Bumper Sticker Philosophy

A lot of people express themselves through bumper stickers. Today I saw this one which I’ve now found you can get at CafePress.com

Bumper Sticker

I suppose that may be (sadly) true. But part of me wonders whether it can be … I think that, Cold War concluded or not, there is still “the button,” that terrible icon of the total destruction of the world by nuclear holocaust. Probably, if some mad person wanted to do so, we could kill our enemies faster than we seem to be making them, but that would entail killing everyone else … and if anyone was left they’d more than likely thinking themselves the enemy of whoever pushed that button (us, I guess).Bumper stickers are interesting things. My daughter has one on her car which reads

Remember, you are UNIQUE, just like everyone else.

It’s a good thought. Everyone is unique and, in that, we are all alike. I remember a friend relating an argument with her teenage son about a mohawk haircut he’d gotten (and died blue), after several minutes of heated discussion he ended it all by exclaiming, “I just want to be different, like everyone else.” It stopped his mother cold … and when they both realized what he’d said, they started laughing.

Perhaps that’s the wisdom of expressing oneself in bumper stickers. They reduce these serious matters to (usually) humorous and even (sometimes) ridiculous statements and allow us to laugh at our philosophies which we otherwise take so seriously.

Back a few years ago, when Bob Dole was running for president, I was rector of a parish in northeastern Kansas and, unlike many of my parishioners, was not a Republican and was not enamored of our senator. I put a bumper sticker on my car which read

Not everyone in Kansas loves Bob Dole.

It actually says nothing about my own politics nor does it in anyway criticize Mr. Dole — but, my oh my, did that bumper sticker get some heated comment.

My wife doesn’t approve of bumper stickers. It seems to me, on the other hand, that they are a good and legitimate exercise in public expression.

But it does sadden me that we are creating enemies so rapidly …..



Filed under Personal, Political Comment, Uncategorized

2 responses to “Bumper Sticker Philosophy

  1. paddyirishman

    Greetings breadandwine,
    Thanks for the comment. Like I said in a previous reply, I’m delighted someone is reading it and took the time to comment. American politics is something of a ‘hobby’ of mine, I studied in the U.S. last year and found it refreshingly different in many ways to Ireland. Your politics of course is vastly different; slicker, more professional, more ruthless in many ways. Interesting people, ye Americans.

    I like your bumper sticker article. My first article was actually on the same topic. Although when I wrote it, I was in a far angrier and unhappy place than I am nowI do not suggest you read it.

    Finally when will you anglicans return to the Catholic fold (I say slightly tongue in cheek)? Catholicism hasn’t been the same without ye (Defenders of the Faith and all that!).

    As Robin Williams once said. “I’m Episcopalian, it’s Catholicism with half the guilt.”
    Seriously though, I’m delighted you came to Ireland and hope you enjoyed it. Many people say the weather and the people here are fairly miserable, but I like to think if you scratch below the surface, neither are too bad.
    Is mise le meas,
    Paddy Irishman

  2. breadandwine

    Paddy: We Anglican/Episcopalians don’t need to return to the “Catholic fold” – we never left. Now, the ROMAN fold … that’s another matter. 😉

    Contrary to your suggestion about Irish weather and people, we found both wonderful.

    I have a bumpersticker on my car which says: American by birth; Irish by the Grace of God.

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