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Laundry outrages Michele McPhee

More than boarded up houses. More than used condoms and broken glass strewn across vacant lots. More than blood splattered on sidewalks. "Nothing says urban blight" like clothes drying outside, Michelle McPhee warns us.

Yes, just when you figured there was nothing left for the Herald/'RKO town crier to kvetch about, she finds sinister new menace in a bill that would prohibit communities from banning clotheslines. And, of course, this being the People's Republic of Massachusetts, McPhee convinces herself the bill would not just let people use clotheslines, it would force them to:

Does Downing think the housewives of the Back Bay want their husbands eyeballing Mrs. Tom Brady's teeny weenie bikinis hanging from a Commonwealth Ave. condo? Do you think Louisburg Square, the la de da Beacon Hill neighborhood that won't let commoners use its green space, wants XXXL bloomers blowing in the breeze?

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Comments

She's trying to be funny, right?

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...Google turns up more than a few news articles (see Wake Forest NC, Chapel Hill NC, and Fort Lauderdale FL) and countless forum threads mentioning HOAs and the like that have come down on clotheslines as unforgivably unsightly and inexplicably unsavory. Apparently it's more important to some to be 'presentable' than it is to save energy and better care for one's garments.

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Fairly recently, there was a hoopla in Concord over outside laundry

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Bottled Water. oh the humanity.

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Yes, nothing cares for a garment like hours/days of exposure to ultraviolet radiation.

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But still, to each their own ya know?

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I think adamg needs to calibrate his sarcasm detector. This was clearly an attempt at humor (emphasis on "attempt").

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I just read the whole column and I still can't tell where she stands. Perhaps she should run for office.

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Oh, she is so full of spite and boring, misplaced suburban anger all of the time. When I see her mug on the television screen it gets turned off immediately. I have never encountered her in print until now.

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When she used to be a columnist in the Metro I thought I read her claim to be an Eastie reseident. Not that I care.

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+1, no idea what she is saying.

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I doubt very much that the freak show that is Beacon Hill will have many of their mostly up tight and white citizens hanging their "tighty whities" on outside clotheslines if this bill passes. Michele, with one "L", can breath easy.

Second, I never understood what the big hoop la was with not allowing folks hanging their laundry outside to dry? People dried their clothes this way up until the advent of the dryer and then, even then, still continued to dry their clothes outside. I guess the folks with "delicate sensibilities" equate it with "white trash" and/or somehow see panties drying outside as a degrading their neighborhood and/or property values.

With all the more serious issues in the city (as Adam quite correctly pointed out), to bemoan this bill is just insulting. But again it is the Herald.

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In case you hadn't noticed, cities are densely populated areas which means respecting your neighbors is critical so we can all try to get along. Maybe your neighbors don't want to look at your nasty tighty whities? It's called intimate apparel for a reason. If you really want to avoid using the dryer, which you are lucky to have in your city apartment, then buy a drying rack and set it up in your bathroom. Lots of people do this: surprise! My grandmother had one. It's not that difficult.
Furthermore, what's up with the white this and white that BS? Why don't you just say what you really mean.

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If you don't want to see clean clothes, including underwear, hanging on a line, maybe you'd be happier moving out of the city where you don't have to see such things. Why, young folks today are walking around with the underwear showing while they have it on! You should respect your neighbors' clotheslines.

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First, hanging laundry is not a sign of disrespect. If you are really offended by hanging undies, get some therapy.

Second, I grew up without a washer and/or dryer. We washed clothing in a sink using a scrub board and used an inside rack when the whether was bad and, gasp, hung laundry outside when the whether was good. And, gee, no one was offended! Imagine that, anon!

And, for many years, as an adult, I also used an indoor rack to dry clothes because I did not have an outside clothes line! SURPRISE!

Third, I did say what I meant.

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Did you walk to school uphill both ways in the snow too?

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Actually, I did walk to school about 1 mile each way, up and down a hill and in the snow.

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That is so funny.

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What's kind funny is.. you'd think the "Green Police" would be all about this bill, since not using a gas or electric dryer would save energy and be better for the environment.

Yet we have folks who are more concerned about property values than the environment. So this bill essentially forces us to use a energy wasting dryer than a clothes line which is as green as you can get.

Silly that our politicians waste time on such trivial issues.

And for the record, as much as a liberal as I try to be, I actually LIKE Michele McPhee. She's one of the few people who says what she feels and doesn't care if she offends someone else. Sometimes things just need to be said. Yeah she's a big mouth broad..

She's been criticizing Mayor Lantquia of Lawrence for years now. No one believed her or wanted to listen. Now all the sh*t about this guy is coming out, and she's getting the last laff.

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Actually, the"green police" have been all over this. Pretty successfully, too. They have managed to get-- wait for it-- "right to dry" laws (you knew they'd be called that, didn't you) passed in a number of places.

Good for them, too. We have a clothesline behind our apartment, which everyone in my building uses. One of our next door neighbors has one as well. We just don't hang things on weekends, so that all of our neighbors can enjoy what passes for our backyards in this neighborhood without the laundry flapping. Frankly, I've never noticed tighty whiteys on the line (and I would, of course) nor do I hang my underwear when I do laundry. That's out of a deep desire not to share my underwear size with anyone. And that, my friends, is what my indoor drying rack is for.

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I hate HOA's, except for in condo buildings where they're a necessity.

Laundry hanging outside may be seen as white trash by some, quaint by others. It's more environmentally friendly, I suppose. But it is not something that should come across a lawmaker's desk.

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I once lived in a condo that HAD an actual clothesline, yet also had rules prohibiting the hanging of laundry on said clothesline. Huh? Only in Condo-Commndo world does stuff like that happen.

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That clothesline was for drying things like handmade paper or hand-developed black-and-white prints, or for putting up an art installation. It was not for anything as vulgar as laundry.

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That column gave me a flashback to my Southern childhood. An elderly woman neighbor was scandalized by YWCA residents hanging out their "unmentionables" although she was the only one who could see them.

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She poked at how more recent Boston transplants will call the police b/c a person is playing the tuba. What will they do if they see laundry drying out in the wind?

Then she poked at how our state government spent over 2hrs+ to talk and debate about the issue. Seriously, 2hrs???

Either case, this is an annoying bill that shouldn't need to exist. I remember when the news covered the story of another lady who decided to hang her clothes out to the dry in her gated community. The neighbors got so upset with her and wanted an ordinance to pass that will make that illegal. They felt it made their beautiful community look like trailer trash.

The woman's justification for using a clothesline? She saved over $400+ on her electric bill since she started to let them naturally dry instead of using her dryer. She also never hanged her undies or intimated in public, she did that indoors. :P

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You misread the article...

State lawmakers met in formal session for 2 hours on the same day that this bill received a public hearing. The laundry bill was not discussed in that formal session.

Anti-gov't screeds like McPhee often like to call the Legislature lazy by saying they "only" worked 2 hours in a week, because they only met in formal sessions for 2 hours.

Unfortunately those figures don't count the hours spent at public hearings (required by law; each bill filed gets ones), in meetings with constituents or other lawmakers, at events in the State House and the district, etc etc.

But, then, I've never seen McPhee let the facts get in the way of a good story.

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Anti-gov't screeds like McPhee often like to call the Legislature lazy by saying they "only" worked 2 hours in a week, because they only met in formal sessions for 2 hours.

When really they are dedicated servants of the people.

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That's okay, because my laundry isn't so thrilled with Michelle McPhee, so it's all good.

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The idea of being offended by a clothesline is just plain ridiculous. How can anyone possibly be offended by seeing another person's underwear? What, by putting it in a dryer where it can be seen means it doesn't really exist? Underwear? OOOO....clean panties are still dirty panties, I guess?

