Signs displayed, in chronological order (click to go to a page):
FREE HELP WITH HOMEWORK ANY SUBJECT; DON'T THINK; THERE'S NOTHING WRONG WITH YOU; THIS SIGN WILL NOT BE SHOWN ON TV; THE DECEIVED ARE COMPLICIT IN THEIR DECEPTION; I AM NOT GAY; EVERYTHING'S EXACTLY THE WAY YOU WISH IT WEREN'T; COME UP IF YOU KNEW ME IN ANOTHER LIFE; DO YOU DESERVE AN EDUCATION?; IS STANDING HERE WITH THIS SIGN A RADICAL ACT?; MONEY IS NOT REALLY REAL; IN HITLER'S GERMANY UNIVERSITIES WERE SILENT; IS THIS SIGN ANTI-SEMITIC?; DOES THE INTERNET KNOW MORE THAN YOU?; WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN YOU AND ME?; THERE IS NO TIME; YOU ARE NOT FREE; YOUR THOUGHTS REFLECTED HERE; BEAT WOMEN; YOU ARE GOING TO DIE; THE POLICE WERE CALLED BECAUSE OF THE BACK OF THIS SIGN
Sunday, April 24, 2011
On April 29th in Meany Theater there will be a PostSecret event. It's already sold out, so if you haven't bought tickets you cannot attend.
Allow me to suggest the following idea. If I were there (I'm out of the country) I would stand out under the tree on the Quad during the days leading up to the event, and then outside the theater on the evening of the event while people were going in and leaving, with a sign reading:
"PUT YOUR SECRETS ON A SIGN"
(The sign could also read: "TELL YOUR SECRETS OUT LOUD" or "TELL ME YOUR SECRETS" or "TELL THE WORLD YOUR SECRETS")
I would then stand with a sign telling one of my own secrets and encourage others to make their own signs and stand out with them. If people are not yet ready for the kind of brutal honesty it would take to own up non-anonymously to their darkest secrets, a group of people could get together and each illustrate their own secret and exchange them among themselves, so that each would stand out with a secret "belonging" to someone else.
Many comments on the PostSecret site are from people saying they had the same secret as someone who sent in a postcard and seeing it made them feel less alone. Many others said revealing a secret to someone--a relative, significant other or total stranger--was like having an enormous weight lifted off their shoulders. If this is true, why should we be ashamed of our own secrets? Having the courage to--literally--stand out by your secret would announce to the world that we are not judging anyone for what they themselves might be ashamed of.
Imagine the impact of dozens or perhaps hundreds of people coming together with signs. The University of Washington PostSecret event would be the first of its kind and, if emulated by others, would mean that UW is setting the pace for the rest of the country; ahead of the curve in open, honest discourse.
Since I am out of the country and cannot participate, I would appreciate it greatly if someone agreed to represent me with a sign reading:
"I AM THE
CREATOR OF THE
- Kevin Smith"
Thank you and good luck!
P.S. Here is a postcard of the UW Quad posted on the PostSecret site:
P.P.S. Here is feedback from one of my Quad "regulars" and my response:
"it's hard for people to be honest... that's what makes post secret such a powerful tool, it's both public and private. There's a huge difference between standing there with your secrets out and sending in a letter. Courage is a hard thing to have.. I can see what this would try to do, but I can't help but feel that the people who needed to do it wouldn't."
I agree with what you have to say, and I wasn't necessarily implying that YOU should do it. But what if the people who are open enough not to NEED it themselves took up the slack for those who DO need it by making signs themselves to embolden those reluctant to do so? Might that not be of benefit to people?