Wednesday, September 26, 2007

By the Dawn's Early Light

This morning I got up before dawn and drove to San Francisco to catch the early morning light. It was a gorgeous morning, clear and warm and still.

I hung about 25 signs today, all within direct sight of the 101, 280 and 580 freeways in San Francisco, Marin and Sonoma counties.

As a child I was taught that one of the Truly Great Things about America was that its citizens could say pretty much whatever they wanted as loud as they wanted and to as many people as they could reach. One of the things I'm trying to accomplish here is to put that theory to the test. Scroll through the last month or so of this blog and you'll see what I mean.

Right now I'm going through a batch of really, really thick cardboard, which is great because you can just lean it up against things.

This sign took about four seconds to hang:

Thread bungee through fence.

Place sign under bungee.

Secure hooks to fence.


While it takes about 50,000 protesters holding signs in the same place at the same time to get media attention, it'd take about 50 committed Freewaybloggers to bypass the media entirely.

All you have to do is figure out what you want to say, paint it on a dozen signs or so, then drive to a large city and then start sticking them up around freeways. Even if you do it badly you'll probably reach ten or twenty thousand people. With just the slightest bit of diligence, cleverness and luck, you can reach half a million. Tomorrow.

The first thing you have to do though is paint the signs.

FB - 1720
USA - 1327


May said...

I like the idea of what you do.

I think there are problems within the US system that president Bush would not have the depth to conceive of. If Bush was all that met the eye I think it would be safe to say there was more to it than him.

Nancy Maynard said...

I think persuasion is now necessary. Merely saying impeach isn't going to persuade anyone. One of my favorites is from Bartcop's site:

Osama bin Laden is free. Are you?

I yelled that at a bunch of counter protesters in DC. It shuts them up every time. Maybe, just maybe someone will start to think.

Freewayblogger said...

It's not about the message, it's about the medium. With cardboard, paint and a little driving around, my message is read by a couple of hundred thousand people.

Every Day.

Imagine how loud you'd have to yell to get the same result.

I do short, simple messages because it allows me to do more of them. The more signs I can paint, the more freeways I can hit. The more freeways I can hit, the more people I can reach. I believe this is not only a right the founding fathers gave me, it's an obligation.

If I had just a hundred people who felt the same way, you wouldn't be able to drive Anywhere in this country without seeing signs.

Anonymous said...

I love what you do---is there a link to some practical tips like.....
where can we buy the heavy cardboard?
Do you paint it white?
What kind of paint do you recommend, especially to last through a rainstorm or two?
Where do you buy stencils? (My handwriting is terrible, ditto for my painting abilities) Or do you make them?
Basic tips on what makes a good site placement---obviously maximum traffic, but anything else that you've learned over the years.
How long do most of the signs stay up?

Many thanks!

Freewayblogger said...

dumpsters for cardboard - particularly in light industrial areas. appliances, motorcycle boxes for the four ply, just about anywhere else will have the usual variety.

go here for basics:

and type "arsenal" into the search function of this blog for other tips.

while there's a randomness to sign duration, there are also underlying rules. in general, drive around and look for places that are easy to see but not easy or obvious as to how to get there. then get there.

hell of a lot of fun once you start getting into it.