I have mixed feelings about political posters in public spaces, especially when they are obviously placed without permission. On the one hand there are few methods that the average person can use to express their views without spending huge amounts of money. Slapping up a poster anonymously also allows one to express an opinion that may be on the wrong side of the partisan divide from one’s family, community or employer. And unlike blogging, it allows one to reach a geographically targeted audience; the people who vote in your district and whose decisions directly effect your life on a more immediate level. One might not change many people’s minds but it can help to dispel the illusion of uniformity of thought that politicians and the journalistas love to sink into like a warm bath. Currently they are so deep in the suds (I hope those are suds) that even opposition by large numbers of voters is deemed extremism and angry mobs of fringe group wackos. It has gotten to the point that the insulated class are withdrawing behind a wall of union muscle in SEIU meeting halls with phony citizenry consisting of campaign workers bussed in to create “public town-hall meetings” because dissent is so foreign to them that they can only see it as some weird cult (AUM-Tea-bagyo), even if that cult represents not just opposing partisans but formerly undecideds and even former supporters. Quite a sizable cult to be sure. But I digress.
Even expressing one’s views on one’s own property can be complicated for renters or people who live under the rules of a home owner’s association (and that’s an issue for another day – how do we strike a balance with such associations between wanting to avoid living next to someone who covers his house with pink masking tape and spells out obscene words on his lawn with plastic paving stones without having every square inch of land under the control of fascist twits who ban children from playing outside and demand that every house be identical to the ones near it.)
But on the other hand (that’s the second one for those of you keeping count), most people don’t want to be confronted with someone else’s politics every few feet on every wall, lamp post and mailbox. That’s what yard sale signs and ads for garage bands are for.
But given the number of “BUSH IS HITLER!!!!!!!!!” signs* I have been subjected to for eight years, I have to say I was incredibly impressed, surprised, refreshed and amused by what I saw today on a crosswalk post. Here, in the heart of Far-Eastern Soviet Canuckistan (i.e. the city of Fredericton), someone had placed one of those “Socialist” Obama as The Joker posters there to brighten my day, albeit a black and white version – someone lacking enough of the “means of production” to be able to afford colour copying it seems.
I glanced at it, smiled because I realized that this was actually placed in the real world rather than cyberspace and turned back to it, still smiling while waiting for the walk light and said “Why so stimulus?” (Not my line but one I admire. I also like “Why so socialist?” but with the word Socialism on the sign I thought it was too obvious even for an inanimate poster). This image was also originally done by a young non-Obama Democrat which proves that there are some Democrats who are able to be creative and observant (they are probably the ones who become Republicans after a decade or two and say things like: “Back then I never thought I could ever be a Republican and now I can’t believe I was ever a Democrat.”). It also proves that something can be “racist” until it is found to be the work of a Democrat and then the racist aspect evaporates. The ninth law of political vapor constants, I believe. And if hating Obama’s policies is racist then some blacks are becoming racist. Not many but every one helps.
When you’re smilin’,
Oh when you’re smilin’
The whole world smiles with you.
* Just to compare the analogies:
Bush was elected twice by mass majority, had no control over the media and left office without any armies surrounding his capital – Hitler, not so much. He was elected as a minority power and let his thugs take it from there. He also exerted total control over the media, the economy, and everything else you care to mention. National Socialism is still socialism.
Obama came into town, made lots of demands, did a lot of damage, set fire to a big pile of money and cracked jokes that only he thought were funny. Whereas The Joker… Holy crap! Bit on the nose I’d say.