Thursday, July 14, 2005

Bumper Snickers

I love bumper stickers and pretty much all other ways of easily communicating your deeply held beliefs to the public at large. My all-time fav was a Nader for Prez. sticker that I spotted on the back of Toyota Land Cruiser (the modern, luxury SUV kind - not the old school off-road vehicle kind) back in 2000. I spotted this gem on the back of a shiny new Volvo station wagon today - "Never have so few, taken from so many, for so long".

On the surface, these both seem ironic. I drive a big, gas-guzzlin' SUV but vote for the Green party, I'm mad as hell about economic inequality but I drive a luxury car. There could be a logical explanation for both them, but Occam's ironic bumpersticker razor tells us that when there are multiple explanations for a bumper sticker, the ironic one is usually correct.

As much as I love ironic bumper stickers, my favorites are the totally absurd kind. I spotted this one on a school bus that had been purchased by a private citizen and converted into his personal party wagon: "Support Your Local Police: Beat Yourself Up".

2 comments:

MDS said...

I was just reading about a company that sells T-shirts and bumper stickers with conservative phrases on them. Apparently Timothy McVeigh was wearing one of their T-shirts when he bombed the Oklahoma City building, so that got them some acclaim from the type of people who think Timothy McVeigh is someone to emulate. Anyway, one of their better seller brands of bumper stickers in the '90s read, "Clinton's military: A gay at every porthole, a fag in every foxhole." What I don't get about this bumper sticker is how it implies that there's a distinction between "a gay" and "a fag". I think they liked the alliteration of "fag" and "foxhole," but if that's the case why didn't they phrase it something like "a pansy at every porthole" or "a pussy at every porthole"? I guess that one could have multiple meanings, though.

dhodge said...

First of all, I loved the reference to the "Duracell is a better seller brand" commercial - I almost missed it. Second, I think you are giving these people way too much credit. I'm surprised that they managed to use correct spelling and grammar.