Tuesday, July 24, 2007
I may be a touch overweight, but I am not by any means "hippy".
Spelling problems aside, I think we all know what the guy was getting at, and it wasn't a penchant for colorful dress, mind-altering drugs and guilt-free sexuality. By "hippy" they meant "freak", "oddball", or more precisely, "guy-putting-up-signs-when-nobody-else-is-putting-up-signs." And I must admit he has a point.
I've been putting signs up on freeways now for years: it's easy, fun and reaches tens, even hundreds of thousands of people - per day. Through this blog and the freewayblogger website I've been preaching the gospel of cardboard and paint throughout the left blogosphere and thousands of you from across the country have responded to the call by linking me, writing me, joining yahoogroups, etc.
The only thing you haven't been doing is putting up signs.
For years now I've been wracking my brain, going crazy trying to figure out why that is... but I think the "Shut Up Hippy" guy has finally shown me the light. It isn't because there's some national shortage of cardboard and paint, and it's not because y'all don't have anything to say. While you might tell yourself what's stopping you is the fear it might be illegal, think about it: that's not only bullshit, it's an insult to everything this country's supposed to stand for. The day it becomes illegal to express your political opinion by putting a sign up on public property is the Day America Dies and you know it.
(And honestly let's face it: I've put up close to 5,000 signs now... how illegal could it be?)
I think the reason people aren't putting up signs boils down to this: "My Dear, it simply isn't done." And I'm afraid there's not much I can do about that.
On a brighter note, the precious handful of you that have been putting up signs have been working twice as hard this year as you did last: together we've put up more signs by July than we did through all of last year, so let's hear it for Beachblogger, Barbara, PT Cruiser, Beltwayblogger, Psychomikeo, GeeTee, Alaska, The Ohio Crew and Guy-in-Atlanta. The ten of us could cover this whole damn country with signs if we have to. Maybe we will.
As for the rest of you, just do me this one favor: go get some cardboard and paint it white. Fold it up and store it in your basement, garage, closet... wherever. Just have it ready for the day when you finally decide to speak out. Once you've decided what you want to say, you'll paint it. Once you've painted a sign, you'll figure out where to put it.
Things are going to get a whole lot worse before they get better.