In the last six weeks, the Citi Bike has become an omnipresent New York City character, appearing on a New Yorker cover, landing a supporting role with Leonardo DiCaprio's e-cigarette, and causing a Wall Street Journal board member nearly to burst into angry, elitist flames over the pernicious "all-powerful bike lobby."
But the communal vehicle has also shown itself to have a bit of a mischievous streak: tricking a public-cycling neophyte into accidentally taking the Brooklyn Bridge automobile level; stubbornly refusing to be dragged down the Bedford Avenue L train stairs at the clumsy behest of a clueless guardian, an incident we witnessed this past weekend that ended with the borrower falling over like a slapstick stooge; and generally exuding a moody temperament.
So it is no wonder that someone has taken upon himself to re-brand the corporate-sponsored local celebrities with their own sort of peculiarly impish whimsy—specifically slapping "Shitibike" stickers all over the big, blue creatures as an anti-corporate statement. Apparently
that someone one of those someones is this guy, Michael S. Davison, the owner of the hands pictured above, who works at a vaguely defined company called True Interaction. Davison Instagrammed a photo of himself on "Shitibike duty," and when a follower asked, "So your job is to stick those on bikes?" he responded, "Less of a job & more of a personal mission :)"
Update, 5:45 pm: Michael Davison—who was friendly and forthright and not at all douchebaggy—got in touch to say that he is not the person behind this movement. "I was inspired by the stickers as a creative sort of local activism and dubiously likened it to civic duty in an Instagram post," he writes.
It's unclear if So Davison is not behind the site Shitibike.com, a privately registered domain that's made the subvertisement downloadable, who is? The very same shape, design, and printed translucence of the culture-jammed stickers in the top photo are all over the city:
This project is fine and good and maybe a little silly, an eff-you gesture against a corporate goliath trying to engender goodwill from a New York community that's typically aligned itself with environmental and social consciousness. But could we/you/them please remember the real problem here—the big fucking evil bank, not a small army of shared bikes? Shitibank! Not Shitibike.
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