The unwritten message on the back of the sign

Why the “Posted” on no trespassing signs? Why tell me, on a sign saying no trespassing, that a sign was posted (this very one you are reading now, as a matter of fact) that trespassing (which is illegal by definition) is not allowed?

I can’t look at a no trespassing sign without thinking about the last few stanzas of the Woody Guthrie song “This land is your land.” Funny, we never made it to these stanzas in grade school when we sang this in class:

As I went walking I saw a sign there
And on the sign it said “No Trespassing.”
But on the other side it didn’t say nothing,
That side was made for you and me.

In the shadow of the steeple I saw my people,
By the relief office I seen my people;
As they stood there hungry, I stood there asking
Is this land made for you and me?

Nobody living can ever stop me,
As I go walking that freedom highway;
Nobody living can ever make me turn back
This land was made for you and me.




The word andrapoda means, literally, “man-footed.” It was used to refer to a class of slaves in ancient Greece who were made to perform the kind of mindless hard labor that might otherwise be done by animals. They were usually war captives, and typically bound to each other with ropes or chains. As a description of our present circumstances, the term is something more than symbolic. We are, in point of fact, slaves to a system that has conquered—and is continually, moment by moment conquering—our humanity, binding us to each other in the service of purposes that are not our own, demanding our unquestioned compliance, and condemning us to a meaningless mechanical existence where we are little more than biological servomechanisms yoked to a mindless global machine. Modern chains are forged of a different substance, but the weight of ceaseless servitude is the same; we are modern-day andrapoda. Continue reading “Andrapoda”