Against Signs

This is a rant against signs. If you like signs, beware.

The origin and purpose of most signs: someone is irked so they post a sign to irk someone else. Give an irked person a wall, or any surface actually, and they will slap up a sign with sticky tape or nails, usually big, and irk everyone else. But the only people who read signs are those for whom they are not intended. Thus the irk cycle continues as the irkers piss off the needlessly irked, and the irkees continue as they always have, ignoring the irked.

Signs are the least effective and most practiced means of communication. Visually and emotionally, and in their manufacture they pollute the environment — and have no effect on the behaviors they are intended to control.

The only useful signs are those that post information that people need — the name of the street, the hours of operation, emergency numbers — or warn of hidden dangers, like “Touch This Fence and You Will Be Fried.”

Have you ever seen a park close at dark? Or no one drinking alcoholic beverages? Or no radios (or the latest equivalent). Our local park, a triangle at the intersection of three streets, very small, now has signs larger than itself. it has made no difference whatsoever. (Update, 2012: The park has been destroyed, cherry trees and daffodils uprooted. Because the vagrants who liked to drink there wouldn’t read the signs.)

In my next life I’m gong to be an invisible sign stealer. Sell them at Flea Markets for interior decor.

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