Friday, September 24, 2010

Bumper in the road

While driving home from pumping iron yesterday afternoon (it'll show any day now), I found myself behind a red Toyota SUV with nine anti-Obama bumper stickers.

NINE. Every one of them disparaging the president with some goofy turn of phrase that probably kills at honor-restoration rallies. They weren't slapped on haphazardly, either — three ovals on each side of the rear windshield, two full-size decals on top and a colorful "IMPEACH OBAMA" sticker at the bottom. It was actually quite nice-looking from 50 feet away, when you can't read any of it. There was no doubt that the driver of this car made an afternoon of this aesthetic effort.

I'm pretty jaded and cynical, which was especially evident during the Bush administration, but to paraphrase Chris Rock, you don't drink nine cups of Kool-Aid. (Tea? Maybe.) All I know is, even at my angriest, I never had nine anti-Bush bumper stickers on my truck. Hell, I didn't even have one! The most political my truck ever got was on Election Day 2004, when I added an extra Kerry-Edwards bumper sticker alongside the John Kerry one I'd had since that summer. Both came off the following morning, and I put them on my bedroom mirror at my parents' house, when they remain to this day.

In the six years I drove that truck, I never had more than four stickers on it at any given time. Most were school- or Saints-related. There was also a Cowboy Mouth one at one point. Mostly, though, it was parking permits.

(Side note: That truck died on me on Sept. 18, 2005, between Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Rita. Even my trusty wheels couldn't take it anymore, it seems.)

On my current car, I have two small, non-political decals. And even that seems gaudy to me. I can't imagine sporting nine bumper stickers on my car, much less having all of them describe that which I despise most.

On the other hand, high blood pressure just got a little easier to treat.


Jenni said...

This is similar to the cars that have all of the pro-life/pro-gun/pro-Creationism stickers on them. I can't help but wonder if these people are active in the causes they advertise on their car. It's easy to put a sticker on your car, but it's completely different to be involved with something and having to take your licks from the opposition.

I would love to have a few things on my car, but I couldn't living where I do. On an old car, I had a Darwin fish. One afternoon after work, I found it on the ground and broken. Apparently someone took offense, ripped it off, and broke it in two. Instead of ignoring it and walking on by, they had to vandalize my car. I was pissed, but there was nothing I could do. Luckily, no one has complained about my sticker with a dog hiking his leg and peeing on the phrase 'puppy mills'.

Jester said...

So all the cars that had 9 anti-Bush stickers on them were fine, but the ones with 9 anti-Obama ones are not? Hmm... Double standard. I don't get it :(

Ian McGibboney said...

Jenni - That sucks! I never had that happen to me, though once during a grad school night class, someone peppered my windshield with a stack of white-supremacist newspapers. This was well after the '04 election, when I had no political stickers of any kind. Whoever it was knew it was my vehicle. Not that hard, granted, considering it was very distinctive, but still kind of weird. Even weirder: two of the papers were from 1978 and 1986. WTF?

Jester - I don't care what people sport. What I'm saying is that anyone so defined by what they hate is swimming with negative energy. I never wore anti-Bush shirts or sported anti-Bush bumper stickers, because that wasn't my bag. I felt it was enough of a release to write my opinions about him.

That said, Bush made a lot of decisions that really hurt this country and made perilous situations worse. His critics, like myself, disliked what he actively sought out to do. Obama's critics push this "Other" crap that hasn't changed since the day Obama became a viable candidate, all the while having absolutely nothing to propose as an alternative. I'm no fan of assertive negativity, but there is that difference.

Jester said...

Ok - I made a wrong assumption of your view, and I do agree with you here. I don't like anti-Bush OR anti-Obama stuff, even though I didn't and don't like either's administration. It's just childish, negative, and besides, two wrongs don't make a right. Not to mention the fact that there IS enough assertive negativity. Lord knows I have to watch myself for it quite enough...

As far as Obama's critics not offering an alternative, have you read this yet? I still haven't read the whole thing, nor am I completely sure what to think of it yet...

Work calls. Gotta go!!