Lileks on Bumperstickers

I just love the James Lileks’ wry voice and the way he can lay someone out quite nicely without ever baring the teeth. Wish I could do it. Today he muses on people who slap bumperstickers all over their cars as a sort of 24/7 angry finger thrust in the face of whoever might be behind them. (H/T: Birds Eye View)

I have no bumperstickers, for the same reason I do not paste editorials with which I agree on the seat of my pants. I’m always fascinated by people who load up the bumper with so many stickers the tailpipe scrapes on the pavement, and – correct me if I’m wrong – the more stickers you see, the more to the left the sentiment. The other day I saw a car whose owner had, shall we say, Issues.

Sticker #1: “If ignorance is bliss, you must be orgasmic.” This seems rather presumptuous, no? Taken by itself, it’s innocuous, but then you note its brethren: “Born OK the First Time.” So the owner doesn’t like Born-Agains, obviously – but the sentiment is still rather naïve. No one’s born OK the first time, inasmuch as we come howling out of the womb as selfish ethically blank bundles of appetite whose nascent sociopathic character has to be shaped to deal with the human community. Then there’s the third sticker: “It’s your hell. YOU burn in it.”

[…] How angry do you have to be to flip off people in a way that not only presumes the worst about their opinions, but assigns them to the very fate you think they want for you? GO TO HELL YOU IGNORANT BORN AGAINER!

The car was in the parking lot where Gnat goes to school. I haven’t matched it with a parent yet, but if I do I’m tempted to say “God bless!” Just to piss her off. I’m no Churchy LaFemme, as Homer (and Walt) might say, and I have no problem with the unchurched who pursue the Divine outside the buttressed confines. But nothing makes me choose a side like people who believe that the entirety of the theistic perspective can be adequately refuted by self-congratulatory slogans on adhesive-backed plastic.

Sigh. Isn’t that neatly done? But you’ll want to read his whole bleat.

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