Friday, March 11, 2016
Dirty Old Town - Part Une
If this Native American gentleman (played by someone who may have been Italian) were to paddle his canoe up under the railroad tracks toward the intersection of Pacific and Browne, downstream from the House of Charity, he would weep so hard he might have a stroke. Unfortunately buckets of tears would only dampen the mounds of trash there. Indeed, most of downtown has become amazingly littered.
I've been thinking a lot about all the litter downtown. I think we need to figure out a multi-pronged approach to fixing this problem. When I was a kid, one of the worst things you could be called was a litterbug - basically an angry, dirty cockroach who only cared about himself. If you littered (even accidentally) you felt ashamed. So powerful was the effect of public service announcements at the time. I mean look at him, a boozing, smoker with an eyepatch. Actually, he seems kind of cool now.
Things softened with dorky Woodsy Owl (according to the song, he was a friend of Smoky the Bear - sure) appealing to our give-a-hootedness, and now it seems there's no whimsical character asking us to do anything in any PSA. Maybe there are no longer PSAs.
In closing, I invite you to try a little experiment. Wherever you live, go for a little walk. How many paces can you count before you encounter garbage (not in garbage cans). For those of us who walk a lot downtown, let's do the same. If you want, you can leave your findings in the comment section. Tell us all where you walked and the minimum and maximum paces you strolled before encountering litter. Why not sing this song while you are walking, over and over and over and out loud: