Beautify this.

So-called “beautification” teams of weekend workers doing their court-ordered supervised community service routinely wander through the Glendale Narrows section of the L.A. River, painting over markings on the River’s concrete walls. Of course, as Edward Abbey taught us, the concrete itself is the pollution — the litter — the offending presence. Painting concrete white with toxic paint is not beautification, nor is it efficacious on its own limited terms of graffiti abatement (the graffiti returns, as if by magic!, within hours as taggers, sloganeers and artists [is there any difference?] use the whited over concrete as fresh canvas). Better, then, that our beautifiers do something far more productive: removing the vast amounts of human-generated trash that clog and despoil the River, its islands and its inhabitants. The recent rains and winds have peeled back the reeds and this year’s growth so that the extent of the styrofoam, plastic and other abominable non-recyclable, non-biodegradable debris can be easily seen. Like this:

beautifythis.jpg

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