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April 18, 2004

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Vienna (Wien) was once capital
of the vast Hapsbourg Empire.
World War I put an end to that
bit of divine right nonsense, but
there's still a lot of nostalgia for
that period, as evidenced by
ubiquitous illustrations of former
emperors with outlandish facial
hair in full military regalia. Wien
was--and perhaps still is--a
great seat of learning. Freud was
here, and also inventors of things
which one doesn't typically think
of as having been invented, such
as the ship's propeller, developed
by Herr Ressel who now has a
park in his name near the Center.
One of the things which first struck
me was how many depictions of
people there were on street signs.
I started a collection and was
pleasantly surprised to learn from
one of my hosts (ahoy Rotraut!)
that this too was an invention
credited to a specific Wiener (as
people  and sausages from this city
are called): Otto Neurath (noy-rat).
Most of the intent behind them is
obvious, but others leave room for
interpretation. I wonder if when no
one is looking these well-rounded
people climb down from their signs
and hold meetings, perhaps even
parties and dancing in the street?
Maybe I'm just projecting, but what
are these signs if not mirrors of the
population they are made to lead?
breakdancers ahead ride between the lines
24 hour party people
if on bicycle now is a good time to fart this way to threeway
men, hands on hips; ladies, extend left toe i love you this much
CAUTION: Falco ahead
child abduction zone run with ladders
if ball falls out of box, run into street
boys punch sister now no faking
shitty job ahead magician
androids! apply polka dots here
pole vaulter
comic in progress
just don't
unicycling OK remain in box
where's waldo?
if falling box, RUN!
do not drop bowling ball laid back area
beware of tree
begin strutting now no time but the present