Population Statistic: Read. React. Repeat.
Sunday, April 25, 2021

on the line
Last week, I noticed the following messaging taped to an L train car window:

Nail Clipping:
Under no circumstances is the Subway the right place for this. The sound is incredibly annoying and the little nail bits go flying all over the place. Keep it at home please. It’s crazy that this even needs to be mentioned.

It was printed on a standard-looking, nondescript Metropolitan Transportation Authority announcement poster. Or so it would seem on first glance. That quirky “it’s crazy” closing line was the first tip-off that I was looking at a crafted piece of public-art craftiness. The second was the just-off colors of the poster, despite the dead-on font style and layout.

The third would have been the above “Metropolitan Etiquette Authority” logo, a take-off of the MTA’s stylized mark. I didn’t get close enough to the poster to scope out that subtle element. Luckily, Jay Shells, the “artivist” mastermind behind this, explains his motives online:

I surveyed 100 people on their top pet-peeves (not service related) while riding the Subway. I narrowed the results down to the top ten most occurring issues and rewrote them as a sort of list of rules. I designed posters in the style of the Service Changes posters we see everyday and silkscreened about 40 of each (400 total) and am currently putting them up on trains throughout the city, throughout this week. I encourage people to look out for them, and to take them before the MTA does.

And it turns out that Shells inaugurated his guerilla-style cleanup campaign on the L line. So I was among the first to see the posters in the wild. I can’t say I’ve suffered through any of these pet peeves to a great degree, although I’ve been riding the urban rails long enough to have been exposed to all of them. But any efforts to curb their occurrence is most welcomed.

Had I known ahead of time, I definitely would have grabbed that nail-clipping announcement, as Shells encourages. If I see it, or one of its brethren, this coming week during my now-steady L commute, I’ll nab that paper as I step off.

(Hat tip to Bobulate)

by Costa Tsiokos, Sun 04/25/2010 07:35 PM
Category: Creative, New Yorkin'
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son of krypton
I don’t recall this terse last-minute exchange in the standard origin mythos of the Man of Steel:

Lara: I mean, whatever, the whole planet is going to blow up in like five minutes. I can’t see how it would have made any difference.
Jor-El: This is why you’ll never understand ethics.
Lara: Not unless you can explain it in the next five minutes!
Jor-El: It’s pretty simple: you wanted to kill the baby.
Lara: By sucking it out of my womb, and you want to kill the baby by blasting it into space.
Jor-El: Not kill it! Get it off Krypton before the planet explodes.
Lara: Isn’t it your fault that the planet is exploding?
Jor-El: How is that relevant?

Hmm. With such toxic parenting (however brief), it’s no wonder that Superman developed an allergic reaction to the remnants of his home planet. In fact, based on this, I wonder if his vulnerability to kryptonite isn’t really psychosomatic — a suppressed-memory reaction to Jor-El’s and Lara’s post-natal negative vibes…

by Costa Tsiokos, Sun 04/25/2010 05:57 PM
Category: Comedy, Pop Culture
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