HASSO HERING

A perspective from Oregon’s mid-Willamette Valley

Giving real Vandals a bad name

Written August 8th, 2017 by Hasso Hering

This was on Monday afternoon. By Tuesday afternoon, the portable restrooms were upright again.

On a bike ride Monday, I came across this scene at the entrance to Albany’s Simpson Park and Talking Water Gardens, and it leads to this conclusion: People who overturn portable toilets or commit other acts of vandalism are telling the world that, unlike the historical Vandals, they are really, really dumb.

Just being dumb is bad enough. But vandals combine stupidity with a destructive trait. And there are enough of them that nationwide, they cause something like $15 billion in damage per year. That estimate is very old. It comes from a paper the U.S. Department of Justice put out in 1998.

With their acts of defacement or destruction, vandals give the Vandals of history a bad name. Under their longtime king Genseric, the Vandals looted Rome of its riches in 455 A.D., but they didn’t sack it. This is after they had skillfully fought what was left of the Roman Empire and, with their navy, came to dominate the western Mediterranean.

A Germanic tribe, the Vandals moved across Europe to Spain to escape the Huns. Eventually the whole tribe conquered Roman provinces in North Africa and established themselves with Carthage as their capital. But then, their existence as a country was wiped out by the Eastern Roman Empire in the sixth century, so their history was written not by them but by their enemies. Maybe that explains how their name became a synonym for senseless destruction.

As for the portable toilets in that parking lot, they (or their replacements) were upright and back in their usual place by Tuesday afternoon. Maybe tipping over toilets is fun for somebody, but if it is, that somebody needs mental help. (hh)





One response to “Giving real Vandals a bad name”

  1. Tim Hanson says:

    An all-too-common scene around Albany. Tagging, litter, defacement, etc. Annoying, inconvenient, and usually not a public hazard.

    To the citizens of Albany… Grow up.

    Perhaps Albany could put a more permanent structure in this area.

 

 
HH Today: A perspective from Oregon’s mid-Willamette Valley
Albany Albany City Council Albany council Albany downtown Albany Fire Department Albany housing Albany parks Albany Planning Commission Albany police Albany Post Office Albany Public Works Albany riverfront Albany Station Albany streets Albany traffic Albany urban renewal apartments Benton County Benton County parks bicycling bike lanes Bowman Park Bryant Park CARA City of Albany climate change coronavirus COVID-19 Cox Creek Cox Creek path Crocker Lane cumberland church cycling Dave Clark Path DEQ downtown Albany Edgewater Village gun control Highway 20 homeless housing Interstate 5 Kitzhaber Linn County marijuana Millersburg North Albany Obama ODOT Oregon coast Oregon legislature Pacific Power Portland & Western Queen Avenue crossing Republic Services Riverside Drive Santiam Canal Scott Lepman Talking Water Gardens The Banks Tom Cordier Union Pacific urban renewal Water Avenue Willamette River


Copyright 2022. All Rights Reserved. Hasso Hering.
Website Serviced by Santiam Communications
Hasso Hering