Wednesday, September 19, 2012

It is a nice place to visit, but I would not want to live there

This week the city of Prairie Village, Kansas passed an ordinance that will make it nearly impossible for my former neighbor, Mike Babick to continue his annual Christmas display. While this can seen as controversy for some, it is a win for the people who live on Falmouth. I am not going to sugar coat my feeling about this. I am happy to that the city of Prairie Village has finally taken a stand against a nuisance to its’ other tax paying residents. You can read my previous blog posts about this whole scenario here, and you can read the article published today to learn more about this new ordinance and what it means to the topic.

As a disclaimer, I should state that I am Jewish. I do not celebrate Christmas, but I have friends and family members that do. My thoughts and feelings about the Falmouth Holiday display do not have any relation to my own religious beliefs. My internet vent is solely based on the extreme inconvenience that was living next door to Mike Babick and his so called homage to Christmas as a holiday.

 I want to make one thing perfectly clear, this is not about Christmas. It is not about religion, Jesus, freedom of speech, or ACLU issues. This is about causing a disturbance and reeking havoc on a residential street for 7 weeks out of the year. When Mike Babick publicly stated that the city killed Christmas, his ignorant comment was designed solely to garner attention, cause drama and get people to pay attention to his pathetic plight. The city did not kill Christmas, they just protected Mike’s neighbors from what had started as a residential display but had grown into
this twinkling, bright, festive and over the top, public nightmare.

Let’s take Christmas completely out of the equation. Let’s pretend that Mike Babick put up an over the top celebratory display for the Fourth of July. There are flags, stars and stripes, lights, music, and moving parts on Uncle Sam’s hat- and all of this so called patriotism drew the crowds of people, tour buses, limos and general traffic gridlock consistent with the current December display. Do you think that Mike Babick could say that the City of Prairie Village killed America?

While we are at it, what if the gay couple two blocks over decided to decorate and show their enthusiasm for gay pride? Their home became the poster child for embracing their sexual orientation. With Broadway show tunes blaring from the shutters, rainbow light shows, a life size statue of Cher, and Judy Garland this home depicted everything glorious about being gay. Word gets out that the gay house on Granada Lane is so amazing that people from all walks of life decide to visit. I guarantee that if the display of pride caused the same problems that the Christmas house on Falmouth does, Prairie Village would feel the need to enforce the same ordinance. I doubt you could claim that the city of Prairie Village is homophoebic.

Let’s go even further into my rant, and take all holidays, religions, and reasons off the table. Let’s suggest that I had a nightly party, every evening from Thanksgiving until New Years. What if my invited guests parked on the street where no parking signs were clearly posted, made traffic impossible for the neighbors, caused a noise complaints, and turned my quiet residential street into a massive chaotic free for all? Don’t think for one second that the city wouldn’t have broken up my party and made me corral my guests onto my own property. I am sure that there would be warnings and if I ignored them, they would issue fines or citations for public disturbance, disorderly conduct, and excessive noise. No one would even bat an eye that my own actions were harming my fellow neighbors.

The whole issue is not about anything but making a residential neighborhood a great place to live. It is all fine and good on Falmouth unless you live next door to this craziness. Anyone who believes this is outrageous for Mike and his Christmas spirit should be asked to live next door to him. Whenever I would give out my former address, people would say, “Oh yeah, that is the street with the tacky Christmas house, I know that street!” When I would say, that is my next door neighbor, there was a genuine sigh of pity or compassion. Most folks sympathized with my geographical misfortune. I lived there 10 Christmas seasons ago, and I still get all bent out of shape recalling the late night nuisance outside my bedroom windows. It was this frenzy that made me realize I should be medicated, lest I go all postal and become a raving lunatic on my front lawn.

 I am sure there are those who can relate to my feelings and those who side with Mike Babick. Regardless of what side you are on, you have to admit, 76th and Falmouth is a nice street to visit, but you would not want to live there!
e there.

1 comment:

Kari said...

That display is both awesome and disturbing to me.

I can see both sides, but his rights stop where the rights of others are infringed upon. They had a similar issue in New Orleans with the display of Al Copeland. Once his neighbors won their court case, he moved his display to a public setting. IMO that is win/win for all.

I like driving around looking at displays, and I would never want that living next door to me!

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