Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Images, Smimmages



I must have seen 100 bumper-stickers on the 280 today. The life of a bumper-sticker must be exhausting (pun intended, yuk yuk). Out of thousands of stickers, you the bumper-sticker must be the one to grab attention and stake a claim on the image of your particular bumper's driver. You vie for position, sometimes scrambling to overcome the voice of the actual car. I see a late-model Lexus SUV with a "C The River" sticker. Intended message: I'm upper-middle class, but dammit if I don't love the environment...despite the gas milage of this car. Actual message: "See this neato car Daddy bought me for graduation? You won't see me in a wimpy little Prius." I see a Camry with a sticker for some obsure hipster band I've never heard of. As in the case of the Lex, the message is clear. This car is middle-class vanilla; but I, on the other hand, certainly am not. I even took the "Lucy Pevinsie for President" sticker off of my car because it became a screaming announcement of my church affiliation. (BTW, people in Georgia have those stickers. No kidding.)


This makes me tired. The constant striving to label, categorize and file away our very beings (often even using someone's corporate logo!) must be symptomatic of a *consumer-culture on the skids. The bumper-sticker is even used to keep people from slapping you with a label. Well, to keep them from slapping you with a label quickly, anyway. The FSM "fish" next to the flag of the Episcopal Church, for example, gives me a headache. Mix your metaphors if you must, but try and make sure they aren't mutually exclusive. Otherwise, you just make me think you're schizophrenic


*Did you get that reference? If you were a **hipster music hippie like me, it would have been obvious. And nauseating.
**I haven't been a hipster music hippie since everyone listened to the Connells, but you still make me wanna walk like a camel.

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

I love my Lucy Pevensie bumper sticker because, over here in Georgia, it's not associated with any church. I'm surprised how many people don't know who Lucy Pevensie is. Even my friends who are elementary school teachers don't know who Lucy Pevensie is. Aren't they supposed to be aquainted with children's literature? My friend Amy begged for one because she was the first in her family to venture away from strict organized religion to follow Christ, as Lucy was the first in her family to step into another world via the wardrobe. I'm sorry you had to take yours off your car, but I understand. Do you mind if I leave mine on? I think it says, "Hey, I may be driving this old soccer mom mini van but I really am an interesting person and I still have time to read interesting books and there's more to me than what meets the eye: a 40 something year old night shift nurse whose looking worse for the wear!"

Suzanne said...

"walk like a camel", haven't thought of that one in YEARS. funny.

susan said...

SLD, of COURSE I don't mind if you leave yours on. You're not worse for the wear, you're beautiful.

Suz, My love for you is confirmed by the fact that you know that song.

Su

susan said...

Oh and truthfully, I didn't actually take the bumper sticker off. The person who smashed out my back window with a brick took it off. I just didn't replace it.

Su

susan said...

Edit David reminds me that I did, in fact, take the Lucy Pevinsie sticker off my car before the brick did. He makes me tell the truth.

Su

Anonymous said...

Your reconstructed memory made me smile. I think I do that more than I realize. :o)

All bumper stickers crack me up. I used to have an old Volvo 240 and that car was made for bumper stickers. New cars look so strange with them.

susan said...

Kristen, I re-write the story of my life with alarming frequency and lack of rue.

I agree, those old volvos are meant for the stickers.

Su