Tuesday, July 22, 2008

In other tree-house news

I went a little blowhard on this post about that pirate ship tree-house having to come down, which I would like to correct as it pertains to particulars, though the universal truths I expressed I retain. For it seems figures on all sides expressed regret over it having to come down, and the neighbour's complaint was that the tree-house had inappropriate vantage into one of their windows. The father who built the tree-house made moves to cover eye-access to the window, but at that point the case went beyond complaints to "building permits" and all that.

The pirate ship tree-house is being auctioned off by the father and the proceeds going to charity. I still find its coming down a travesty of sorts, and a microcosm of what's taking place in this country.

In the meantime - in fact, as the above-mentioned was reported - there was another case of a heavily-invested tree-house (40 hours and $500.00 by the father of three sons) having to come down in New Brunswick. Read about it here.

Same thing:

"This was a way to get them outside and use their imagination," said Constantine. "They just have no imaginations anymore. Children can't role-play. All they can do is computers and videogames and such. It was a family project. They worked on it with their dad."

The Greater Moncton Planning District Commission has ordered that the structure to come down because of safety concerns.

Constantine said the family was told the tree house was constructed without proper permits and wasn't up to code.

The family tried to negotiate a way to keep the structure in the tree, she said.

MacIntyre was willing to build a first storey to provide further support for the building, she said. But that plan was also nixed.

Doesn't that gall you? The kids can go on the internet all they like, where the potential to be exposed to the most graphic imagery is ever present, but no, no, and no to having a tree-house? If the government was really interested in investing in the future health of its citizens, don't you think it would reward and implement and grant access to such healthy outdoor activities, especially ones that are family-oriented and family-implemented?

But notice that last part quoted:

MacIntyre was willing to build a first storey to provide further support for the building, she said. But that plan was also nixed.

Again, the complete inability, or refusal, on behalf of the government, to use common sense and work with concrete people in special contexts. The man was willing to cooperate to make it up to snuff: adding a first storey. This would make it safe. This would satisfy the "building safety code" and keep his kids happy, and thus himself. A win-win situation. But the government - they are simply butt-stuck-blind-stupid.

I am trying not to use expletives here. And no, this is not a case of the writer being sentimental and nostalgic about tree-houses. This is a case of the government screwing up the lives of real families. The government is diseased with a kind of machinating pride when it refuses to allow citizen cooperation in the satisfying of by-law codes. The codes are made for people; not people made for codes.

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