For those of you who have never been there – or traveled overseas in general – this may not interest you very much.

Those of you who have, or have seen their home locales transformed from quaint to some nameless suburbia, this rant’s for you.

This tweet upsets me in two juxtapositional ways. The first comes from my travels earlier in life, when I got to spend a vacation (young and single) in Hong Kong then a second time when married, some fifteen years later. One of my favorite pics was one of all the signs

(Mine was a daylight pic of this street, but the conglomeration of signs was still cool.)

Neon signs have distinguished world history between the eras; pre – mostly agrarian and countrified, and post – the advanced manufacturing age. Most 1st world countries have at least one place where neon defines the locality.

Las Vegas, Times Square, Berlin, London’s Piccadilly Circle, Tokyo’s Akihabara district: they all have distinct features, identifiable by almost anyone around the planet.

Granted, neon is quickly being replaced by LEDs for economy’s sake. I can’t rant against that if it saves a business some money and time (neon tubes have always been fickle things). But signage in general can define a place.

The other argument is equally valid. Growing up in a small city and currently living outside of a similar city, I’m aware of the dichotomy between business advertising and maintaining an old Main Street charm. It’s a problematic balancing act that never ends.

But to actively promote cultural revisions, courtesy of some shriveled gonad from the Central Planning Commisariat, is just plain wrong.

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