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).

 

 

More articles by:

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).

Weekend Edition
November 24, 2017
Friday - Sunday
Jonathan Cook
From an Open Internet, Back to the Dark Ages
Linda Pentz Gunter
A Radioactive Plume That’s Clouded in Secrecy
Jeffrey St. Clair
The Fires This Time
Nick Alexandrov
Birth of a Nation
Vijay Prashad
Puerto Rico: Ruined Infrastructure and a Refugee Crisis
Peter Montague
Men in Power Abusing Women – What a Surprise!
Kristine Mattis
Slaves and Bulldozers, Plutocrats and Widgets
Pete Dolack
Climate Summit’s Solution to Global Warming: More Talking
Mike Whitney
ISIS Last Stand; End Times for the Caliphate
Robert Hunziker
Fukushima Darkness, Part Two
James Munson
Does Censoring Undemocratic Voices Make For Better Democracy?
Brian Cloughley
The Influence of Israel on Britain
Jason Hickel
Averting the Apocalypse: Lessons From Costa Rica
Pepe Escobar
How Turkey, Iran, Russia and India are playing the New Silk Roads
Jan Oberg
Why is Google’s Eric Schmidt So Afraid?
Ezra Rosser
Pushing Back Against the Criminalization of Poverty
Kathy Kelly
The Quality of Mercy
Myles Hoenig
A Ray Moore Win Could be a Hidden Gift to Progressives
Gerry Brown
Myanmar Conflict: Geopolitical Food Chain
Matthew Stevenson
Into Africa: Robert Redford’s Big Game in Nairobi
Katrina Kozarek
Venezuela’s Communes: a Great Social Achievement
Zoltan Grossman
Olympia Train Blockade Again Hits the Achilles Heel of the Fracking Industry
Binoy Kampmark
History, Law and Ratko Mladić
Tommy Raskin
Why Must We Sanction Russia?
Bob Lord
Trump’s Tax Plan Will Cost a Lot More Than Advertised
Ralph Nader
National Democratic Party – Pole Vaulting Back into Place
Julian Vigo
If Sexual Harassment and Assault Were Treated Like Terrorism
Russell Mokhiber
Still Blowing Smoke for Big Tobacco: John Boehner and College Ethics
Louis Proyect
The Witchfinders
Ted Rall
Sexual Harassment and the End of Team Politics
Anna Meyer
Your Tax Dollars are Funding GMO Propaganda
Barbara Nimri Aziz
An Alleged Communist and Prostitute in Nepal’s Grade Ten Schoolbooks!
Myles Hoenig
A Ray Moore Win Could be a Hidden Gift to Progressives
Graham Peebles
What Price Humanity? Systemic Injustice, Human Suffering
Kim C. Domenico
To Not Walk Away: the Challenge of Compassion in the Neoliberal World
Kollibri terre Sonnenblume
Giving Thanks for Our Occupation of America?
Christy Rodgers
The First Thanksgiving
Charles R. Larson
Review: Ta-Nehisi Coates’ “We Were Eight Years in Power”
David Yearsley
On the Road to Rochester, By Bike
November 23, 2017
Kenneth Surin
Discussing Trump Abroad
Jay Moore
The Failure of Reconstruction and Its Consequences
Jeffrey St. Clair - Alexander Cockburn
Trout and Ethnic Cleansing
John W. Whitehead
Don’t Just Give Thanks, Pay It Forward One Act of Kindness at a Time
Chris Zinda
Zinke’s Reorganization of the BLM Will Continue Killing Babies
David Krieger
Progress Toward Nuclear Weapons Abolition
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail