Monday, June 9, 2014

my home town ... eeeeuuuuuuw!

Every once in a while, some little thing comes along that provides an overview of a wider environment.

This morning, for me, it was a paragraph in a local news story about a construction project on one of Northampton's main arteries -- Elm Street. The six-week project involves digging a utility trench across the street, an effort that is likely to foul traffic.

Besides all the information you might expect in such a story -- why, what for, etc. -- this paragraph was tucked in:
Signs posted at the construction site ask workers to keep noise to a minimum, not swear, not smoke, and not engage in any improper conduct.
Noise? They're digging a trench for heaven's sake!
Swearing? Oh drat, shucks, heck, darn...! Will they pass out Shakespearean sonnets that construction workers can declaim during coffee breaks?
Smoking? This city has been clamping down on "second-hand smoke" and the damage it can do and it is nice to live in a 'caring' community that is willing enough or self-important enough to legislate open air, but whatever will happen to all that grisly, icky dust that digging a trench is likely to kick up?
Conduct? Public sodomy is probably frowned upon (was there an epidemic and I missed it?) and whistling appreciatively at passing women can be considered pretty déclassé and public urination wins no blue ribbons, but what are they going to do about all those workmen whose shirts do not sport an embroidered alligator, polo rider or swoosh?

It is all one indicator of my hometown and as such strikes me as infuriatingly precious.


  1. What about graffiti? How about on the side of YOUR house?

    I can understand the desire to favor one group (noisy, cursing, smoking, spitting, crotch grabbers) over another (silence loving, soft spoken, fresh air breathing folks who think it best not to expectorate on the street and who only grab their crotches in private).

    In any attempt to be infinitely compassionate, It is most unfortunate that there can be little real compromise in such divergent situations and that reminders and mandates are needed the protect the healthier (and the sicker) and the more sensitive group.

    I believe the signs and the underlying civil ruling is correct as it protects the greater good by most common sense definitions but it is most regrettable that are those coarse enough to need signs and laws.

    I do hope that the law is enforced with compassion and understanding, something law enforcers lack often enough through personal disposition, character flaws, or political pressure.