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A Vacuum Filled With Vacuity

Boulder has a Society Column

This is Dark Cloud on Wednesday, January 05, 1994.

On a day when Mexico bombs its native Indians from the air, only one pulsating issue could elbow this great moment in military history off the front page. To wit, the absolutely absurd column in this morning's Geezer Rag, the Boulder Daily Camera. No, not the PC editorial, with its slant carefully calibrated to the majority of advertisers, the column of a sort I never thought I'd see again. The society column.

Boulder has more burning need for another sports column that a society column, but never mind. We have one. In years past, society columnists were frustrated middle aged women trying desperately to append themselves to some cash, excitement, or a life. As such, they verge on racist, monarchist appeals to "class," as they see it, and to punish slights against themselves.

A genuine rule of thumb is that people concerned with class have none. So let's look at today's columnar horror in which Boulder's society maven lists the ten top etiquette problems in Boulder.

Among the horrors is that a woman with a job and a life whisks through a door w/o an appropriate thank you. A lady would say thanks.

Business people who think they are too important to return calls. Well, if the caller is a society columnist, of course they are.

People who arrive on time are naive. Being late is chic.

Be sure to tip your limo driver, followed by an exclamation point. And the parking valet. And the pilot of your private plane. Never mind if they are incompetent. Show cash. And remember, the less prominent is introduced to the more so, so this way society can be clear about rank. And who is prominent? A deadbeat with inherited cash or an underpaid nurse? In reality, the worst etiquette problem is a gushing hypocrisy. Environmentalists with three children. Women with three names. Philanthropists who never contribute a dime w/o the tax write off and a press release.

Conservative business types who never acknowledge the huge roll drug money has played in Boulder's booming economy.

Gay activists who hide behind civil rights issues while acting out juvenile conceptions of self-importance.

If Boulder is going to return to the 1920's when people with money were religiously stroked from bended knee, it strikes at the very heart of the supposed independence of American Journalism when a paper - without hesitation - dedicates itself to sucking up to people with cash. True, sports coverage dedicates itself to pumping up interest in sports leagues for sports writers to cover, but it really makes no pretense of being objective.

Society coverage, so-called, purports that the social lives of others, always relatively wealthy, often drunk, is not only worth covering but worth caring about. Please.