So today, on my way to the YWCA for my swim, I passed by a billboard at Granvill and Drake that was really, really disturbing. I tried taking a picture tonight, but with the crappy digital camera that I have, along with a glaring spotlight on the billboard meant that it didn’t come out. If I remember to take a picture tomorrow I’ll pop it up here.
However! I can describe this, and you just get the idea. The picture was of a mangy-looking squirrel, holding some sort of handgun. This of course, was a 6-foot tall squirrel, with large pointy-looking claws, holding a gun (were it normal size, the claws wouldn’t look nearly so scary). The caption read ‘If they could protect themselves, we wouldn’t need to’. It was posted by the ‘Friends of Fur-Bearers’. There was no contact information anywhere on the poster, and a cursory web-search for the group turned up no-results (Ironically, that search turned up a number of pro-fur trade sites).
This sign is disturbing in several ways – first – it’s perhaps the worst protest billboard I’ve seen in a while. There’s no call to action, there’s nothing for the viewer to engage with. In fact, the message tells us that this group is looking after these animals, so we don’t reall have to (semantics, but still). Then, the squirrel is holding a handgun. This contributes to the idea that the only way to protect oneself is with a handgun. It promotes the idea that handguns are a good form of self-protection. It seems incredibly American in this falsehood, which doesn’t garner any points in my books. Perhaps most significantly, it promotes violence. Certainly, I don’t agree with the fur trade. I don’t know (And somewhat doubt) if generic city-squirrels make up a large portion of the fur used in the fur industry. But this is just a bad, bad poster. And if it’s a case of culture-jamming, it’s a piss-poor one.