Wednesday, December 06, 2006

More Bumper Stickers

How long has it been since I've done a bumper sticker watch? I don't know. I'm sure I could look it up here, but it just doesn't seem worth it. Perhaps that's why it's been however long it's been since I've done a bumper sticker watch. Bumper stickers for the sake of bumper stickers are, well... tacky.

But, on my way to do more Christmas shopping - I may claim to hate the commoditization of religion, but I love Christmas loot - this afternoon I saw a small SUV with a Veteran license plate, and three anti-war bumper stickers worth noting. From left to right they read:

Bush spent your Social Security on his war

Support the war? Then ENLIST!, and

So you say you support the war...
Why don't you fight in it?
Put up or shut up!

I could offer some semi-insightful commentary here, about how these bumper stickers point out the fundamental absurdity of trying to fight a war without sacrificing anything, but that's too obvious. What struck me instead is that, in some not so small way, these bumper stickers - especially the last two - were actually punning bumper stickers. At a time when supporting something means simply buying the T-shirt or sticking a snazzy slogan on the butt of your car, this veteran has used that medium to criticize the role of that medium in our culture.

We can't just pay lip and bumper service to our causes. We must fight for them, albeit non-violently, or they are not truly our causes. Of course, this great insight is coming from someone who thinks that supporting a cause is building an argument for it on his blog, so take that with a grain of salt. Pots and kettles and all that.

1 comment:

Brian Cubbage said...

Sorry I've been out of commission recently, Sandman-- the fog of final-exam time is still upon me, but starting to lift. I'm glad to hear that the surgery appears to have been successful, and congratulations on being admitted to the M.A. program!

I do have a bumper-sticker-related item. I have a friend who is a WWII vet. He drives a Prius with a WWII veteran's plate on it, along with an Amnesty International bumper sticker. I suspect that around here, his car creates a lot of cognitive dissonance; how could anyone from the "Greatest Generation" support Amnesty International? (It's really not all that surprising, but Tom Brokaw and Stephen Ambrose really corrupted our understanding of the WWII generation.)