Before I segue into Holiday-in-Paradise mode, time to clear out the mail in-basket. Curious minds want to know, apparently. Apologies to those of you uninterested in my correspondence:
Letter writer: "Hey you (expletive deleted).
"Why does the Pique keep letting you spread your crypto-liberal BS every week. Your side got kicked to the side of the road. Just shut up and go away. Who died and made you God. Your pathetic."
Anonymous (not surprisingly).
GD: Dear anonymous, and all you other trolls who never seem to use your real names:
Thank you for your letter. Nice to know you're reading me every week, which answers your first question... the first one without a question mark. Pique keeps printing me because you loving fans keep reading me. QED. Thanks again. Oh, and please note the use of the word 'you're'; it's a word you might want to familiarize yourself with.
I have to admit, I have no idea what a crypto-liberal is, even after reading a definition of the term. But, whatever. If it works for you it's OK by me. After all, you've probably been told all your life what a star you are, far be it for me to pop that balloon. I consider myself a plain vanilla liberal with latent redneck tendencies but that's my cross to bear.
As to who died and made me god, I'd prefer to not get into the debate on whether god is dead. Every time I do, I get even more hate mail.
Thanks again. You're a sweetie-pie.
LW: "Hey Max. Why don't you do a story on fake news and fake science that seems so prevalent on social media? Seems like a lot of people swallow this clickbait nonsense from the anti-vaxxers and broccoli-cures-cancer nonsense. This stuff is dangerous."
GD: Dear Doc, that's so crypto-liberal of you... I guess. Get with the times. Facts — especially "scientific" facts — have no currency in a world where only opinion matters. Yes, I know opinions are like that posterior waste orifice and everyone has one but in the post-truth world there's no room for anything but moral equivalency. Every opinion is just as good as every other opinion in the self-esteem universe and nothing is as important as holding fast to your "values and integrity," or in post truthspeak, your opinions, no matter how poorly grounded in reality they may be. That's why it's important to vote for marginal third-party candidates who can't accomplish anything other than destroy the chances of... never mind.
You're a dinosaur, Doc. Why would concerned parents consult you when they've got Dr. Google at their fingertips? Oh, and it's turmeric that cures cancer, not broccoli. Don't they teach you anything in medical school?
LW: "Dear Max, you seem uncharacteristically quiet about the election of Donald Trump. Wassup?"
GD: Dear Junk:
LW: "Hi GD, you seem to have been around here for a long time. I'm new to town and am wondering two things. What's the best way to find a place to live that's reasonable and is this thing about Vail buying the town a good thing?"
GD: Dear Instant Local, welcome. If you've been here more three weeks, you can drop the instant; you're now a long-time local. The best way to find a reasonable place to live is to have very wealthy, very understanding parents, preferably ones who ski and have always dreamed about buying an overpriced place in Whistler. Since you're asking, I'll assume that's not your reality. The second-best way to find a reasonable place to live is to get a job with someone who has housing to offer to their employees. Since you're asking, I'll assume that's not your reality either. The third best, surefire way to get reasonable housing is to move to Moose Jaw. Give it some consideration.
The reality of reasonable Whistler housing in the waning days of 2016 is it sucks. What's out there and reasonable is locked up by long-term tenants who pray every night their landlord doesn't decide to sell. What's left is an embarrassment, although perhaps not sufficiently embarrassing to spawn any short-term solutions. Any advice I could offer would have more currency in a casino — odds are long, chances are short. Good luck.
As to Vail buying the town, they actually just bought Whistler Blackcomb, although there are times the distinction seems tenuous. If, say, you were an executive at Whistler Blackcomb or a significant shareholder or you believe the best interest is self-interest, the Vail purchase is a good deal. If you just live here and have any hopes the town manages to rein in runaway growth before it crushes the golden goose, I suspect your goose is cooked.
People have said Vail is a better owner than the moneysharks at Fortress were because at least they run ski resorts. I disagree. Fortress was smart enough to let the folks running WB continue running it. Vail is the Borg writ large. Their only goal is profit and their preferred path to same is growth. In other words, no matter how crowded you may find the mountains, village, highways or housing, you ain't seen nothing yet.
LW: "Max, how can you ignore the election of that (expletive deleted) in the U.S.? It's bad enough he's going to throw the country back into the social Dark Ages but his hell-bent-for-business, climate change denial, coal-supporting eco-terrorism is going to destroy the planet. Everything we've fought for for decades is going to be wiped out in four years. Now's the time to fight!"
Soldier for the Planet!
GD: Dear SP, chill, dude. The planet is in no danger. Humans are. The planet will be fine after we're gone. New life forms will emerge from the soup. In geological time, all traces of homo sapiens will be erased.
But I suspect that's what you're worried about.
Growing up during the Cold War, vapourization distance from first-strike targets, I was pretty sure the world would end with a bang. Now, I'm betting on a whimper.
One of the rallying cries we used to hear — and repeat — when I was motivated to be on the front lines of the environmental fight was we have to win every time; they only have to win once. I'm growing less certain there is that much difference between them and us and I've grown pretty certain whomever they are, they've won. That (expletive deleted) president the U.S. just elected is, I believe, sufficient evidence of that.
Funny though, with all the praise and vitriol Fidel Castro's death has generated, I can't help thinking if democracy has given us Trump — there, I said it — maybe it's time to bring on the revolution. But I suspect that's typically crypto-liberal thinking.