’s a lot.
When I come through the Eisenhower Tunnel and begin the descent into Summit County it feels like all that just lifts off my shoulders and a feeling of tranquility begins to seep into every pore.
It’s not that we don’t have problems here. We have real big problems, housing, health care, balancing the environment and economic progress. For the record, we deal with all the same issues here that they confront out there. Yeah, we need to up our diversity and equity. We still have all the same issues.
We have community. We elect people who genuinely care about us and our county. When we make a mistake, we self-correct. It gets messy. We get it done.
I asked my friends, who just got back from their annual shoulder season sojourn to warmer climes. They described a somewhat harrowing traverse through graupel (soft hail) in Leadville and past the mining area. Once they got here, they said they felt happy. It’s not just the relief of having made the journey; it’s not just the relief of reaching safety. It’s the knowledge that we are home in this comparably idyllic place.
I look out my window at the snowcapped peaks. The aspens at lower elevations are just rolling out their tender light green leaves, which contrast sharply to the evergreens. Further up the mountain the aspens are still not awake from their winter slumber. The trees don’t watch the news, and neither do many of my neighbors.
I know so many folks who don’t bother to follow the news anymore. They say is just so divisive. We live in a capitalistic economy. If you don’t like what’s being covered, write a letter to the editor and tell them what you want to see covered. The editor answers to the readers, listeners or viewers. People vote with their feet, their eyeballs and their pocketbooks. Let your voice be heard.
Telling the editor what you want to know more about is not the same thing as watching Fox or OAN because they tell you the spin you want to hear.
While in Vegas I heard something so unbelievable I cannot shake it from my ears. An educated person told me that Fox should never have settled with Dominion Voting Systems for $787.5 million dollars for maliciously publishing lies about the 2020 election. The person said it was freedom of speech. No! No! No! Freedom of speech does not give you freedom to intentionally and repeatedly publish lies about people and hurt their businesses.
Unfortunately the settlement has allowed Fox to get off without acknowledging on air that they repeatedly lied about the election. As if to make the point, Ari Melber on MSNBC ran a large program segment comparing Fox to the so-called fictional cable hit “Succession.” In the fictional program, the media scion states it’s okay to promote lies, we’ll pay for damages later. Wow, does that sound like art imitating life imitating art?
We cannot sit by and allow one person to speak for all of us: not a misguided media mogul, nor a misinformed parent. One parent in Miami Lakes, Florida, objected to the poem Amanda Gorman read at President Joe Biden’s inauguration. It’s a matter of public record. It was a national event.
To placate this clueless person, who attributed Gorman’s poem to Oprah Winfrey, who wrote the forward in the book, the regulating board acquiesced to place the book in the middle school library section and restrict K-5 student access.
For the record, the poem is called “The Hill We Climb.” At age 17, Gorman became the country’s first Youth Poet Laureate. I think that is worthy inspiration for any elementary student.
The world out there is scary. I’m so glad I live here.
Susan Knopf’s column “For the Record” publishes biweekly on Fridays in the Summit Daily News. Knopf lives in Silverthorne. She is a certified ski instructor and an award-winning journalist. Contact her at email@example.com.
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