For the uninitiated, in America a Homeowner’s Association (HOA) or similar construct is an evil organization bent upon world domination through regulation of the style and manner in which your bushes are trimmed. In that sense, they have similar priorities to the always delightful, Sturmabteilung or Nazi Brownshirts.
For the uninitiated, who haven’t learned history because it’s not taught anymore, the Brownshirts were another evil organization bent upon world domination through regulation of the style and manner of clown nose coloring, tap water purity, the rules of chess, mass genocide, and the process by which one acquired permission to don footwear.
Bringing peace and enlightenment to the people; one broken window at a time.
Anyways, way back when after a HOA embarked upon a six month ordeal to force my parents to change the color of their shed, I’ve been of the strong opinion that HOAs are nothing more than an excuse for parasites to add luster to their otherwise pathetic lives by holding power over their fellow human beings, aka their own neighbors.
The guy in my next door cubicle at day job is a HOA president. So I get the joy of hearing his frequent used car salesmen back door scheming on daily HOA management. I wouldn’t trust this dude to hold my coffee for six seconds. And yet, please pardon the vulgarity, I think his voice sounds so weird after one of his HOA phone calls that he likely has an erection inside the cubicle.
So when I bought my current shoebox home, I tried my best to stay away from HOAs. But bizarrely, in modern America if you want a neighborhood without an active HOA you need to be willing to pay more. I couldn’t afford it. And so, $50 of my money each month goes to fund an organization whose sole purpose is to destroy me.
Ostensibly, the HOA’s purpose is grounds management, keeping the neighborhood looking nice, and otherwise maintaining order. This way that one annoying neighbor can’t leave an RV camper on their lawn for months at a time. However, in practice HOAs fuel a racket of lawyers, corporations, and white collared goons who are in it to make money.
The corporate behemoth running the day-to-day actions of my HOA does business in two dozens states as a full blown LLC. Because nothing says local democratic government and quaint neighborhoods like paying the Giant Octopus to cut the twelve square yards of public grass that border you property.
The former overlord running our HOA used to lead, to put it mildly, with a rather disengaged hand. Folks would literally leave garbage on their lawns. Eh, I kind of live in a rough neighborhood.
Just last night somebody emptied all six rounds from a likely large frame revolver into the woods out back. I hear gunfire all the time and so I don’t call the cops anymore. Why go to the gun range when the woods at 11pm work just fine? Sure enough, this morning there wasn’t a body out there. I think.
And so, if I have to dodge garbage while walking my dog(s)? Oh well. I bitch about it, but it’s not a big deal. Particularly given that I know what an active / engaged HOA is capable of.
And sure enough, we got a new HOA president. And she was active / engaged. I caught her roaming the neighborhood in her clown car with a note pad. She’d drive a few feet, stop, open her car door, stare at her neighbors’ homes, and take notes. While I walked by her with my dog(s) she wouldn’t even make eye contact with me. She knew what she was doing.
And sure enough, then the entire neighborhood got flooded with “violation” notices. The garbage still litters the lawns. But apparently my bushes needed trimming (true). And, my entire freaking driveway needed replacement. Yeah, the entire driveway.
Why? Because she said so. The violation notice simply instructed me to replace my driveway within 60 days or face fines. No explanation as to why. Good luck with that, lady. I’ll sue first.
And when I replied in formal letter requesting clarification? Eh, no reply. So we’ll see if I hear from them after the 60 day clock runs out. Maybe she’s just overwhelmed with responses to all the paperwork she generated.
And then I’m walking my dog(s) yesterday and I see her latest idea. Behold the power of waste and general sadness! See if you can figure out what’s wrong here:
1) Now our cool little tree and flower circle has been surrounded by a trio of no parking signs
2) For a garden circle that is geometrically impossible to park around
3) On a dead end street that houses no consistent traffic
4) For a circle that I’ve never seen anybody park around for two years
5) When our neat flowers and cute little tree are now surrounded by steel, signs, order, and sadness
They say absolute power corrupts absolutely. But it’s rather hard to execute absolute power when you’re a darn moron who has as much common sense as a Brownshirt goon on meth.
I fear this is the future of the American home. The needless signs surrounding the tree. Home isn’t your home. The HOA owns you. The bank owns your mortgage. Via property taxes, you effectively only rent your home from the government. Even your local utility wants to hook up smart meters which empower them to turn off certain appliances at their decision, not yours.
Happy non-contrarian canine wonders why beloved Daddy bothers to think and write about stuff that might not matter.
And so the future of the free American’s home will require the permission of strangers to turn on a ceiling fan.
Maybe it’s just a continuation of history’s reality. Through most of the human race’s great adventure, folks have never really been free or owned their homes, their land, their lives. So who are we to think differently?
We live in a modern society so controlling that entire arms of our culture are committed to telling you what you can / cannot say, think, eat, drink, smoke, vote, believe, and so on. So why not all of these things, and then some, even when you’re inside your own home?
It’s very troubling to me. It makes me fear what kind of home my kids, God willing, will live. Will they look back on my tale of their grandparents shed color debacle and be like, “Oh, that’s so minor compared to what it’s like today.”
Will freedom, the home, the joy of choosing your own path just slowly erode away? And those who come after us won’t even know what it was like. What it was like to live free before the age when a total stranger could order you around in your home? Just because they felt like it?
Or maybe my dog(s) is right. And I’m off my senses. And one day I’ll be wearing a tin foil hat mumbling to strangers about the Brownshirts. Eh, we’ll see.
The Arcturus Project’s Weekly (Not Weekly) Stormy Cloud Award goes to Her Eminence HOA President #457.2b. I won’t give in lady; there’s nothing wrong with my driveway; I’ll see you in court if necessary.