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Drop the trivial complaints 

San Luis Obispo

It amazes me, the things that people in this county have the balls to complain about. Regarding Ms. Giacoletti’s rant calling SLO County “obliterated by and subservient to the cult of smoke” (“Our area is trapped by the cult of smoke,” July 14), I beg her to step outside her bubble.

When I was last in India, I came across a sweet stray dog. (They’re all strays.) I noted it looked healthy. My American friend agreed and commented, “Yeah, this is a dog I would feed.” Our Indian friends chuckled and rolled their eyes at us. They explained they would rather feed the starving man lying on the same sidewalk. I felt pretty stupid.

On this same block were a number of small “bonfires.” Up and down the streets and sidewalks, bonfires are common. They keep families warm on winter nights—families that don’t have a heater in their tin shack. In this neighborhood, cigarette butts line the pavement by the hundreds, alongside broken glass, cow dung piles, and occasionally a pile of human waste.

To call San Luis Obispo an area “stuck in the dark ages” is about the most ignorant thing I’ve ever read. Having lived in 10 states before finding this gem of a town, I have to stand up for the people of SLO who are light years ahead of most of the world in “awareness,” including environmental. Wasn’t SLO the very first city in the entire country (probably world) to ban smoking? Just how perfect does a place have to be for people to appreciate it?

The obstacles we face here are obstacles most people on this planet would beg for. If we waste time bitching about bonfire “pollution,” how we will ever have a voice regarding health care, corruption, under-funded schools … not to mention the real problem of hunger that still does exist in the U.S. and within our county?

This is not just a response to Ms. Giacoletti’s letter. Week after week, the opinion letters include at least one completely trivial complaint. If so many people have this extra time on their hands, I hope they’re spending some of it as a Food Bank volunteer.

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