A post by Pat

hung out to dry

For those who have hang ups about looking at other people’s laundry, be prepared for a flap. There’s a trend in the wind to override homeowners association rules in favor of making your whites greener.

Debate Follows Bills to Remove Clotheslines Bans (links to NYT article)

In the last year, however, state lawmakers in Colorado, Hawaii, Maine and Vermont have overridden these local rules with legislation protecting the right to hang laundry outdoors, citing environmental concerns since clothes dryers use at least 6 percent of all household electricity consumption.

Florida and Utah already had such laws, and similar bills are being considered in Maryland, North Carolina, Oregon and Virginia, clothesline advocates say.

There’s a lot of contention over the issue.

The new laws have provoked a debate. Proponents argue they should not be prohibited by their neighbors or local community agreements from saving on energy bills or acting in an environmentally minded way. Opponents say the laws lifting bans erode local property rights and undermine the autonomy of private communities.

There’s even going to be a documentary about it, Drying for Freedom. These people really get their underwear in a wad over laundry.

I’m kind of partial to the born free philosophy of life myself. I grew up in a clothesline laced world. It’s real life and the laundry does smell good after a day in the sun.

The world changes (for the better up until recently) and so do communal norms. I now live in a subdivision with a homeowners association that forbids clotheslines. I don’t feel as though I’ve lost a part of the authentic life. Not that I really thought about it at all until now.

The environmental nazis aren’t motivated by nostalgia or chafing at the chains of suburban conformity. They want to sell us the idea to live un-electrically for the good of the environment. Folded into their campaign which incorporates words like “liberty” and “freedom” is a future of drudgery, regimentation and poverty.

We do live better electrically since we were “sold a bill of goods” by GE in 1945. We also live better under the Bill of Rights since 1791. You can have my dryer…and washer…and refrigerator when you wring them from my warm, smooth hands.

BTW Don’t they get it that the shooting was about the property line?

BTW2 Don’t they want us to drive electric cars?

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12 Comments | Leave a comment
  1. Artgal says:

    I wonder how much electricity was used by the dryer nazis in the making of this upcoming film? They had to have lighting, and I can tell that some areas were not at all naturally lit. A battery (or batteries) had to be charged several times so they could film their piece. Gone are the days when you could just put a hamster on a wheel in the camera and let the filming begin.

    Once all the footage has been filmed, they would need electricity going directly from the camera (since the batteries can die in the middle of the film capture) to the computer. Add to that the entire post-production process, a/v editing, motion graphics – all those require computers to run for many, many hours/days/weeks with the software to conduct the work necessary to render out a final movie. Oh yes! We must also use electricity for the dvds and cds. Think of all the electricity that will be used to generate mass quantities of this dvd!

    I wonder, too, how much gas was used in harming the environment to drive to Verona, MS.

  2. makeshifty says:

    I have to say I don’t like the idea of this ad or this documentary. They certainly are mixing metaphors. I heard about this movement for clotheslines last year in Colorado on a radio program. The idea was just starting to float around about how much energy could be saved by hanging wash rather than drying it. They were teaching it in the schools. The subject of HOA rules came up, which ban clotheslines for aesthetic reasons. The documentary throws around this term about “freedom” in relation to this. Okay, how about we throw out the HOA rules altogether and people can modify their property however they want, no matter what it does to their neighbors’ property values. Let’s see how well that goes over. The point is when you move into a community you consent to these things. They’re not forced on you at gunpoint (as is implied in this documentary).

    Personally I don’t mind the idea of clotheslines at all. I grew up hanging my clothes outside sometimes, and sometimes using the dryer. I live in an apartment today and so I usually hang my laundry inside using a rack and clothes hangers. What I worry about is this sort of movement growing into something as fascist as this movie claims today, where dryers are banned. Sometimes I find a dryer necessary, when I need my clothes dried quickly, or I’ve washed too much to hang inside. It’s fine to raise awareness so that hopefully rules are changed to allow people to make choices about this. Heck if nothing else it will help lower people’s utility bills. That’s never a bad thing. I just fear that with the way things have already gone we’ll see the situation turned on its head where dryers are banned, not clotheslines.

    Somehow I don’t think it’ll get to that point without wives and mothers rebelling against the government. I watched “Frontier House” on PBS several years ago, and one of the wives said she LOVED modern conveniences like a washer and dryer, after living an authentic frontier life for 3 months, because it relieved her of so much work. It sounds like some people have taken this for granted.

  3. lord-ruler says:

    This is all the evidence we need that Government has gone to far. Why where there laws against clotheslines in the first place?

