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Anti-car graffiti on Oregonian billboard

Posted by Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) on May 11th, 2007 at 8:42 am

Spotted a funny billboard on N. Vancouver (near Legacy Hospital) this morning.

Billboard for Oregonian classifieds spotted on N. Vancouver.
File photo: 5/11/07

It's an ad for the Oregonian's classified section. I also saw one in the paper that shows a just-married couple dragging cans behind them with despondent facial expressions and the same "Need a car?" tag line.

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Comments
  • Joe May 11, 2007 at 8:51 am

    Funny they would put that on such a busy bike route... What a perfect response.

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  • jami May 11, 2007 at 9:53 am

    the wedding couple with the cans don't need a car, either. the fiance and i are planning on riding a "bicycle built for two" away from our eventual nuptials. hopefully with cans attached.

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  • Dabby May 11, 2007 at 9:57 am

    Graffiti is bad, no matter how funny....

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  • chelsea May 11, 2007 at 10:20 am

    i just saw one on my way into work this morning. it was tag free. but i automatically thought "umm..no."

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  • peejay May 11, 2007 at 11:09 am

    We need a little banksy in this town.

    http://www.banksy.co.uk/outdoors/horizontal_1.htm

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  • Carl May 11, 2007 at 11:34 am

    Defacing private property is illegal and those people aren't wearing helmets.

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  • Lazlo May 11, 2007 at 11:38 am

    Ha Ha. Tagging billboards is juvenile and stupid. Either ignore the billboard or buy your own.

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  • Mike May 11, 2007 at 12:30 pm

    Billboards are juvenile, stupid, and bad...more tagging please.

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  • tonyt May 11, 2007 at 12:59 pm

    You know Carl, on a certain level I agree, they are private property and it is illegal and all that, but sometimes some of the billboards out there just ask for it.

    Those forest "management" PR billboards a while back? Loved it when those got nailed.

    And those Clear Channel ones that claimed that CC "gave a voice" to locals? What the bleep ever.

    And all those jingoistic ones that were omnipresent in the run-up to the war?

    Propaganda begs for redress.

    http://antiadvertisingagency.com/projects/light-criticism/

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  • Carl May 11, 2007 at 1:20 pm

    Um...I was kidding.
    I have no problem with cleverly bombing billboards (and freights, and warehouses, and retaining walls, and bridge pylons...). I should also note that I have no problem with the fact that the people in the picture were not wearing helmets. I was kidding about that, too.

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  • Helen Wheels May 11, 2007 at 1:20 pm

    Remember Focus on the Family's billboard (The right-wing, anti-gay religious group from Colorado Springs) at SE 21st & Belmont?

    It said "Focus on the Family" and a picture of a hetero family. Someone inserted "your own" before "Family."

    I think civil disobedience of this sort is essential. Can you imagine what Portland would be like without it? A city of lemmings, like everywhere else?

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  • P Finn May 11, 2007 at 1:24 pm

    Billboards, I have long felt, are the pissnpoop of the cityscape; architectural masturbation, no, rape. I make a point of not buying products/services so advertised. And Clear Channel can s### my b###s.

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  • tonyt May 11, 2007 at 1:32 pm

    Sorry Carl, I figured you were kidding about the helmets.

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  • Brad May 11, 2007 at 2:06 pm

    Helen - Portland is a city of lemmings like everywhere else. Just because we have a few more cyclists, a few more lefty pols and a lot of strip clubs doesn't make us different. In fact, if people from elsewhere keep moving to Stumptown, we'll just be another cookie cutter American city with teeming with congested roads, big box stores, chain restaurants, and...oops! That's already happened. I guess our civil disobedience wasn't enough to scare off Pottery Barn and Hooter's.

    Portland is nice enough but get a few miles away from close-in hipster neighborhoods and it could be Columbus, OH or Kansas City, MO. Only the hills and fir trees make it different. The Wal-Mart on SE 82nd is just like the Wal-Mart in Little Rock, AR and that represents 80% of Portland's metro population and social demographic.

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  • ME May 11, 2007 at 2:29 pm

    What's the talk of wearing helmets?...they're in a carwash w/o a car...that's the tag...they need a car to go through a carwash...not helmets. It's not a bike ad. It could be one day if the bicycling community gets it together.

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  • tonyt May 11, 2007 at 3:17 pm

    mmm, as Carl said, he was kidding about the helmets too.

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  • Eh, Brad? Are you advocating that the rest of us should just give up to the lemming majority and go over the cliff already?

    If so, I say... "Cannonball!"

    No, wait.

    I think it's up to the rest of us to resist the lemming tide, to express our disagreement with Clear Channel's mass marketing when appropriate -- and this sort of tagging is certainly an appropriate use of a little bit of white paint to get the message across. It's a bit of positive reinforcement to everybody riding by on that bicycle route that, yes, we are not alone. Walmart may OWN everything east of 82nd Ave, but in Central P-town, it should be abundantly clear which way the wind blows.

