Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Ignoring the Joneses [Updated With Latest]

[Posted by reader_iam]

This poor woman has really silly neighbors:
A homeowners association in southwestern Colorado has threatened to fine a resident $25 a day until she removes a Christmas wreath with a peace sign that some say is an anti-
Iraq war protest or a symbol of Satan.

Some residents who have complained have children serving in Iraq, said Bob Kearns, president of the Loma Linda Homeowners Association in Pagosa Springs. He said some residents have also believed it was a symbol of Satan. Three or four residents complained, he said.

Peace on Earth, Goodwill to Men, anyone? Would a Christmas banner sporting those words be offensive, too? And even if Lisa Jensen was thinking of the Iraq War when she put this, which she said she wasn't, so what? These people don't have bigger things to worry about?
The association in this 200-home subdivision 270 miles southwest of Denver has sent a letter to her saying that residents were offended by the sign and the board "will not allow signs, flags etc. that can be considered divisive."

The subdivision's rules say no signs, billboards or advertising are permitted without the consent of the architectural control committee.

Since when is a wreath or other holiday decoration considered a "sign, billboard or advertising"?

On the other hand, Jensen did choose to live in community that has an architectural control committee, which ought to have been a warning to her that all sorts of pettiness and silliness would be entertained and even encouraged. In the hierarchy of Dark Things, I'd put such committees way, way higher up the list than yard signs, much less the wreath shown in the picture above.

Though not as high up as twit neighbors with overly developed offense meters and too much time on their hands.

I stand (partially) corrected: This woman has some clueful neighbors, too. [Via Memeorandum.]
And she won, with the help of their disapproval:
Two board members have disconnected their telephones, apparently to escape the waves of callers asking what the board could have been thinking, residents said. The third board member, with a working phone, did not return a call for comment.
In any case, there are now more peace symbols in Pagosa Springs, a town of 1,700 people 200 miles southwest of Denver, than probably ever in its history.

On Tuesday morning, 20 people marched through the center carrying peace signs and then stomped a giant peace sign in the snow perhaps 300 feet across on a soccer field, where it could be easily seen.
A former president of the Loma Linda community, where Mr. Trimarco lives, said Tuesday that he had stepped in to help form an interim homeowners’ association.

The former president, Farrell C. Trask, described himself in a telephone interview as a military veteran who would fight for anyone’s right to free speech, peace symbols included.

Wow. Sometimes the people can work it for themselves, just fine.

And don't you just love, in the end, how **more** speech won out?