Letter from Slim Wolfe
Colorado Central – December 1999 – Colorado Central Magazine
I’ve been meaning to thank Ed for those good guffaws I got when reading his description of the New West. Crestone is my favorite area for observing the courtship and nesting of Noveaurichicus occidentalis. They complain about gawkers, but you can placate them by tossing out a few mantras and asking (humbly) for directions to the Temple. Back East where I was raised, these critters nested in penthouses (later condos) and it wasn’t so easy to learn their habits; so it’s been a revelation. As I recall, those Eastern birds had more brains, but East and West alike are notable for their ability to thrive on a diet of flattery, preening, deceit and child-support. Western males like to coerce younger males into stacking strawbales, using mind-altering substances as bribes, but on the whole the short-haired redneck (Ranchicus occidentalis) seems to demonstrate more overall ability and cunning. Note their different tactic for straw.
Also, best of luck to your Western State College friends in their quest for the “Code of the New West.” Can you find a code in a poured-concrete campus? What about bar-codes? Maybe it’s a coda they’ll find, a finale, an end; for surely the world has shrunk to the point where there’s no more “West,” we’re west of the Atlantic and east of China, but it’s all one digital glob of on-or-off 0110011 off-or-on.
Our romanticized movie-west was a place which allowed self-reliance through hard work and savvy, and the real west wasn’t too far behind. A large part of human history involves people trying to get away from manipulated situations to where they could just plain eat their own-growns, ’til they were pursued by those same manipulating devils once again. The West was thus one of a series of global havens for honest sod-busters who couldn’t run down to Home Depot for roofing (which is what I’m doing today). Probably most of them had never built with logs and sod, but toiling in the unknown was more appealing than remaining behind as economic pawns. It’s a universal story, not a Colorado exclusive.
We are taught that our rights are in proportion to our finances and honest labor is the hard way. The fast, easy way to finances and rights is manipulation of people and commodities. Those who aren’t inclined to manipulate become second-class citizens, the very same who sought haven in the West. No “Code for the New West” or anywhere else ought to be formulated unless it goes clear back to square one, teach your children that there are no rights of food, shelter, and clothing independent of human labor; teach yourself that virtual oatmeal is no substitute for the real thing, and it comes from soil, seeds, and sweat; the chance to be a point of origin, not just a point of transaction, there’s a right you might codify!