FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Honk If You No Longer Display a Bumper Sticker

by MARTHA ROSENBERG

Before social media, if you wanted to make an instant friend or enemy on the basis of your opinions, all you had to do was put a bumper sticker on your car. America Love It Or Leave It, My Country Right or Wrong and If You Don’t Like The Police, Next Time You’re In Trouble Call a Hippie, divided the world clearly in two. So did God, Guns and Guts Built This Country, From My Cold Dead Hands and Made By, Paid For and Driven By An American.

Of course it was also possible to be antagonistic without mentioning politics. All you had to do was display a sticker that said Don’t Like My Driving? Dial 1-800-Eat Shit, As a Matter A Fact, I Do Own The Road, and If You Can Read This You’re Too Damn Close.

Remember the sappy Baby on Board stickers? They were part of the offend-no one era  that included I’d Rather Be stickers (surfing, skiing, camping), Hug stickers (Have You Hugged Your Yorkie Today) and Honk stickers.

The Honk stickers were so popular, they may have been the country’s first chat room. They let people instantly zero in on like minded compatriots wherever their journey took them. There was nothing you couldn’t honk for:
Honk If You Love West Virginia, Honk if You Know Jesus, Honk if You Believe In Extraterrestrials and Honk If You Love Little League.

The Honk era also included the slightly risqué Do It Better stickers. Licensed Contractors Do It Better, Paralegals Do It Better. Many people did it better though they didn’t say what “it” was.

Also popular during the offend-no one era were disclosure stickers like Our Child Is An Honors Student At Tech High, I Passed Chem Lab and We’re Spending Our Children’s Inheritance and hokey humor like I Brake For Unicorns, I Brake For Yard Sales and My Other Car Is A Skateboard.

But preachy and belligerent bumper stickers did not go away either. Commit Random Acts Of Kindness and Senseless Beauty and Live Simply So That Others Can Simply Live stickers intermingled with Support Animal Rights– Love a Hockey Player and Stop Rape–Say Yes stickers.

Thanks to road rage, fewer people display bumper stickers today. The kind of car someone is driving, the way they are driving and the traffic conditions in general can enrage a fellow driver and the bumper sticker can put them over the edge. Especially dangerous in the era of road rage are bumper stickers that attempt to be funny but could be taken the wrong way.

I Owe, I Owe, So Off To Work I Go (At least you have a job, you ingrate!)

Officer, This Is Not An Abandoned Vehicle (Oh, yeah? I drive the same car!)

I Support The Right To Arm Bears (There’s nothing funny about threats to the Second Amendment!)

Why Are You Following Me? (If I could pass you, I would you!)

In fact, the only safe bumper stickers today are probably Support Mental Health Or I’ll Kill You and I Didn’t Take My Meds Today. Neither one requires a If You Can Read This You’re Too Damn Close” bumper sticker.

Martha Rosenberg is an investigative health reporter. She is the author of  Born With A Junk Food Deficiency: How Flaks, Quacks and Hacks Pimp The Public Health (Prometheus).

 

 

Martha Rosenberg is an investigative health reporter. She is the author of  Born With A Junk Food Deficiency: How Flaks, Quacks and Hacks Pimp The Public Health (Prometheus).

More articles by:
June 27, 2016
Robin Hahnel
Brexit: Establishment Freak Out
James Bradley
Omar’s Motive
Gregory Wilpert – Michael Hudson
How Western Military Interventions Shaped the Brexit Vote
Leonard Peltier
41 Years Since Jumping Bull (But 500 Years of Trauma)
Rev. William Alberts
Orlando: the Latest Victim of Radicalizing American Imperialism
Patrick Cockburn
Brexiteers Have Much in Common With Arab Spring Protesters
Franklin Lamb
How 100 Syrians, 200 Russians and 11 Dogs Out-Witted ISIS and Saved Palmyra
John Grant
Omar Mateen: The Answers are All Around Us
Dean Baker
In the Wake of Brexit Will the EU Finally Turn Away From Austerity?
Ralph Nader
The IRS and the Self-Minimization of Congressman Jason Chaffetz
Johan Galtung
Goodbye UK, Goodbye Great Britain: What Next?
Martha Pskowski
Detained in Dilley: Deportation and Asylum in Texas
Binoy Kampmark
Headaches of Empire: Brexit’s Effect on the United States
Dave Lindorff
Honest Election System Needed to Defeat Ruling Elite
Louisa Willcox
Delisting Grizzly Bears to Save the Endangered Species Act?
Jason Holland
The Tragedy of Nothing
Jeffrey St. Clair
Revolution Reconsidered, Guest Starring Bernard Sanders in the Role of Robespierre
Weekend Edition
June 24, 2016
Friday - Sunday
John Pilger
A Blow for Peace and Democracy: Why the British Said No to Europe
Pepe Escobar
Goodbye to All That: Why the UK Left the EU
Michael Hudson
Revolts of the Debtors: From Socrates to Ibn Khaldun
Andrew Levine
Summer Spectaculars: Prelude to a Tea Party?
Kshama Sawant
Beyond Bernie: Still Not With Her
Mike Whitney
¡Basta Ya, Brussels! British Voters Reject EU Corporate Slavestate
Tariq Ali
Panic in the House: Brexit as Revolt Against the Political Establishment
Paul Street
Miranda, Obama, and Hamilton: an Orwellian Ménage à Trois for the Neoliberal Age
Ellen Brown
The War on Weed is Winding Down, But Will Monsanto Emerge the Winner?
Gary Leupp
Why God Created the Two-Party System
Conn Hallinan
Brexit Vote: a Very British Affair (But Spain May Rock the Continent)
Ruth Fowler
England, My England
Jeffrey St. Clair
Lines Written on the Occasion of Bernie Sanders’ Announcement of His Intention to Vote for Hillary Clinton
Norman Pollack
Fissures in World Capitalism: the British Vote
Paul Bentley
Mercenary Logic: 12 Dead in Kabul
Binoy Kampmark
Parting Is Such Sweet Joy: Brexit Prevails!
Elliot Sperber
Show Me Your Papers: Supreme Court Legalizes Arbitrary Searches
Jan Oberg
The Brexit Shock: Now It’s All Up in the Air
Nauman Sadiq
Brexit: a Victory for Britain’s Working Class
Brian Cloughley
Murder by Drone: Killing Taxi Drivers in the Name of Freedom
Ramzy Baroud
How Israel Uses Water as a Weapon of War
Brad Evans – Henry Giroux
The Violence of Forgetting
Ben Debney
Homophobia and the Conservative Victim Complex
Margaret Kimberley
The Orlando Massacre and US Foreign Policy
David Rosen
Americans Work Too Long for Too Little
Murray Dobbin
Do We Really Want a War With Russia?
Kathy Kelly
What’s at Stake
Louis Yako
I Have Nothing “Newsworthy” to Report this Week
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail