April 10, 2013

Rock climbing and Latino littering

In the summer of 1977, I went rock climbing about a dozen times at Stoney Point in the northwest corner of the San Fernando Valley (on Topanga Canyon Blvd. just south of the Ronald Reagan Freeway, which is, now that I think of it, a very SoCal-sounding intersection). It's a sandstone promontory a couple of hundred feet high that played a historic role in the development of rock climbing in America. It was an early training ground of famous Yosemite climbers like Royal Robbins, Yvon Chouinard (founder of Patagonia), the late John Bachar, and top female climber Lynn Hill. Already by 1974, the city of Los Angeles had declared it a historical landmark.

Here are some videos on Stoney Point. I particularly liked the the 1970s "Eye on LA" segment.

By the end of that summer of 1977, I realized A) I was too clumsy to be a good rock climber and B) I was getting progressively more scared of heights as A) sunk in. So, I gave my climbing rope to my much better and braver friend Joe, who went on to do some big league climbing in Yosemite.

Yesterday, I went back to Stoney Point on a lovely spring day. It's still a beautiful place on a macro scale, but on a micro scale, the graffiti, trash, and broken glass everywhere were a drag.

The remaining rock climbers organize clean-up days (here are pictures).
Some of the trash picked up 9/9/2000
But, despite the altruistic efforts of old-timers, like a lot of particularly beautiful places in Southern California, such as Malibu Creek State Park and the upper San Gabriel River, Stoney Point is inundated by the bad habits of picnicking Latin American immigrants and their kids.

Was it this bad in 1977? I don't recall that it was, and the 1970s video doesn't suggest it either. I did find a photo from the 1950s that showed signs painted on the rock face as advertising for motorists driving by on Topanga. But, a big accomplishment of the rise of environmentalism in the 1960s-1970s was that Americans exerted greater self-discipline against the natural urge to litter and deface nature.

(Rock climbers took this preservationist ethic to an extreme by increasingly rejecting drilling bolts into the rock or even pounding pitons into cracks to secure their safety ropes, or rejecting ropes altogether, an ethos that a number of rock climbers, like local legend Bachar, have paid for with their lives.)

So, maybe in fifty years, Latinos will have caught up with where white Angelenos were in 1977. Or maybe not.

Is there any way to hurry this process along?

Conservationist Progressives of a century ago had multiple strategies for preserving America's natural beauty, including immigration restriction. Another was to publicly shame immigrant groups for engaging in retrograde behavior not up to sophisticated American standards.

This seems to have been fairly effective in inducing newcomers to assimilate to American norms. After all, people don't want their groups exposed to accurate criticism, so one way to avoid that is to stop doing what draws criticism.

The Keep America Beautiful campaign was organized by rich WASPs and corporations in 1953 to shame Americans into not littering. (The rise of non-biodegradable plastics made litter semi-permanent.) As commenters have noted, the biggest breakthrough was the 1971 "Crying Indian" TV PSA commercial that used Iron Eyes Cody to racially shame white people into not polluting their environment.

(Okay, Iron Eyes Cody was actually an Italian-American actor who specialized in playing Native Americans, but the point is that the "iconic" commercial worked.)

The more popular way to quiet correct criticism today, though, is to furiously denounce critics as racists. Any criticism of Latinos for their propensity to litter is a Stereotype demonstrating that you are full of Hate.

For example, if you type Latinos litter into Google, the first two responses are:

  1. Latinos Litter. Who Dares Say That? | VDARE.com

    May 7, 2005 – "An initial proposal that the small group of local artists drafted about the effort described its mission as ''educating Latinos to stop throwing ...

  2. A question on Latinos? - Yahoo! Answers

    answers.yahoo.com › ... › Politics & Government › Immigration
    17 answers - Jun 4, 2008
    I am Latina too (Mexican, to be specific) and I don't litter like you say. I hope you're not using stereotype, and I think you're not. I doubt they're ...
Thus, not surprisingly, Latinos continue to litter.


whitney said...

I spent 6 months driving through Mexico. It is a beautiful country but there is trash EVERYWHERE. They treat the whole world like a garbage can. In their defense, that would have not have been so bad before plastics but, still, grow up.

Dahlia said...

It's true, though I've seen some, women, trying to change this.

I have *never* seen litter at my church at any time, fresh after Spanish Mass or anytime else.
Have found diapers, one in my yard that we actually saw being thrown.

Anyway, I did have an experience with litter and how Mexicans feel about it. Several years ago, we celebrated Easter with a large, extended Mexican family: twelve siblings and their children, grandchildren, etc. At some point we learned about a "game" which was really a passive-aggressive attempt to get the men to stop littering: when a man, and it really was divided by gender, littered, a woman would take a hard-boiled egg or shell from a hard-boiled egg, and hit it against his forehead or top of his head.
I just don't recall it well enough, so it's possible that it was just the egg shell.
I don't know how any man kept from going off, but I swear this happened. I was shocked and even wondered about the litter of the dyed eggshells in tiny bits and pieces, but that was missing the point. These women hated the litter with a, literally, violent passion.

Usually, I'm impressed with Mexican altruism, but this is one area that is different, but I'm confident it could change in short order.

Alec said...

I distinctly remember hearing my patrician-lesbian grandmother's redneck-lesbian "roommate" complaining about Mexican littering habits when we went camping in the 80s.

Anonymous said...

I have a better one for you-and its the Gods honest truth.

Algorithm:drive to Target Rock Wildlife Refuge in Llyod Neck;park car;get out of car;walk down to beach;observe the large garbage dumpster;observe the notice from Fish and Wildlife:please pick up your garbage and dispose of it in garbge dumpster;notice the writing on the juice and food cartons;if it looks like chinese writing,close eyes and look again;if still chinese proceed to walk towards the left towards Target Rock;if you see 12 or more Chinese immigrants fishing,look around at all the strawn garbage;then look towards the bluffs;if you see a very large mansion, you have arrived at Sean Hannity's Mansion.

Anonymous said...

The San Gabriel Mountains are really depressingly trashed along the really popular routes, probably by virtue of being so damned visible from the entire eastern half of the greater LA agglomeration.

Most of the Santa Monica Mountains continue to be pretty darned nice, though. Even Malibu Creek is quite lovely once you get out of the main parking lot to rock pool axis. Litterers don't seem to like to walk any sort of distance.

And I'm seeing an increasing number of young, second generation Latino kids out hiking in southern California, making me cautiously hopeful that the WASP/yuppie conservation ethos is beginning to seep through to at least some of them by osmosis.

heartiste said...

There's a funny (read: *facepalm* funny, not haha funny) throwaway scene from Mad Men last season or maybe two seasons ago where Don and family go to the park for a picnic and leave their litter all over the grass without a second thought.

Were 1950s/60s whites litterbugs, or is this more Cathedral cantor chanting for the O-men choir?

Anyhow, it's time to call out this farce and just admit that some peoples are further along the civilizational path than other peoples. We can argue whether this disparate outcome in lifestyle refinement is innate or learned, but what no one can seriously argue without abandonment of rationality is that there aren't any broad racial differences.

Anonymous said...

I fish frequently at a location on the east coast that is like a San Gabriel in miniature. Every weekend in the summer hundreds of Latinos descend and totally trash the place. I spend a fair amount of time picking up garbage, which I don't really mind to be honest, but there's always more and the place always looks like shit. The NPS, who runs the site, doesn't care or doesn't have the resources. It's depressing. My idea for this summer is to put up signs that say something along the lines of "Littering is Permitted for Latinos" or "Welcome to America, Please Leave Your Trash Everywhere" in Spanish. The idea is to shame them into taking some ownership of the environment and speed the process along as you put it. What do you think? Could this be a Thing?

Geoff Matthews said...

Funny enough, when I typed "latinos litter" into google, this was the first link that showed up.

Steve Sailer said...

Heartiste asks:

"Were 1950s/60s whites litterbugs, or is this more Cathedral cantor chanting for the O-men choir?"

The Keep American Beautiful campaign was largely organized by the "Aryan from Darien" types satirized in Mad Men.

From KAB.org:

Long before being "green" was fashionable, Keep America Beautiful formed in 1953 when a group of corporate and civic leaders met in New York City to discuss a revolutionary idea — bringing the public and private sectors together to develop and promote a national cleanliness ethic.

National Advisory Council organizes.

First public service announcement (PSA) on litter prevention appears.

Work begins with the Ad Council for ongoing PSA campaigns.

First Lady Lady Bird Johnson joins Keep America Beautiful in promoting highway beautification program.

Canine TV star Lassie appears as mascot for an anti-litter campaign.

Start of “Crying Indian” PSA campaign, iconic symbol of environmental responsibility and one of the most successful PSA campaigns in history.

Steve Sailer said...

From Wikipedia:

Keep America Beautiful was founded in 1953 by consortium of American businesses (including founding member Philip Morris, Anheuser-Busch, PepsiCo, and Coca-Cola) nonprofit organizations, government agencies, and concerned individuals[1] in reaction to the growing problem of highway litter that followed the construction of the Interstate Highway System, and an increasingly mobile and convenience-oriented American consumer. The original goal of the organization was to reduce litter through public service advertising (PSA) campaigns.

The Crying Indian said...

Heartiste said: "Were 1950s/60s whites litterbugs, or is this more Cathedral cantor chanting for the O-men choir?"

Yes, whites were huge litterbugs up until about the time of the crying Indian commercial. Of course, trash cans were always miles away during that time too.

Steve Sailer said...

The introduction of plastic trash bags in, I believe, the 1960s made litter disposal a lot easier.

Steve Sailer said...

My guess is that wealthy northern WASPs were the least likely to litter in 1950 and their Keep America Beautiful campaign was an attempt to impose their standards on other whites.

kurt9 said...

Bolts and pitons have not been used in rock climbing since the 70's. Chocks and "friends" work in nearly all cases where pitons would have been formally used.

