Let’s see – if residents of Boulder are the happiest folks in America, and residents of Colorado Springs are just a little less cheerful, coming in 37th, what does that mean? I’ll tell you: Absolutely nothing.
These made-up “best place” rankings, which local boosters often point to with such pride, are utter fabrications, invented to boost readership of whatever pub is pushing them.
Let’s say that you own a magazine called “Iguana Fancier,” featuring all things iguana. You note that you’re not getting the circulation that you’d like to see in the Pacific Northwest, although research tells you that the north woods are full of iguana-lovers, who’d love to be part of the “Iguana Fancier” community.
So you run your story: Best cities for iguanas! Seattle at #1, Portland at #2, Boise at #3, Tacoma #4, etc., etc. You get lots of great iguana ink, your circ explodes, iguana lovers find each other, and learn how to care for their beloved lizards for the very small, very insignificant price of a subscription to “Iguana Fancier.”
So, in an effort to boost the circulation of the world’s best business publication, headquartered right here in Colorado Springs, here are the unofficial CSBJ rankings of Colorado Springs in a few as yet unpublicized categories.
1. Best view of Pikes Peak: Colorado Springs! You can scarcely see it from Pueblo or Denver, and it’s invisible from most of Manitou.
2. Most dysfunctional local elected body: Marbella, Spain (last three mayors in jail for corruption!). Colorado Springs isn’t even in the top 100, without a single jailed/indicted elected official – although Tom Gallagher gets points for having a garage that used to be a crack house.
3. Best city park with giant red rocks: We get #1 for the Garden of the Gods, and #3 for Red Rocks open space. Denver gets #2 for its Red Rocks.
4. Site of worst-ever major rock concert: Colorado Springs, The Who, April 9, 2020. Both Roger Daltrey and Pete Townsend expire on stage, and promoter Aaron Retka refuses to refund ticketholders.
5. Best train service: Colorado Springs, with 21 coal trains passing through town every day, not to mention scheduled passenger service to the top of Pikes Peak!
6. Easiest airport parking, top 100 Standard Metropolitan Statistical Areas: Colorado Springs!
7. Fewest direct flights, top 100 SMSA’s: #1 Santa Fe (airport closed), #9 Colorado Springs.
8. Most articulate and combative blogger/councilmember, online division: #1 Sean Paige, Colorado Springs!
9. Most drunken 20-somethings in central downtown area, Saturday night division: #1 Colorado Springs, #2 Austin, #3 Boulder, #4 Denver (LoDo only), #5 Santa Monica.
10. City most unfairly reviled by national left-wing media: Colorado Springs!
10a City most unfairly reviled by national right-wing media: Boulder!
11. Most effective right-wing taxophobe: The Dougster (who else?)
12. Looniest elected official, ancient history division: #1 Betty Beedy (remember “normal white Americans”?), #2 Charlie Duke, #3 Cheryl Gillaspie, #4 The Dougster, #5 Mark Sanford, #6 John Edwards … actually we should just expand the list to about 500 names, all of whom would be tied for #1.
13.Greenest city: #1 Colorado Springs – the only city in America to save money and reduce carbon emissions by turning off one-third of the city’s streetlights.
You may think that these rankings are frivolous, biased and inaccurate. Yes they are! But the metrics are impeccable – just ask my iguana.
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