Friday, October 13, 2006

100 Things: #17 Patriot

A man was standing, quiet, at the top of one of those triangular traffic islands that dissect Times Square. He was well dressed, a suit and wing tips, head shaved nearly bald. He's white, nondescript in almost every way. Except for the sign. He holds a plain white piece of poster board high above his head. The lettering is black and it says, "Time for the truth. Why are we in Iraq?"

Though I wholeheartedly support the question I probably would have dismissed him as a nutbar if he'd been yelling or confronting people or even if he'd just been less well dressed.

The sign is his only voice, though. He turns slowly from side to side to capture as many eyeballs as possible but that's it.

In the moment that I passed him I wanted my own sign. I wanted everyone to have a sign. I wanted Times Square silent as a tomb and filled with people holding simple, homemade signs.

Why doesn't my daughter have health insurance?
What do my tax dollars really buy?
Why not Obama?

Because, of course, the answers aren't what's most important. What's most important is asking the right questions.


  1. Great, great, great. I'm compelled to hold a sign rhyhming with Obama--"Where is Osama." But I think I'd rather just have the kicker to American Beauty on my sign:

    "Look Closer"

    I'm reading a book by Greil Marcus called The Shape of Things to Come: Prophesy and the American Voice. More at VO tonight (late).

    I love this post, Kizz! I can see the American people rise up in sooth-askin' signage.

    And, of course, I'm pissed off about being in Edison, NJ, where this guy would count himself luck if he were only arrested.

  2. I loved this post. Thank you, thank you for writing it.

    My sign would go well with Vanxie's; it would say "pay attention!" Perhaps we should descend on Times Square?