Friday, April 24, 2009

find john wilkes booth! donate to TOJ!

one thing i hate about traveling cheap is the luggage. it seems that at some point during almost all of my trips i find myself saddled with a bulky bags, trying to maneuver my way through tight spaces, twist myself into comfortable positions, or just fit in.

this bothersome aftermath of travel penury was the chief narrative device of the travel essay i posted here a few years back, so i'll spare you another essay on the subject. however, when beth and i visited indiana university at bloomington this spring, we found ourselves in that familiar big-bag position. and so, rather than visiting the famous lilly library together, we went in shifts--i ran off in the direction of the library while beth drank her coffee and watched our bags (and almost vice versa).

unfortunately, this meant that (1) we had half as much time to view the exhibits as we would have under normal circumstances--by the time beth signed the necessary security forms, entered an air-lock or three, and gazed at a page of scribblings by thoreau (?), it was time to go--and (2) i was without my tour guide (i.e., beth), so i really didn't know what i was supposed to be looking at.

thus, like most touristy folk at indiana u who wander into the lilly, i was clueless to the wonderful treasures in the vaults below. so i ran through an exhibit on lincoln. and it may have been interesting, but i was in skim-mode--perhaps the displays were bringing back unwelcome memories of my college paper on the fellow.

still, i did like this wanted poster. it seems almost like a fiction, that there was a day and age when wanted posters were the stuff of reality, not spaghetti westerns and disney theme parks, that the government really depended upon the people to mete out justice. and look at all that small type. i daresay that if presidents were assassinated in our modern era, no one would take the time to read that print. this poster cries out for a good graphic designer.

so what meaning can a poster like this convey to us today? how might its text serve us here and now?

i believe that if you look closely, you might see a simple message embedded in that poster. you might see a message from the abolitionists, the government, and all people of justice, a message just for you.

and it is this:

until june '09, when you donate to the other journal, your donation of $25,000 plus your employer's matching contribution of $25,000 will be matched by an anonymous mars hill graduate school donor for a total donation of $100,000!* perhaps your employer isn't into philanthropy; in that case, your donation of $25,000 will be matched by an anonymous mars hill graduate school donor for a total donation of $50,000!** or perhaps you'd prefer to scrape a few zeroes off that figure--fine! the donor will match any contribution, large or small!*** it's a lot easier than catching a murderer, especially a man whose been dead for over one hundred years. so click the link! donate now!

and when you donate, be sure to select "the other journal" in the designation field: or

photo: andrew david. "catch booth! give money!" lilly library, indiana university, bloomington, indiana.

*the donor will only match $25,000 in total donations, so if you really donate 25k, the donor won't match your employer's contribution.

** the donor will only match $25,000 in total donations, so if other donors have already given to mars hill, the matching donor, will only match your donor up to the mark of $25,000.

*** the donor will only match $25,000 in total donations, so if you donate $25,001, the maximum he will match is $25,000.

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Mari said...

yes yes yes!

Beth Bevis said...

I like this post! PS find the incorrect "whose."