Anti-Leaf-Blowers get Blowback by Susan Harris


Continuing our seasonal leaf theme here on GardenRant, it’s time for some anti-leaf-blower ranting! Actually we’ve done that, so how about some rants against anti-leaf-blowers, coz those ranters know how to have fun.

leaf fallows-001

jamesBut we start with the anti-leaf-blower, in this case a famous one – James Fallows, journalist and speechwriter for President Carter. He’s been blogging about it for Atlantic magazine using headlines like “History’s Greatest Monster” and “What the Devil Does in His Spare Time.”

Fallows isn’t just blogging about it, either. He’s leading the charge and testifying before local government in his Washington, D.C. neighborhood, winning an 8-1 vote to call on the city to do something about the hated machines. The case against leaf-blowers is made clear on this community website, so I’ll just send you there for this important information.  


Now for some blowback from commenters – to this story on DCist. The first one quotes a blower-opponent seeking the quiet for ”exploration of the silence within” and illustrates that point with a choice graphic.


Another was inspired to suggest that people like Fallows ”Go blow yourself,” illustrated with this beloved scene from “Arrested Development.”

One commenter compared the issue to worrying about kangaroo farts, which apparently are an actual issue.

But what pissed off the most commenters was this detail from the story: that “the lack of enforcement leads to lifestyle changes” and writer Deb Fallows (wife of James) saying “I used to do a lot of work at home and I don’t do that anymore.”

leaf blower

Which is all it takes to set off a class war. A commenter using the name “Nancy Pelosi” wrote: 

This demographic of resident who complain of leaf blower noise are the folks who, for no explainable reason, don’t work or “work from home.” These people are a bunch of trust fund babies living off the hard work of a dead relative who’ve never had to work a day in their life.If you don’t want to hear leaf blowers, get a job…or a hobby.

Of course noise and pollution don’t just affect the rich, and one commenter makes a great point: “Anyway, if the legal limit is being exceeded then the leaf blowers need to go. Doesn’t really make a difference if it’s a rich neighborhood or poor neighborhood.”

I’m signing off now from my decidedly middle class suburb, where gardeners are regularly driven indoors from the garden by the high-pitched whine and gas fumes of leaf-blowers. I guess that means the machines affect our lifestyle, whatever that pejorative term might mean in this case.

Anti-Leaf-Blowers get Blowback originally appeared on Garden Rant on November 20, 2015.


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