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See Durango music scene for what it is
While I am a true fan of your very excellent paper, your last
issue has finally compelled me to voice a severe criticism.
Last week, Mike Sheahan, in his otherwise strong and amusing
column “The Goods,” coupled with one Bryant Liggett
to list the top 10 albums of 2002. I was certainly not surprised
to find the list compiled nearly entirely of generic pop/rock.
(Mr. Sheahan has previously described the three-chord shriekings
of the Lawn Chair Kings as the “the best live music deal
around.”) What I finally object to is that the Telegraph,
which is clearly trying to fill the role of the “alternative”
voice in the community, has so thoroughly ignored the jam band
music community. If this community weren’t actually present
here in Durango, that would be understandable. However, that
is obviously not the case when the Summit packs to capacity
so regularly, and the Abbey sells out so fast for Garcia/Grisman’s
“Grateful Dawg” and Widespread Panic’s “The
Earth Will Swallow You.” Even Mr. Sheahan acknowledged
this in last week’s column when whining about no one supporting
live music in Durango “ - if you’re not a hippie
jam band or the grandson of someone wildly famous, then your
shows are sure to tank.” I would surmise that, as happens
elsewhere, the sheer numbers of jam banders antagonize those
with less developed musical tastes, resulting in the backlash
that has affected your paper.
While there is no accounting for taste, I feel that it is an
injustice and a poor representation of the town to allow your
paper’s musical voice to be represented solely by Sheahan
and features on The Thirteens and Sacred Sun. Face it: This
town is plump with those who prefer musicianship and improvisational
power over music with catchy, trite melodies, hard core punk,
and heavy metal.
The Durango Telegraph will never truly be the voice of this
community until it opens its ears and acknowledges the Durango
music scene for what it is: hippies (and cowboys). Pop is dead.
Long live the jam.
– Tad Winslow,
Durango, via e-mail
P.S. I would suggest to Sheahan and Liggett that they check
out the 2002 releases of Medeski, Martin and Wood’s “Uninvisible,”
Keller Williams’s “Laugh,” Gov’t Mule’s
“The Deep End Vol. 1,” and the self-titled debut
from The Word. That’s assuming they possess an obstinate
bias that would prevent them from enjoying the new Widespread
Panic, Trey Anastasio and Phish.
Stop building environmental idols
The environmental movement, working hard to control our land,
public and private, needs to get science right first. Sound
science dispels most of the eco-movement’s fundamental
notions. Serious science takes environmental problems seriously,
but only real problems found from sound evidence and logic.
Environmentalism must stop speaking in empty slogans and phrases.
Facts and logic are not yet requisite tools for the eco-movement.
Rather they tend to exploit people’s fears, using images
of total destruction to frighten us. These manufactured fears
are causing otherwise reasonable citizens to support extreme
proposals, such as the Wildlands Project, being implemented
to exclude humans from approximately 33 percent of our country.
Environmentalism must also stop promoting nature worship that
masquerades as science. Unexamined environmental dogma does
nothing to enhance stewardship of the planet, nor does it generate
and maintain human virtue. Surely the dilution of virtue is
in large measure part of the cause of environmental destruction.
The resulting relativism, along with its abandonment of right
and wrong, fosters a belief that what humans should do is what
they can do, regardless of the outcome.
The reason our country’s responded to environmental concerns
better than most of the rest of the world is because our philosophy
of individualism, restrained by right and wrong, essentially
works better than the mystical attitudes toward mankind and
nature found elsewhere.
Environmental care doesn’t fit with Zen Buddhist-like
beliefs. Let’s stop repeating the ancient practice of
constructing idols to the wilderness. Nature doesn’t know