Frank Lloyd Wrong (flw) wrote,
Frank Lloyd Wrong

paralegal sign spinners

The sign spinning craze has died down, because people find them to be trashy and offensive and distasteful and methy and annoying as fuck. But I've been thinking of what a fascinating battle it was over the last ten years or so.

This has to do with peoples' rights and their ability to SELL their rights, which fascinates me. For instance, it is illegal to affix a sign to a utility pole. But it is NOT illegal to stand there holding (or waving) a sign. So people sell their free speech when they become sign spinners. That's what they're selling. The whole spinning aspect is an extra thing. So... what happens is sleazy businesses like pawnshops put up signs and they get taken down. Then they hire sign spinners because a person has the legal right to HOLD a sign.

Having established that a person has a right to HOLD a sign, the pawn shop then has the person stand there HOLDING a sign WITH A LARGER SIGN next to the person on the sidewalk. Then gradually, they reduce the number of hours that sign spinner works! For instance, they'll have the sign spinner stand out there for an hour in the morning and the evening. Then if the police come and say, "You can't just have a sign out there," they can (and do) say, "Ohh... that's the SIGN SPINNER'S sign." And if the police say, "The sign spinner isn't there," they reply, "He's on break." Having that retort then permits the pawn shop to pull a slick move. You hire the sign spinner for less and less time progressively. Any time anyone complains, they've pulled a sort of moving of the goalposts. They have slid the window of the argument, and now they can put a big, trashy, ugly piece of shit sign out on the corner. They have a spinner next to it for the minimum number of hours a day they can get one to "legitimatize" the standing sign. Then when there are complaints, they send an employee out for a little while holding an emergency spinner. Then the cop leaves and the employee comes back inside.

They have taken other bizarre actions as well. The oddest one is to fire the sign spinner altogether and have a rotating sign affixed to a mannequin out on the sidewalk, but within sight of the store. That is bizarre. What they are trying to do here is shift some of the legal "magic" onto the act of moving the sign in and of itself. What makes the sign illegal, the para-thinking goes is not the person holding it, but rather the fact that the person holding it is moving. So bizarre. But this is how scumbags slide laws around to favor themselves.

Thankfully this is all fading. But I expect it all to make a comeback under Twitler with cries of, "Come on! I'm a BUSINESS man! I'm trying to MAKE A LIVING!" which justifies breaking the law in some people's minds for some bizarre reason.

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