Thursday, April 23, 2009

Protest Sign Violations

There were "Tea Party" tax protests across the country last week on the 15th, the very day that we're all supposed to bend over and let the government dry ream us from behind in the form of paying our taxes for the year. (By the way, if you ever hear anyone say that they "got money back" and "didn't have to pay" taxes, please remind them that they did have to pay and that the money that they "got back" was their money to start with! Everyone who actually pays taxes always pays and they pay a hell of a lot.) The protests were your typical demonstration/protest/semi-large gathering of people who like to think that they're making a difference. Hey, and good for them. Doing something is better than doing nothing, right? Yeah, most of the time.

The time when doing something is not better than doing nothing is when what you're doing is or could be detrimental to your cause. Whenever I see a bunch of signs at any sort of demonstration, I'm always amazed at a variety of things that I see as setbacks for the cause. And thanks to a bunch of photos that I lifted with neither permission nor malice from The Huffington Post I have plenty of examples of said potential setbacks (and more than one example of what can only be characterized as 'diminished capacity.') Let's take a look at some of the concepts that the demonstration sign folks always seem to have trouble getting a grip on, shall we?

The first thing that really grates on me is when people take whatever or whoever it is that they don't like and make the Hitler comparison. It chaps me even more when they make a tasteless Hitler comparison. (As if there is a tasteful Hitler comparison. There isn't, but you know what I mean.) Behold! The mis-use of Hitler!



Oh, my God.

Looking at all of the inappropriate Hitler referenced signs reminds me of another common problem sign amongst the ranks of sign folks. Spacing, people! That top sign, upon first glance, looks like they scrawled "Obama-Hiller" and did so with a Bic ballpoint. You folks couldn't spring for two bucks for a Sharpie or something? It looks awful. Of course, upon further examination, you can tell that the intended message is to be "Obama = Hitler". Again, an incorrect conclusion. Yes, Hitler was bad. But I don't know if the root of Hitler's evil stemmed from taxes imposed upon the German citizens. In fact, I'm pretty sure it was absolutely not taxes that made Hitler such a despised leader. Taxes were probably the least of the problems that Hitler was responsible for

I noticed that it looked like the sign said something else as well. Turns out that when I reversed the image, I could read the message scrawled on the other side of what has to be the world's thinnest poster board. (Judging from the limited budget of this project, that could just be a reinforced piece of tissue paper for all I know.) Since it was hard to see, I traced over it in Photoshop. And while the tracing isn't exactly a perfect rendition of the opposite side, it's extremely close. And I point that out because it brings me to another Protest Sign Guideline: Try to have your sign not look like it was done by a fairly competent chimpanzee because while it might be "primate good" it's not "human good".

The message on the opposite side reads: "Time To Clean Sweep Washington." So wait. "Obama = Hitler" on one side and "Time To Clean Sweep Washington" other side? Do those two have anything to do with each other? I'm pretty sure they do not, but if she'd like to sweep Obama out of his position in a similar fashion to how Hitler was swept from his, she might want to stop and think about all that sweeping Hitler out entailed. Totally necessary, don't get me wrong, but I'm pretty sure that we can resolve our differences within this country without a full blown World War.

The second Hitler reference sign there is a good use of Photoshop and a proper font. But again, President Barry is not comparable to Hitler. AT ALL! He's not Hitler. He's not Muslim. He's not a Muslim Hitler. So knock it off. And while I'm at it, you sir? There in the third picture? References to Jews and ovens is just not appropriate. It's rather sensationalistic and inflammatory. Please see the above explanation as to how Hitler and taxes are not a good comparison of which to liken President Barry to. It's just not.

Then there's the uninformed sign displayer. These folks mean well, but they tend to get at least one fact completely wrong. Like this chap:

I really like the "Can You Feel the Revolution?" slogan on this sign. However, they wrote the word "the" so damn small that at first glance, all you see is "Can you feel revolution?" Sadly, I cannot. But the problem with the sign is that it's incorrect. If they're wondering if the "tea party" that they are attending is what it was like at the real Boston Tea Party in 1776, they're going to be wondering that for quite some time, as the Boston Tea Party took place in 1773. Please, as a general rule, always have a factually accurate sign. Otherwise, you won't be seen so much as being a "protester" as much as you'll be seen as a "moron". Not exactly what I imagine you were striving for.

Nonsensical signs are always in abundance. Here we have a guy warning us about the "plan" for "white slavery". Whatever, dude. Come hang out with me for a day or two and I'll show you some white slavery. I'm exhausted.

I am not a fan of bringing children to a protest unless they are fully aware of what their protesting and unless they actually want to protest. Even if they want to protest just to get out of school for the day, I'm OK with that. Political involvement and activism has to start somewhere and I highly doubt it's going to be in a classroom of a public school in America. It sucks, but it's true. But if you're going to bring your kids, please give them a sign that they can justify displaying. Behold!

See, now those two seem awfully young to be working and paying taxes and paying their mortgage. They could be, but I doubt it. And if they are, shouldn't they be at a rally to rescind child labor laws instead? Perhaps the kid below could go with them. He, apparently, feels he has been "Taxed Enough Already." What is he? Like 9? If he thinks he's been taxed enough at this point, he's in for a not so pleasant surprise in a few years when he actually has a job!