I've been using a clothesline for years. I own a dryer. If it's nice out, I use the clothesline. If it isn't I use the dryer. None of my neighbors give two shits about seeing my boxers or my Stiff Records t-shirt hanging out, especially when I say, "Times are tough, gotta save some green on the electric bill".

My pal Michele (One L on Facebook!) is once again displaying that cutting edge investigative journalism she claims she is so famous for. Why, after all, aren't criminology professors worldwide still using her definitive tomes on Neil Entwistle, Amy Bishop and the Craigslist killer as required reading in their curriculum? I eagerly await her next book on the advantages, both seen and unseen, of dating married cops.

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IMAGE(http://www.undershirtguy.com/wp-content/gallery/target/target-underwear-aisle-1.jpg)

"He cried in a whisper at some image, at some vision -- he cried out twice, a cry that was no more than a breath -- 'The horror! The horror!'"

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... why this woman regularly whimpers and whines about "liberal elitists!" with one of her mouths and then starts pissing and moaning over the very proletarian, very working class washing line with her other?

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Don't laugh- I've had them myself. The Internet makes such harrowing episodes all the more acute and traumatic.

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Whether or not a condo association can regulate clotheslines (or what color a house can be painted, or what kinds of plantings one can have in ones front yard) is entirely dependent upon the contract the unit owner signed when he bought the property. The state has no business invalidating or prohibiting a legitimate, un-coerced contractual agreement made among consenting adults.

There are other circumstances under which the government can legitimately regulate exterior appearances, most notably in historic districts.

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I'd disagree; Restricive covenants have been well known to impede the adoption of residential solar power. It's good policy to permit homeowners to be able to put up PV panels, solar hot water heaters, and clotheslines, regardless. Besides, covenants tend to be difficult to amend or abolish in light of changing circumstances, and can hold sway over people long after the original signatories are long dead or gone. Let the world belong to the living and the present; if keeping property values up is hard in light of that (doubtful; zoning laws would remain in effect), then I'm sure we can find a better solution.

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There are all kinds of clauses that aren't allowed in condo/HOA bylaws or deed restrictions. For example, you have the right to install a mini dish for TV reception. And then there's all the equal housing laws prohibiting racial and other discrimination.

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The laws forbidding prohibitions on antennas and satellite dishes aren't there for any sound legal principle; they're there because the relevant industries have effective lobbying groups.

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How anyone can take Michele seriously.

Despite the fact that the column is so poorly written that it's difficult to establish whether she actually took a position on either side of the question or she's trying to ingratiate herself with both sides.

It's been years since I've listened to her screeds on Talk Radio in between commercials where she hawked teeth whitening and plastic surgery. Certainly one who is so interested in cosmetic appearances might take umbrage at a practical neighbor using free sunshine to dry their laundry.

The reality is that perhaps 1/4-1/3 of our population has been affected significantly by the economic downturn. It's also a fact that we are in some kind of energy challenge, evidenced by the increasing prices of all energy. So what makes more sense than drying your clothes on a clothesline? Even despite the wishes or embarrassment of authoritarian social climbers. Michele, you can always put hang your drawers indoors (Please, for the love of God!)

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so I could have a clothelines. nuthin' smells as good as line dried sheets. I dry the intimates indoors on a, er, rack.

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They will have to pry my clothesline out of my cold dead hands....

I don't think I have ever seen anyone hang their undies on the line... I keep mine inside but hey, to each their own!

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Flicking clothespins at the enemy!

Thank God I have a big breezy porch and neighbors who couldn't care less. And sheesh--it's not rocket science. I just hang the undies on the "inside" of the line, discreetly hidden by a pillow case or a bed sheet or something. NBD.

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Here's a simple fix: buy extra hangers and hang your clothes on your bathroom curtain rod to dry. I do it all the time. I would never feud with my neighbors over something so trivial.

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That doesn't work so well in the summer. It takes a long time for clothes to dry indoors, and it adds a lot of humidity.

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