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Speaking the unspeakable 

We are increasingly becoming a nation of fad-chasers: e.g., tattoos, piercings, belly-button cosmetic surgery, Joe Camel look-alikes, Harley-Davidson club stereotypes, leather-jacketed bar hoppers, faded-jean models, Sturgis pilgrims, team-emblazoned polyester sportswear couch potatoes, flag-waving Muslim haters, and so forth.

All of this pseudo-rebellious and fiery symbolic uniqueness is appalling to the observant beholder who sees in the sheer numbers of look-alikes a complete lack of any originality or individuality.

Having reached the age where I dress and groom myself primarily for comfort and cleanliness and pay little heed to the timely, business-henpecking, nostalgic or romantic connotations of my style, my short haircut elicits derisive stares and remarks from fad-worshippers.

It would not be out of character for me, therefore, to speak the unspeakable. Henceforth, I would urge the good citizens of Colorado Springs to contemplate the uncontemplatable, to come to our collective senses, to give up once and for all this notion that we are anything more than the gateway to the cultural wasteland of the Rocky Mountains.

Having traveled the world over, I can assure you our fair city has next to nothing to offer the educated tourist or hapless resident who stumbles across this prairie outpost. Architecturally, Colorado Springs is one of the ugliest cities on earth. In our city parks and landscapes, there is almost nothing left of the natural beauty of this once arid wonderland.

Colorado Springs has neighborhood after neighborhood of houses with no basements, no attics, no passive solar accommodations (in a city with an average 350 sunny days per year), no Xeriscaping ordinance, and garages that face the street or curbside parking only; houses so close together pets are lucky if they even have a postage stamp to run on and are made out of some of the cheapest materials ever known to man.

With city authorities and a daily newspaper dedicated to making every citizen feel like a criminal and fear for their freedom, all I can say is I have had enough of Mary Lou Makepeace's and former Sheriff Anderson's version of aesthetics. Term limits have not acted fast enough to rid this community of these uncivil-minded, shortsighted public officials.

Preventive medicine has become an accepted cost-effective means to improved health care. Yet, when the Colorado Springs Police and Humane Society are really needed to resolve barking, quacking, pooping, stalking, light-infiltration, sluggish traffic conditions, obstreperous zoning enforcement, among other domestic and neighborhood problems, these tax-paid service providers have more excuses than the Bible for not getting involved.

And the biggest excuse of all is not enough money for more motorcycles, squeaky-clean squad cars, helicopters, terrorist combat equipment, chemical warfare suits, GPS equipment for sidewalk and park patrol bicycles, KFC chicken, and donuts. Guess who restricts water usage at the police car wash?

Other residents must be just as angry about waiting for so many years to see the city traffic lights timed. If only the traffic light waiting intervals were slightly decreased, it would reduce driver frustration and make downtown a more attractive place to drive and shop. There has to be a solution for both drivers and pedestrians. To make matters worse, every street corner now has some artist's mockery of sculpture to torture the waylaid motorist.

Which brings me to my subject of patronizing the arts. How many times over the years have the sirens wailed for a near-bankrupt Colorado Springs Symphony Orchestra? I say let the beast die without any more suffering. This is not New York, Los Angeles, Cleveland, Philadelphia, London, Amsterdam, Berlin, Vienna, Tel Aviv, Moscow, St. Petersburg, Beijing, Tokyo or Sydney with populations in the millions. The need for a city orchestra, band, opera or ballet became obsolete with the invention of the radio.

This is not the Middle Ages any longer. If the citizens needed an orchestra here, they wouldn't sit in sports bars watching the Broncos on television, or sit at home listening to the Hamburger Quartet on KCME radio or take refuge on their motorcycles to Sturgis.

Dunn is a former penny stockbroker, former financial accountant, former tax preparer, current medical transcription student, current part-time stocker, a registered Independent and is still evolving. As a gardener, he has been composting and Xeriscaping since 1985 with mixed results.

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