Thursday, October 30, 2008

The Tribunes of the People

(from our mailbox:)
The Tribunes of the People are a small group of middle-aged malcontents operating near Hollywood, California. Disillusioned and embittered by the unwillingness of the Hollywood studios to film their screenplay "Zorro and Hamlet Meet Godzilla," they've re-dedicated their lives to telling political rather than artistic truths to the masses through the medium of freeway blogging.
They have worked primarily on foam core sheets obtainable at art supply stores with duct-tape lettering, but as the Freeway Blogger has pointed out, this can be a pricey business, so they intend to switch to the classic method of projecting from transparencies onto painted cardboard.
While hoping fervently that the advent of the Obama administration will lessen the need for their activism, they are not sanguine, keeping their powder dry and their signs at the ready.

Electronic Frontier Foundation

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Rockin' the Free World in San Diego

greetings scarlet ~ grabbed my camera and did some blogging around san diego this morning for a couple of hours. Ive been hanging signs here and there from time to time but don't always get a chance to photograph them. I've included a few quotes below - pick and choose as you see fit - and add some of your own if you are so inclined. hope all is well with you. the 4th can't come soon enough....landslidelandslidelandslide. yours, kate
ps. neil young is coming to town wednesday night: can't wait... I have some great signs ready.

"If the world is a dangerous place to live, it is not because of the people who are evil, but because of the good people who don't do anything about it." -Albert Einstein

"We Americans have no commission from God to police the world." -Benjamin Harrison, address to Congress, 1888

"If BS were currency, Sarah Palin could bail out Wall Street herself." - Conservative Columnist Kathleen Parker, National Review

"If love and peace prevail on earth, and if we can teach our children to honor nature's gifts, the joys and beauties of the outdoors will be ours forever." - President Jimmy Carter

"The ultimate test of man's conscience may be his willingness to sacrifice something today for future generations whose words of thanks will not be heard." - Gaylord Nelson

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Irvine California: American Panopticon

Meandering through the streets of lower Irvine I decided to take the 5 north up to Tustin. There was a small gap next to the southbound lanes that I’d always wanted to hit: a tiny little oasis of fencing in the middle of miles and miles of sound walls between Santa Ana and the 405 merge.

Turning around in Tustin, I head back south and see the fencing, just underneath a rampless overcrossing. I quickly scan the base of the support columns for stenciling, finding it on the far left: “Yale Av. Ovrhd”. Yale Avenue is now my destination. The next exit is Irvine Ranch Road, two and a half miles away. This distance, of course, only adds to the beauty of the spot. If the way back to Yale Avenue was in any way convoluted, my sign could stay up for a long, long time.

I get off at Irvine Ranch Rd. and quickly find myself lost in the dark heart of Irvine California. Composed entirely of planned developments, Irvine is a bit like Stepford on a budget: nothing but townhomes, apartment complexes and strip malls with names like Deer Creek and Heritage Meadows. Everything is clean, homogenous and orderly, though notably lacking in deer, creeks, meadows and heritage.

I suppose if I were truly living up to my potential I’d have a navigational system, or street maps of all these places, but I actually enjoy the process of dead reckoning. Seeing a spot and finding your way back to it - using tell-tales like powerlines and terrain, or simple guesswork - is part of the fun… part of the game.

My sense was that I’d been veering west from the freeway, so I made a right and went east for a couple of blocks and then north where I finally reach my holy grail: Yale Avenue. After a few exploratory forays down side streets I’m there: a shrub and bramble covered embankment that led to the fencing next to the Interstate. Immediately in front of the embankment however was a sign that read "This Area Is Being Monitored For Illegal Activity.”

I looked around for cameras but didn’t see any. Not that it mattered much – the sign said “Illegal Activities”, not the patriotic posting of free political speech. I pulled a “The War is a Lie.” sign out of my truck, folded it over and headed up the embankment, wondering what it was that made these bushes so special. Were they a teenage hangout? Gay trysting spot? Homeless encampment? What seedy subversive activities took place within these bushes to warrant such surveillance? I figured it was probably meant primarily for the homeless, but in a way for all the other things too. Every other part of the surrounding area was spoken for: whether it was a sidewalk, street, store, walkway, school, park or bike path: practically every square inch of Irvine California was being utilized for something… Except these bushes. If you were looking for a place to sleep, screw, or just smoke a joint, as far as Irvine was concerned, these bushes were pretty much it: the only place that remained off the grid, the last little bit of wilderness left. As the final holdout from the municipal panopticon, maybe it was possible the bushes actually were being monitored. “Come and get me then…” I thought to myself as I bungeed up the sign. “The day this becomes illegal is the day America dies.”