  4. CO2aintpoison says:

    Nice catch Pat_S….it’s right down my alley.

    The argument of course is bogus! We had this same argument when we were being “sold a bill of goods” regarding satellite dishes when they were the size of flying saucers. Round and ’round it went in Congress under debate for Homeowner Associatoins (HOAs). Finally in 1996 I believe the FCC passed a several hundred page “Act” forbidding an HOA from placing “extraordinary restrictions” (is that term vague to anyone else) on the installation of a satellite dish so long as the dish was no larger than 1 meter. The funny thing is…they had all that debate and spent all that money and the current size of all the satellite dishes is one meter. What a joke.

    Now here we are talking about clotheslines. I’m an accredited community manager in the business for 15 years (I know, I know – everybody tells me “you couldn’t pay me enough to do your job”). Community Associations Institute (or CAI) will likley be fighting this like they did the antenna ruling.

    Most folks buy into these HOAs in an effort to have another entity looking out for their property value. Those who do not live in HOAs have to “hope” their neighbors maintain their properties at least as best as they do themselves because everyone’s property value depends on the others.

    I myself do not wish to live in an HOA, and so I didn’t buy a house in an HOA – but I know what they’re there for and what they can and cannnot do – they DO have limitations. People only read the stories about how “the Association took my house cuz I owed $5 in back fees”. It doesn’t work that way – but just like the MSM; if it bleeds, it leads.

    Enough of that. This movie trailer was very interesting. They point out the billions of dollars spent to dry clothes. Okay – right, well a) that money is being spent generates income for someone on the other end; b) using your closthes dryer is saving your HOURS of manual labor which you can then use to 1) spend more time w/your family; 2) go to school; 3) work more hours, etc.

    Before dryers and all of the other electrical devices we use, most households were one income – usually the wife was staying home, cooking (I guess in an iron pot over the fire), laundry (with a washboard), then hanging it out to dry, cleaning the house – all of it w/no electrical appliances.

    I notice the female interviewer had the Michelle O-bra-strap thing going – so that was kind of interesting. I mean – like Tammy says, if you’re going to be in front of the camera on purpose – put yourself together man!!

    I also noticed the one lady she inquired “if you could hang out your laundry would you”? The lady answered back that she would – but it takes a lot more time. The last part of the phrase was turned down and you could barely hear it and they quickly went to the next interview.

    The clothesline death/murder thing – well that was just stupid and does not move the argument at all.

    Lastly, I noticed the “awareness guy” had regular incandescent light bulbs in his ceiling fan. Hmmmmm.

    Here’s the thing: if you want to hang out your laundry on a clothesline – don’t buy a house in an HOA!!

    Oh – and by the way CO2 is not poison!!!! The plants need it for photosynthesis and we need the oxygen which plants then give off.

    If the global warming hoax was real, which it’s not because that’s what a hoax is – – then can someone ‘splain to me why other planets in our solar system have been also warming at the same rate of the earth? Gee whiz, I suppose it COULD be the sun. The only thing real about global warming is all the money in Al-I-created-the-internet-Gore’s bank accounts. The last year which recorded an increase in the temps was 1998. I wonder how many millions/billions good ol’ Al (who’s only trying to save the planet ya know) has made since 1998.

    As an aside – – what do they then do with all of those dryers? Same thing as the clunkers – destroy the motor, chop them up into teeny-tiny pieces, stick ’em on a boat and sell the metal to China? Man, that just sounds like a spiffy idea. I’m not great with history, but during the World Wars, wasn’t the government clammoring for everyone to donate any metal they had lying about? Didn’t they need the metal to make tanks, airplanes, ammo? Hmmm….can you make airplanes out of clotheslines?

  5. JamesKrewson says:

    If they are going to “go green” with the whole laundry deal, then they also need to allow people to fly the American flag as well if they want to. I mean, come on, its ok to allow my underwear to flap in the wind, but not our nation’s flag?

  6. CO2aintpoison says:

    James, if you live in an HOA and they claim you aren’t permitted to fly Old Glory (I’ve seen some news stories like this) – they are either a) lying or b) don’t know what they’re talking about – which is common in my industry. Congress passed legislation to protect flying the American Flag. If you want more info – let me know I can get the actual legislation for you to fight your HOA.

  7. designflow says:

    Clotheslines aren’t the most attractive devices but there are times when hanging clothes, or dirty, wet sleeping bags, shower curtains, rags, etc. are needed. It would be very practical to have a clothesline and I don’t see anything wrong with pointing out the benefits of hanging clothes to dry (saving on utility bills, the freshness of sun dried clothes, etc.) but it should just be a choice. We don’t need to feel guilty about using our dryers – there are many benefits of dryers that can’t just be ignored now in the name of global warning, I mean, warming.

