Monday, August 04, 2008

Itsy Bitsy Revolution

A while ago I think I gave you all the link to HopeRevo. I had all the best intentions of going right out and waging the revolution of hope way back then but, of course, I didn't get to it. I mean, look at the beautiful cards people make, I had to take time out and create gorgeous one-of-a-kind cards with original heart felt sentiments. Then I had to load my camera and choose locations and wait to deploy the cars when there was no one around so I could take pictures. After that I'd have to post them on Flickr with witty titles and earnest descriptions.

On the one hand you could look at all those conditions as a recipe for making a unique personal contribution to the revolution. On the other hand you could look at it as a whole list of hurdles set up specifically to make it OK for me to do nothing at all.

Right before my lunch break one day last week I decided that a. I needed some inspiration myself and b. it was better to participate in a small way than not to participate at all. I spent maybe 20 minutes with a quote web site and some neon orange post it notes and put together about 10 post its with inspiring messages and the HopeRevo url on the bottom. The hardest part there was to make sure it was a gentle and encouraging direction not an order that might make someone feel guilty for not improving themselves RIGHT FUCKING NOW! For instance instead of "Don't procrastinate, tell your story." I used "Tell your story. We are listening."

Then I hit the bricks. Getting rid of the first one was hard in the same way that taking surreptitious street portraits is hard for me. I didn't want someone to see me and ask me what I was doing. I had no idea what I'd say if they did. I knew that if I could drop the first one it'd be easier to do the rest. Finally I reached into one of those free newspaper dispensers and got myself a free newspaper while leaving a bright orange inspiring post it note for the next person who took one. Then I had a sort of MO. I ducked into a phone booth and dropped one there. I hit the book store and left some in the stacks - fiction, sci fi, self-help - but my favorite one was the one I slapped on the plexiglass side of the escalator as I was going up to the fiction section. I really wish I had a hidden camera so I could see who got that one. Later I pasted one to the side of a mail box, probably my second favorite.

You gotta try this! It's silly and fun and, hopefully, it's silly and fun for the people who pick them up. I'm totally doing this again. Maybe some day I'll do the whole nine yards of special cards and photographs and internet documentation but if it's just the post its and the quote sites and a quiet lunch hour that's OK with me, too.


  1. I LOVE this idea. I'm totally doing it. Direct me to a good quote site, please; I'm having a little trouble coming up with really good ones.

  2. Anonymous12:37 AM

    I agree - this is great! I want to do it too. Scratch that. I WILL do it. My city can use a little hope!

  3. How cynical am I? I want to do it, and I will, but I'm afraid the finders will assume the cards are from some sort of cult/religion/political group with a veiled agenda.

    Hmmm... maybe there's a way to start this at school...