The Jumbotron near my friends house shines into her living room every night until 9pm, forcing the purchase of dense window coverings and the loss of their beloved patio for evening reflections and visits. The luxury apartments under construction next door to her house are slated to have the light facing into the living rooms. Situations like this make me wonder how the advertiser and the developer reconcile these conflicts- will money be involved? Do they duke it out in a game of chicken in their luxury SUVs? Or perhaps if expatriates are renting the apartments, the complaining will become dim background noise in the squander for profits. Easily ignored for a year, as the lease was signed already. With a fake smile the landlord will shake his head and say, "There is nothing to be done."
The tragedy for me is how the quality of the light pollution changes everything in this small, once quaint city. On the way home from an evening event last week, I passed through the traffic circle around Independence Monument. Nearby to the momument, , the memorial to the King Father stands in a golden glow. The digital advertising sign placed high on a building to the west places created an eerie fog that changed the spirit of the place, casting a toxic hue over history and the brilliantly colored water fountains.
Turning the corner onto the street to my apartment that same evening, I see a young man riding a moto alone. The street is relatively empty. He bends his head down to look at something in his lap. I assume that he's checking his phone. As my tuk tuk overtakes him, I realize he is looking down on his daughter, held in one arm on their way home. I'm reassured that human connection is present, an antidote to our love affairs with screens.