The Truth About Cars » Bumper Stickers http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. Sun, 02 Aug 2015 00:58:23 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.2.2 The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. The Truth About Cars no The Truth About Cars editors@ttac.com editors@ttac.com (The Truth About Cars) 2006-2009 The Truth About Cars The Truth About Cars » Bumper Stickers http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/wp-content/themes/ttac-theme/images/logo.gif http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com QOTD: Why Do People Display Bumper Stickers? http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/05/qotd-why-do-people-display-bumper-stickers/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/05/qotd-why-do-people-display-bumper-stickers/#comments Fri, 15 May 2015 11:22:34 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1068882 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. […]

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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.

Likewise, I’ve never seen anyone walking around wearing a T-Shirt that bragged about the quality of the shirt wearer’s honor student. You also don’t really see T-Shirts that say things like “Well behaved women rarely make history,” or “Wag More, Bark Less,” or “COEXIST.” What you see, when it comes to T-Shirts, is a lot of stains that have been there for what looks like several presidential administrations.

So why the hell do we put these things on our cars? Just because we know other people will be behind us in traffic, we feel like it’s necessary to reveal our interests? Are we trying to start some sort of conversation?

The funny thing is, bumper stickers never start a conversation, because nobody notices them. I’ve driven around for several years with a subtle bumper sticker for my alma mater on the back of my car, and nobody has ever said anything to me about it. Not a word. Not a thumbs up. Not a smile. I suppose someone could be back there talking about it with a friend. Is that the goal of my sticker? To inspire random people to discuss it, completely unbeknownst to me?

The reason people don’t notice bumper stickers is because everyone has them. You pull up at every stoplight and you just sort of assume the guy in front of you will have a bumper sticker, so you couldn’t care less what it says. We really only notice bumper stickers if they’re bizarre and unusual, and they say something like “I HATE MEXICANS.” Then we take a picture and post it on Instagram.

The funny thing is that the bumper sticker is a phenomenon entirely limited to North America. You see them in the States, and you see them in Canada, but you can spend an entire week in Europe and not see a bumper sticker aside from the common international oval country code. In Europe, nobody cares where you went to college or who you’re voting for. They only care that you move your tiny, silver diesel hatchback out of the way so they can drive past you in their tiny, silver diesel hatchback.

So I’m a bit mystified, and I’m reaching out to you, the reader, to get your take on bumper stickers. Do you use bumper stickers? Do you understand why other people use them? Do you ever approach people in parking lots because of their bumper stickers?

Of course, I’m not as dense as I seem here. I understand why people use bumper stickers in the first place: they want other people to know that they support the Bears. Or the Cowboys. Or Millard Fillmore Elementary School, home of the Fighting Powdered Wigs. Or maybe they support OK Go. Or the Outer Banks. Or Hillary Clinton. Or Ron Paul. Or Rand Paul. Or Paul Ryan. Or Ryan Seacrest.

But why the hell do you want unknown random humans behind you in traffic to know you feel this way? Do you expect there will be some giant revolt while you’re sitting at a light, and it’ll spread across the country, uniting everyone in their appreciation of the Father John Q. Zilshepper Catholic School Choir? Is that the reason for the bumper sticker?!

And so, I ask you, the reader: What’s the deal with bumper stickers?

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Tales From The Cooler: Disregarded Dreadful Drivers http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/05/tales-from-the-cooler-disregarded-dreadful-drivers/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/05/tales-from-the-cooler-disregarded-dreadful-drivers/#comments Thu, 09 May 2013 01:07:21 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=487855 We 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 […]

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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.

Prius Drivers NOT Blocking The Left Lane

These drivers scare me the most: Prius pilots running 20 miles per hour under the flow of traffic while in the right lane of a freeway, eyes glued to their fuel consumption gauge. They clearly did not read their owner’s manual, which spells out they are required to hold up traffic in the left lane. They are an unpredictable lot, prone to uneven speeds and sudden braking, unlike their left-lane brethren who you know are never going to yield to faster cars and thus you can adjust accordingly.

