Tuesday, May 17, 2005


Post no bills

All cities have ordinances restricting the posting of handbills, but the first amendment -- and common sense -- require some outlet for posting the free speech acts and cultural announcements that proliferate, especially, in a university town. Our town, for example, employs the common practice of using designated handbill kiosks.

Grass roots organizers and low-cost advertizers are great at sending people out with staple guns and rolls of tape to post handbills. But who takes them down after the date of the advertized event has passed? Today I learned:


The hanbill cleanup guy, who was very friendly and remarkably cheerful considering the job he was assigned, mentioned that the innermost layer of handbills dated back to 1999.

Here is the kiosk across the street, after "cleaning":


An archeological dig of local culture?



Woah! Those are awesome pictures. So colorful. I'd like to make myself a coat of recycled handbills to wear proudly down the street.
I have a horrible fear of being buried alive in a pile of notes, junk mail, coloring sheets and returned homework (not an unrealistic fear at all, in our household). The mental picture of this fear looks a lot like those photos. They are strangely pretty, though.
Very cool pictures. I love the one of the cleaned-off kiosk. It's like a tree with most, but not all, of the leaves off.

I've never jumped in a pile of leaves or a pile of handbills...
Thanks MT! I like the coat idea. You could could probably build a prototype by Photoshopping the pile of handbills from my photo and see how it looks on your avatar.

Allison: thanks for the pleasant image. Now I know what I'm going to dream about the next three nights.

Kathy: 9 more nevers and you can post your list of "10 things I've never done."
So many events! I miss living in a town with kiosks with tree-ring-like accretions of handbills. It ain't like that in the suburbs...
Oh, and I bet you are the only law professor who stopped to talk to the handbill-removal guy on the way to work today. That is why you are a way cool blogger.
Okay, I'm gonna clear things up for the readers who don't know Oscar personally. The guy in that photo is no handbill cleanup guy. It's Oscar himself. He has a lot of time on his hands and likes to "volunteer" for these kinds of public service activities. I've even seen him bagging groceries at the supermarket. Nonetheless, I agree with Phantom Scribbler. Oscar is cool. Way cool.
That's extremely cool. Thanks for outing him, Tonya.

I'm not saying that Tonya was kidding, but you should allow for the possibility. Or were you kidding?
Oscar, no, I didn't detect any kidding in her comment, so I took her word for it. Are you going to set us straight?

Now I'm wondering if you're actually in Poland and I should actually think that's awesome, or if my jokiness radar is broken.
When I lived in Iowa City, they used to set fire to the cement kiosks every so often. Seriously. That got rid of all the handbills right quick.
That's not Oscar. He would never wear his pants inside his sneakers. Don't worry, oh mighty OM, your secret identity is safe with me.

So is the real reason you're in Poland to not have to wait in line for Episode 3?
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