Sign, sign, everywhere a sign, Blockin’ out the scenery, breakin’ my mind. Do this, don’t do that, can’t you read the sign?
The Five Man Electrical Band may have been thinking of Old Cutler Road when they recorded that one-hit wonder way back in 1970.
Undoubtedly, we have local governments in need of systems thinking; that is, somebody should appoint a Sign Czar to clean up the motley epidemic of ungodly signs that plague our gorgeous landscape and mar every sight line from here to Vancouver.
The alphabetical blight is in evidence everywhere, nowhere more acute than along my bicycle route. A sign near Eureka Drive says, “Palmetto Bay: City of Parks.” City of Signs would be more appropriate.
More than just a scourge of campaign signs from Linda Bell, Daniela Cava, and (some moderately artistic ones I must admit) from Doug Kraft, notices everywhere proclaim what we can do, announce who we are and theoretically orient us wherever we may be. These ceaselessly annoying signs are however, an overwrought, compulsive addiction. The problem is, as always, an aesthetic one, possibly fueled by – don’t be surprised here – the fear of litigation. Jose Feliciano and Stevie Wonder could have created and placed these signs at least as effectively. Putting signs everywhere is neurosis.
Individually, some of these signs may look okay. Collectively, disaster! They come in too many colors. They come in too many sizes. They come in a hundred fonts – too many! This is precisely the problem. All these signs are utterly incongruent. They have been placed randomly. They are, if you have any taste at all, an eyesore. If these are – forgive me – a sign of the times, I want to return to the past. Why doesn’t anyone recognize the contribution of these signs as a community stain? Is this some sort of sick joke? In any case, rather than go on any longer, this week’s column is dedicated to our signs. Read them and weep.
Carl Rachelson is a teacher at Palmer Trinity School and a regular contributor to the Pinecrest Tribune. He may be contacted by addressing email to firstname.lastname@example.org.