The top-down schism of the Anglican Communion
Could the Anglicans and Copts enter communion with Rome?

Is "No Mow May" peak Yard Sign Calvinism?

Some years ago, the people who service my lawnmower got somewhat overwhelmed and lost track of it.  I called and was assured it was "next up" but after a few weeks, panic set in.  Much of my back yard is well-watered, and the grass always grow thick and quickly.  By the time I got it back, the grass was a foot high, and even though it's a decent riding mower, it struggled to make headway.

Indeed, it didn't so much mow it as push it over.  I had to go over it multiple times over several days to restore it to some semblance of order and in the meantime, the mosquito population was off the charts.

I mention this because I see that several of my neighbors are participating in something called "No Mow May," which is the latest exercise in Yard Sign Calvinist virtue signalling.

I have to admit it is brilliant - one literally does nothing with the yard in order to feel superior to everyone else on the block who is maintaining theirs.  Of course, the whole point of Yard Sign Calvinism is the yard sign, and this is critically important because without it, the yard just looks neglected.

Only by having the sign explain what is going on can one understand how simply doing routine yard work is now sinful and depraved.

Whether this experience is repeated remains to be seen.  Whatever fuel I saved while waiting for the mower come back I more than used up once I tried to cut it.  Not only did I have to mow it multiple times, the effort required of the engine to hack through the growth caused it to burn fuel at a greatly accelerated rate, causing me to go through a month's normal use in a matter of days.

In two more weeks, I will be interested to see if the signs remain, reminders of the virtue that the rest of us failed to demonstrate.

I'll also see how many use lawn services to clean up the results of their piety.  Does cleaning up that mess bestow a plenary indulgence on the crews?


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Oddly, no No Mow May signs near me, but I approve of semi-neglect, so it's too bad. I don't mind regular cutting and edging, but the need to have a bright green, weedless carpet baffles me. Maybe it's because I associate pesticides, herbicides, and fungicides with cancer, and can't understand growing food on soil that's been heavily treated.
I find it highly bizarre that the loudest organic food fans in the area have TruGreen spray their yard about twice a month, but see no inconsistency. I'm old enough to remember clover and violets being accepted, and a true barefoot lawn being the norm, and having plenty of butterflies, bees and little frogs. We ate our homegrown food without concern, while my current neighbors have an occasional patio tomato.
Thanks for the recommendation of the Ford biography. It is very pleasant reading and I enjoy both the personality analysis and the frequent mention of his extended family and connections.
Have you seen the 1981 production of The Good Soldier, with Jeremy Brett and Susan Fleetwood (Mick's sister) as the Ashburnhams? I don't know if it's still available.


Voila! on Youtube:

A.H. Lloyd

I have not seen it, but when I was digging out the BBC Parade's End came across it.

I didn't think much of The Good Soldier when I read it, but now that I know the backstory, I want to get back into it.

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