Monday, November 27, 2006

Idiots at the gate

I associate autocratic and tyrannical homeowner’s associations with Florida. I sometimes call the gated community I live in Stalag 17, but much of America is being divided into these little City States and forced to live by rules grabbed piecemeal from form books used by contractors and developers; one size fits nobody rules which in time are accepted more unquestioningly than religious dogma. Arbitrary rules bring out the inner Nazi in us all.

Sometimes, challenges to the authority of a neighborhood association make the news and often in a humorous fashion, but that doesn’t lighten the burden of living under the unenlightened rule of little people with a little authority. Take for instance the South Florida case a few years back of a gentleman who wanted a small rooftop TV antenna to watch HDTV. The Federal Communications Commission has ruled it illegal to forbid anyone to have a TV antenna, yet the homeowner’s association in question brought suit. Their case? “We don’t like Federal Law.”

It’s not only in Florida: a Homeowner’s Association in Southwest Colorado has begun to fine a resident $25 a day for hanging a Christmas wreath that the association calls a “Peace Sign.” Colorado residents, being as ignorant and as incapable of coherent cogitation as most Americans are, see it as the sign of Satan or a protest of President George W. Bush’s sacred war. People whose children are being slaughtered for nothing really hate to see people longing for peace, you see. so don't be giving us that peace stuff at Christmas time.

Actually for those of us old enough to remember, that symbol was first used as part of a fatuous campaign to “Ban the Bomb;” although it may have originated from the semaphore signals (you’re too young to remember semaphore signals) for ND or Nuclear Disarmament, some see it as a loose adaptation of the international circle with stroke sign and a picture of a swept wing bomber, like our first long range supersonic bomber, the B-47. I remember early versions that had little engines on the downward slanting lines.

The crapulous Christians of America may see Satan everywhere; they may see the Prince of Peace in the Lords of War, but I’m sorry folks, it’s a ban the Bomb sign from the 1950’s. After the mass marketing of “hippie” idealogy in the late 60’s, the lemmings may have begun to associate it with the Viet Nam War and the peace movement, but that’s what it is. Just as the V for Victory two finger salute used by Winston Churchill is seen by the smugly ignorant iPod lobotomized consumerdroids of today as a “peace Sign,” it ain’t necessarily so.

But that’s America. Suggest that you might not like to pay to put up neon lit, plastic idols in the public square and you are torn to pieces, but if you have a private wreath on your own property that symbolizes anything not politically correct in the minds of the mindless – you’re torn to pieces, or at least fined $25 per day.


Anonymous said...

I was out of the country for a couple of months last year and had suspended delivery of my newspaper for that period. By mistake, they started delivering it two weeks before I returned. One of my neighbor's took the time to write a letter of complaint to my townhouse association (but couldn't find the time to retrieve and dispose of the pile of newspapers). My association wrote me a nasty gram, informing me that I was not allowed to let newspapers, unread, pile up in front of my doorway. They also demanded that I write back, detailing what I intended to do to address the problem, and by what time they could expect me to have complied. Little minds with a little power - you nailed it.

RR said...

Hey Capt...

Amazing... fined for a "peace wreath" -- (or ban the bomb as you point out).

Home-owner organizations are populated by little-Hitler's -- people who couldn't make it in the corp or military world but still want to exercise authority over others... They are the most dangerous type...

mrsleep said...

Ah, I liked being a little Hitler, as I was president of our little homeowners association for 6 years.

I organized such un-American activities as annual community workdays, an annual neighborhood Christmas party, and a summer time barbeque/horseshoe tournament. I also raised the dues every year, as we are responsible for our roads (not county maintained), and we have a bridge that you have to cross to get into our little community, and we had to rebuild the bridge at a cost of $40,000 dollars (a special assessment). Most of my neighbors are diehard Wingnuts, and didn't like being separated from their hard earned dollars, but it was only us that was going to benefit. We need to replace or resurface our roads by 2010 at an estimated cost of $200,000. I heard tons of complaining years back when I got us on the road to fiscal common sense.

We are a bucolic town, so most of the complaints I got were about road apples, and why we didn't clean them up. Since my job was unpaid and it wasn't in my job description, I said "if you don't like horseshit, you shouldn't have moved to the country".

Capt. Fogg said...

Fiscal common sense - what a novel idea. Would you consider moving to Florida?

Intellectual Insurgent said...

So much for private property. These gated communities sound nice in theory, but one of my cousin's got fined a few years back for having the incorrect plants in front of the house. F! that.

Wingnuts have a heart attack about the Kelo decision's attack on private property, but they have no problem attacking private property if they are doing the attacking.

Capt. Fogg said...

I swore I would never buy into one of these places, but I wanted a place on the water and it was the only way.

It does all sound a bit like Leninist dialectic - what's right or wrong depends on who is doing it.

Crankyboy said...

"A subdivision has withdrawn its threat of $25 daily fines against a homeowner who put a Christmas wreath shaped like a peace sign on the front of her home."

Capt. Fogg said...

I guess I can take credit for that - if Reagan can take credit for "winning" the cold war.

Peace sign my ass. It still ticks me off that every misuse or misunderstanding becomes firmly enshrined - the language means nothing any more and reality only means what they want it to mean.

mrsleep said...

I might move to Amelia Island but I would draw the line there, and only for part of the year. I like Fall, and a true Winter.

Bottom line is that it is proof that absolute power corrupts absolutely. You get some pencil neck in charge of a small pond and they go wacko. Throw judgement out the window.

The funny part is that when I was prez a lot of neighbors didn't like me at the time. Now that I'm gone they miss having me in charge.

Everyone likes me now because I make wine, and share the spoils at local events, even though I am not a wingnut. They forgive me that as long as I share my wine. Yes, I'm still working on my wine distribution obligations.