'Idea Farm' runs out of ideas on Highway 237 Around Town, posted by Editor, Mountain View Voice Online, on Oct 16, 2009 at 2:36 pm
The "Idea Farm" truck — the ubiquitous vehicle parked around Mountain View featuring large spray-painted messages on billboards — apparently hit a snag last weekend after a sign maligning the Mountain View Police Department drew unwelcome attention.
Read the full story here Web Link posted Friday, October 16, 2009, 1:58 PM
Posted by Heidi, a resident of the The Crossings neighborhood, on Oct 16, 2009 at 2:36 pm
I am all for free speech, but I have seen this Idea Farm truck parked all around town, and I have no idea what the actual message is! To me, this truck is a hindrance, an eye sore, and a safety issue in Mountain View. (Safety issue because on more than one occasion I have witnessed drivers' attention diverted to the side of the road where the truck is parked, instead of paying attention to the traffic in front of them.) Idea Farm guy should park his truck in Santa Cruz or Berkeley. Those cities seem much more suited for such kookiness!
Posted by KananK, a resident of the Shoreline West neighborhood, on Oct 16, 2009 at 2:43 pm
He is protesting or expressing an idea in the most nonviolent way. I support this person. Anybody harassing this person in the wrongful manner either the police or any non-authorize figure is a fundamental breach of individuals rights. Anybody who is against this person are free to move to Texas or Oklahoma or Louisiana.
Posted by Becky, a resident of the Rex Manor neighborhood, on Oct 16, 2009 at 4:37 pm
The real issue for me is not his kookiness, It is that he parks so close to the corners that he blocks the view of traffic. When the middle schoolers are out, or the bus stops are loaded with people, this is a dangerous distraction. The corners need to have a much wider no parking setback to accommodate the heavy pedestrian traffic.
Posted by WOW, a resident of another community, on Oct 16, 2009 at 4:53 pm
HAHAHAHA!!! I see his stupid truck everyday and it just makes me laugh. We have so many crazy people in Mountain View that I think that the city is turning into Oakland.. or San Francisco.. CRAZY PEOPLE EVERYWHERE!! And does anyone know where the homeless lady (that dresses in all black) went? I haven't seen her in months...
Posted by Judy, a resident of the Rex Manor neighborhood, on Oct 16, 2009 at 6:15 pm
I agree with Becky - that big truck is often parked at the very corner of El Camino and Castro, blocking the view of southbound cars making a right turn from El Camino onto Castro. That is a very busy intersection, near Graham Middle School and at times of the day there are a lot of students and other pedestrians crossing the street.
Posted by Deborah, a resident of the Cuesta Park neighborhood, on Oct 16, 2009 at 6:53 pm
I also find this car offensive.
But: I do support the right of free speech, and a car like this falls under it. This is a constitutional right, and as such very important.
This is a more important right than what somebody said who wants a city devoid of such people. I also want all kinds of things, where I have to give in to more important principles. I don't like my neighbor's garden, but there is the principle of property, his right to his property against my wishes (within city ordinances).
As far as parking dangerously, or going beyond free speech to be offensive and to use racial slurs and all that - we have laws against all that, and they should be used. If there is substantial controversy - such as free speech vs. hate speech - that's up to judges, and the police should get some info on that before they charge him with anything. Send mexicans to mexico sounds bad to me, but I'm not an expert.
We have all the rules in place. Personally, I'd also like to know who is behind this idea farm thing.
Posted by parent, a resident of another community, on Oct 16, 2009 at 8:26 pm
He is a disgrace. He is polluting Mtn. View and needs to get off the streets. He is a distraction, which should be a traffic violation. He should not be allowed on busy streets. He is an eyesore. We have to keep our yards clean, per city ordinance so why doesn't the city have an ordinance for our streets too.
He is taking over our city because he can! This is crazy.
Posted by KC, a resident of the The Crossings neighborhood, on Oct 17, 2009 at 9:13 am
Thank you for the web link, anon. I've also gone to the Idea Farm web site and I still don't understand what this guy's message is. I think the non-materialistic, off-the-grid mode of living is a noble goal, but I can't reconcile it with the mean spirited messages I see posted on the van. As for the van in general, it doesn't bother me. What eyesore? It's parked on a busy street. He's not blocking traffic or impeding that right turn from Castro onto El Camino.
Posted by Wo'O Ideafarm, a resident of another community, on Oct 17, 2009 at 10:34 am
The mission of IdeaFarm (tm) Operations, to "connect people wholesomely", is state clearly at the beginning of the web site. This mission has not changed in the ten years that have elapsed since IdeaFarm (tm) Operations began in 1999. Every sign that I have displayed is designed to pursue that mission. Understand those three words and you understand IdeaFarm (tm) Operations.
