March 11, 2005

Bumper stickers.

Yesterday, we drove past a car pulled over by the police, and I ranted something along these lines:
Check it out. He's got a Feingold bumper sticker! You put a bumper sticker on your car and then you do something wrong, and it seems to reflect on the candidate. Imagine someone voting for Feingold and then not living up to a Feingoldesque standard of virtue?

Well, you voted for Feingold, didn't you?

Yes, and I see where you're going with that. I voted for Feingold, and I ran a red light, but I didn't have a Feingold bumper sticker on my car at the time. I didn't weigh down Russ's reputation with my own misdeeds. You know, back last fall, I was driving along, and some bastard cut right in front of me, and he had a Kerry bumper sticker. And I say right out loud, "Just for that I'm not voting for Kerry." That's my idea of a joke, but, really, these people who were for Kerry were always acting like they were more virtuous than those selfish warmongers who were for Bush, but then in real life, here's this bastard cutting me off.

I'm glad you didn't put a Bush bumper sticker on the car. I couldn't have driven the car if you'd put a Bush bumper sticker on it.

That wouldn't exactly punish me. But anyway, there was zero chance I'd put a Bush bumper sticker on the car, and not just because I'd be afraid someone would vandalize my car: I've never put any bumper sticker on any car I've ever had. I think bumper stickers are ugly. Plus, I don't want random people knowing miscellaneous things about me. They already know one big thing about me, which is what kind of car I drive. That's already a massive invasion of my privacy. I don't need to advertise additional facts -- especially the kind of facts people get pissed off about.

Consider this news story (via Memeorandum):
[A] Tampa woman learned that simple Bush-Cheney bumper sticker can bring trouble, if not danger, from a total stranger.

Police say Michelle Fernandez, 35, was chased for miles Tuesday by an irate 31-year-old Tampa man who cursed at her as he held up an anti-Bush sign and tried to run her off the road.

His sign, about the size of a business letter, read:

Never Forget Bush's Illegal Oil War Murdered Thousands in Iraq.

"I guess this was a disgruntled Democrat," Tampa Police spokesman Joe Durkin said. "Maybe he has that sign with him so he's prepared any time he comes up against a Republican."

While I personally go with the no bumper stickers strategy, Baldilocks recommends a "more speech" solution: add an NRA bumper sticker.

UPDATE: Several people -- all males -- have written noting the inconsistency between saying "I don't want random people knowing miscellaneous things about me" and blogging. I'm not really trying to attain pristine consistency, especially as I rant things while driving, but I can explain myself. When you're driving your car, you're actually physically there, in your car, driving down lonely roads, getting in and out, sometimes in dark parking lots. When someone's reading your blog, they are off somewhere, miles away, and you are sitting at home or at a café, nowhere near the reader. It's a whole different feeling.

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