Saturday, July 14, 2007

Sign of Time for Change

There's a plain, white, rectangular road sign on the east edge of McGreggor, Texas, with three inch tall black letters proclaiming "Observe Warning Signs - Texas State Law." As I rode by it for the third time going away from Crawford, it dawned on me to ask "What bureaucratic idiot authorized this?"

What function could such a sign possibly serve? Do they think that people who ignore icons on bright yellow signs are more likely to respond to this bland message? And how exactly do you enforce a requirement to observe something? Nobody apparently requires us to obey the warnings. Suggested speeds on warning signs remain suggestions.

Soon I was searching for a deeper meaning, a generalization I could glean from this sign. Eventually, it came to me. We all participate in stupid stuff, because the system seems to require it of us. I mean, any of the dozens of people involved in the manufacture and placement of that sign could have stood up and said "I'm not doing this because it doesn't make sense." But none of them did, so the tax dollars were wasted.

I'm sure idiotic examples like this will continue to pop up, but I pray that on big issues - fighting oil wars, polluting the ecosphere, or wasting our youth on junk food & TV - enough people will refuse to participate and we'll force the stupid system to change. Isn't that the heart of responsible citizenship?


Blogger Vernon Huffman said...

More Texas signs:

*A large, electronic reader board, completely blocking the bike lane, proclaiming "Drive Safely." Yeah, that should help promote safety, by creating an obstacle and a distraction.

*A bright yellow diamond warning sign with one word "church," which seems a particularly appropriate warning around here. They can certainly be dangerous institutions.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007 at 5:46:00 PM PDT  

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