Thursday, September 8, 2005

Crazy Sign Guy and Hurricane Katrina

Crazy Sign Guy lives in my neighborhood on one of my main routes out of the area. Victorianist Colleague and I have been fascinated with him since we each moved here (she a year before I), so he’s been putting up his signs for at least three years now.

The signs are large – about 6x8 feet – and painted on white plastic sheeting stapled to two-by-fours planted in the front yard of his brownstone. Most of the time they’re in black lettering, but lately he’s been experimenting with colors. We think they mostly have to do with a custody battle and the ex’s new man, but it was only after many signs that any sense of context or narrative was even hazily clear. (They’re a bit like a crazed version of the old Burma Shave ads in that way, I suppose.) Usually the signs are cryptic in meaning and as often as not shocking in the language (as well as a little puzzling in their punctuation). A typical Crazy Sign Guy sign says something like: The Rapist! Is a White Nigger! (Crazy Sign Guy is black, by the way.)

But Sign Guy’s latest sign has taken on a heartbreaking clarity and brilliance, the context of which we all know. This week it says:

We’re not


On a related note, thanks to Danah at apophenia I discovered this, John Scalzi’s response to the devastation in New Orleans. Here's just a short quote:
Being poor is seeing how few options you have.
Being poor is running in place.
Being poor is people wondering why you didn't leave.
One last Katina-related note…You’ve probably noticed I haven’t been blogging my outrage over the horrifyingly callous and ineffective response of the authorities to this disaster. Well, I just figure the rest of the blogosphere is already doing that quite well and I don’t have anything original to add here. Plus, we do plenty of that at CatchingFlies. If shared outrage is what you want, I recommend: Michael Bérubé, Bitch Ph.D., and AncreneWiseass (though I got her outraged over Ivan Tribble for the time being, I think she’ll be back to Katrina soon).

Oh, and give money to the relief organization of your choice! Some info via Thanks for Not Being a Zombie:

United Way Hurricane Katrina Response Fund:For checks: United Way of America, PO Box 630568, Baltimore, MD, 21263-0568

American Red Cross1-800-435-7669 (Help Now-English) or 1-800-257-7575 (Help Now-Spanish)

Salvation Army1-800-725-2769

Heart to Heart International

The following voluntary agencies are all members of the network of National Voluntary Agencies Active in Disaster and have specific roles to play in response, such as: child care, damage assessment, mental health counseling, mass care, food distribution, long term recovery, debris clean-up, etc.

America’s Second Harvest, 1-800-344-8070
Adventist Community Services, 1-800-381-7171
Catholic Charities USA, 1-703-549-1390
Christian Disaster Response, 1-863-967-4357
Christian Reformed World Relief Committee, 1-800-848-5818
Church World Service, 1-800-297-1516
Convoy of Hope, 1-417-823-8998
Lutheran Disaster Response, 1-800-638-3522
Mennonite Disaster Service, 1-717-859-2210
Nazarene Disaster Response, 1-888-256-5886
Presbyterian Disaster Response, 1-800-872-3283
Southern Baptist Convention, 1-800-462-8657 x6440
United Methodist Committee on Relief, 1-800-554-8583

No comments: