Thursday, October 12, 2006

For the price of a gumball...


Some signs you just know are going to last. This one, placed on a tree above a retaining wall in Hollywood, was seen by over a hundred thousand people per day for eight days before it was taken down. Think about that: a sign that took ten minutes to make and cost about a nickel was read over a million times.

Pretty much any one of you reading this could do the same: it'd probably take less than an hour. So could've any one of the hundreds of thousands of people who saw it. The person who took down the sign didn't replace it with one of their own, nor did anyone else. Pretty amazing when you think about it... and pretty sad too.

When I started freewayblogging in earnest, three years ago, I figured it wouldn't take more than fifty or a hundred well-placed signs for people to "get it": that once a few million people had seen that someone was putting up signs, at least a few of them would realize "Hey, I could do that too!"

Didn't happen.

Ironically, I think the mindset that keeps people from putting up signs is the same one that keeps them from taking mine down: "Not My Job." Maybe they're right.

For me though it seems obscene to remain silent in one of the few countries where you're allowed to speak out. To see the lives, treasure and reputation of my country squandered so shamelessly in an immoral war, to watch the President and Congress turn the United States of America into another stinking torture state without so much as a whimper from its citizens... to see all that and remain silent, to me is unconscionable. Especially knowing that I can reach a million and a half people for the price of a gumball.

A couple of weeks ago I was a guest on a right wing talk show in New Jersey. When the host brought up the notion that what I'm doing is illegal and amounted to nothing more than littering, I said that that would be up to the courts to decide, and that it might be difficult to argue that free speech is "litter" in a court of law, standing in front of the flag and all... too many people have given their lives for my right to "litter" for anyone to call it that.

I went on (borrowing from Edward Abbey) to say that you couldn't really litter a freeway anyway... that freeways are litter: huge, multi-ton slabs of concrete garbage, gigantic monuments to our stupidity and greed. I said as far as I was concerned, freeways were like a gun pointed to the heads of my grandchildren's grandchildren.

"So you're one of those people who thinks we shouldn't have cars at all... that we should just walk everywhere?"

"No - not quite... but lets put it this way: if we could bring back the men who founded this country... Washington, Jefferson and all them... if we could bring them back and show them a sign on a freeway... They'd say something would have to go alright, but it wouldn't be the sign."

20 comments:

Anne Johnson said...

My husband saw a sign on the PA Turnpike that said "Fear God." I hope if you see one like that you know how to take it down.

JTRockville said...

I've seen tons of "impeach" signs around the Capital Beltway (Washington DC area) recently. I hope this idea catches on!

azgoddess said...

i had an idea...

with all those political signs all over the corners..

to place some 'other' signs there - kind-of blend

my town is lacking in overpasses

i promise i'll send you pictures...

geetee said...

Long live Edward Abbey and the Monkey Wrench Gang.

Hecate said...

freeways were like a gun pointed to the heads of my grandchildren's grandchildren


You know that I love you, right?

Anonymous said...

"Keep our freeways free."

Oppose toll roads that let foreign multinationals force Americans to pay their way to and from work...

I think your signs would do that better than most...

-Mr.Murder

beachblogger said...

may the beach be with you! peace, peter

Mungen_Cakes said...

I'm a sign making fool. Made a nice big one today. Looks pretty damn good. Pointilist portrait of the Chimperor Disgustus with the caption "WORST PRESIDENT EVER". 6'x4' It's gonna kick ass.

seraphray said...

Great job compatriot! Love your work and you ruminations on the state of our country. Sorry I missed you in New Jersey. Next time send me a note and we can post!

PTCruiser said...

You summed it all up perfectly, Scarlet. Thanks, man.

Anonymous said...

It's not always just that people think it's "not my job", but also they are afraid of being caught. In lots of localities hanging signs is considered "vandalism" and not free speech. People need to do their legal research to find out what their rights are and if/how they can freeway blog. That being said, if the laws are too restrictive and you can't figure out which way is up with all the legalese, F*CK EM AND HANG YOUR SIGNS!

InfantSpirit said...

So, Daddy,

You chose a 10cent sign over BEING WITH YOUR OWN INFANT?

Wahhhhhhhhh!

NotaFathersRightsWhiner said...

Yeah, the big fat bigshot chose this dead end whatever over being a FATHER TO HIS OWN INFANT.

How many will see this post?

Freewayblogger said...

Look, I told you, I've never met you before and it's not my kid! I've never even been to Hazzard County!

rivergeek said...

Admirable job Mr. Freeway Blogger.

I'd put some up in my neighborhood but most folks already despise Shrub here in No Hope PA.

However, I plan to leave my enlightened enclave and head out to central PA and do a few signs on the Turnpike, for the god-fearing gunloving deerhunters.

http://delawareriverjournal-rivergeek.blogspot.com/

Anonymous said...

Anne Johnson, why would you want to take it down? Do you only believe in free speech for those who share your opinions?

monkeyaker said...

I'd have to agree there- I'm what you might call "God-Fearing"- which just is an archaic way of saying religious. "Fear" just means "respect". And I don't like being lumped in with conservatives. I'm also extremely liberal and am starting my own signs up here in Portland (as if Portland needed more leftist political activists!).

