My partner and I arrived back this morning from our one week vacation in San Francisco (our first real vacation in years). On our last day there, we happened across an outdoor marketplace down the the end of Market Street, right where lots of tourists would walk through. There were people sitting at tables selling the usual things you find at such marketplaces:– colorful scarves, bad watercolor paintings, funky jewelry, good acrylic paintings, carved wooden tchotchkes, and so on.

At one table sat a youngish woman with uncombed brown hair wearing a drab green hooded sweatshirt. She was selling t-shirts with peace signs on them. The t-shirts were exactly the colors you would expect, deep purple and various earth colors. It’s exactly the sort of thing a tourist might buy and wear back home while bragging “I got this cool t-shirt from this funky woman in San Francisco. Cool, huh?” It’s exactly the kind of shirt that screams Hippy-Peacenik-Wannabe.

I think it’s time the grand concept of peace got re-branded with a new aesthetic that better reflects its universality and its high aspirations. Or maybe it would be better if peace didn’t have a brand. Can’t we just dump the drab colors, the hemp t-shirts, and yes even the venerable peace sign, altogether?

Pretty please?… I’ll be nice to you if you say “yes”…

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