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27 Feb 2019

A Note From the Editor: The Coachella Valley Is a Welcoming Place to People Who Want to Be Involved

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I was dismayed by a recent post someone made in a local Facebook group. The gist of it was that this man was lonely and unable to find a partner, decent Chinese food and enough good friends in the cliquish town of Palm Springs—and he was debating moving somewhere else.

While I am complete agreement with him regarding the Chinese food, the rest of his post … well, it bummed me out and confused me.

First, my heart goes out to him; loneliness is one of the worst feelings a human can experience. Second … I’ve had the exact opposite experience in the Coachella Valley: This is one of the most wonderful, welcoming and exciting places in which I’ve lived.

Because I was partnered when I moved here, I can’t speak to the dating portion of his experience—but I have not found the Coachella Valley to be cliquish at all. A clique is defined as “a small group of people, with shared interests or other features in common, who spend time together and do not readily allow others to join them.” While there are, in fact, many small groups of people with shared or other features in common who spend time together here, I’ve been welcomed with open arms into numerous groups I’ve endeavored to join. I’ve forged lasting friendships through my softball league. I’ve made friends and contacts through the business groups I’ve joined. I’ve made countless buddies via my work, and the nonprofits I support, and simply by being an active member of this community.

I think the Independent adequately represents the vibe of the Coachella Valley—and I can’t imagine any reasonable person would fail to be charmed and welcomed by the community reflected within these pages, online and in print. Looking at recent coverage: From Anita Rufus’ “Know Your Neighbors” columns on a young writer who overcame a debilitating illness and a young radio host who says movies saved his life, to Robert Victor’s implorations in his astronomy column to join him and the other members of the Astronomical Society of the Desert, to Stephen Berger’s exploration of the community effort that led to Desert X, to Brian Blueskye’s ongoing coverage of the amazing talent within our local music community, to our food and drink writers’ continuous tough but fair coverage of our slowly growing culinary scene … considering all of this coverage, how could the Coachella Valley possibly be the closed-minded, unwelcoming place this person sees?

I hope this man finds happiness and companionship in his next place of residence—the kind of happiness and companionship the Coachella Valley has bestowed upon me.

Thanks, as always, for reading the Independent. Enjoy, and don’t hesitate to contact me if you have questions, criticisms, compliments or comments. Also, be sure to pick up the March 2019 print edition, hitting the streets this week.

2 comments

  • Comment Link Jimmy Boegle, Editor Wednesday, 13 March 2019 11:06 posted by Jimmy Boegle, Editor

    Thanks for the comment. However ... what about my response is so mind-reeling? All I am saying is I had a different experience, and that I am surprised this gentleman has had such a bad experience, given how welcoming people have been to me, in a variety of places/venues/groups.

    An offer: If anyone out there, especially a member of the LGBT community, is having problems making friends, reach out to me. I'll do what I can to help. Really.

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  • Comment Link Wally Greenwell Tuesday, 12 March 2019 15:37 posted by Wally Greenwell

    What an interesting "note". I have to say, your response regarding the lonely individual left a bad after taste.
    I've heard this same lament by many MANY people in the CV. One gentleman (maybe even the same guy) was hosting an open house to unload his Warm Sands adjacent home so he could move somewhere more friendly. He told me he'd lived here with his partner for something like 10 years, and didn't have a single friend. I hear this same complaint in virtually every venue - real or virtual. I think it's sad. But your response to it ...wow. My head is reeling. Jumping immediately to mind is the person laid off from his job 2 years ago who still can't find a job, only to be met with "I have a job, what's YOUR problem". Or the person without healthcare insurance hearing "Well I have healthcare, why don't you?"
    It felt like the white privilege response to someone pleading that Black Lives Matter..."well don't resist arrest".
    It just came off like the "Well I got mine, now you get yours!" response so increasingly common in an increasingly callous society.

    I won't pretend I care whether or not you care for your fellow man and his social deficits. But I can say your response really drove home exactly what the lonely man and so many others I've heard are talking about.
    And you just don't seem to get it.

    NOW --- enough bringing everybody down....LETS GET FABULOUS AND PARTY PARTY PARTY *cue Moby's Beautiful*

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