Angst Is Dead, Utopia Now

For example...(image via

A few weeks ago I was driving through downtown Charlotte. I spotted one of those lighted highway message signs that had been placed in front of an art center. The messages alternated between two – “ANGST IS DEAD” and “UTOPIA NOW”.

I am not writing about angst or utopia today.

I do, however, want to take a very pro-utopia stance. Beyond that, I’ll leave you to your own opinion on the matter and respect your point of view.

So Much Potential

Have you ever stopped to think about how much fun you could have with a highway message sign? You should.

Twenty one characters and spaces on the panel to create two alternating messages or one long one. A bright flashing canvas that would make your thoughts readable for half a mile or more. Twenty one spaces. If you had them to play with, what would you use them to say?

I’d Solve A Problem

I have a neighbor who has a dog. I know that doesn’t distinguish me from the crowd.

Anyhow, the neighbor family and their dog exist, as do I. I apparently exist to provide a lavatory for this pooch. Every morning, the neighbors let the dog out. The dog comes over and takes care of business in front of my house. Dogs do that. I’m not going to lose any sleep over it.

Actually, my grass can certainly use the fertilizer.

This poor old pup doing what needs to be done in my yard is OK. It is the closest contact I have with those neighbors. What I don’t like is that on the mornings when my schedule shifts a little and I leave for work during the dog’s morning constitutional, his owners act surprised at what he’s doing and call him back to the house. What do they think he’s up to when they send him out?

There are limits to my tolerance.

It looks like the day is coming where I will put a highway sign in front of the neighbors house to say:



33 Comments on “Angst Is Dead, Utopia Now”

  1. I’m going to have to think on this. I will return later when I have something brilliant.

  2. Katybeth says:

    Homeless person could stand under a sign, “Does it really matter what I spend it on? ”

    School Performance “Quiet, our Guests are sleeping!”
    (this of-course would be for all the extra guests, parents insist on inviting to show off how well their child performs in their second cello recital)

  3. Wendi says:

    Brilliant Oma. Absolutely brilliant.

  4. madtante says:

    I hear “utopia” and get scared–my Irish family came here (US) as the 4th wave of immigrants in an incredibly backwoods area that was a Protestant Utopia.

    As all utopias, it failed.

    I’m just glad they didn’t make anybody drink koolaid (apart from the whole part of my Irish Catholic family “breaking” with those who fell into that cult of weirdo utopian zealots who came here…nice knowing you’re descended from freaks. Explains a lot–including my utter rejection of organized religion).

    I like the angst is dead part, though 🙂

  5. educlaytion says:

    Quote from a movie called Glory Daze as a sign for whatever ex might be floating around: “Angst for the memories.”

  6. Snoring Dog Studio says:

    My sign? I’d put mine out in my front yard, with these two alternating messages:

    Slow down, fools! I’ve got a nail gun and will use it.
    Hey, slobs: My yard is not your ash tray!

    I’ve got lots of other ideas but I wouldn’t want to interfere with my view of the foothills.

  7. pattypunker says:

    your front porch is not an extra room. put that shit inside.

  8. tsanda says:

    Ahh poop in the mail box … you should put a stamp on it and see where it gets mailed to.

  9. You could kill a giant circular area on the lawn, kidnap the dog and then have the sign say “Warning, UFOs Land Here.” I bet you could get away with it.

  10. Thypolar says:

    I think I would simply say “you’re an idiot!” and put it on the side of the freeway.

    It wouldn’t be directed at anybody in particular but I figure it would make everyone with a sense of humor laugh and give them all a story to pass on. The rest of the people would take it personal and still pass the story on which would give all the people they told something to laugh about.

    • omawarisan says:

      I like the way you think. I had another section about the idea of putting the sign up along a highway in the morning with the message “you left the iron on” and seeing how many people turned around.

      Still like the idea, but the section wasnt working for me here.

  11. gmomj says:

    Sorry this is unrelated..
    But as you drive the Washington Beltway 495, you pass a bridge over the highway. When you come to that bridge you can see the Mormon Temple just over it with turrets and spires. Someone has written across the span of the bridge,”Surrender Dorothy”. It’s quite the attraction.
    Angst? definitely not dead. Do you know any teenagers???
    I’m working on my sign.

    • omawarisan says:

      If it isn’t dead, can we at least weaken it to manageable levels?

      Grew up in Md, know the Mormon Temple, but haven’t been in that area in a while. I’ll have to watch for the bridge.

    • Hippie Cahier says:

      I love(d) the “Surrender Dorothy” message, but I thought they had covered it up. It’s back?! Groovy.

  12. Here’s my sign, guaranteed to induce guilt: It’s All Your Fault!


  13. Todd Pack says:

    I still like the highway signs in Austin that were hacked to say, “ZOMBIES IN AREA! RUN” and “NAZI ZOMBIES! RUN!!!” Apparently, the city of Austin didn’t think it was funny. I think city officials were worried that people will assume it’s just another joke when the real zombie warnings go out.

  14. Hippie Cahier says:

    Scabby the Rat has been camped out in my work neighborhood for the past couple of weeks. I’ve been amusing myself with ways I could put him to good use. If your sign doesn’t get the message across, Scabby might could help.

  15. Jane says:

    Brilliant, as usual!

  16. planetross says:

    It would be like Twitter, but only 21 characters … and only locally seen!
    … don’t tempt me! hee hee!

  17. maggie says:

    If I had been reading this is a more timely fashion, I would’ve had come up with something to tell my neighbours to stop feeding the pigeons (therefore making our row of houses a pigeon hang out, and my car a pigeon toilet..)… but they just got evicted, so the sign would be wasted! ;D

    oo.. but if I had one during the snowiest months, i’d put it at the end of the street for the plows to see.. “WE DON’T WANT TO DIE” “PLEASE UNCOVER FIRE HYDRANT” ;P

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