I also prefer the child sign bearers to look enthused. The trio here? Not enthused. Bored is what they seem.

The girls below represent several things that irritate me about sign holders at these protests. Starting on the left, your sign needs to be readable without squinting. I look at that and the first thing I see is "HOWA". (Pretty good. And Howa you?) Upon further examination, one can tell that it says "How a bill becomes a law." Now, I have watched Schoolhouse Rock numerous times and I know this one! She, unfortunately, does not seem to have watched Schoolhouse Rock, as the rest of her sign reads "1. READ IT!! 2. READ IT!! 3. READ IT!!" Yeah, that's not quite all there is to it. I'm sure it has a deeper meaning, but I don't know what she's going for.

Then there's the one on the right which reads "Politics: POLI - Latin Root word for "many" TICS - Blood sucking animals!" OK, I'll give her credit for trying. It's original, but it's wrong. The Latin root for "many" is actually "poly". "Poli" means "city". And "ticks" are blood sucking animals, but "tics" are involuntary body movements. But the real definitions would work well for her also. You've got "poli" meaning "city" and "tics" meaning "spasms" which together form "politics" which equals a spastic city! And that's pretty accurate! Excellent concept, poor execution.

Below, the woman's sign indicates that her name is Hope, but not "The Congress Taxing Hope". Do people actually call you that, ma'am? Is your mail coming to your home addressed to "The Congress Taxing Hope Smith?" You should really talk to someone about that if it's the case. Postmaster General, perhaps. Aside from unwanted nomenclatures however, her other sign's message is completely lost due to a glaring (and somewhat inconceivable) spelling error. I realize that your Magic Markers don't come with spell check, but seriously, does that look right to you? Behold!

Yeah, that's supposed to say "Socialist". It's not even close to "socialist". No, that says "Scholiast". What the hell is "scholiast"? As far as that yellow picture at the bottom of her sign, I've tried to read what it says under the drawing (which appears to either be a snail, an anthill or a thimble. I'm not sure which one, but since they're all so similar, it's only natural that I'd be confused.) and I've narrowed it down to either "Buy American" or "Give Hope".

Honestly, how seriously am I supposed to take someone and their message when they can't even make sure that they're going to have enough room on your sign to have their screed be easily readable and not look like it was wrote by a first grader? A slow first grader. Behold!

"WERNOT GOINGTOTAKEIT AMERICA IS HUMBLE" Wernot? Wer who? You and your buddy to the left, a one Julio the Contractor (according to his sign)? Should I be concerned that both "socialism" and "contractor" are in quotes? I'm guessing I should be, but only if you're going to be retiling my bathroom. I think I'll be more concerned about Wernot.

Whoa! Anti-abortion?! How'd that get in here?!

I don't know how it got in here either. Don't you folks have your own staged protests all the time? Can't you protest there so that your ridiculous sign doesn't look out of place and you feel right at home with all of the other morons holding signs with a similar screed? Like this woman:

Multiple offenses in that sign. The scrawling. The poor grammar. The off topic-ness. (I had no idea that these "tea party" protests were because someone just loooooovvvves baby killing.) She also seems a little unclear on the concept of how these signs work. You know, with the stick part being vertical, as if you were holding a flag. It's not supposed to be horizontal, as if you're advertising the daily special on your sandwich board there. (She has no bell.)

While I'm not a fan of the uninformed and even less of a fan of the dim witted, sometimes their simple antics amuse me. Like the woman below, who has a rambling sign instructing those with the power to "Impeach Osama". I'm not sure which term she doesn't understand the meaning of. "Impeach" or "Osama." It's clearly one of them because her sign makes NO sense. Regardless, I do find it to be quite comical that she made President Barry Irish and spelled his name "O'Bama". Behold!

And where is this guy's teleprompter? At least if he had one of those we might have a better chance that he'd know how to spell 'teleprompter'. Does his sign say "Give me your money" because he wants to go out and buy more tape for his sign, as it does not appear to have nearly enough.

So many people were off topic at various protests. The folks below want us to know that "God is Judging America for 50+ Million Abortions." Yeah, well, even if he is, that would have to mean that he's also judging morons with idiotic signs at tax protests.

This cowboy and his sign were spotted down in Texas, complete with pitchfork! Oh, if he only had a torch to go with said pitchfork! (It'd be like American Gothic, Anarchy Edition.) Behold!

Yes, sir. Guns tomorrow. And serenity now.

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Ruth@VS said...

Hilarious! What makes me laugh is the American concept of socialism, which is so wide of the mark it's ridiculous. Even our atrocious government in the UK couldn't technically be described as socialist and The Daily Show did an amusing piece on European "socialism" this week - the US is never going to get close to it!

Anyway, you certainly have more grammatically-challenged and plain bonkers protestors over there, ours seem to be better educated and much more serious - give me yours any day! We need a laugh these days...

Mare said...

Exactly! The majority of folks here do not grasp the full socialism concept. Though its not quite as large of a number as the folks who do not grasp basic grammar and spelling. They are good for amusement, however.

(My favorite misspelled sign of all time was some dude holding a sign that read "Get a Brain! MORANS!" Hilarious.)