The objective for Mountain View is to form a group of people who (1) meet weekly for dinner and (2) have publicly declared a commitment to living unselfishly. I think of it as a "nonreligious brotherhood" that is equally for women and men of all ages, including minors. There is no political or religious or ethnic or other affiliation and there is no other agenda.
If you want to see this mission in action, join us for dinner by calling the phone number on the truck. Or just stop and chat with me for a few minutes when you see me attending my signs.
Beware of second hand information, some of which is malicious. Some of the people in Mountain View just don't like to be told, "Don't Be Selfish!".
Posted by Dr., a resident of the Old Mountain View neighborhood, on Oct 17, 2009 at 11:29 am
I've seen the truck with various slogans, and I support the right to free speech. The placards feel very hippyish. However, there isn't anything else about his motivations for this particular message, other than officers "routinely break the law to uphold it". Perhaps the MV cops are keeping an eye on him and making him move or ticketing him under the 72 hour limit. They sure aren't ticketing deadbeat cars on my street.
Still, if he's parking on corners and obstructing view of oncoming traffic, he needs to move to a safer location. His opinion and activism shouldn't endanger others.
Posted by 1776, a resident of the Waverly Park neighborhood, on Oct 17, 2009 at 1:41 pm
ditto Heidi & Becky... parks in a manner which creates dangerous conditions. I have thought on several occasions that police should tow the vehicle. I'm all for free speech. Thank you MV Voice for the story and the forum to express ourselves this way. A story about him would be ok. In my opinion, he's too creepy to walk up to and start a conversation, but the concept that we could change a few things about the way we live is timely.
I don't mind the Idea Farm truck. It is part of Mountain View, like the man with the dogs Buffy and Sandy.... and that house on Rengstorff that has "Save Mountain View" and "stop abusive code inspections" painted on it. What is the story behind that????
Posted by Wo'O Ideafarm, a resident of another community, on Oct 18, 2009 at 10:36 am
Creepy? Say hello sometime when you see me on the street, attending my signs. I promise I won't bite your neck to suck your blood, or start jumping around doing voodoo dances, or loudly proclaim nonsensical gibberish while shoving pictures of aborted fetuses in your face. You'll be safe; we'll be in plain view on a busy street in broad daylight. Bring your cell phone had have 911 preprogrammed into it so that you can have me hauled off to the loony bin the moment I start to take my pants off. MVPD is waiting for your call! (Be the 1 millionth caller and you get a special prize.)
Seriously, what are you afraid of? The dinners are held at Boston Market; you can meet me there in a safe group venue in a public place.
If you shudder at the thought of risking your life to me someone who is just a bit different, i.e. someone who has the audacity to yell out, "Hey, the emporer has no clothes on!", you can watch the 10 minute interview someone made of me and posted onto YouTube (search for "ideafarm"). You'd better have your cell phone handy, though, because I might reach out from the video playing on your computer screen, grab you by the throat, and end your sorry, cowardly, fear wracked life! <s>
Posted by Jennifer, a resident of the Waverly Park neighborhood, on Oct 18, 2009 at 11:14 am
O.K. - I've heard enough. Your last comment shows how really whacked you are. You are obviously ill, and I feel sorry for you; however, you are a complete danger to our streets. Not only are you creating a danger to our streets, you are often in the middle of them with your space hat on and your mouth gag, and mixing paints in our gutters.
Please get some help on your own. I implore the City of Mountain View and the Police Department to help you with this if you do not.
Posted by Julie N, a resident of the Waverly Park neighborhood, on Oct 18, 2009 at 11:28 am
I support free speech, but this guy's right to free speech does not trump my right to travel safely on our streets. His actions endanger us. His actions are selfish, contrary to his so-called mission.
I have called the police a few times now after many months and years of putting up with this guy. Constantly, his truck is parked on corners and the huge signs block a driver's view and we can't see other vehicles or pedestrians.
About two weeks ago, this idiot was actually in the intersection of Castro and El Camino holding a huge whiteboard with a gag in his mouth and running towards oncoming cars. He was clearly in the intersection, but the police did nothing because they know he is mentally ill. His actions are selfish and endanger us because traffic stops suddenly and cars nearly rear-end eachother. This is very upsetting to say the least.
Like the previous writer, I've seen him working on his display boards with buckets of paint, working in the street. Surely this has got to be against the law. Where are the Police? He thinks the Police are hassling him? Obviously that is not true.
His actions border on inciting a riot. Where are the Police? He writes racist messages on his billboards about Mexicans. I have seen quite a few Hispanics taking him on. There will be a fight soon. Just look at his latest message "You'd better have your cell phone handy, though, because I might reach out from the video playing on your computer screen, grab you by the throat, and end your sorry, cowardly, fear wracked life!" This guy is a lunatic and dangerous.
