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Are You Afraid to Display a Bumper Sticker? You Should Be.

By       Message Martha Rosenberg     Permalink
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Once upon a time, bumper stickers were a harmless way to engage other motorists on the merry way to work or a vacation in the Wisconsin Dells. But today, with road rage and polarizing politics, displaying a bumper sticker is more like establishing eye contact with a yard dog. A yard dog who doesn't understand "never mind."

 

There was a day when bumper stickers like "America Love It Or Leave It," "My Country Right or Wrong," "Made By, Paid For And Driven By An American," and "If You Don't Like The Police, Next Time You're In Trouble Call a Hippie," were meant to antagonize. What were people going to do if they disagreed? Get out of their car and shoot you?

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Now that we know they will, the parade of come-and-get-me bumper stickers like, "Don't Like My Driving? Dial 1-800-Eat ****," "As A Matter A Fact, I Do Own The Road," and "If You Can Read This You're Too Damn Close"--have seemed to vanish overnight.

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Humorous bumper stickers have vanished too because humor is a risk that relies on a cognitive leap and many could take the joke the wrong way. For example:

 

"I Owe, I Owe, So Off To Work I Go" (At least you have a job, you ingrate!)

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"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!) 

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Martha Rosenberg is an award-winning investigative public health reporter who covers the food, drug and gun industries. Her first book, Born With A Junk Food Deficiency: How Flaks, Quacks and Hacks Pimp The Public Health, is distributed by Random (more...)
 

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