Let's play a little game I like to call "Remember When", shall we?
Remember when a business improvement association in #LdnONT decided to commission a local artist to install a few dozen colorful metal trees in the downtown area?
Citizens who couldn't be bothered to, you know, read, freaked out at the prospect of ferrous trees being planted in a city whose tagline is, I kid you not, The Forest City. "Our tax dollars are being wasted on fake trees," they whined. "Where are the real ones?" they begged. "Get off my lawn," they ordered.
Never mind no tax dollars were ever spent on them. And they were "planted" in places where real trees would not have been otherwise feasible. The whiners who often dominate civic debate here never met a good fact they wouldn't summarily ignore because, you know, London!
To this day, the mere sight of one of these "trees" will touch off hours of grumbling among these wannabe-treehuggers who, to the best of my knowledge, still haven't bothered to learn, you know, the actual facts about this project.
I've always liked these non-tree trees. Art should provoke discussion, thought, and engagement, and there's no doubt that's been the case here. To this day, when I see them, I slow down and think about the gift artists have to impact the lives of total strangers strictly through whatever it is that they've created from nothing. I find that remarkable.
Wouldn't we all love to go back to a world where this represents front-page news? Wouldn't we all want to live in a place where trivial idiocies like fake-tree controversies dominate the day-to-day?
If only we could go back to this delightfully simple time. If only, then as now, we were better at putting life into its proper perspective.
Maybe I'll go for a stroll later so I can add to my pixelated fake-tree collection. I'd ask you to join me, but you'll have to adhere to physical distancing regulations.
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