Sure, decor is subjective. Everyone ought to get the choice of how to decorate their homes and their yards. One of the many joys of living in the city is that it's not a development where a covenant governs what color I can paint my house. So yes, let's celebrate the joys of individuality! But can we just say no to giant advertisements on the front lawn?!

I realize this raises more than a few issues. Who gets to be the Aesthetics Police? Where does one draw the line? Pink flamingoes? Bad crab grass? Wooden yard butts? (If so, large swaths of rural homes along bucolic Wisconsin roads would be indicted, but that's a post for another day.)

Which begs another question. People put signs in their yards all the time, extolling the work of whomever has just redone their roof, fence, landscaping, etc. (For the record, not me. Journalists don't.) But somehow, the size of this thing makes me fear that daily viewing will subliminally cause me to call to schedule a full bathroom renovation.

So I continue to ponder: When is a sign (or collection of yard accoutrements) too big or too ugly?


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The politics of green