When you were a younger boy or girl and watched Bonanza, The Magnificent Seven, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, etc. did you find yourself cheering for the cowpeople in white hats or in black hats? Were you a fan of the good guys or the bad guys (goodies and baddies in Australian)? I have to assume that most of us here celebrated the naughty sneakers, seeing as most of us are generally unfit for… ummm… living industrious lives and so it is with great confusion that I approach the above posters popping up around North County, San Diego.
As you can see, it is a replication of old timey wall hanging used to catch criminals and let’s first learn some history from the San Francisco Chronicle.
Law enforcement officers have been posting wanted notices for centuries. We really don’t know when the FBI first distributed a wanted poster. Around 1919, we began issuing fliers called identification orders, or IOs. The 1919 IO of William N. Bishop, a military deserter, is thought to be the first. IOs listed key details about a fugitive sought by law enforcement and included a picture, details of the crime for which they were sought, their criminal history, and by the mid-1920s, any existing fingerprints we had. Soon the FBI started issuing wanted posters for notorious fugitives, like John Dillinger. At first these were issued by the Department of Justice of which the FBI is a part. And in the early 1930s, we started to publish a bulletin called fugitives wanted by the police that collected information about wanted fugitives from law enforcement across the country. Soon the FBI had formalized its own posters and when it created the 10 Most Wanted Fugitive program in 1950, we used a standard format that has become iconic.
Interesting, no? And back to our poster featuring Hayden Cox of HaydenShapes and Mark Price of Firewire. I know that I am supposed to be angry at the two “immigrants” (Hayden is from Australia and Mark Price is from South Africa) for smuggling American jobs to Asia but years and years of applauding baddies dies hard especially when the charge is “smuggling.” Aside from westerns I love love loved the Dukes of Hazzard and their moonshine smuggling. Oooooee I know that it is very verboten to howl the old Confederate flag today but Bo and Luke were my absolute favorites of all time and have influenced my life to a great degree.
Sometimes, when after the sun has set and the day’s writing is done, I sit in bed and fantasize that I am Bo Duke, Derek is Luke Duke and BeachGrit is the General Lee. There we are, acting recklessly, jumping, jiving while Sheriff Roscoe P. Coltrane (Stab) tries to catch us and get us in big trouble with Boss Hogg (the California Bureau of Better Business). It is a nice fantasy that also involves Cousin Daisy (Jen See), Uncle Jesse (Nick Carroll), Cooter (Matt Warshaw) and the narrator Waylon Jennings (Longtom).
Go Hayden and Price! Get those American jobs to Nam before they spoil or Johnny Law catches you!