Jan 20 2012
I’d like to talk about Billboard Liberation. No, not THAT Billboard Liberation. But rather liberation of billboards that should already be illegal. For you may remember that some years ago the fine citizens of the city of San Angeles passed a ballot measure banning any new billboards in their fair city (Proposition G IIRC.) An exemption was given to Muni with, I assume, most people viewing this exemption as allowing Muni to raise a little bit of cash on the side by continuing to place advertisements on the sides of their buses. Well it seems the clever folks at Texas based Clear Channel put their heads together and concluded that this exemption for Muni was the only way that they could continue to proliferate their obnoxious advertising, against the wishes of the voter of the city of San Angeles. And so they set about replacing most every existing bus stop with new bus stops equipped with brightly lit billboards. They didn’t stop there however. They even placed structures come distance away from the nearest bus stop that were entirely comprised of well lit billboards; essentially lining all of Market St. all the way to The Castro with new advertisements.
But my point for discussing this is that someone has finally taken this opportunity for Direct Action and ran with it, transforming this illegal advertising for corporate gain into informing the public of an opportunity to make their own voice be heard. Friend and former fellow KZSU DJ Steve Lambert writes that The California Department of Corrections has rehabilitated some of these bus stop billboards, transforming them into Ad Council style informational resources informing us of the #Occupy The Banks action taking place later today, Jan. 20th. Kudos for that.
My hope is that more of these billboards are coaxed into doing the right thing and rehabilitated away from illegal advertising and into doing good. Even some simple wheat-pasting would go a long way toward moving them down the path to a better tomorrow. I think we should all stand in support of that happening.