By on May 15, 2015

Van with bumper stickers Courtesy commons.wikimedia.org

You can’t avoid bumper stickers when you’re driving around. They’re everywhere. Political bumper stickers. Colleges and university bumper stickers. Sports teams. Bands. Ideas. Phrases. Sayings. Vacation spots, cities, neighborhoods, towns, BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH. It’s come to the point where I’m surprised when I get up behind a car that doesn’t have a bumper sticker.

I’ve always found this a bit odd.

Here’s why: when you really stop and think about what bumper stickers are, at their very core, they are markings that identify the interests of the driver of the car. It’s like getting a tattoo, or wearing a T-shirt with some writing on it. But I’ve often found that bumper stickers go a lot further than any T-shirt that anyone would ever wear.

Case in point: I have never, in my entire life, seen anyone walking around with a Mitt Romney T-shirt. I suspect Mitt Romney himself wouldn’t walk around with a Mitt Romney T-shirt. He’s too busy wearing plaid button-ups that make him look like a man of the people, even though his haircut costs more than my cell phone.

(Read More…)

By on May 8, 2013

Left Lane Priuses courtesy zazzle.comWe are bombarded with messages about the dangers of drunk driving, of the hazard of talking and texting on cell phones while driving, and the need to give a wide berth to folks driving Zipcars. We think there are many other varieties of unsafe motorists that get no attention from the media. As a public service, let’s take a look five subtle, but equally scary, drivers that make the highways a real challenge. (Read More…)

By on April 30, 2013

During one of my many junkyard trips, I spotted a Crusher-bound Chevy truck with an “EAT’N FORDS/SHIT’N RAMS” window sticker. It wasn’t really worth a separate post here on TTAC, but I figured it would be good for a laugh on the Murilee Martin Facebook page. So, I posted it with the comment “This truck will be GET’N CRUSHED” pretty soon.” Next thing you know, a bunch of my miscreant car-writer friends jumped in with their own versions. Within a few weeks, this meme may well be a bigger online car meme than VTEC JUST KICKED IN YO and the debilitating skabsession, combined! (Read More…)

By on January 13, 2011


I spotted this sticker on a (disc brake-equipped) Nissan pickup in the parking lot of the San Jose North Pick-Your-Part during my last trip to California. (Read More…)

By on May 9, 2010

Bumper stickers are a controversial subject, quite apart from the often-divisive sentiments they express. Most of us are either pro-bumper sticker or anti, and once we’ve decided which we are, there’s little chance of ever going back. Personally, I fall into the “anti” camp. You might think that someone who spends his time writing about the intersection of cars, culture and politics might embrace the bumper sticker medium, but I’ve never been a big fan. Perhaps the limitations of the format are what bothers me: not only does it require broadcasting deeply-held beliefs in ultra-condensed, often over-simplified messages, but it also requires a long-term commitment to the cause in question. Perhaps my political and personal views have changed too often to justify dedicating my mobile real estate to any particular opinion. In any case, this is the kind of bumper sticker I can absolutely get behind: timeless, true and a winking critique of the “flex fuel,” biodiesel and other pious stickers advertising alternative-energy-derived moral superiority. Deep down, perhaps we’re all pro-bumper sticker… some of us just haven’t found the right one yet.

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