Wednesday, February 6, 2008

keeping up with the Joneses

There is a bumper sticker out here that reads "Vail - perfecting the art of keeping up with the Joneses" and how true it is. Like nowhere else, Vail is about being a Who in Whoville and being the biggest and best at it. Not just having the most money, living in the biggest house and having the most toys, but being the best skier, the best road biker, having the biggest diamond, the most plastic surgery, the grossest fur coat, etc. Being The Best. Always and Forever.

I have to say that the majority of people here, both visitors and residents, subscribe to this philosophy. It's really a crying shame that people are so superficial. Is it this way everywhere? Or just here. As Vail is developing a multi billion dollar a year industry, the humaness has left. In very short order.

Quality of all kinds has certainly left the valley for other locales. Multi million dollar houses are being built that have windows that aren't level. With fixtures that don't work. All for people who will not even notice that the floorboards are warped. Meanwhile, a local free bus service ceased stopping at the Wal-Mart/Home Depot plaza because the town didn't want to pay for it anymore. The bus service still continues in the rest of that town. It was estimated that over 5,800 people a month used that stop in the winter. BTW - the Wal-Mart is pretty much the only grocery store in town and Home Despot has driven out all of the home supply and hardware stores. Home prices are soaring and property owners are complaining that taxes are going up - surprise?! Taxes for schools and public services are being voted down by the same home owners who don't want thier money going to places that don't directly benefit them.

Most of Vail Valley surrounds I70. The busiest highway in the country. Truckers using I70 are being forbidden a truck stop in which they can chain up to go over Vail Pass or rest on thier way across country. Complaints about the noise of idling trucks abound. Currently, truckers have to pull into the breakdown lane and be in traffic to put tire chains on. All because, apparenly, the homeowners did not truly realize that I70 was a highway that actually was used by any type of vehicle when they purchased their million dollar homes. They'd rather have truckers in danger (2 were killed this year already) than traffic noise. Hmmm.

The elk population is being thinned out because they are showing up in people's back yards and the golf courses. Did someone not realize the elk lived here first? There are shops that sell jeans for $900 and pay their staff $10/hour.

When the race for money is on, the human spirit seems to flee. Why is that? It bothers me to the extreme that the pursuit of money destroys what basic thoughtfulness people may have had. Even though much of our culture and society no longer promotes the golden rule or even the niceties of human interaction such as please, thank you and excuse me.

Perhaps my husband & I are jaded by the people that surround us at home - there is no competition among the Usual Suspects even though there very easily could be with the variety of social and economic backgrounds. No one cares about the Accomplishments, the American Dream status, the Employment excellence, the Education, the TV or SUV size, blah blah blah. Are you a good person? Do you have values and morals that you stand behind? Do you care about the world around you? Are you fun? Can you cook? Perhaps this insulation of like minded people has made us think that perhaps the rest of society should interact this way.

Well, why shouldn't it?

1 comment:

Susan said...

My Econo-box is bigger than your Econo-box. la di da.

Take that, Greta.