I rockclimbed during the 80's in various places (Yosemite, Joshua Tree, various places in the Pacific North west). Never once have I ever seen or heard of anyone using bolts or pitons.

I also used to climb at these rocks in the Northwest Fernando Valley in the late 80's. The litter was not so bad then.

Roland said...

Here in NC 1,000+ miles from the border I am constantly picking up the trash that the Latino family next door to me drops all over their driveway, their yard and mine. The little girls eat assorted Mexican treats and drop the wrappers at their feet. They don't seem to even see the trash, nor to notice that no one else on the block litters in their yard and that they look pretty shabby by comparison, poor ambassadors for their tribe. I can at least understand lazy, selfish people littering on public property, but the soiling of one's own nest surprises me. They are otherwise nice enough people. I think it's all about education, and perhaps being high enough on Maslow's hierarchy to care.

The Crying Indian said...

I remember driving to Florida before the interstate highways. The roadsides were covered with trash thrown from passing vehicles. The Crying Indian basically shamed white america into cleaning up after themselves.

David said...

In youth, I saw this commercial like 2 or 3 thousand times.

Tennessee Trash

Anonymous said...

Guess who's working with Hispanic outreach in Texas...


vandelay said...

O/T Steve, but I'd love to hear your take on Rand Paul's visit to Howard university, particularly Dave Weigel's all too predictable take on it: http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/politics/2013/04/rand_paul_speaks_at_howard_university_the_libertarian_presidential_hopeful.2.html

Anonymous said...

On a recent trip to Olvera Street in downtown LA, I witnessed a young Mexican lad finish his fountain drink and then unceremoniously drop the cup on the ground. Being from Canada this was quite shocking. Never saw anything like it in my life.

Dave Pinsen said...

I wonder if this is more of a class thing. My gym is patronized mainly by working class whites and hardly any of them re-rack their weights (despite the big signs asking them to) and its common to see empty water bottles laying around on the floor.

anony-mouse said...

Hispanics litter.

Whites climb rocks with fewer and fewer safety devices.

Its interesting that HBD'ers find the former more problematic.

Power Child said...

Hmm...so, if the way to get people to stop doing something is to declare doing that thing the emblem of a racist, environmentalists have to find a way to make littering signify racism.

The intuitive idea would be to start a campaign featuring pictures of KKK members littering, and the slogan "Don't litter: it's racist," but people would probably get distracted by the assault blankets and forget all about the not littering part.

Instead, what if environmentalists equated nature with racial minorities, and littering with "racially insensitive remarks"?

Like, replace the word "bigotry" with "litter" in the vernacular. "Epithets" gets replaced with "food wrappers." "Did you hear the dirty diaper that guy called my black friend?" "The re-election of Barack Obama proves that we're on the way to wiping out cigarette butts in this country." And so on.

Anonymous said...

The amount of trash and graffiti you find in the San Gabriels and San Bernardinos is directly proportional to a) difficulty of terrain and b) number of Asians and whites versus Messicans on the trail.

Steve, have you hiked Ice House Canyon recently? Do check it out some Saturday morning. One of the few moderate hikes that is still relatively pristine. For some reasons, Latinos avoid it and Asians flock to it.

Anonymous said...

Were 1950s/60s whites litterbugs, or is this more Cathedral cantor chanting for the O-men choir?

Littering wasn't uncommon back in the day. Even into the 70s in some areas you'd see people chucking trash out of the car onto the side of the road. It's not like people relished littering, they were just more easygoing about it. There wasn't this anti-littering fastidiousness that's dominant now. It may have changed quickly because anti-littering was heavily promoted in schools, so a dominant anti-littering ethic arrived as a new generation became adults. I remember recycling and anti-littering being promoted and taught heavily in schools, being worked in to lessons and stuff.

John M said...

Wow, I have to read Steve to find out that John Bachar is dead? My friend had a Bachar Ladder in his backyard that we would thrash ourselves on. I've never climbed near LA, but spent a couple of weeks up in the Sierra near Lone Pine one year, maybe 1990. Some friends and I made a climbing trip to Mexico back in 2000. We climbed an extinct volcano near Mexico City called Ajusco and I remember the litter there being terrible. When we went to Pico de Orizaba though, I really had my eyes opened. There is a stone hut at around 14000 feet used by climbers. The whole area was covered with scattered human waste and toilet tissue. There were half buried pipes you were supposed to use, but evidently not many did. Not sure if its still like that, but the American parks since at least the eighties gave out doubled plastic bags with stern warnings to use them or else. Nicest people in the world though, at least the ones we ran across.
On a somewhat related note, here in Pennsylvania there has been a rash of copper thefts from power poles recently. They cleverly cut down the neutral wire and leave the voltage carrying wires. Been quite a problem. They were caught on a church surveillance camera rolling up the wire. Mexicans, or Guatemalans, or Salvadorans or something. What a world.

jody said...

lol has anybody been to mexico? it's a trash heap. garbage and trash and dumped building materials and wrecked shacks everywhere. slums slowly sliding down the sides of mountains, a thin layer of dirt casting a gloomy veneer on everything.

liberals will mentally block this out of course and when mexicans bring this effect to US cities they look the other way.

