Sunday, June 03, 2007
Bumper Stickers, Lesbians, and the Cookie Monster
I hate bumper stickers.
Actually, I don't like any other form of decal either.
I was driving home from the movies today when I saw an SUV in front of me with gay rainbow stickers and a bumper sticker about the driver’s girlfriend. I would be lying if I said my mind didn't drift into Howard Stern territory for a few sections. Then I focused on the reality that this woman is giving way too much information about herself on her car. What if I was some homophobic redneck guy (which I am NOT)? Okay, so I am an accepting person, but what about the people who are not?
Our society is at an interesting crossroads: we are totally paranoid that we are going to get bombed, our kids are going to get molested, big brother is out to get us, yet we are sharing more about our personal lives on our cars, on the internet, in print, on the radio. The same soccer mom that is checking the sex offender sites to see if a creep is living in the neighborhood has an SUV outside that has her kid’s names, soccer team, and numbers on the car in plain sight. I honestly don’t understand it.
Every single day I can look at someone's car and determine their religion, their political views, how many children they have, if they survived cancer... why do I need to know this? I’ll be honest with you, when the Jesus fish start popping up everywhere, I was tempted to buy a Darwin fish, but then I thought to myself, I would be just like those people, or even worse because I was just looking to make fun of those people (and feed the whole damn industry). Then I started thinking that maybe they were looking for a fight by putting Jesus fishes on their cars, and they are looking to become martyrs in their own little world… but then I chose to think the best of people and let the whole damn thing drop.
But it is impossible to avoid – almost every car has some personalized statement about the person driving it, taking my and everyone else’s attention and imagination away for a few seconds. I feel slighted by these hijackings: I didn’t ask to have my attention whisked away by a 30-something, woman that has Hanson pictures in her back window (Was she a groupie? Did she take the youngest kid's virginity on a bender that they both care to forget? See what I mean!). Again my thoughts goes back to what if there was a person that hated Hanson fans out in the world and followed this woman home and slashed her tires or worse. Why are we bringing this kind of attention to ourselves?
Maybe the question is why is our society so messed up that people can't expose their views if they want to? I used to own a computer repair shop and my partner wanted me to put company logos on my car and I flatly refused because it was a easy way to trace me and I didn’t want the risk. Does that make me a chicken? Probably, but a smart chicken none the less. I know the three people who read this article might think twice before they put some cheap piece of paper on their car, but is that giving into the Dateline brand of fear that most of America subscribes to? I don’t want this article to be another device that enables fear. We are already too easily swayed by fear; as individuals and in the masses. However, overcoming fear doesn’t mean we have the luxury of stupidity. If I lived next door to the Cookie Monster, and owned a bakery, I wouldn’t leave my delivery car full of delicious treats open for the blue bastard to have his way with. Next time somebody hands you a bumper sticker, a car magnet, car paint, or some other crap that just makes your car ugly think of the Cookie Monster and know that he is hungry.