For free speech, just get your stupid sign and stand at the free speech area of the street festivals. In that way people can still see the rantings of a mentally disturbed person without him selfishly and physically endangering the residents of Mountain View.
Posted by Wade, a resident of the Waverly Park neighborhood, on Oct 18, 2009 at 11:31 am
I have to weight in as well. The best thing people can do is to call the Police at 903-6395 each and every time you have trouble safely driving because of his signs, the way he parks his truck, or if he is running around on the street. He also sets up a desk with a computer on the sidewalk. That's got to be illegal. Our public streets and sidewalks are not for his private use. Isn't there some kind of sign law?
Posted by Brad, a resident of the Old Mountain View neighborhood, on Oct 18, 2009 at 1:19 pm
I live right by Castro Street and unfortunately see this man and his van several times a day!
I am for free speech but there are more effective ways. I don't always understand what he's trying to get across but I saw one sign that said "speak English in public areas" ???!!! How absurd..this is America...we're free to speak whatever language we wish.
Did anyone see that he at least got a haircut recently!! Good for him! LOL
Posted by joe, a resident of the Cuesta Park neighborhood, on Oct 18, 2009 at 10:03 pm
1) Parent- It is sad that you asked the MV Voice to do an "autobiography on this guy"- please look up "autobiography" to understand why.
2) Ideafarm guy is a moron. His f**k MVPD message shows that he is just looking to cause a disturbance. If he has a real message he should be able to articulate it without causing a public disturbance and disrupting traffic.
3) [Portion removed due to disrespectful comment or offensive language]
Posted by Kathy, a resident of the Sylvan Park neighborhood, on Oct 19, 2009 at 8:03 am
Cleary the idea farm guy is a hot topic in MV, this has generated more comments than almost any other MV Voice article (to my knowledge anyway). If the idea farm guy can get people worked up then more power to him, people are so complacent these days. I did look at his website, it says... "The mission of IdeaFarm (tm) Operations is to connect you wholesomely with other people, with the Earth, and with your Higher Power. IdeaFarm (tm) Operations promotes the idea that all three forms of wholesome connection are essential, but the operational scope is limited to connecting you wholesomely with other people."
To the Voice Editor....write an article about the guy, everyone is curious whether they support or oppose him it would be interesting to know what he is all about.
Posted by Wo'O Ideafarm, a resident of another community, on Oct 19, 2009 at 8:06 am
To those of you who have used this forum in good faith to express constructive criticism of, or comments on, IdeaFarm (tm) Operations, thank you.
To those of you who have taken advantage of the anonymity of this forum to intentionally misrepresent the facts in order to cast IdeaFarm (tm) Operations in an unfavorable light, my revenge upon you will be that you will miss out on the joy and the fellowship that will come to Mountain View in the form of the weekly dinners and the public pledge to "be good news".
A roomful of darkness is easily destroyed by the tiny light of a candle. Talk to me on the streets. Read the web site. Watch the 10 minute interview on YouTube (search for "ideafarm"). Come to the dinners, which are held at an inexpensive healthy restaurant (call 650-804-1311 for the recorded invitation).
Get your information first hand or from a trusted source, and then take note of who spreads malicious, false gossip.
Posted by Why, a resident of the Old Mountain View neighborhood, on Oct 19, 2009 at 2:12 pm
Again....and again....and again something so minor happends in Mtn View and the media contact the police department. Instead of just saying nothing the police department gives a statement about it and then the minor event turns into something that causes all this stir. Now IdeaFarm has his Voice (pun intended) and is not going to go anywhere. I wish he would take his show back on the road and head back east. Let this be a lession to the "Voice" of the police department. Unless it is a major event when the press calls and ask if anything is going on or happend you say, "Nope, all is quite in Mountain View. Just the way we like it."
Posted by The Dad, a resident of the Cuesta Park neighborhood, on Oct 20, 2009 at 8:52 am
I don't have to understand his message and even if I did I don't have to agree with it to support his right to express it as he's been doing. He's legally free to what he does and I applaud him for doing so. He's safely and uniquely making this place a little more fun and kooky and contrary to the "Wet Blanket Brigade's" beliefs, that sort of thing is needed.
I like it when he pops up in new places, sometimes out of town. When I saw him in East Menlo one morning it brought a smile to my face "Hey! There he is"
Yes, we mustn't have that...people smiling and all, it might lead to public dancing :)
Posted by danilo, a resident of another community, on Oct 20, 2009 at 12:21 pm
No, he doesn't really articulate new ideas nor does he appear to have much philosophical/intellectual focus. (what exactly are the ideas, how are they being nurtured?) It's all pretty vague, recycled, and generic. But he obviously believes that he contributes something novel, and I have to admire the tenacity. I've chatted with him a few times. The guy enjoys what he's doing, he gets attention, and - as far as I know - doesn't harm anyone.
