Billboard Liberation Front: To Serve Man

BLF: To Serve Man

The Billboard Liberation Front and Ron English have joined forces once again (the last time was in 2002). This afternoon they modified a billboard across from Golden Gate Park at the Cala Foods on Stanyon Street near Haight Street in San Francisco.

After receiving an anonymous tip, I went down to where the billboard liberation was taking place and shot a bunch of photos.

Photos of Billboard Liberation Front: To Serve Man

BLF: To Serve Man

According to the press release, their billboard improvement was called “To Serve Man” and was in celebration of McDonald’s 50th Anniversary. This billboard modification was above an beyond what is typical for the BLF and included an animatronic Ronald McDonald force feeding a hamburger to an obese child, with a backdrop covering the billboard which consisted of well-fed Ronald McDonald and alien figures.

This was a very bold billboard improvement, since it took place in broad daylight in The Haight near Golden Gate Park, with people and cops all over the place. Not to mention the fact that they covered the entire billboard and installed two sculptures, including one that was kinetic and required a power source.

BLF: To Serve Man

BLF: To Serve Man

Once the billboard improvement was completed, dozens of Ronald McDonalds and a couple Hamburglers converged on the scene to help celebrate this occasion. They then proceeded to invade the McDonald’s across the street.

BLF: To Serve Man

BLF: To Serve Man

Soon after, the SFPD with the help of the SFFD removed the animatronic Ronald McDonald and child sculpture. It’s reported that Ronald was not read his Miranda rights as he was escorted into the (hamburger) patty wagon. The latest reports we have received are saying that the actual billboard modification was still in place, so their still may be time for you to go down and see it in person.

Here’s the press release that was sent to us by the Billboard Liberation Front:


1:30pm May 30th, 2005

Location: Billboard in the Cala Foods parking lot, corner of Haight St & Stanyan St, San Francisco

McDonalds is virtually ignoring its own golden anniversary with the modesty and humility of a king, even though McDonalds 50th is an event of colossal significance for shareholders, staff, customers, and indeed, all of mankind. Thus, the Billboard Liberation Front (BLF) and Ron of the East will provide our most inspirational client with a gratis improvement in honor of McDonalds campaign “To Serve Man”.

The improvement illuminates and memorializes McDonalds’ far-reaching vision of Service to Man with two unique components. The background is an original 12″ x 22″ painting by noted New York artist Ron of the East, whose work was featured in the film Supersize Me. The foreground will feature the world’s first animatronic billboard alteration: a life-sized figure of Ronald McDonald feeding a corpulent child his daily dose of Big Macs. This represents yet another stunning innovation in realm of billboard alteration arts by San Francisco’s own Billboard Liberation Front.

Yet, this innovation pales in light to the dedication of McDonalds To Serve Man. With each successive year McDonalds has unflinchingly and subserviently fed more and more of humanity for the lowest of possible prices. All the while, they have selflessly prepared Earth and all its inhabitants for our ultimate purpose in the Universal Scheme of Things, as writer Rod Serling presaged in the 1960’s. That Grand Design is now ready for Mass Consumption.

Mankind is ready to serve, and McDonalds is the corporation to do the serving. After 50 years of eating more and more Big Macs, French fries, and McNuggets designed to enhance our serve-ability, we are finally ready! Untold billions of meals consumed by billions of people throughout the world, have sufficiently enlarged the average girth and tenderness of McDonalds’ patrons (i.e. you) to reveal the True Meaning of life on Earth! Keep your eyes to the skies and watch for the big, shiny saucers with the gold-arched logos that are going to whisk us away to our inevitable and glorious destiny among the stars. Soon McDonalds will truly fulfill its mission To Serve Man.

Photo Gallery: Billboard Liberation Front: To Serve Man

UPDATE 1: Eric in SF has some photos of other BLF/Ron English billboard alterations that occurred the week leading up to the big one on Memorial Day: “Fat, F*ck’d-Up & 50!”, “McSoylent Gold Is Cattle!” & “The Mother of All Milkshakes!”

UPDATE 2: Elliot has reported on his blog that one of the Ron English/BLF billboard modifications is still up.

photos by Scott Beale