Can somebody explain this to me?

Why do people hate billboards so much? I feel like I must be missing something, because I just don’t get it. Who cares if there’s a billboard on the Bridge? And what does this have to do with the East Bay Regional Parks? I’m so confused!

13 thoughts on “Can somebody explain this to me?

  1. jimmy russels

    Well, I know plenty of people who hate with a passion the flashing video billboard that’s there now. If this one is another of those, expect plenty of complaints.

  2. V Smoothe Post author

    But…why? What’s wrong with it? How does it hurt anybody? And what does it have to do with the parks? What is this “moral obligation” John Sutter is referring to in the linked article?

  3. rob

    i don’t know about this billboard in particular, but i wonder about billboards in general. seems a dangerous thing to divert ones eyes from the freeway, unless you’re in bumper to bumper traffic. maybe the billboard catching someone’s attention, which is it’s job and it’s just following orders, ends up causing the accident that causes that traffic. and car accidents, like billboards, make some people (like me) good money. so, maybe billboards really help everyone.

    one of the strangest things i found about cuba is the complete lack of billboards. i found it quite refreshing, not being sold anything as i was strolling down block after block after block of revolutionary propaganda.

  4. Dogtown Commoner

    Billboards are major eyesores! Especially when they stand alone in a relatively uncluttered view (bridges and cranes are interesting parts of a cityscape; billboards are not, in my opinion). I think the EBRPD opposes the billboard because they are hoping to build another waterfront park under the bridge after the new span is completed, and they don’t want the park to be overshadowed by a big, ugly rectangle of advertising.

    Of course, the EBRPD loves billboards when it comes to promoting their own offerings:
    http://www.waterfrontaction.org/about/spec/billboards.htm

  5. rob

    seriously, i hate billboards because they are designed to distract attention from driving. seriously.

    i’m not and wasn’t speaking for people in general.

    and i think they’re ugly, too. but, i don’t hate them for that.

  6. jimmy russels

    The problem with the flashing billboard becomes obvious if you go up into the hills and look at the view. It junks up the view.

  7. Felix

    I hate billboards because they exist to sell me shit I don’t need, they tend to employ sexist or racist imagery to sell me shit I don’t need, they are impossible to ignore as they try to sell me shit I don’t need, and I didn’t vote to have public space occupied by gigantic ads for shit I don’t need.

    Make any sense?

    Having said that, cool blog you’ve got here. Oakland rules.

  8. rob

    in addition to my previous comments, i’ll third what felix said. which is basically what i was saying, although i went about it somewhat obliquely.

    i also agree that this is a great blog. easily my favorite in oaktown. thanks, v smoothe.

  9. Chris K.

    I’ll fourth what Felix said.

    Some folks associate billboards with big tobacco and big liquor. No matter the advertisement, I believe many folks see billboards as detracting from the aesthetics of a city, often blocking more significant views of good architecture, hills, bodies of water, the sky-scape etc.

    Moreover, many folks resent the encroachment of the advertising industry upon public places. Personally, I see the advertising industry in the business of making half truths out of whole lies.

    That we have a Planning Commissioner here in Oakland (Michael Colbruno) who is or was a registered lobbyist for the billboard company Clear Channel Outdoor, begs questions of conflicts of interest. Though many would beg to differ with my public ethics philosophy.