A little more than five years ago, I wrote this article on dueling bumper stickers. These stickers showcased the divide within America — and also the way we seek to advertise our views (and antagonize others?) by plastering such stickers on our vehicles and in other public spaces. Recently, I’ve seen a sticker that announces “God, Guns, & Guts Made America Great,” which I suppose is an “in your face” message meant to irritate liberals. Readers, what stickers have you seen recently, and what do they tell us about America? Is it too late to “coexist”?
I occasionally travel from north central Pennsylvania, a mostly rural, generally conservative, area to Amherst, Massachusetts, home of generally liberal colleges like Amherst and Smith. It’s an adventure in dueling bumper stickers.
In Amherst, I’m told to “coexist” with my neighbors, to “enlighten up,” to seek “peace.” I’m told to go organic and to support my local farmers. Perhaps my favorite Amherst bumper sticker was the one that told me, “I’m already against the next war.”
Just today in Pennsylvania, I was taught different lessons by different stickers. I was told to seek “peace thru superior firepower.” I was encouraged to join the NRA (National Rifle Association, of course) and to “stand and fight.” I was reminded that “All gave some — some gave all,” with the image of a soldier kneeling next to the grave of a comrade in arms. “Don’t tread on me,” the slogan of tea partiers…
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4 thoughts on “Dueling Bumper Stickers”
we don’t do ‘duelling bumper stickers’ here on mindoro island in the philippines; they won’t fit on our trikes, motorcycles, bicycles, and jitneys, which are the primary means of transport around puerto galera, savang, and balatero. buses are elaborated w/ adverts of sexy girls and guys, encouraging us to buy multifarious products from mouthwash to diapers to beer.
We could use some smaller vehicles here. But gas is fairly cheap and many Americans equate size with value. I’m seeing bigger and bigger pickup trucks and SUVs — and they have plenty of space for bumper stickers!
i don’t envy, you, sir astore. what odd priorities your fellow americans appear to have. the ‘bigger-is-better’ zeitgeist has infected canada as well, our country of citizenship. we visited canada this summer and were overwhelmed by the gas-guzzling juggernauts, particularly the monstrosities they call RV’s, that have exploded onto our roads. the erumpently expanding ‘bigger-is-better’ bubble will burst in both the US and canada one day, at which nexus vehicular traffic will likely resemble our mindoro island ambit. your final ‘duelling bumper stickers’ line is ineffably condign in the US of A-rtillery, i.e., that “even americans’ bumper stickers are at war w/ each other”… you are a sui-generis commentator, blogger, and word-meister, sir astore.
I live in Indianapolis. A few years ago I was traveling on an Interstate. One of these mammoth pick-up trucks, flying a big Confederate Flag was pulled over by a state trooper. The trooper was black. I must confess that was very psychically rewarding.
A few years ago, I took my grandson to an Occupy Demonstration in a downtown public park. He was about nine years old. I dressed him up in his Halloween Pirate Costume and made him a sign that said “Pirates of Wall Street”. I was decked out in the “V for Vendetta” costume, with a “Jail the Bankers” sign. The pick-up truck crowd with their Confederate Flags and American Flags (an oxymoron perhaps) drove around on the streets giving us the finger. I suppose the pick-up truck crowd had some logic for being angry at us.
We have the cheap no pain “Patriotism” of yellow ribbons, etc. This cheap no pain “Patriotism” goes along with airstrikes, tomahawk missiles, and drones.
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