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Time for a Walk 

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I’m bummed enough that I need to take a walk. Holly Mullen is to blame. If you don’t know, Holly writes for The Salt Lake Tribune. Not long ago Tribune Editor Jay Shelledy and company decided—again—that it was time to do something to attract young readers to the Tribune. What they came up with was a hodge-podge of ideas that other daily newspapers around the country were already doing, like reformatting sections, adding “hip” dialogue, inserting colorful graphics, and even coming up with a new section altogether for the über-cool Sunday Tribune reader, Salt Substitute. What Tyranno-Shelledy did not take into account was that “über” is passe and the term of reckoning these days is “meta.”

The long and short of it is this: The meta message that The Salt Lake Tribune is sending is that it remains clueless, since even washouts from this tent are the constructors of his borrowed brainstorm. At least Holly Mullen was finally given a column, which is the only good thing to come of Shelledy’s latest installment of “let’s see how dumb and irrelevant we can make this paper before Dean Singleton wises up and fires my ass.”

Anyway, as I remember it, Mullen, describing her feelings about the Main Street/Church Plaza land-swap-for-easement settlement, wrote that she was fed up with the whole arrangement. Instead of letting that anger get the best of her, though, she just went out and took a walk. She wrote, in essence, that no matter what, the LDS Church will always get its way in these parts. She admitted that she might as well get used to it and look on the bright side. That really bummed me out, because not only is it true, but it didn’t take all that long for Holly to lay down her outspoken pen.

I’m really tired of the grind myself. I mean, I really want to believe it when the LDS Church says it doesn’t get involved in legislative matters other than to weigh in on issues the same as any other interested party. I want to believe that, but I don’t. For instance, there’s a new piece of liquor legislation being bandied about on Capitol Hill. For some reason the bill was given to LDS Church authorities for inspection prior to it being released to the public. Why was that? And why, in a similar instance, did the LDS Church reject Mayor Anderson’s time, space and manner compromise for Main Street before he even released it? Well, you know why.

The LDS Church says it will not oppose the current liquor bill if no changes are made to it. That means it will pass. That also means additional debate is meaningless. And that means, finally, that in what is otherwise a pretty constructive bill some really dumb things will remain, and that’s just tough luck.

I need to take a walk. I need to return as Pollyanna. I need to feel pretty and witty and gay. I need to understand that it really is in everyone’s best interest to negate democratic processes. I need to appreciate the wisdom, and to ignore the irony, of a large institution weighing in heavily on sniggling liquor issues, while remaining stone silent on seat belt restraint laws. I need to get my priorities straight.

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