This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on April 27, 2007 1:56 PM. The previous post in this blog was Performance art. The next post in this blog is On the air. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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Friday, April 27, 2007

Thing of beauty

Read the whole thing.

UPDATE, 3:00 p.m.: Wimp! I hope he lets his neighbors borrow it.

Comments (27)

There have been reports that it is illegal to put a banner on your house (but not on apartments).

Put the banner flat on the ground in the back yard. Make it a neighborhood event.
Bigger than life statues in obscene positions?
How about a giant hand?
Visit an adult toy store for ideas of things to turn in to giant yard art.
Get some WWII style netting over large areas and put art on that. Picture several blocks of creative art, visible only from the air. (The technology was used to hide whole factories during WWII.)

Maybe we can get a design overlay requiring the banners!

How about a LID to finance them?

And we can swear to the city that they won’t be visible from the air.


I'm glad he took it down. It's not as if he needed to keep it up there to keep it in the minds of Portlanders. The news ran with it, and every time a tram controversy comes up, the local news will run their archival footage of the sign as a reminder that not everyone was in love with the tram. This is like a notorious negative political ad that airs once and then gets replayed a thousand times for free on CNN.

And let's be fair. Even if you believe the tram was a colossal boondoggle and the worst civic project in Portland history, real patients do take the tram. Are those the people who need to be flipped the bird?

Now, if you had city council meetings on the tram, then the sign might actually hit its target audience.

real patients do take the tram. Are those the people who need to be flipped the bird?

You need to show your displeasure to as many people as possible. I think it's completely fair game.

If you really wanted to address the patients (and I question how many of them there really are on that thing compered to OHSU employees and the merely curious), you should go with something like: "MALPRACTICE LIMIT: $200K."

Speaking as someone who lives under the damned thing, I can state authoritatively that none of us give much of a damn about the delicate sensibilities of tram riders. The thing was shoved down our throats, the people behind it lied repeatedly to us and the city at large and we have had to sit and take it while the media slavered and drooled over the coolness of it all (Randy Gragg of the Oregonian being a prime offender) and celebrated the loss of our privacy and property values. Given the provocation, I think this homeowner's response is pretty mild.

I also recently learned that there is a *camera* mounted on the tram, which means that no only do we not have *privacy*, we are essentially under surveillance. This further invasion of privacy is also routinely celebrated on local TV. Truth to tell, I don't think *anybody* apart from the neighbors and some folks on this site has yet gotten the real point yet, and I think it's completely legitimate for the neighborhood to continue to make that point, loudly, repeatedly, and as offensively as is necessary. If the elite that OHSU wants to attract and the hoi polloi all have to avoid looking down because there is some tarnishment of OHSU's wonderfulness, well, that's just too f*&%ing bad.

Amen, neighbor.

A camera ON the tram or IN the tram?

What if all of the people and neighborhoods that have been royally screwed over by the clowns in City Hall got together and signed a petition to rescind the right of Council to play "will build to suit" with our laws? Wouldn't that be something???

As I understand it, the camera is *on* the tram -- there's a "Tram Cam" feature on one of the nightly newscasts.

Tracy, count me first in line to sign :).

Hmmm, I wonder the project managers of the tram who are now giving little talks to the PMI (professional project mgt. group) around town will mention this when they get to the success benchmarks of their project?

"As I understand it, the camera is *on* the tram -- there's a "Tram Cam" feature on one of the nightly newscasts."

The camera is the tram tower on the OHSU end. It is a KGW tram cam and all you can see is the tram going up and down. It is a stationary camera.

"You need to show your displeasure to as many people as possible. I think it's completely fair game."

Voicing displeasure is slightly different than dropping the f-bomb on patients and their families. They had nothing to do with the tram being built.

Would it be fair game to put the same sign across the street from an elementary school on the grounds that a lot of kids see it every day? It would make for a funny answer to "What did you learn at school today, Johnny?" But it isn't proper form.

Sorry to be a Mrs. Lovejoy today, but I was stuck on the bus near two PSU students who used F-bombs and nouns, verbs, adjectives, and gerunds the whole ride. That's probably why I don't find "F--- the Tram" to be the height of wit.

patients and their families

Oh, please. Is this "for the children" too?

Tell it to OHSU, who screwed this neighborhood over.

