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Neighborly Advice: Offensive Plant Lights in Silver Lake

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Another installation of Neighborly Advice, our etiquette column on dealing with prickly neighbor issues. Last time, it was a bathrobe in Palms. Today, lights. From a wound up reader:

"My otherwise very green-orientated neighbors in Silver Lake fire up their outside plant and fountain lights at night. Of course I'm being a superior ass here, but c'mon! That's just plain vain and wasteful. I'd like to say something to them. How do I do it? Thanks!" This week, we get a local Silver Lake writer and resident to answer the question. Got your own neighborhood etiquette question? Send questions, photos to Neighborly Advice.

Reader, your answer comes from Michael Sonnenschein, a local TV and magazine writer.

"Tough one. As a die-hard neo-enviro-libertarian* I am genuinely conflicted. On one hand, Silver Lake thrives on its relaxed, live-and-let-live attitude. On the flip side, everybody knows that Silver Lake is all about being totally environmentally conscious. I think you need to go with the middle ground: passive aggression. Glare at your neighbors. If you happen to see them flip on the foliage lights, say something like 'Speeding up the photosynthesis process. Sweet.' Passive aggression might seem like jerky behavior, and, yes, there is a chance you might be doing some damage to your moral core.But the corrosion of our inner lives is what we neo-enviro-libertarians must suffer if we want to stay true to our conflicted ideals. *Note to self: register at GoDaddy-could be a winner!"

Next question?