To the Editor:
Junk cluttered on property amidst overgrowth of weeds and brush is not a treasured “regional flavor.” Nor is it iconic in any sense of “western” or “cowboy.” To the contrary, negligence of such sort only reinforces the crudely cartoonish characterizations of rural people general.
Historically, such characterization of rural people as “lesser than city folks” has been applied to politically neutralize public sympathy that otherwise would weigh government policies more in recognition of how vital to national economic health and character are the occupations of — and lifestyle — of rural people.
Junk and clutter are not heroic bulwarks against “uppity influence.” It is instead passive aggression against the community. Behavior-wise, as adolescent as that of a rebellious teenager refusing to clean up his or her room.
Worse, though, it reinforces all the discrediting characterizations that have politically victimized rural people since the late 19th century — which then they mobilized to fight by forming the Grange System.