Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Dear Readers...

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.



Radiohumper said...

It's not in style. Littering is out of style. Eating meat is getting there. It has bugger-all to do with substance, and everything to do with image.
If you could somehow tie it into being a Slytherin, or the Warped Tour, Free Speech might have a chance for a moment's attention.

The ancient Greeks proved that when people try to make you look ridiculous (is, "Lysistrata"), they admit their power is slipping.

I admit the pictures I sent you are pretty ridiculous, but I'm still hanging signs and they're totally straightforward.

Freewayblogger said...

Too many people have died for free speech for anyone to call it litter. If you sent me pictures of signs you've put up, I've published them - if they were just graphics, or "sign-ideas" - I haven't. Nothing anyone's sent me that they actually posted has been ridiculous.

Anonymous said...

Whatever you do - just don't drop the bong.
Went to a peace rally Sunday night and got 6 more people that want to help. Some want to paint, others want to post. Look out FWB - our pace may pick up now.

Ohio Bushwacker

::mwah:: said...

wtf? Sometimes you're *very* good at shutting up, "Mr. Hippy." I had no idea - not a clue - that you had orange sunshine.

Anyways, putting your selfish "I got mine, now you get your own sunshine" behavior aside, I think that f'way blogging is your cross to bear.

You're NEVER going to quit it. No one will EVER shut you up (Lard knows I tried - lol!) 'cept when it comes to your stash.

If everybody danced ballet, who'd be there to do the clapping?

Now stfu, hippy, and get in yer truck.

Mungen_Cakes said...

I thought my Cheney haiku was a bit ridiculous. And the burma shave series might be classified as ridiculous. I revel in ridiculous.

Freewayblogger said...

Mungen-Cakes, how could I have forgotten you in my "List O' Hippys"?

The Cheney Haiku was moving - high art, and the Burma Shave sign was beautiful too. (People are always telling me to do Burma Shave sequences - they don't get how much harder it is to do...)

Keep up the good work there in Portland, Mungen. I'll be back.

Mungen_Cakes said...

I am about to go on an FB jag. I am so pissed off I can hardly see straight.

My "Democratic" US Senator was on the radio this morning saying that the Republicans were coming around because they were hearing from their constituents that they disagree with the Iraq "policy".

Goddamn it!!! It's not the fucking "policy" asshole! It's the GREAT BIG PILES OF DEAD PEOPLE!!!!

And he kept repeating phrases like "our hardworking, brave troops in the field". It sounded like the worst kind of pandering to me. I've got that fuckers office on speed dial now, they are going to hear about my disagreement with the "policy" every goddamn day!

Anonymous said...


Freewayblogger said...



Mungen_Cakes said...

I've seen the FB and I can say that he's a "fall" so an orange jumpsuit would be extremely flattering.

Do they actually incarcerate people for littering?

Anonymous said...

If it is not illegal, then surely you wouldn't mind inviting the highway patrol to view your next sign posting, and proudly announce who you are. Your act is lame...

Freewayblogger said...

Funny you should mention that, Anonymous, (if that's your real name...)'cuz last time I was "caught" by a Highway Patrolman he said, "Y'know, when I saw you hanging that sign I was going to just give you a lecture and then let you go. But as I was heading over here I started thinking about everything this country was meant to stand for, and... I started thinking about those bloody footprints in the snows of Valley Forge, and now... Now I just want to shake your hand."

A tear formed in the corner of his eye as he stuck out his hand and I shook it.

It was really, really touching.

sime, uk. said...

Yeah, stop breaking the law, Hippy!! Go hug some trees!

Nah, only joking mate! Shine on you crazy diamond! lol

Anonymous said...

You forgot me, bro! I hung signs when no one else on the bloody list was besides PT and yerself.
Damn. Now I'm gonna have to go out again tonight. Where's the bong?
Meg in Marin