There are some days when magic just happens. We’ve just let loose a Facebook action in solidarity with Junichi and Toru, our whale activists in Japan who got strapped to chairs and interrogated for 12 hours about their role in… wait for it… exposing embezzlement of taxpayer-funded whale meat in Japan, and who could do up to 10 years of prison. For exposing a crime. They’ve been accused of being terroists, their reputations dragged through the mud, their names besmirched.
A whole bunch of us at Greenpeace have been coming up with plans to mark the 60th anniversary of human rights tomorrow with solidarity actions: everything from an online petition to embassy actions to a delegation of Chief Troublemakers from our offices visiting the Prime Minister in Japan to downloadable Junichi & Toru masks for a Flickr petition.
But sometimes the best plans aren’t plans at all… they’re just dandelion seeds of whimsy that you grab as they drive past.
Mi amigo Oscar came up with the concept for a very cool ad that we’re running upside down in the IHT/Asahi Shimbun Asian edition tomorrow, with the strap line: “In a world turned upside down, you can get arrested for exposing a crime.” The reader has to turn the paper over to read the text, and the kiss-off line is “It’s time to set things right.”
It set us off down the road of… UPSIDE DOWN THINKING.
Well first we put an upside down banner on the GPI website.
[swf movie=“http://www.greenpeace.org/international/assets/binaries/upsidedown430.swf” width=“430” height=“170” /]
this handy widget for flipping text, which doesn’t really flip anything, but uses high-bit ascii characters from a bunch of strange fonts and character sets to trick the eye into seeing Roman letters upside down.
˙ʇxǝʇ uʍop ǝpısdn pɐǝɹ oʇ pɹɐɥ ʇɐɥʇ llɐ ʇou ʎllɐnʇɔɐ s,ʇı
OK, now we were on to something. We all started flipping our status messages and comments. We just got an update out to the 132,000 fans of the Greenpeace International page asking them to do the same. Suddenly, it seems like EVERYONE is either flipping their profile picture or flipping their text — or flipping whole posts!
I had so much fun, I got branded spammer, and temporarily banned from sending anything on Facebook.
My day began at 3Am. At 9pm, it´s still not over. And that’s the way things go, in upside down world. But then upside down world here is nothing compared to the upside down world Junichi and Toru are in. I’m not facing ten years in prison.