Archive for 3. April 2010

In the Neighbourhood

Saturday, 3. April 2010

For weeks, if not months now, they are testing a captive balloon just opposite to the Radisson Hotel. And ever since the local press has a continuous theme: A controversy amongst residents about the balloon. The opponents’ arguments:

  • the balloon harms living conditions

    I don’t know how, but hotel guests could feel bothered since balloon riders on ascent and descent could have a straight look into the rooms
  • the balloon mutilates the landscape

    The ultimate argument likewise the arguments against wind power stations in Germany – they look so much uglier than the nicely shaped nuclear power stations
  • doubts whether there are the right official approvals in place

    It is somewhat hip to doubt any government decision, since in some communities it is in to impute incompetence to the government
  • the balloon destroys a wetland worth protecting

    Well, the lower parts of the park may be categorized wetland, but I can’t see the uphill section, that has been used as dump ground for the Gautrain construction over the last years, being wetland
  • the balloon facilities employ public ground for private interests

    Well, that is for sure no proponent of the land reform in the northern suburbs, using this argument
  • doubts on the skills of the operating crew

    Might be the prevailing form of racism since most of the guys running the test were black
  • doubts on it’s safety – “With only one guy rope, and given the prevalent storms I never would enter it!”

    Reminds me on the early comments about locomotives leading to limiting their speed and having a man with a red flag walking in front of it. But history teaches, it neither was the end of the world nor people went insane