May 8, 2011

To whomever put up those posters, YOU GOT PRESS!

So as you know, I designed this poster, and asked people to put it up around their towns.
I know of at least one person that did this, and just a few towns over from my own!
Thank you anonymous hooligan for doing that! You got press coverage! Check it out:

(go to page 4)

Why this is so cool: People are working together, anonymously, through the internet, spilling into the real world, and are achieving message amplification and multiplication together.
One person designs a poster, somebody else puts a bunch of copies of it up (huge copies! They are like 3'x5'!), and a third person writes an op-ed piece in a newspaper about it.
And the kicker is, none of them even know one another.
That, to me, is amazing.

The full text from

Two separate acts of graffiti. Two mixed messages for Portland.

By Bob Higgins

For the few that did not stay up until the wee hours of Monday morning, the news that Osama Bin Laden had been killed in a raid on a compound in Pakistan came as a shock. For at least one Portland resident, it didn’t.

This half-witted knucklehead grabbed a can of spray paint, and decided to do a little graffiti action all over the exterior walls of a mosque on Andersen street.

To the person that did it, I express this simple message. You are a congenital idiot. Your actions made about as much sense as painting the word “pedophile” on the walls of a church. If you want to scare residents of this neighborhood, show them your I.Q. score. Your dumb move ranks you as about as intelligent at those knuckleheads who protest at funerals.

The Somali and Bantu population in Maine moved here to get AWAY from the Taliban and Al-Queda elements, remember? You just showed them that stupidity travels faster than tolerance.

Another graffitti showed up on Tuesday morning. Less than 36 hours after the announcement Sunday night, the overpass on Forest Avenue and I-295 was plastered with at least a dozen posters, each about 2feet by 5 feet. Huge lettering read “Bin Laden Dead — Troops Come Home.”

I happened to see that one on my way into work. My brother caught me at the bus stop, and offered me a lift into town. My first reaction on seeing those posters was simple. I reflected to myself that wow, it really didn’t take long [after the news of Bin Laden's death] for 9 years of frustration about kids coming home in boxes to make someone get their message of frustration out.

I popped down after work to get a photo, and just seven hours later all the signs had been ripped down and shredded on one side of the street, save one. Apparently, whoever tore those down was unwilling to play “frogger on Forest” to get to the other side to rip those down.

Two messages, one of hatred and one of hope. One water-blasted by a city contractor, one destroyed by someone who apparently likes kids getting shot at.

Some history for you, the reader. In 1978, President Jimmy Carter signed an “aid agreement” with the initial group that would become the Afghan insurgency. We would pass them aid, and supplies, and hopefully, they would manage to suck Soviet troops into what US Secretary of State Zbigniew Brzezinski called “The Afghan Trap.”

Eventually, that group became funded by Reagan and Bush. It was a 9 year long war that killed 14,453 soldiers. Eventually, Gorbachev saw that there was no winning, and decided to pull his troops.

Nine Years. We’ve been at it for nine and a half, lost 2538 people, and had over 10 thousand wounded. Somebody call that former Secretary Of State and ask him about that whole “trap” thing.

Two messages, both politically “unacceptable.” One more so than the other, as it involves hate speech. One torn down because if you don’t “support the troops,” you are scum.

Last week, I was watching this older movie “Gardens of Stone,” a grim story of the burial detail at Arlington National Cemetery. In it, one character wants to get to Viet Nam, to where the “action” is. He relates a story of a helicopter coming back covered with arrows, laughing at the indigenous people using such crude methods. He gets straightened out buy a tough old sergeant. “Can you win against an enemy that is willing to fight you until all that is left is bows and arrows?”

This week, with the killing of Bin Laden, perhaps we as a country have had that “Aha!” bow and arrow moment.

Both messages were similar in this single respect. No matter how we as a city pride ourselves for being included on “best this and that” lists, we still have not learned much.

(Bob Higgins is a regular contributor to The Portland Daily Sun.)

The people who put up the posters made a video and linked to it on the blog post where I first posted the design. A video news release (VNR) perhaps?

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