King's Eye Land: City banners: propaganda or just odd?

What's with the lamp post signs?

High above Muncie's streets, suspended from light poles and just begging to be stolen, are some of weirdest banner signs imaginable. You may have seen them, assuming you have a car.

If not, borrow someone's car and take a drive down Bethel, Tillotson or Wheeling Avenues, or even McGalliard Road or Jackson Street. The banners hang throughout business sections, including downtown (widely regarded as the financial nerve center of the city).

Each sign, presumably part of a campaign to promote Muncie, appears to be drawn in the tradition of World War II propaganda, but with a uniform header that reads, "Muncie: It's Cool!" The hopeful attitude of each one is reminiscent of Rosie the Riveter and the famous feminist slogan "We can do it!"

However, not all propaganda is positive -- or even truthful. So with that in mind, should we take these banners seriously?

You be the judge:

A white man wearing a shirt and tie looms over the street. He looks determined, motivated or maybe just really comfortable in Haggar slacks. Whatever the case, he's obviously not from Muncie. Across the banner is the cryptic and ominous message, "Limits Are Lies!"

That's just weird.

A white woman holding a cherry pie winks at Muncie drivers. Her blonde hair is pulled back and her pink dress evokes a June Cleaver image. She encourages you to "Get your piece of the pie!"

Is it free?

A little girl (appearing to be of Asian descent) peers at you through a magnifying glass and tells you to "Be Curious." If you are not looking at it just right, you might read it as "Bi-Curious." Try not to read it that way.

Finally, a scorching red banner, emblazoned with a raised megaphone tilted at the heavens, compels you to "Vocalize!" Scary but effective, isn't it? I'm so freaked out, I'm vocalizing right now.

Aside from general weirdness, the campaign is slanted and does not reflect the ethnic division of Muncie. In fact, the banners don't depict Muncie at all. I'd imagine the same banners are hanging in other towns, freaking out other people.

The campaign is the brainchild of the Downtown Development Partnership (the folks who brought you Grand Funk Railroad). Each sign is sponsored by a different local business. The lower part of each banner displays a local business logo.

Interestingly, at least one business owner isn't happy. Marcia Thompson voiced her opinion in a July 15 letter to the Muncie Star/Press.

"I invested in this project and am very disappointed with the outcome. In my opinion, those are the ugliest banners ever displayed," she wrote. "We can only hope they are taken down early."

While I agree with her opinion of the banners themselves, I hope the Downtown Development Partnership doesn't take them down early. I've got my eye on a "Limits Are Lies!" one.

Write to John at


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