Sunday, August 29, 2010

Dollar "Billboarding" for Peace

Awhile back, I read an interesting article entitled "When Dollars Call for Change" by Emma Dumain on Congress.org. Ms. Dumain chronicles how activists and activist groups have been using dollar bills as inexpensive and effective means to get their message out to the public.
With a lifespan of close to 18 months , a typical $1 bill passes through hundreds if not thousands of hands and can travel pretty far around the country. Using a popular dollar-tracking website, WheresGeorge.com , a group of mathematicians determined that a single dollar bill can travel between 30 and 500 miles across the United States over a period of nine months.
Although Ms. Dumain mentions several interesting stories about different causes and how they have marked currency, she doesn't mention anything about the peace movement using this messaging channel. I would think that the peace movement would be all over this - it's a simple message, no cost, and there's an element of spreading the seeds of intention just by writing the phrase on paper. Kind of like a Buddhist prayer wheel.

As it turns out, at least one activist is supporting the peace movement through "dollar billboarding". I came across a random post on Twitter today from "The Survivor":
@christoferdrew i found a dollar bill that said "imagine a us department of peace" in pen. it made me think of you =D
She received the dollar in change from a bookstore in Bethesda, MD, and thought one of her favorite singers (Christofer Drew of "Never Shout Never") would like to know about it. She also posted a picture of "the magic dollar" - and vows to never spend it. Although that would be counter to the intent of dollar billboarding, you've got to love the spirit!

Now, some of you may be charged up by this as a opportunity for civil disobedience, while others of you may shy away from the approach because of concerns over legality. Ms. Dumain covers this in her research:
But technically speaking, it's not against the law unless perpetrators deface the currency "with intent to render such bank bill(s) ... unfit to be reissued."
So, grab your ultra-fine point red Sharpie pen, add your message of purpose to your currency, and get out there and stimulate the economy! I look forward to hearing of your Adventures in Dollar Billboarding!


3 comments:

  1. this is so cool because it's about me. 0_o
    I'M SO GLAD PEOPLE KNOW ABOUT THIS!!!!!

    I made a video about it too to go with a project I'm working on!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tfq91LI-SAE&feature=sub

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  2. Hello!
    Thank you for sending in your peace globe. I have placed it in the official gallery at blogblastforpeace.com as #1753.

    See you November 4, 2010 for BlogBlast For Peace when bloggers from 50 countries will blog for peace across the Internet.
    Please join our group at DoPeace, iPeace, Bloggers United, Facebook and Twitter.

    Dona nobis pacem,
    Mimi

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