Flyer Littering Vigilante

Ill Eagle Poster
[file photo by me]

Over the weekend I was taking an early morning stroll along Valencia Street when I happened upon an older white man who was knelt down in front of a trash can with a metal scraper going to work on a flyer that had been pasted onto the side. In the process of scraping the flyer off it had torn into pieces and once he was done he stood up, left the pieces on the ground and started walking back to his shiny PT Cruiser. In the past I’ve seen a few different people around the neighborhood doing this sort of this, like this guy, who Nick wrote about previously. I usually dismissed them because I felt sorry for them, as if they were so constantly bothered by flyers on trash cans and utility poles that they had to spend their time doing this. At the same time I have been annoyed that of all the things that take place around them this seemingly harmless thing would be the target of their energy. When I saw this guy go to his fancy car I couldn’t contain myself.

Me: Hey, you just gonna leave that trash on the ground?

Scraper: What?!

Me: You’re not going to pick that up?

Scraper: You see where it came from!

Me: Yeah, a trash can, and then you put it on the ground and can’t even put it in the trash?!

Scraper: (grumbles to self as he goes over to the pile of paper scraps and tosses them in the trash. Then points to garbage on the ground near his car) Why don’t you pick up that?!

Me: I’m not gonna pick up your trash.

Scraper: I didn’t put that there!

Me: Neither did I.

Scraper: (grumbles to self as he gets in his car and zips away to the next block to get out and scrape some more)

So, obviously pasting flyers and artsy things about is against the law, but so is littering. I just don’t get these people.

UPDATE: 1) I don’t know much about cars, and 2) Aaron and AttF remind me of the boringly-named film about vigilantes “Vigilante Vigilante”.

38 Responses to “Flyer Littering Vigilante”

  1. Grizzled Mission says:

    It’s some kind of mental illness, isn’t it? Like hoarding. Must come from the same place that births obsessive compulsive disorder, or just be a manifestation of it.

  2. Dan says:

    Taping an 8X11 flyer on a (non-historic, non-traffic light) pole is legal. Littering is not.

  3. Anne Marie says:

    A friend of mine was caught in the middle of neighbor chatter (this was years ago on the Lower Haight) when the flyer conversation came up. All these young professional up & comers were all dead set against the propagation of flyers on their new hood & were fully confident that everyone in their little circle were of the same mind. When there was a slight lull in the conversation my friend pipped up, “But how will I know what’s going on?” Since that day so many years ago she’s had very little interaction with any of the circle & all of them (excepting my friend) have moved out of the city….that’s it.

  4. trixare4kids says:

    that guy has been out there for years doing his project. he is very dedicated to this project, and carries it out with a really admirable zeal (which is not to say that i don’t think it’s totally stupid that he does this and that he’s not at least a little crazy.) he kind of reminds me of george w. bush, actually.

    the pt cruiser is new-ish, actually. he used to have a plymouth (?) volare, avocado green, circa late 70s.

    don’t count on your poster being up on valencia street for more than 24 hours is the moral of the story.

  5. Bill W says:

    Dude, PT Cruiser is NOT FANCY

  6. Sessions1 says:

    He could be feeding homeless people are helping the less fortune jus sayyin

  7. Tracksidehoax says:

    There’s an older woman who hits 17-18th/Valencia pretty regularly.

    I have yet to summon the courage to tell her to knock it the fuck off though.

    Seems like an OCD thing, but what do I know.

    Fancy car = PT Cruiser. I guess the word fancy means something different these days!

    • Kyle says:

      Do you mean a 5’6″-ish Asian woman in a stocking cap? If so, I have seen her scraping away on Valencia on many MANY mornings. Just today I saw her on the 600 block at around 7:30… and then on the 500 block an HOUR later! That is dedication.

      And she was carrying a plastic bag to collect the scrapings, so…

  8. AttF says:

    while the filmmakers are a bit annoying and the animated sequences are shoddy, this is a pretty good portrait of the anti-graffiti/flyer type of person:

    streaming on Netflix

  9. MrEricSir says:

    On the one hand these guys would be happier in the suburbs where street posters are a ticketable offense. But then again, they’d also be upset when they got fined for littering.

    So they’re fucked either way, basically.

  10. commentariatsays says:


  11. Tom in SFCA says:

    Is it illegal to remove flyers from public places such as utility poles, etc.? I’m guessing it is not. Do those who post the flyers later come around and remove them? I’m guessing that in most cases they do not. So apparently this guy is doing something that is legal and commonplace, e.g. removing flyers. So what is everyone complaining about?

  12. Caffeinated Cabbie says:

    this is a wonderful assembly of comments.

  13. Herr Doktor Professor Deth Vegetable says:

    Seems like a fun project would be to just follow the guy around with a roll of stickers, and immediately after he finishes scraping one off, just replace it with a new one.

  14. That is the DAMN COOLEST FLIER I HAVE EVER SEEN IN SF!! If any asshole takes down that pimped out bird, they have NO TASTE OR STYLE! Let the bird stay on the pole! He is the S H I T !!!

  15. The Puntif says:

    Vigilante citizen kooks will never win.

  16. Greg says:

    Put that on a t-shirt

  17. Schlub says:

    I’m a home owner in the mission, for over a decade now. I love seeing cool stuff on the street – bring it, I say. I’ve left good street art up in front of our place and will continue to do so. “Ill Eagle” is pretty fun, and worthy of some time on the street.

    That said, all the lame ass tag shit I will scrape off any pole or surface within the range of my street front, and I will do so as fast as I can accomplish. Dumb, ugly and pointless has no place in this – or any – world.

  18. harmony says:

    That PT guy ownes a five unit building in the Mission that is empty. He comet to it every day and turns the lights on and off, parks his car and does his round of de-fliering. I really would love it if someone would get his story out of him. Ive tried to talk to him but he wont engage.

  19. scum says:

    Because no one else has said it. THAT BIRD IS SICK111

  20. Stu says:

    Should have said Ill Eagle FLYER though! C’mon now!

  21. ILL EAGLE says:

    These motherfuckiers have now idea. Major shit storm in the forecast. High chances of getting punched in the face for fucking with my posters and stickers.

  22. VV says:

    One Mission vigilante is named Gideon Kramer

    Another is Rick Thurber

    Both of them went wild when some posters for our film went up in the Mission. They contacted their friends at DPW and had them send us a cease and desist letter. Kramer contacted the Roxie theater to threaten them for showing our film.

    I don’t think the film is boringly named. The full title is “Vigilante Vigilante: The Battle for Expression” and it has meaning if you care to watch it and think about things.

    You can see it on Netflix streaming for free now:

    • Ariel Dovas says:

      Thanks for the info. I do care to watch it and I do care to think about things. The joke about me calling a movie about vigilantes that’s named “Vigilante Vigilante” boringly named was that I write on a blog about the Mission called Mission Mission.

  23. Christopher Ford says:

    This is idiotic. The thing that drives me crazy is my garage sale signs on 24th in Noe Valley. He tears them down and brings them to my house and throws them on the ground in front of my house. He does not give me a chance to take them down after the sale. I don’t know who the Noe Valley guy is but he also keys your car if you challenge him. My neighbors were trying to plant little stuff at the base of trees in front of r their place and someone kept letting their dog tear them up. SO they put up a sign advising people to keep their dog out of the flowers. He tore it down and they caught him.. they gave him a rash of shit. Later that day the cars in front of their house were all scrapped with a key. I hate that guy… The Asian lady works for DPT. I have talked to her. She just works for a paycheck, she could care less about her job.