News & Blogs 'Bum Bait' Signs Compare Homeless Chicagoans to Rats, Anger Wicker Parkers. "Artist" alters signs.

Tude

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Well ... this is quite offensive, a word well used by the reporter in this article. Found this sign posted on a group on fb and went and found more info on it. Chicago.
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https://www.dnainfo.com/chicago/201...homeless-chicagoans-rats-anger-wicker-parkers


'Bum Bait' Signs Compare Homeless Chicagoans to Rats, Anger Wicker Parkers
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By Alisa Hauser | April 22, 2015 1:16pm


WICKER PARK — The ubiquitous Streets and Sanitation Department posters warning residents about poisoned rat bait seem to have inspired an anonymous artist, whose message is offending neighbors.

"I found it completely offensive. I took it down," said Bill Healy, a 31-year-old freelance reporter, of a "Target: Bums" sign that he removed from an alley in the 1600 block of North Wolcott Avenue on Tuesday evening.

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A sign mimicking rat abatement and an actual rat warning sign (DNAinfo/Alisa Hauser)

Healy said he and his boyfriend were walking back from dinner and taking a shortcut through an alley when they spotted the sign, stapled to a wooden pole.

Instead of an image of a rat, the mimicking sign shows a man lying in an alley with a rat, debris and a broken bottle, and advises people to stop "enabling" bums by giving handouts and free meals.


Upon being notified of the sign, a spokeswoman for the city's Streets and Sanitation Department said: "The Department would always remove any offensive sign or offensive language from the public way."

A staffer in Ald. Scott Waguespack's (32nd) office was also notified of the sign but did not have a comment on the issue.

Alisa Hauser says the sign had been removed, and then returned:


Healy, who worked on an in-depth story featuring homeless Chicagoans that aired on "This American Life" earlier this month, said the tone of the sign was particularly off-putting.

"To see something like this in one of the wealthiest neighborhoods, it shows what a disconnect there is and it's a sad state of affairs that people are taking the time to do it. It's also sad that it was put up and taken down and put up again in a short period."

On Wednesday morning, a new sign had been posted in the spot where Healy said he had recently removed one.

Wicker Park resident Alfred Mojica was walking his dog, Kane, when the sign caught his eye. He said he also found the message offensive.

"I don't think it's appropriate. How can you tell whether someone is a bum or not? It looks real, the [city] seal looks as if the city put this out," Mojica said.

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Alfred Mojica looks at a sign that purports to be targeting bums (DNAinfo/Alisa Hauser)
 
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pigpen

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I personally think this is fucking hilarious. If I saw this on the street I would assume it was meant to be satirical, and even if it's not i'm not at all surprised that people feel this way about bums. It's not like this is some ingenious anti-bum propaganda that's going to make people say "ya know what, on second thought; fuck homeless people"

I'm way more bothered by the actual state/city sponsored anti-bum propaganda plastered all over american cities.
 

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That's the best part about Satire. The people who usually don't understand it or find it offensives are usually the ones being criticized

Yeah I understand the satire but this a little on the cruel side. I work with some homeless agencies and have homeless friends living in the neighborhood who I look for at certain places all the time to see how they are doing. I don't think they would appreciate a sign like that ;)
 

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Yeah I understand the satire but this a little on the cruel side. I work with some homeless agencies and have homeless friends living in the neighborhood who I look for at certain places all the time to see how they are doing. I don't think they would appreciate a sign like that ;)
Sometime you just have to turn your cheek an just laugh people will be people
 
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this is extremly fucked up and super critical at the same time imo, yea ide like to think its satire and i get the humor in it, but its a bit to close to home to really be funny. and im sure most people who see this wouldnt even think that maybe its poking fun at how fucked our society is (and hell maybe its not and im just for once giving the human race the benefit of the doubt). the part about returning shopping carts is just too perfect to not be a joke though. but hey isnt art supposed to be dangerous?
 

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i dunno..
it's one of 2 things, 'prolly..
really brilliant satire ("bums can cause guilt -avoid eye contact")
or really, really, really **fucked up** satire..

in the first, it makes you look at the absurdity of both the prejudice & conditions caused by the imbalance of wealth in western techno-culture..

in the second, it is written by someone who *understands* the imbalance, & is making fun of the people who suffer from it..

i tend to take to the first, because most people so self-interested as to take it seriously do *not* have the intelligence to create deep satire..

i think that 'satirizing satire' might be beyond their abilities.. especially as it would require empathy to know how it would effect those whom truly struggle..

if they *do* have an *understanding* of that kind of empathy (not its presence), & write with the intention of harm or causing pain..
then yeah..it's fucking evil..

but.. if yer a real shitbrain with no intention of saying anything truly meanigfull?

why go through the effort of creating a publication like that?

seems to me to be guerrilla work.. ; )
 

saintharry

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Yeah I understand the satire but this a little on the cruel side. I work with some homeless agencies and have homeless friends living in the neighborhood who I look for at certain places all the time to see how they are doing. I don't think they would appreciate a sign like that ;)
The point of the sign is to show how the city treats the homeless. In the poster homeless are seen as rats that the city is trying to eliminate, this makes the city the villain not the homeless people. Casting it in such a morbid and cruel way highlights just how terrible Chicago treats the homeless (Which may or may not be true. I couldn't tell you because I've never been to Chicago) and is meant to invoke such a grave reaction to try and turn peoples focus inward to themselves, so maybe they realize what they are doing. But in this case it has seemed to go array and people have missed the message the artist was trying to portray and taken it offensively. To be diplomatic about it though I can't speak for the artists intentions, nor the message of their work but that's just how I interpreted the piece as an art major.
 
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Odin

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The point of the sign is to show how the city treats the homeless. In the poster homeless are seen as rats that the city is trying to eliminate, this makes the city the villain not the homeless people. Casting it in such a morbid and cruel way highlights just how terrible Chicago treats the homeless (Which may or may not be true. I couldn't tell you because I've never been to Chicago) and is meant to invoke such a grave reaction to try and turn peoples focus inward to themselves, so maybe they realize what they are doing. But in this case it has seemed to go array and people have missed the message the artist was trying to portray and taken it offensively. To be diplomatic about it though I can't speak for the artists intentions, nor the message of their work but that's just how I interpreted the piece as an art major.

That is a useful perspective and if true does a lot to change my opinion of the creator of this poster.
I see how using a facsimile of a sign; something that mimics the rat posters could be the artist reflecting on the cities treatment of homeless.
As we often mention on this site. Cities, towns, villages... exct... are creating municipal codes and laws that tend to persecute the countries homeless population.

Seen through this light the poster is a critic of the "Governing" bodies policies.

In that light I applaud the message. If that is the intention.

Although as an artist is it not your goal to communicate your message and intentions clearly??

If that is the case then who ever put up those posters failed. As you can see with the reaction. Those sympathetic to the house-less population are angered instead.

If this is not just cruelty and if it really has a critical message... then the creator needs to come forward and find a way to present his message more effectively.

(The person could have put the parody poster and rat poster side by side with a Large Caption on a separate piece above saying something like these two posters are similar? What does your city do for you? or something... dunno can't think of a clever caption to criticize the comparison of city treatment of the homeless atm...)

Having said all that.

The fact that the poster was put up in a wealthy neighborhood... does lend to it being a criticism of how those with money view the homeless...

Hmm... I dunno. I am now intrigued and would wish that if this was an artists idea of not being cruel but instead criticizing the "zombie" class's view of the unfortunate... I would like this artist to come forward and clarify.
 
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