    It's up to all of us to do our best to express that.

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  • Morgan May 11, 2007 at 4:58 pm

    I like the one about how Vegetarians taste good too.

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  • weastsider May 11, 2007 at 8:38 pm

    Need a Car?

    Need a Planet?

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  • Les Pozdena May 11, 2007 at 11:15 pm

    This made me laugh. http://tinyurl.com/2jt2eq

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  • PPS Educator May 12, 2007 at 10:49 am

    Read a semi-related piece in the snoreagonian - perhaps we should send letters of thanks to Judge Michael H. Marcus regarding this one...

    Repost:
    Clear Channel rebuffed over size of billboards

    A Multnomah County Circuit judge struck down Clear Channel Outdoor's quest to add to its position as the most prolific billboard company in Portland. Clear Channel is in the midst of a nine-year court battle to add or replace more than 60 of its 500 billboards in the city. All 60 signs would exceed the city's 200-square-foot sign limit that effectively outlaws new billboards.

    Judge Michael H. Marcus on Tuesday rejected the company's request in a 37-page ruling. He also overturned a previous ruling that granted Clear Channel nearly $1 million in damages and attorneys fees from the city.

    Marcus upheld his previous ruling that Portland's 1990s sign code was unconstitutional because it regulated art murals and billboards differently. (The city eventually changed the code to treat the two equally.)

    Clear Channel argued that the separate treatment should make the entire sign code void. But Marcus said Clear Channel wasn't entitled to damages or new signs because the code has always prohibited signs larger than 200 square feet, a restriction he said is legal.

    -- Ryan Frank
    http://www.oregonlive.com/business/oregonian/index.ssf?/base/business/1178763913314420.xml&coll=7

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  • Brad May 14, 2007 at 9:12 am

    Garlynn - express your displeasure with The Oregonian. They bought and produced (or paid for production) of the ad. Clear Channel just owns the billboard and had space to sell.

    If tagging signs we cyclists don't like is mild civil disobedience then can car buffs can go tag a River City or Bike Gallery to express themselves? I assume they also have this right?

    If neighborhoods can retain their unique charms then great. Cross the river. The westside is already homogenized and the inner east and north end of town are gentrifying (and homengenizing) as out-of-staters move because of our consistent "Best Place to Live" rankings and buy homes in the "unique" 'hoods. That new blood and money will attract chain stores, coffee houses, etc. and they have the cash and patience to outlast legal and zoning challenges. In another ten years, Portland will be indistinguishable from other US cities. I travel for business a fair amount and am seeing less and less "different" in Portland. Nearly everyone else is doing new urbanism, lofts, arts districts, chain stores and restaurants building in local architectural styles, light rail or something similar, and celebrating being in the city.

    I don't advocate that you give in and become a lemming however, I think that many in Portland over estimate the strength and speed of the wind. The "storm" is beginning to weaken.

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  • matchu May 14, 2007 at 10:27 am

    Lazlo, could you finance my new art project? I need funds for a personal billboard since I just discovered that they're not cheap enough to be budgeted into my income.

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  • Toby May 14, 2007 at 12:34 pm

    We've wandered away from the bike aspects of the story, but I can't resist pointing out that Sao Paulo has outlawed all billboards. I'd love to see Portland follow suit... I don't see how you can make any sort of argument in their favor - the ads in a magazine may make it cheaper for me to buy, and the ads before a movie may also lower the price I pay to see it. So as much as they make me grit my teeth, I can see that there's some reason to put up with them. But the huge, inane Oregonian billboard helps to defray my cost of what? It is a sort of architectural mugging, an abuse of public space. I'd say it's uglier and more detrimental than any graffiti.

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  • Vespabelle May 14, 2007 at 8:42 pm

    Watch out Jonathon, Lars Larson is going to go after you on his show now as "promoting vandalism" like they did when Food Fight! posted an approving post about a defaced beef billboard.

    just kidding. I have no problem with people defacing this visual pollution.

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  • Cecil May 14, 2007 at 9:48 pm

    "We’ve wandered away from the bike aspects of the story, but I can’t resist pointing out that Sao Paulo has outlawed all billboards. I’d love to see Portland follow suit…"

    Unless the Oregon Constitution is amended in the future, don't count on that ever happening. For the same reason that Oregon had more strip clubs per capita, billboards are also protected. Personally, it is a price I am willing to pay for free expression, but I understand that not everyone feels the same.

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  • Anonymous May 14, 2007 at 10:52 pm

    You don't have to go to Brazil to take a billboard vacation. They're illegal in Vermont, too.

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