Smiling Disease: A Guide to Public Stickering

Smiling Disease: A Guide to Public Stickering

by Scott Larkin Author

Have you ever dreamed of plastering the city with stickers of your own design and annoying the crap out of squares? Here is a your chance: A complete guide to placing adhesive decorations in places where the general populace will see them. Everything from how to get the best stickers printed, to going undetected, some theory, stickering scruples, and dealing with the full psychological ramifications of having your stickers removed. Clear Channel posts their ads everywhere, why shouldn't you?

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Comments & Reviews


Stickers are the win!


As the guy who wrote this zine, I'm glad to see people talking about it. It seems that when freedom of expression comes up, almost invariably people take either a conservative stance, saying that an authority should decide what is acceptable, or they take a tentative stance, saying that we should chill out and not say anything at all until we decide what is acceptable and what is not. I say just let everything be said no matter what the subject matter (except for some things which we should shield children from), and things will turn out ok as long as people don't organize themselves into groups and as long as they don't take any one issue so seriously that it will lead to violence. (Not to say some issues shouldn't be taken very seriously, though) If things were democratic, most people would just laugh at someone who put up swastika stickers, as an example. It would strike them as so absurdly funny because it would have no chance of ever catching on. The point of writing this zine, as i say at the end of it, is to encourage people to become rebellious in their own way, and that starts with freedom of thought, and freedom of thought can only happen when there are no right and wrong answers to questions, only discussion. The search for truth is always an act of rebellion because truth is a mortal enemy of heirarchies.


Invade what space, Zac? It's called a guide to "public" stickering. Public space should belong to everyone equally. If people put stickers or posters on front doors or inside other people's houses that would be different. But public space should only be regulated in respect to safety. That's not to say some idiot who makes public space look like shit with tagging or something shouldn't be dissuaded from doing it. But it would be totally unlikely for someone to put up ugly tags if they felt like they were participating in democracy, and by democracy I don't mean punching a hole in a card every few years.


Stickering is not necessarily less invasive than advertisements, but its intention is categorically different. It spells out a different paradigm outside of commerce and outside of thinking of people as mere tools to attain and maintain the fulfillment of one's own personal monetary interests. In any democratically run environment, there will always be some runoff of useless ideas and even dangerous ideas. But in a democratically run environment, the dangerous ideas have a snowball's chance of surviving. The proper response to abuse of free speech is not supression, but more speech.

People who talk too loud indeed can be annoying, so if they have the same position is society as everyone else, it is simple for people to put pressure on them to get them to shut up for the greater good. When the person who is talking too loud basically controls everyone else in the room, there is little anyone can do about it. that's the case with corporate advertising, and that's precisely why it's ok for clear channel to put up hundreds of thousands of billboards, but someone who puts up a sticker that's thousands of times smaller that a single billboard may serve jail time. This clearly shows what is acceptable in our society, namely, commerce. Don't get me wrong, i'm all in favor of commerce and a healthy economy, but not when only a few people control it.

I think everything is worth saying, even if it is dangerous or stupid or insipid or offensive. but if it's said in a fascist environment, it will not get shot down, whereas if it's said in a democratic environment, it will always eventually get shot down. the main point is who decides if something said is valuable or not, a tiny handful of elite rich people, or the people at large.


Why is my art somehow less invasive then some capitalist's ad? People who talk too loud are still annoying even if they aren't selling something.
Sorry if I sound like one of those squares you spoke of, I would like to know how to make my own stickers. Lets make sure if we are gonna invade peoples space it's something worth saying.