There are countless (as in, more than we feel like counting) groups on Flickr and Panoramio dedicated to signs – misspelled signs, signs with double entendres, vandalized signs, old racist signs and tacky vintage signs. Signs, authoritative in their permanence and projection of agendas and power structures into our visual consciousness, are obvious targets for ridicule, giving the photographer and consumer of the photograph a sense of superiority over the organization responsible for the sign.
Please hold while I suck myself off…
Being an ethnocentric dickhead in a foreign land makes you even more eager to capture signs, because, come on, when you see something that says “Food Is A Part of A Balanced Diet,” it’s hard not to want to share it with your wise-ass friends to snicker at.
But our smirks were halted toute suite in Phnom Penh, where the Signmaker Guilds have officially given up on trying to amuse foreigners, and instead seem intent on bumming them out with unbearably bleak glimpses of our collective terribleness. Or maybe they just haven’t found a way to put their genocide and the propulsion of their society back into the Dark Ages through the great post-modern irony machine yet. Anyway, here’s the more oh boy-ish of the signs we encountered.