Gated communities


A Los Angeles group of "artists" has begin placing 10 feet tall "viewing platforms" near the fences surrounding gated communities. Heavy Trash, an "anonymous arts organization of architects, designers and urban planners," is making a political point that certain areas of the city deny access to all but invited guests. The platforms supposedly allow the huddled masses to see how the invisible plutocrats live.

They think there is something terribly wrong with the fact that people can create secure zones around themselves. But if the roadways are privately owned and maintained, where is the harm? Does anyone contend that the public has a right to enter your house and use the bathroom? Of course not. It is private. Just like Laughlin Park, the neighborhood pictured in the LAT story.

I happen to know that particular neighborhood fairly well, as one of my best friends lives behind its gate. The houses there are much, much nicer than those in some of the nearby Hollywood neighborhoods, and many contain valuable art collections and other valuables. A number of well—known celebrities live there, too, and I am certain they appreciate the sheer privacy of the surroundings.

The protests are purely symbolic, since the gate in question is made up of iron bars which permit easy viewing of the street inside. There is nothing wrong with the protestors making their point, that people who can afford to are able to protect their privacy. I just wonder how many people share their outrage?

Thomas Lifson   4 26 05