I wish he and Steve Lightfoot would collaborate on a monumental, paradigm-shattering vehicle display and lecture series.
Posted by PeaceLove, a resident of the Shoreline West neighborhood, on Oct 20, 2009 at 9:46 pm
I kind of like having a local eccentric. Assuming he's legally parked, you really can't accuse him of blocking the view for the right turn from Castro onto El Camino any more than any other truck. And his message is fine, too: "The mission of IdeaFarm (tm) Operations is to connect you wholesomely with other people, with the Earth, and with your Higher Power."
I haven't seen or heard any of the alleged racism others here refer to, but if these are true, then shame on him. But I still think free speech is only free if you include everyone. Shutting someone down because you disagree with him, or you don't like his truck, is just wrong and un-American.
I seem to recall Idea Farm's website used to include a rather lengthy description of his personal struggles against law enforcement, in which he believes himself to have been severely wronged (maybe he was). His "F**K MVPD sign certainly won't win him many fans (and sounds quite contrary to his stated goal, above), but his website actually has pretty nice things to say about the MVPD:
"This page is not intended to discourage or disrespect the sworn officers of the Mountain View Police Department. The MVPD is one of the most professional and competent law enforcement agencies in the Republic of California. But that is not good enough. Like their fellow officers throughout our republic, they routinely break the law in the name of upholding it.
"The mission of IdeaFarm (tm) Operation F**K MVPD is to bring the sworn law enforcement officers of the MVPD into scrupulous compliance with both the spirit and the letter of the Peoples' Law. In other words, heal the connection between the law enforcement officer and the citizen so that it is wholesome, as defined by the Constitution of the Republic of California."
That doesn't sound too bad. Maybe he just has very poor taste in titles? "F**K MVPD" isn't exactly a pathway to healing, is it, Idea Farm?
It was obvious to me that Idea Farm's comments above about keeping a cell phone handy predialed to 911 were entirely ironic. Unless anyone has ever alleged any violent behavior, I don't see why the residents of MV can't be a bit more tolerant of eccentricity. Or even, dare I say, embrace it.
Posted by Reality Check, a resident of the Shoreline West neighborhood, on Oct 28, 2009 at 12:20 pm
Sir, I have been a witness to your antics for the greater portion of the last 5 years. I'd like to be the first to say, you're nothing more than a grade A whackjob. You claim to be so educated and accredited with all of these boisterous degrees and knowledge. I'm sure I'm not the only one who finds this to be a load of crap. Anyone with Ph.D's and degrees of higher education wouldn't be waving around signs like a deranged lunatic and developing an alter ego for a 1984 Dodge Caravan called the "Nautilus." Get real bud your act is wearing thin. Were all real sorry about the problems you've experienced in your personal life, but why don't you get a job and maybe join a bowling league and make some friends rather than relegate yourself to making up false degrees and holding up signs that make about as much sense as a screen door on a submarine? You really want to help society? Then get a job and contribute to the economy like the rest of us.
As for your argument about the homeless, sir you are homeless. You live in the back of a van. The MVPD has every right to hassle you because YOU LIVE IN A VAN! Not to mention you're a traffic hazard. I'd rather give a bum ten bucks to go buy some booze and get liquored up of Popov than I would give you ten bucks so you can go huff some more paint while you deliver your senseless banter to hard-working people like myself.
I write this because I'm tired of seeing this guy every day that I go to work, everyday I drive home from work and even on some days the guy comes into my place of business and causes a circus. Man, get a grip, you're a lunatic. If you're so disgruntled with the citizens of Mountain View take your psychotic self somewhere else, do us all a favor.
By the way, I can really see your "dedication to wholesome living" when there oil dumping out of the "Nautilus" into storm drains everyday. What a quack.
Posted by wow, a resident of the Cuernavaca neighborhood, on Oct 28, 2009 at 1:24 pm
What a whack. Found some of his old literature:
"1992: Successfully completed the mathematical and conceptual work needed to preserve the idea, and began to develop software to present the idea as an "electronic book". Business failure (contract software development). Bankruptcy. Arrested for spouse battery. Separated, against will, from wife and two children. Family destroyed by the intrusive power of the State of California. Enraged and frustrated by legal powerlessness as a husband and father, by the lack of cultural support for traditional gender roles within the family, and by his own defective formation as a man, became determined to "fix the problem" for his two daughters."
In other words, he beat his wife, she took off with the kids, he lost his mind. Cause/effect. The end result is a looney-toon driving all over the Peninsula including Mountain View, Menlo Park and Sunnyvale. Hey buddy, check yourself in, do yourself a favor.