Saturday, January 14, 2012

Visual Pollution

While world-class cities such as SaoPaulo Brazil logically abandon the odd model of promoting overt "In Your Face" consumerism, other towns such as Miami continue to embrace advertiser's invasion of public air space. So with unapologetic gall, another billboard goes up.

In the swamp, every tree that is cut down seems to get replace with some steel and concrete contraption. Sadly the defoliated iron crosses yield little flower or fruit. What they produce is a bunch of visual pollution.

The argument against billboards is simple, they are often so imposing that it is almost impossible to not look at them. If you don't like a tee-vee commercial, change the channel. If you don't approve of magazine ads, turn the page. But the appropriation of our common eye/air space for the benefit of private interest is just plain ballsy.

Why Fight the massive trend of a vinyl-clad world? Because the swamp is not a circus.

To be fair, a billboard on your roof or backyard is great for property owners struggling with soaring real estate taxes. Politicians and bureaucrats love the permitting kick-backs. But with the economy in the dumps, it is no surprise promoters of these towering scarecrows are coming up a bit short on advertising dollars. The answer for now seems to be a windfall for well heeled arts funding endeavors and starving artist. For the counter-cyclical, opportunity is a matter of perception.

From menaces above to obstacles below. Today some folk contemplate finding shelter under the bridges and highways, while the FDOT continues to use our tax dollars as toilet paper for road improvements projects that seem to never end.

At least this one is quite interesting; a ready-made earth-work featuring 300lbs dingleberries.

For this election year, let's hope that progress remains the opposite of congress.


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