Posted by: nikiyustis | August 22, 2007

Bumper stickers

I’ve never put a bumper sticker on my car before. Some people have one only: a bold statement to stand alone, a bright banner on an otherwise homogeneous backdrop. Others have the symmetrical system: one on either side of the license plate–or even two on either side–often of similar themes. Then you have the bumper sticker collage people who have a little of everything. There is a tangible theme, usually, but you get to know just about everything that has crossed the owner’s mind manifested in a vast collection of unoriginal blurbs. I guess the originality springs from the combination.

Then, of course, you have folks like me who for any number of reasons have no bumper stickers. I don’t like to be conspicuous and I’ve always winced at clichés and even popular metaphor. Also, doesn’t it seem presumptuous to place your notions all over your vehicle, as if someone else truly wants to know? Or maybe it’s altruistic: people in traffic need something to do–why not shower them with inane blurbs to pass the time? People love inanity, just look at TV!

We can’t pass up political bumper stickers. W, anyone? Though political bumper stickers get a bad rap, I think people spend critically insufficient amounts of time thinking about politics. Maybe political bumper stickers can help this, or maybe it will just give idealess people odd ideas. My boyfriend is a cab driver and he swears that all cars bearing political bumper stickers (BS) are driven as if by centenarians from far way places, which supports my first idea. These political activists are driving slow to underscore our failure to take the time to consider politics. Of course, this is not working.

I think I’m ready for a bumper sticker after all these years. It will say “frisbee dog on board” in Korean. It has a nice little icon of a dog catching a frisbee, and it’s in a language whose orthographic system is perhaps one of the most inspiring inventions of the past couple millennia. All my life I wanted a dog who would sail gracefully into the air after a frisbee, and I’ve wanted a spelling system that makes good sense. I have the dog, but not the spelling system (not in my native language, anyway). I’ve wanted to see bumper stickers that don’t repeat or spin off some sagging, overused theme. “On board” borders on such a theme, but since it’s in Korean, I’ll feel quite a bit better about it. I already bought one in Japanese, but it wasn’t quite right.

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