Anonymous said...

My father immigrated from Sicily as a boy and grew up in Manhattan. According to him, my grandmother used to just throw trash out the window of their apartment.

Dahlia said...

Anonymous The Crying Indian said...

I remember driving to Florida before the interstate highways. The roadsides were covered with trash thrown from passing vehicles. The Crying Indian basically shamed white america into cleaning up after themselves.

Every single first-time visitor to Europe goes on and on about the graffiti. My brother was with our German relatives when he first experienced this. He was just shocked, pointing it out, and just doing what shocked people do. He couldn't get over that it was EVERYWHERE. Finally, they asked him why it upset him so much.
They had quit noticing it so long ago.

It's a big step backwards, when did it begin?

Cail Corishev said...

This isn't exactly litter, but growing up in the rural Midwest in the 1970s, there was a "dump" on the bank of a creek about a mile from our house. People dumped everything there: household trash (not ours; we burned ours), tires, empty herbicide cans, etc. When we'd go fishing in the area, there would always be an oily film on the water there. It's all been cleaned up now, of course.

So yeah, I think whites used to litter a lot more than today. It's odd that we just assume other cultures will have "evolved" to appreciate the same things we have in the exact same time periods.

Where I live now, we don't have enough Mexicans to notice this, so our litter occurs in circles around each school. The worst is if there's a fast food place near a school: there will be a heavy string of litter on the opposite side of the fast food place, as kids stop there for something to eat and drop their trash as they continue down the street. Maybe they aren't pushing environmental concerns as hard in schools today as they did in my day, what with all the racial and gender-bender sensitivity stuff they're busy with now.

Anonymous said...

My father immigrated from Sicily as a boy and grew up in Manhattan. According to him, my grandmother used to just throw trash out the window of their apartment.

Not just trash, but dumping chamber pots out of the window was normal back in the day in major cities. It wasn't that big of a deal though, because there were horses defecating in the streets already.

Cail Corishev said...

The introduction of plastic trash bags in, I believe, the 1960s made litter disposal a lot easier.

At the same time, I'd guess plastic has made roadside litter trashier. Once upon a time, most of it would have been paper, except for metal soda cans which could be collected for money. A paper bag and napkins would decompose pretty quickly on a roadside, but plastic and styrofoam cups will lie there a lot longer. I don't know when restaurants shifted to more plastic and styrofoam, though, whether it happened before the 50s and 60s when eating in the car first took off.

Anonymous said...

Maybe I'm being naïve -- and I don't really know the area -- but it would seem a solution would be to put the parking lots for access a mile or more from the river and make people hike in.

Someone from the area can tell me why that's not practical.

Anonymous said...

My eyes actually started to physically ache from the glare and jarringness of the graffiti along the tracks from Midi to CDG. It was remarkable, I had never believed my mom's reports of how bad it was discounting it as post-50s crankiness.

Anonymous said...


My wife and I were in Italy two years ago and were stunned by the graffiti. As for your question I can only say that I was in Florence in the early nineties and don't remember seeing any graffiti at that time.

Steve Sailer said...

The spread of non-biodegradable plastic in the 1950s-1960s was both problem and solution for littering.

peterike said...

I concur with others above, having lived through it, that the "Crying Indian" had a huge impact on people's littering, and it quickly became something you would get yelled at in the street for like if you threw a gum wrapper down. Before that nobody much gave a crap. It was part of the larger enviro movement, but that commercial packed a wallop.

So yes, shaming works wonders.

Perhaps we need a "Crying Mestizo" commercial running on the Spanish language TV.

Anonymous said...

Once upon a time, most of it would have been paper, except for metal soda cans which could be collected for money.

I remember bums and young kids used to collect cans and bottles to take down to the plant for cash. You don't see that that much anymore, probably because of less littering. You don't see that many bums wheeling around carts full of cans and bottles anymore. I remember that there was kind of an attitude that littering bottles or cans wasn't that big of a deal because some bum or kid who needed money would pick it up for cash.

Anonymous said...

My irish American grandma grew up in an immigrant enclave in upper manhattan, almost Harlem. She said there were, irish, italian, french and german in her building. She said the piggiest were the germans. They were also the richest, being landlords they lived on the top floor, and dumped all their garbage directly out their window. No other ethnicity did that, was the message I got from her. Honestly I´m suprised it was the germans and not the irish, or italians...

Corn said...

"Not just trash, but dumping chamber pots out of the window was normal back in the day in major cities. It wasn't that big of a deal though, because there were horses defecating in the streets already."

I was told in school that during the time of the Revolution pigs and cattle were grazed on Boston Common. I was also told urbanites in the 19th century dumped chamber pots and trash out the windows.

I was taught as a kid that city streets were basically used as sewers/trash dumps until the mid or late 19th century.

Anonymous said...

"I remember bums and young kids used to collect cans and bottles to take down to the plant for cash."

