Unclassified info: The sign of a thinly veiled ethnic insult

“These signs are something you see in East L.A.”

I am stunned by the inconsiderate nature of that comment, which came from Councilman Ara Najarian during a City Hall discussion about ridding Glendale of oversized signs.

Regardless of whether I agree with the signs being too big or not — and I do agree that certain signs border on being overbearing — it’s hard to abide an argument that veils an ethnic insult as its basis of merit.

But if Najarian wants to play it that way, I’d like to help out with a few suggestions for how the City Council can help us naive citizens identify those East L.A. types secretly operating within our tasteful borders. I hereby propose Glendale mandate the following for those businesses that refuse to adhere to our sign ordinance.

Business owners and their employees with oversized signs should be required to wear sombreros, serapes and Huaraches, their business vehicles traded in for 1963 Impalas.

And while we’re at it, let’s not exclude businesses that look like something you’d see on Fairfax Avenue, right? After all, we don’t want to be accused of singling out any one race, er, business region.

Businesses that look like something you’d see in Chinatown should be required to hang Peking Ducks in their windows or be fined a “cultural tariff” for bringing down the image of Glendale with an aesthetic we find unacceptable.

Maybe we could just move all of these businesses into common areas or “districts.”

The Fairfax-looking businesses could be cordoned off to the north. The businesses reminiscent of Chinatown could naturally be situated in the Far East side of Glendale.

And the entities that so tragically look like they belong in East L.A.? Let’s put them over near Eagle Rock where those wannabe bleeding-heart-liberal-entertainment types will tolerate them.

We must work tirelessly to separate our image from East L.A. — because we wouldn’t want Glendale Community College to end up like East Los Angeles College, one of very few community colleges in the U.S. with a major art collection.

That substandard cultural wasteland only boasts the newly opened 160,000-square-foot Performing and Fine Arts Center, designed by the internationally recognized firm, Arquitectonica. At their college, they must endure a collection of art with a paltry 9,000 objects from all around the world.

To that, we must all rise up with Mr. Najarian and say, “No, gracias.”

Yes. It’s going to be a much better looking Glendale when the signs get smaller.

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