Free speech makes people uncomfortable. That's the beauty of it. If you don't like the message, don't gawk down into that guy's yard.

It would be great to install moving parabolic reflectors on the roof of the homes underneath the tram. Each reflector could be programmed to reflect the sunlight back to the trams as each one travels by.

Not only would light continue to be shed onto the $60 million boondoogle, but it would provide a real solution to prevent the tram users from seeing into the homes and yards of residents who have to endure living under Sam's Trams.

My kids think I'm crazy, but I told them that this is totally "for the children."

The people that own those houses should be able to put anti-tram messages (f-bomb or not)on their roofs, period. It's bad enough that the thing is looming overhead; it was forced on them and they should be allowed to voice their displeasure loud and clear.

Ellie, you are right, the tram was forced on the homeowners underneath the tram. It was forced on the people in the affected neighborhood, and the cost was forced onto the people of Portland.

Everyone was deprived of reasonable and full disclosure on this project, every step of the way. They did not disclose the true costs. They presented initial designs which any expert in the industry knew would not be feasible to meet the engineering needs. And they have misrepresented (nice word for, lied) the impact the tram would have to the immediate community. It was irrelevant to them.

Tom Potter and Crew (CoP leadership) should be held accountable. How? Vote each and every one of them out when the time comes. It is entirely possible that we could elect women and men who truly value community input, especially the community where projects are being proposed.

We may not agree with their decision, but it would be nice to know who the powerbrokers are along the way.

Voicing displeasure is slightly different than dropping the f-bomb on patients and their families. They had nothing to do with the tram being built.

And this guy is using it to make a point. I doubt it would be as memorable if it just said "I don't like the tram."
Frankly, its just a word.

And hey, if you are worried about your kids...I guarantee they are hearing it in more derogatory ways among their friends. You should hear the mouths in my neighborhood. And I am talking kids as little as 5 or 6.

Besides, Rosie O'Donnell recently said she cusses at her kids (when she was defending Alec Baldwin), and the audience applauded...so it must be cool, right?

So much fuss over the f-word. Why not a banner saying "Damn the Tram"? It has the virtue of rhyming.

What is it about that part of town? Anyone remember Urban Renewal? But I guess individual's rights really don't matter in the long run in most parts of town.

By the way, "Damn the Tram" is great. Possible alternative to "another set of lyrics" set to the tune of Beach Boys' "Barbara Ann!"

"Damn, Damn, Damn. Damn, Damn the Tram..."

So the city doesn't like the f-bomb...

Anyone out there with a copy of photoshop, a picture of Tom Potter and company and a picture of a naked male or female....

Make a new sign....lets have some fun with this....just a twisted thought on a saturday morning.

I think the homeowner, Mr Auld, should put the sign back up. The inspector gave him two full weeks notice before the $50.00 fine kicks in. Then I think I would be proud to pay a days fine for him. Any other "sponsers" out there?

Pardon the question, but....

Can we expect the same vigorous enforcement of the sign law with, say, realtors who use more than their one sign and one square foot alloted size per residential property?

Just asking.

so what if jack's next door neighbor puts up a "f*ck jack bog" banner across from his child's window?

just asking...

The whole "for the children" angle here is pathetic and desperate. If I took my kid on the tram, I wouldn't lift him or her up and point out the sign, and so it wouldn't be an issue at all.

As a sign of the times, this is riotous fun.

"The whole 'for the children' angle here is pathetic and desperate."

Just to remind folks where this tangent started, I merely said that I was glad the guy took down his sign. He had (a) made his point, and (b) it would live forever in Web archives and on the local news whenever tram issues come up. I do not believe that the patients who ride the tram are the target audience for the "F--- the Tram" sign, and I stand by that.

There is nothing "pathetic and desperate" about that position. I never demanded he take his sign down. I never questioned his right to put up the sign. To me, this is the same thing as acknowledging that you might scream profanities while you watch a Blazer game at home or at a kid-free sports bar, but you shouldn't do it if you're at a Blazer game seated next to a family. Hardly a revolutionary concept.

It is more "pathetic and desperate" to (a) ride this guy's coattails by publishing a picture of his sign on your website, where nobody's going to complain, then (b) call the guy a wimp when he takes it down, and (c) not put up a similar sign on your property so all your friends and neighbors can enjoy your freedom of expression.

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