Yeah, we are talking about the world prior to that, the world of can pull tabs that would slice a barefoot kid open, cigarette butts and glass pop bottles that folks would toss on the road. Nobody paid anything for that stuff, it was worthless, that's why it ended up thrown by the side of US-60 from a speeding Chevy. I bet you can sift through the shoulders of US-66 and still find tons of those pull tabs, glass shards and cigarette butts.

Anonymous said...

Steve, I have to correct you on bolting in rockclimbing. Traditionalists largely lost that battle. At best you could say it was a draw, typically decided at a locale level. Some big name places like Yosemite or the Shawangunks in NY remain traditional with very limited bolting but newer popular places like the Red River Gorge in KY or Tensleep Wyoming are mostly bolting havens.

all that said, climbers are good as a bunch at organizing clean ups and trash removal. The argument in favor of bolting has always about access to rock that could not be protected with traditional nuts/cams etc.

Chicago said...

Keep their default hygienic tendencies in mind when going ethnic and eating at one of their restaurants.

Broken Bough of Life's Phone Tree said...

There is a band from NYC whose song "Paterson Falls" describes the neglected park surrounding a forgotten natural wonder in northern New Jersey that has (the lyrics seem to imply) been ruined by the destructiveness of local Hispanics. http://music.lifeinablender.net/track/paterson-falls

Anonymous said...

Keep their default hygienic tendencies in mind when going ethnic and eating at one of their restaurants.

Latinos work in all kinds of restaurants, not just Latino restaurants.

Harry Baldwin said...

Lady Bird Johnson made highway beautification her "first lady" project, and I recall her PSAs for the Keep America Beautiful campaign. It advocated removing roadside billboards, planting shrubs and flowers, and also cleaning up litter.

Here is her message from one such ad: “Ours is a blessed and beautiful land. But much of it has been tarnished. What can you do? Look around you: at the littered roadside; at the polluted stream; the decayed city center. We need urgently to restore the beauty of our land.”

There was a song parodying "Okie From Muskogee" that included the lyric, "We don't throw our beer cans by the highway. . ." There were a lot of beer cans along the road in those days and rednecks were held responsible.

My brother lives in Japan, a notably clean country, but when I traveled with him to the mountains outside Kyoto I was surprised to see a lot of litter by the road. "That's because no one owns it, so people don't feel bad about littering," he told me.

Anonymous said...

I've traveled through Mexico numerous times. Garbage bags festoon the bushes alongside the roads. Wetlands are used as dumps. The stench of smoldering windrows of garbage along the highways is nauseating. A Mexican wears a spotless white shirt, but dumps his offal anywhere. They have the forward thinking of children. They think only of themselves. To become good fellow citizens they will have to undergo a transvaluation of values. We shouldn't hold our breaths.

Anonymous said...

On a bit of a tangent. I watched the Eye on LA video from the 70s and much to my amazement the camera actually filmed a woman climber, Lauren Hill I believe, completely splayed out on a climb with the camera looking up her crotch from below. It wasn't subtle. Either LA camera men in those days were complete pervs or this one was totally clueless or the seventies were wilder than my pre-teen mind grasped at the time.

Prof. Woland said...

I live one a quite road in a suburban neighborhood bordering a park. Many people pitch their garbage from their car into a small creek on my property. 99% of it is fast food containers, beer bottles, or empty Red Bull cans.

Harry Baldwin said...

"The more popular way to quiet correct criticism today, though, is to furiously denounce critics as racists."

Tolerance is the death of assimilation. The only reason immigrants assimilated in the past was that they were made to feel bad until they started behaving according to our standards.

Eric Disera said...

How about the song "Alice's Restaurant Massacree" by Arlo Guthrie, in which the whole plot of the song is a rationalization of him dumping trash. Then calling the military hypocritical for denying him entry.

Nick Diaz said...

Righ. So literring is a Latino characteristic, huh? I guess all those Irish and Italian immigrants who came to América in the late 19th and early 20th centuries didn't litter, huh? I have seen plenty of pasty-white people spitting chewed bubble gums and throwing used palstic cups in the streets of NYC.

Not littering is an issue of EDUCATION. Anyone can litter, and anyone can stop littering. The Helvetian and Germanic tribes at the time of Cicero threw their garbage in plain sight and defecated publicly. And guess what? With education, they stopped doing that.

But of course you know that. You just don't like Latinos on a VISCERAL level, and will use any argument, no matter how idiotic, to justify stopping their immigration to America. You are striking me as more and more contemptible by the minute.

Anonymous said...

Dear god yes. This is a huge pet peeve of mine.

Here in our Texan metropolis there is a HUGE correlation between the presence of Latinos and the presence of litter. Around the local rich-white elementary school: NO litter. (Perhaps the servants clean it up.) Around the local mostly-Latino elementary school: LOTS of litter.

In our mostly-white neighborhood, on the side streets mostly or only used by homeowners: very little litter. On the main streets used by Latino apartment-dwellers and workmen: LOTS of litter.

Mostly I don't witness the actual littering act -- just the correlation. EXACTLY the same deal with graffiti: same correlations, same presumed culprits.

Dave Pinsen said...