The sign stayed up next to I-5 for about three weeks.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Spellchecking the Right

Please people, this is just sloppy.

And here... I mean really... I understand y'all are in a hurry, vandalizing cars and such, but when the guy's name's only got five letters...

Ooh, so close! It's "minister". Better luck next time.

It's spelled "mama" actually. That's one most of us tend to learn fairly early on.

"Humm"? Are you kidding? "Humm?" It's spelled "Hmm". No wonder they made you take it down. This is what happens when you only read one book.

Oh for Christ's Sake! Can't you people even get a swastika right?

Whether he's an ironic postmodern metatextual genius or just an idiot, this guy will probably go down as one of the iconic images of America in the 21st century. At least he got the "Go USA" part right.

Okay, granted: this sign, put up next to a highway in the Ozarks is racist, insulting and weird, but at least the person who painted it took the time and effort to make it look decent. Not only does this sign contain no spelling or grammatical errors, but it also conveys a lot of information with a minimum amount of verbage and even utilizes a bit of graphic artistry. If you're embarrassed to live in a country where a sign like this could go up, don't be: Be glad that you live in a country where people can speak so freely. Be embarrassed that you haven't been doing it more effectively yourself.

Cardboard, paint, and an overhead projector... That, and a little bit of faith in the first amendment are all it takes.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Sarah Palin Jokes

Why did John McCain pick Sarah Palin for Vice President?
Because the kid with the banjo from Deliverance wasn’t available.
What did Sarah Palin say was the most exciting part of running for Vice-President? Getting to ride on elevators.
(All signs made with cardboard, paint and lettered with an overhead projector. All are safely and lawfully placed on public property in accordance with the first amendment right to free political speech.)
What’s the difference between Sarah Palin and the Taliban?
Lipstick. (h/t to Americablog)

Who met with Mohammed Atta in Prague, tried to obtain yellowcake uranium from Niger and was ultimately responsible for the attacks on September 11th if Sarah Palin becomes president? Trooper Wooten.

What did Jesus say to St. Peter from the Cross?
“Hey, I can see Sarah Palin’s house from here!"

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Wag the Plumber

If "Joe the Plumber" seems familiar it's because you saw him being created here.
It's so spot on Barry Levinson should be collecting royalties.
"Joe the Plumber has now had more press conferences than Sarah Palin. " -Andrew Sullivan

Arsenal of Democracy: The Backs of Signs

"As I went walkin',
I saw a sign there...
and the sign said,
'No Trespassin''.
But on the other side, it didn't say nothin'.
That side was made for you and me..."
-Woody Guthrie, This Land is Your Land

Using the backs of freeway signs is particularly effective on divided highways where exits are few and far between. Binder clips (above and below) are generally the quickest way to go, but you can also use hammer and nails or duct tape. Posting rarely takes longer than fifteen or twenty seconds and is hidden, at least from those who could get to you, by the sign itself. Working at night brings your chances of getting caught to practically nil.

On overpasses I like to use the space behind signs as well. It's cleaner, more discreet and seen only by the people who are meant to see it.

YTD - 739

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Beltway Blogger Strikes Again!

Signs appeared yesterday around the Beltway in Springfield, Annandale, Arlington, Falls Church and Vienna, Virginia. They are posted safely (on the inside of the fencing,) by a private citizen in full accordance with the first amendment right to free speech.

I made the McCain stencil using a small overhead ("art") projector, and a printout from Google images. I projected the image onto the back of a campaign sign, traced it and then cut it out with a boxcutter.

For those of you who think that putting on a bumper sticker, wearing a T-shirt, or planting a campaign sign in your yard is going to make any difference, then I've got news for you: it's only there to make you feel good. If you drive all day, maybe a hundred people will read your bumper sticker. If you put up a campaign sign, it will blend in with all the other ones. But if you paint your own message and put it up within view of the highway, up to a hundred thousand people a day will read it. Put up a few around your city and you will have beaten your local newspaper in readership. -Beltway Blogger

Special thanks to the other freewaybloggers who sent me some suggestions for good, short anti-McCain slogans that can be read from inside a speeding SUV.