Bush is not "God-fearing". God is a pacifist. Not a torturer. Hmm...that might sound good on a sign. Little wordy though.

Anonymous said...

monkeyaker said... "Fear" just means "respect".

No it doesn't. Fear means fear, otherwise one would say "Respect God". Doesn't have the same ring. I don't think that most "God-fearing" people would call their god a pacifist either...

Freewayblogger said...

Anyone who believes in hell is praying to a sadist.

Anonymous said...

http://www.bettybowers.com/
http://www.bettybowers.com/oprah.html

M E M O R A N D U M

From: Pastor Harry Hardwick, Chairman of the Landover Baptist committee for sorting out True Christians from folks who only say they are "Christians," but are really unsaved trash who make Jesus vomit

To: [The name of the person you are sending the e-buke to]

Re: Your Staus as a Fake "God is Love" Christian

Dear [Their Name], Unsaved Fake Christian Trash:

It has been determined conclusively by our committee that you are the type of pseudo-Christian who goes around making a fool of both yourself and the Lord by spouting the saccharine, annoying lie "God is Love." There are no appeals from this righteous judgment.

We delight in informing you that, contrary to your sissified view of things, the Bible isn't a tiny pamphlet with nothing more than namby-pamby verses that make the Lord Jesus sound like some prancing homosexual florist blowing air-kisses to everyone who comes in His overly-fragranced path.

There are plenty of verses in the Bible that reveal what Jesus plans to do to people like you who ignore 99% of His Word in favor of emphasizing the two or three verses that, when taken completely out of context, create a soft, cuddly Jesus that more reflects your childish need for an imaginary friend straight out of a Disney cartoon than it does the authentic Jesus who shall sit on the White Throne of Judgment of the Bible!

The real Jesus approved of His Father's command that children who curse their parents be put to death (Matthew 15:3-4). In fact, Jesus chastised the Pharisees for failing to kill children who defied their parents' wishes (Mark 7:9-13). Jesus told us we are to live our lives in utter fear of God for God has the power not only to kill us but also to torture us forever in Hell (Luke 12:5).

Jesus told His disciples to bring before Him any man who didn't believe in Him and to violently slaughter that man while Jesus watched (Luke 19:27). Jesus killed one man by having his body eaten by a swarm of worms because the man failed to give Jesus His due (Acts 12:23). Jesus struck a Jew blind for thwarting His teachings (Acts 13:8-11). Jesus struck a man dead for failing to listen well (Luke 1:20). Jesus took the lives of a couple by scaring them to death for not forking over all of the money they made on a real estate transaction (Acts 5:1-10). Jesus had such a hot temper, not only was he wont to flip over merchants' tables (Matthew 21:12), He even killed a fig tree for failing to bear fruit even though figs weren't in season (Mark 11:12-14).

Of course, Jesus knew He didn't have enough time to torture every sinner while He was alive, so He promised to do much more after He passed. Jesus said that, come Judgment Day, sinners will be gathered together and hurled into a furnace of fire where there will be uncontrollable wailing and gnashing of teeth (Matthew 13:41-42, 50). Entire cities of people who don't believe in Him will suffer a fate worse than that of Sodom and Gomorra (Mark 6:11). Jesus said that God will take vengeance on nonbelievers by burning them "in flaming fire" (2 Thessalonians 1:7-9). The Lord will create horse-like locusts with human heads, women's hair, lion's teeth and scorpion's tails that will sting and inflict savage pain on sinners for five months (Revelation 9:7-10).

After God sends fires, plagues and beasts God to Earth, the world will be covered in unburied dead bodies rotting everywhere while good Christians will "rejoice over them and make merry, and shall send gifts to one another" (Revelation 11:5-10). Meanwhile, the smoke of the burning, rotting bodies will ascend and plague the Earth forever (Revelation 14:10-11). And the smell will attract scavenger birds that will feast upon "the supper of the great God" (Revelation 19:17-18).

Jesus will send an earthquake to kill 7,000 people (Revelation 11:13). He will inflict bodily sores, turn the seas and rivers to blood, scorch everyone with fire, cause people to consume their own tongues. Oh, and He'll cause horrendous storms, too (Revelation 16:1-21).

Now, what was it you said about unconditional love? In the United States, if you engaged in the acts Jesus promised to do, you would find yourself in prison for the rest of your life. Contrary to the way you view Him, Jesus was no sissy! He doesn't sit around meekly crying over sinners not worshiping Him enough – He kills them. And then tortures them for good measure!

So, phony Christian, continue ignoring all the parts of the New Testament you don't like, and latch onto the little nancy-boy verses you prefer. But bear in mind that the single page of the Bible you like to quote will incinerate in less than a second when your sorry ass is hurled into the furnace of an everlasting Hell!

Praying those who pick and choose which parts of the Bible to quote are the first plunged into the fiery abyss,

Brother Harry Hardwick

Chairman, Landover Baptist Salvation Evalution Subcommittee