This thought has crossed my mind several times, but really hit me yesterday while driving home from work: There are two kinds of people in the world - those who believe in the bumper sticker as a statement and those who think the bumper sticker people need to figure out their larger issues.
I’m one of the people who think that bumper sticker folks need to figure out their larger issues.
Maybe it’s different in other parts of the country (or the world, for that matter). I can only really use the Portland, Oregon locale as my frame of reference since I’ve never really spent too much time in other places. Stick with me here - I really don’t think I’m wrong on this one…
For example, if you own a Volkswagen bus (already you’ve dug a hole for yourself, but…), where is it written that you need to cover the entire back end of the bus with bumper stickers? And, yes, I’m counting the Grateful Dead sticker(s). No one is more tired of seeing those stupid bears than I am.
I also noticed that if you do choose the bumper sticker route, all the bumper sticker people in Oregon have made a pact that they all need to have a “Visualize Whirled Peas” sticker, like that’s the most original or funny statement ever.
This is actually what set me off and made me think to write about this - I was driving behind this Volvo-driving hippie with his Grateful Dead sticker, his “Clearcutting Kills Salmon” sticker, and his obligatory “Visualize Whirled Peas” sticker, when I felt this overwhelming urge to pull him out of his car and wipe the stickers off his bumper with his forehead. It really makes me wonder - do these bumper sticker people really think that driving around with these statements on their barely-passing-DEQ-Volvo-automobiles is going to make people stop clearcutting or consuming natural resources (or anything else for that matter)?
Maybe I’m just jaded. I mean, the first time I saw a beggar with a sign saying “Why Lie? I Need A Beer,” I gave the guy a fiver. I thought it was clever, and if you can provide entertainment of some nature, sure, I’ll contribute. (Hey, I gotta get something for my money - there’s no free lunch out there.)
But now when I see these dozens - nay, hundreds - of people (some wearing nicer clothes than what I’ve got on at the time), all of which are carrying “Why Lie? I Need A Beer” signs… it just irritates me.
I think that’s what’s happened with the “Visualize Whirled Peas” thing. I think I can dredge up a memory of a time when I actually thought that was clever. It’s just not anymore. And there’s the rub.
You know, I’m not really sure where I’m going with this. Maybe I’m just frustrated at the lack of originality out there. Maybe I just think bumper sticker people are mindless sheep lacking any proper sense of humor. Maybe I’m just talking to hear the sound of my own voice. Who knows? I guess the long and the short of it is, if you want to make a statement, make the damn statement already and lose the stupid bumper stickers.
Oh, and all who wander are fucking lost, so get some direction and contribute to society already. You know who you are.