"There is a band from NYC whose song "Paterson Falls" describes the neglected park surrounding a forgotten natural wonder in northern New Jersey that has (the lyrics seem to imply) been ruined by the destructiveness of local Hispanics."

Patterson used to be a thriving city -- it was called the silk city for its textile industry, and it also loomed sort of large culturally (e.g., William Carlos Williams, etc.). A year or two ago I took the wrong exit off of I-80 trying to avoid a traffic jam and wound up in downtown Patterson. There are some beautiful buildings there, in striking settings, with Garret Mountain looming down the street. And it's only 20 minutes west of the George Washington Bridge into Manhattan. If you've got spare cash laying around and a long time horizon, buying a great old building there as a bet on future gentrification might not be a bad idea.

eah said...

Some years ago they finally enacted a Grillverbot for Berlin's largest park Tiergarten because the imported people leaving their trash strewn all over the place and making the park unvisitable on weekends.

Anonymous said...

I uh, live in whitopia, and rural whites just toss their rubbish in the many ravines that landscape has created outside their homes. Obviously not as visible, but hardly more civilized.

Anonymous said...

Did whites litter in the past? Yes.

So what. Just because bad behavior was the norm years ago, doesn't mean we have to put up with immigrants coming here getting to repeat the cycle. We have built this nation up to a certain level, and it is incumbent upon the newcomers to hit the ground running with the current norms. We shouldn't have to wait fifty years for Mexicans and others to come around. The whole point of coming to America is that we have figured out how to live in a clean, prosperous society. No deviation is necessary. If you want to come, adopt our standards or stay home

Anonymous said...

Living in Japan the past 22 years I've seen a huge improvement in the littering situation. While streets were pretty clean, many parks and scenic areas were trashed when I first came. Mt. Fuji was so bad that the application to make it a world heritage site got rejected. That really shamed the Japanese into cleaning up and now it's pretty much trash free wherever you go.

Steve Sailer said...

"Either LA camera men in those days were complete pervs or ..."

I think you've answered your own question.

Anonymous said...

@anonymous 4/10/13, 5:05 PM

> You don't see that many bums wheeling around carts full of cans and bottles anymore.

Naw, you just moved somewhere nicer. I still see it when I go to my city center and around some intersections.

Steve Sailer said...

Since the 2008 crash, people regularly scavenge through my garbage barrels on trash day. I just bought a shredder to put my bank mail through before throwing it out.

Black Sea said...

"Wow, I have to read Steve to find out that John Bachar is dead?"

As you recently mentioned, the IRA once suggested to Maggie Thatcher that, "you only have to be unlucky once."

Guys like Dean Potter and Alex Honnold, who do very challenging climbs unroped, probably don't want to dwell too much on that. Bachar was 52 when he fell to his death, and had been a serious climber for over 35 years. If you climb unroped, and climb long enough, your luck, talent, and nerve may give out, and they only have to give out once.

Steve Sailer said...

The unroped "free solo" climbing is just nuts.

When I was 12 on a Boy Scout rockclimbing trip, my scoutmaster slid 90 feet down an 80 degree slope because my friend Silvio melted down on a ledge and my scoutmaster tried to get to him without roping up because, as usually happens in climbing, they were running late and night was coming. We had to organize a major rescue effort to save my scoutmaster's life and my dad got Silvio to rappel down from the ledge just before dark. We were lucky we didn't have two deaths there.

Steve Sailer said...

Climbing is this vaguely Promethean hobby that appeals to whites and Japanese. Very, very few black people see any sense in it.

Black Sea said...

Climbing has a particular appeal for highly intelligent, somewhat obsesive math and engineering types. The problem solving dimension raised to the heroic, I suppose.

John Bachar's father was a math professor at UCLA, a school which the younger Bachar attended before dropping out to climb full-time. There were several other Yosemite climbers in the 70s who were studying math, physics, etc. and just walked away to commit to a different life.

Since you've been reading "Climbing in North America," you probably know 1970s Yosemite big wall climber Eric Beck's famous quote: "At either end of the social spectrum, there lies a leisure class." I've always liked that.

BTW, I bought that book about 30 years ago, and, about 20 relocations later(twice overseas), I still have it.

Charlesz Martel said...

With the importation of Arabs and Sub-Saharan Africans into Europe in the 70's, although it didn't really take off until the late 80's. Graffiti in Europe in the '60's was mostly political- Yankee go home sort of thing. The "tagging" came after the establishment of black African worship. It spread quickly, as many cultural cancers do. Saying anything bad about Africans/Arabs was considered racist ( or realist, your pick).

Anonymous said...

Nick Diaz, please continue to post here. You provide an invaluable service to this forum. As Steve has pointed out, his most vocal critics are capable of only two arguments - "point and sputter", and "who are you going to believe - me or your lying eyes?" Your record at proving him right in both counts is just about spotless.

Anonymous said...

Chicago, you are SO right. I have a friend in the restaurant business, and he says the first thing you have to teach the Latino help is that in this country we wash our hands after defecating.

peterike said...

You just don't like Latinos on a VISCERAL level, and will use any argument, no matter how idiotic, to justify stopping their immigration to America.

Yes, Nick Diaz, I DO dislike Latinos on a visceral level. What of it? It's the same level at which you dislike whites, you phony.

That said, immigrants not conforming to social mores is just about the MOST legitimate reason to want to stop them, because it means chaos and social decline.

heartiste said...

mewling caricature mewled:
" and will use any argument, no matter how idiotic, to justify stopping their immigration to America."

You misspelled invasion.

Anonymous said...

Latinos are proportionally much younger than anglos. My kids would litter if I didn't teach them not to, and enforce, and remind and nag, etc. So, Latinos are being who they are, young and irresponsible.

pat said...

As to why you didn't climb more. I don't know if you're clumsy or not, but you are definitely too big. I like you am 6'4" - way too big for a sport where you have to support your full weight with your finger tips.

This is the reason that Ninja Warrior continues to be dominated by the Japanese although there are probably more Americans now competing.

The first time I saw El Capitan I made a solemn vow to myself that I would scale it. Absurd idea. I looked at all the skinny, wiry rock climbers and woke up. I loved the idea of going up that 4,000 foot wall, but I'm built like an interior lineman not Spiderman Tobey Maguire.

When I was a kid painting houses in the ghetto I was the only one who would climb the rickety high ladders. I was fearless. Or foolish. It was a form of job security.

But I acquired fear of heights in Italy - once in the Doumo in Florence and then in the Leaning Tower of Pisa. I went up it on a rainy day. Slippery marble, no guard rail and of course the landings aren't level. I froze. I grabbed a wall and held on for dear life. I was forever changed.

Acrophobia and claustrophobia were for me acquired maladies. I got claustrophobia in Sienna.

Both of these weaknesses, I read, are due to degenerative changes in the amygdala. So be comforted. It's not that you're getting more timid. It's just your brain rotting with age.


Dahinda said...

This article could have been written about the forest preserves surrounding Chicago. Also, when I was a kid, my cousin got his drivers license. We all went driving with him and went to McDonalds. My cousin tossed his Big Mac box out the window with a defiant look on his face like he was saying "I so cool driving I can get away with anything!" Most of the other kids in the car followed suit and threw their garbage out the windows. This was in the 70's and apparently littering was looked upon as something bad back then, like a thing only a rebel would do.

Mike said...

Try Griffith Park after Easter. The most filthy mess you can imagine. 100% Hispanic crowd.

I was playing golf there a couple of years ago on Easter day and a Mexican girl who looked to be less than ten spat through the fence "F..king rich White people". Literally out of nowhere.

Of course, being Griffith Park I was probably one of approximately two white people on the entire course and super twilight rates were about $10!

rob said...

The primitive standards of public hygiene that the Hispanics hold themselves to makes 'Messican' all the funnier. A racial caste of janitors and maids invades and they can't even keep clean?

Nick Diaz. Thank you for admitting that Hispanics are a few thousand years behind whites. Why should whites have to uplift your people? How can we when even mentioning that Hispanics are far below our standards, which is the first step of raising you up, is racisss?

Don't angry Spanish fop at us. Go get your fellow Hispanics to behave better.

rob said...

My wife and I were in Italy two years ago and were stunned by the graffiti. As for your question I can only say that I was in Florence in the early nineties and don't remember seeing any graffiti at that time.

I'm sure Italy was a lot more Italian twenty years ago. Latinos are fastidious, upstanding neighbors compared to Africans. Were there words in the graffiti, or was it just simple shapes? Non-literate graffiti suggests non-literate vandals, so probably Africans.

Anonymous said...

Hey, Steve probably remembers the Lakefront in Chi-Town when Washington was Mayor; the Parks honchos painted the trash cans blue to be more visible amongst the greenery. The excuse was people couldn't see the previously green painted trashcans (too camouflaged) so they threw their trash on the ground. Sadly, the eye pollution of the garish cans combined with the ongoing littering exacerbated the problem. Our poco amigos still used the parks as their trash heap. You'd see the remains of a family picnic not 25 feet away from a garbage can. When I lived in Santa Barbara I'd pass by an apartment where the senora had pulled the bottom of the screen away from the kitchen window and just dropped scraps on the ground. Dumping an oil-change into the gutter was not an infrequent occurrence for many pre-citizens.

Anonymous said...


Marc B said...

"The unroped "free solo" climbing is just nuts."

No it's not. Not all solos are the same. On a single pitch route, you can calculate and troubleshoot nearly every possible variable when soloing or you are so fit and focused that even if you don't, you can still make up in one piece.

Number grades aren't always a good indicator of a solo route's difficulty, because there are many 5.13's with secure, positive holds and a lot more 5.9's with sloping holds requiring insecure rock over's and mantles that take more finesse and technique than strength. What makes Alex Honnold's solo of Half Dome's Regular Route of the NW Face so amazing is that it is long and strenuous, and there are many insecure pitches, particularly towards end of the route. There was also a plenty of opportunity for him to get rained off if he happened to get stuck at an impasse or became fatigued. Most climbers still use aid to avoid many of those free moves he pulled off to keep moving upward. It took us three full days to climb it all free in a single push back in the late 1980's.

The most dangerous routes most climbers will commit to are usually single-pitch roped routes with sparse natural protection. Rappelling descents are usually the most dangerous part of any climb.

Melanie said...

@ Pat 4/11/13, 8:32 AM-

That's interesting, about acquiring phobias in middle age due to brain changes.

All my life I didn't like bridges, but I could fearlessly without thought drive across all but the highest and steepest. Even for a couple of years after I had an accident on a bridge-I skidded on the metal grate part in drizzly rain in the pre-dawn hour, and was thrown out the back of my SUV because I ran to the back when I hit the guardrail and thought I was going over-I could still drive across without much thought.

Then one day in my mid 30s I was driving back from Mobile AL to my home on the MS Gulf Coast, with my sister-in-law, and freaked out on the Pascagoula bridge. Hyperventilating, shaking, disassociation, everything. Not 2 hrs before I had driven across that bridge and didn't give it a thought.

My fear has escalated over the years to the point that's there's maybe 2 bridges I can drive across without too much fear, including the one I had the wreck on. It has really put a cramp in my traveling. There are some bridges I would refuse to cross with someone else driving.

The last time I drove home from Virginia by myself, a couple of years ago, I freaked out going over the Mobile series of bridges, and by the time I got to the Pascagoula one, my husband had to come get me. I couldn't do it, the Mobile one did me in.

Anonymous said...

To Nick Diaz:

1) Increasing the population places the greatest strain on the environment and ecology. Less people, less pollution, less garbage, less environmental degradation. What increases the population? Immigration! So connect the dots sport. Immigration is bad for the environment. That conservationist groups like the Sierra club don't espouse this is because they have been paid off by the Scots-Irish to keep their mouths shut. If I had no other reason to dislike Latinos that would be enough right there.

2) When i visit Mexico, i see litter and trash everywhere. Conservationism isn't even an issue in Mexican politics.

Anonymous said...

I couldn't help but notice i saw almost no black or brown people in those photos of volunteers doing litter cleanup. This doesn't surprise me at all. I've volunteered for a number of different causes and almost never saw any black or brown people. A few Asians occasionally but overwhelmingly white. I guess they don't volunteer because there is nothing in it for them.

Unknown said...

Littering is a pet peeve of mine and perhaps the crying Indian commercial contributed to that as I was a young child when it came out. I have worked in downtown Oakland, CA for 15 years and the folks I most often see just throwing stuff on the ground are black. Interesting that many folks, no matter who they are, seem to feel like it is still acceptable to throw cigarette butts on the ground. I've had a particular aversion to this since my army days when we would do "police calls" where we would scour the area and pick up all the litter, much of which was cigarette butts. I also remember a few years back driving along the Amalfi Coast in Italy and being shocked at the amount of garbage and litter alongside of the road in a place I consider perhaps the most beautiful in the world.

Anonymous said...

Air-conditioning in cars became common around 1965 and this caused a huge drop off in roafside littering. Cranking down the window was just a bit too much trouble.

Anonymous said...

There was no graffiti in communist Germany. They didn't have a word for it even.

Discard said...

Nick Dias: It's not Whites' responsibility to civilize your people, but even if it were, I don't know that it's possible. I have lived around and worked with Mexicans most of my life, and carelessness is in their blood. Think about it. Half of your children are born to unmarried women, and your murder rates are five times ours. Expecting such a people to give a damn about littering is laughable.

BTW, the environmentalists living around San Gabriel Canyon want the U.S. Park Service to take over from the U.S. Forrest Service, in hopes that the Park rangers can do a better job of controlling the Mexican families who befoul it every weekend. And Laguna Beach wants to outlaw beach fires, ostensibly because the smoke is a pollutant, but actually to discourage Mexican beach parties. The Greens ought to know better than to coddle an invasive species.

middle aged vet said...

Late life onset of a fear of heights, or of bridges, or of sitting in cars on a slope, is often brought on by undetected minor vertigo from inner ear loss of certain fluids. Which affects a few million out of every billion people on this earth.
I.e. Steve, fix that problem and El Captian awaits you again !

Daisy Jane said...

Re sudden fear of heights or bridges: that person may have come down with panic disorder or agoraphobia. It can happen when a person has been under prolonged stress.

Re: Anonymous wrote, "Immigration is bad for the environment. That conservationist groups like the Sierra club don't espouse this is because they have been paid off by the Scots-Irish to keep their mouths shut." Say wha? The Sierra Club won't come out against mass immigration because a guy who gave them $100 million, David Gelbaum, told them not to. There's more to it but that's the Cliff Notes version. Nothing to do with the Scots-Irish that I'm aware of.

P.S. There is a very bad litter problem in Miami too, so it's not just a Mexican thang. I don't think the Latin community would react at all well to Anglos attempting to shame them. It would only be effective if the criticism came from their own community. Maybe directors Robert Rodriguez or Guillermo del Toro will get working on a "crying mestizo" PSA.