Everywhere a sign
Blockin’ out the scenery
Breakin’ my mind
Do this, don’t do that
Can’t you read the sign?”
Songwriter: Les Emmerson
Released in 1970 by The Five Man Electrical Band.
The Monthly Monochrome for August celebrates the sign, one of the most excellent of photo subjects.
Why such high praise for the simple sign?
When I want to take a picture of a sign, it doesn’t give me a ration of grief like my tweener grandchildren do. Unlike dogs and tweeners, signs don’t fidget in the middle of a shot – unless you count neon signs that blink or flicker. They don’t complain about having to pose or stand still. They don’t look at the photo and get all pissy because they didn’t smile or because they blinked (even the neon signs don’t complain when they’ve blinked). In fact, they don’t complain about anything.
A photo of a sign always has a story attached to it. Otherwise what’s the purpose in putting up a sign?
Signs can be clever; they can be funny or they can be off putting; they can be quirky; they can be attractive; they can be confusing and confounding, and they’re usually, but not always, informative.
Signs can be like people. And why not? After all, people make them. Signs come in various sizes, shapes and colors – just like people. Just like people they can make you happy or piss you off. They can have their own politics and religions.
A sign can be bossy and stern like your, “No Trespassing – Violators will Be Prosecuted” placard, or, a sign can be polite, such as “Please Clean Up After Your Dog.”
But enough of this palaver. Let’s get to the main event.
Green Bay, Wisconsin.
Attorney for John Barleycorn’s defense?