  8. Maynard says:

    There’s something very disturbing about that trailer, but I’ve got to pause to contemplate the problem. I mean, I fundamentally agree with the premise, and yet the somehow the thing creeps me out. Why? I guess it’s the typical leftist rhetoric of framing the argument as a battle against an evil enemy; in this case the nefarious General Electric, who sold us a bill of goods. The assertion is so ludicrous that it’s not necessary to refute it. Anyone who watches the visual image on their electric-powered computer and doesn’t understand that electricity is a modern miracle is a dunderhead that deserves to live in a cave picking their body lice. What the hell is wrong with these people? They’re fundamentally sick in the head, bursting with hate, and this is their compulsion. Isn’t it enough to tell us we can easily save money and get some fresh air? Why is everything an evil conspiracy?

    To emphasize their point, I think I recognize the ominous music that plays in the background as they show how evil the GE company foisted all those awful household appliances upon an unsuspecting public. That’s the opening bars of Lodger’s “I Love Death”. The music video of this song is very powerful and creepy, I actually find it rather fascinating, but it will make you want to commit suicide, and it’s also very vulgar. With that warning, if you want to view it, here it is.

  9. daredevilaccordian says:

    The last point about electric cars is exactly the kooky hypocrisy that I immediately thought of. Some of the most exciting “greenish” technology on the horizon has always been hydrogen fuel cell… and The O kyboshed most of the Bush funding for the technology in favor of electric car technology, which by my amateur estimation will cause a very direct need for expanded electric grids, which The O has expressed he would like to spend gazillions on to modernize. It’s a self fulfilled prophecy, innit? But, the point of the story is that electricity requires energy that is harmful to our environment… they really need to get their story straight, don’t they? I am all for the freedom to hang my clothes in my backyard, but I do pretty well just hanging them to dry in the utility room. By the way, what about the millions and millions of households that have natural gas powered dryers, like I do. Isn’t that considered “clean energy”?

  10. CO2aintpoison says:

    Here is info for you if your HOA is telling you, you can’t hang/display the American Flag:
    First, check out your Association’s Deed Restrictions (Covenants) regarding Flags and see how the language “square up” with The United States’ “Public Law 109-243”. When you read it please note one of the terms used in it is “any reasonable restriction”. Every HOA, while very similar – are different. Don’t go by your buddy’s HOA rules, look at yours. This bill was introduced in ’05 by Congressman Bartlett of my district in Maryland (the last bastion of conservatives). Federal law/statute supersedes any HOA deed restriction or rule.

    On January 4th, 2005, House Resolution 42 (H.R. 42) was introduced in the House of Representatives. H.R. 42’s “Short Title” is “Freedom to Display the American Flag Act of 2005”.

    H.R. 42 was passed by the House on June 27th, 2006.
    H.R. 42 was passed by the Senate on July 17th, 2006.

    H.R. 42 was signed into law (as Public Law 109-243) by President George W. Bush on July 24th, 2006.

  11. jupaczyn says:

    Environmentalists and freedom-minded homeowners: Strange bedfellows for fresh sheets!

  12. ladykrystyna says:


    1. I live in an HOA neighborhood. If you want to buy in some areas (I live in Southern CA) you pretty much have no choice. As choice is already limited in this area, you have to roll with the punches.

    2. I am on the Board of my HOA for the simple reason that I wanted to make sure we didn’t go all Nazi. Of course, I’m usually the lone voice of reason and I recently lost on a vote regarding parking. Ah well.

    3. My thoughts on HOAs are that they are generally fine if they just stick to basics and not go “Nazi”, as I like to call it.

    4. Clothesline drying seems to be one of those stupid Nazi issues. If you are hanging clothes in your backyard, what is the BFD? Sounds to me like the anti-clothesliners are just nosy Parkers who have nothing better to do than to look into your backyard and complain about your underwear. I could give two poops if my neighbors were doing it. Especially because my backyard is MY BACKYARD and no one else’s business. Which is why I never asked permission of the Board (before I got on it) to approve the plans for backyard (which is pretty small). It would take them 45 days to get back to you and then they would nitpick on what plants you were putting in. Screw that. It is better to ask for forgivness than for permission. 😀

    So the ultimate solution is for HOAs to stick to real PROPERTY VALUE ISSUES rather than stupid stuff. That way we wouldn’t need any gov’t involvement to “fix” the problem.

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