Drivers With Cars With Too Many Bumper Stickers

Van with bumper stickers Courtesy commons.wikimedia.org

Question: When was the last time you saw a vehicle with more than two bumper stickers running quickly and unobtrusively through traffic? Answer: You never have. To these motorists, a car is not even an appliance – it is a bulletin board used to express their political views. I don’t think they realize that people cannot read their messages due to the clouds of blue smoke belching out the tailpipes of their beaters.

Driver Who Insist On Holding Fluffy In Their Lap

Dog in Car Courtesy gopetfriendlyblog.com

Your cell phone won’t poop or pee in your lap or yap at other cars. Besides distracting the driver, dogs can and do get injured or die by falling out of vehicles. The state of Hawaii has already banned motorists from holding animals while driving and three other states can ticket you under distracted driving laws. If they sport more than two bumper stickers, call the highway patrol.

Drivers Of Dump Trucks And Gravel Trucks

I hate gravel trucks courtesy ladiesofthegrove.blogspot.com

I have the greatest respect for professional truck drivers. These are not professional truck drivers. They are usually minimum wage, minimum brain and, in my neck of the woods, minimum English speaking individuals. Whether cracking your windshield – always directly in your line of sight – by shooting up an errant rock or mowing down a group of motorcyclists, these goons may be the very worst drivers on the road. And good luck going after the trucking company to replace your windshield: did you ever see a dump truck with a readable license plate?

Drivers Who Brake With Their Left Foot

Audi braking Courtesy montecarloforum.com

Anytime you spot a car with its brake lights stuck on, you can bet the driver is resting his or her left foot on the brake pedal. (I give Land Rover drivers a pass on this one, as their taillights may genuinely be stuck on permanently.)  If you are behind one and they slam on the brakes, you will have no way of knowing they are stopping and if you hit them you will be deemed responsible. Any old-time used car manager can tell you they used to judge brake wear by the scuffing on the left side of a brake pedal. I really thought these folks had all died off, as the teaching of left footed braking in driver’s education ended decades ago, but it appears to be making a comeback.

I know you can add many other obscure terrible drivers to this list…

 


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Junkyard-Found Chevy Tribal Sticker Leads To New Meme, Blame Social Media http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/04/junkyard-found-chevy-tribal-sticker-leads-to-new-meme-blame-social-media/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/04/junkyard-found-chevy-tribal-sticker-leads-to-new-meme-blame-social-media/#comments Tue, 30 Apr 2013 13:00:57 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=486629 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 […]

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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!
Chevy versus Ford versus Chrysler, ho hum. But creative inspiration sometimes springs from unexpected sources.
Davey G. Johnson (he happens to be the guy who launched my automotive-journalism career by recommending that Jalopnik hire me back in ’06) got all puffed up with Porsche 914 pride— he owns one of those Transporter-engined crypto-Porsches and persists in believing it’s a good car— and created this Fiat-hatin’ design.
Then, Davey made this.
But what about the rivalries of the Prohibition Era? If only cheap vinyl-cut decals had existed back then…
Naturally, I had to jump in with my own creation. Metro pride, y’all!
But what about Iran Khodro owners? They must feel superior to those lamers driving SAIPA 141s in Tehran.
And, well, things just went downhill got better from there.
Our own Sajeev Mehta feels pretty strongly about the Premier Padmini and wanted everyone to know it. What would Vishnu drive?
Sajeev wasn’t done then, though; here’s a sticker that electron-fueled types might use to diss internal-combustion fools.
Then Davey’s coworker Blake Z. Rong Brendan McAleer got into a Canadian frame of mind and made this.
Canadian cars, you say? Tom Anderson of Sub5Zero knows that Asüna rules the Great White North.
Steven Cavalieri, the artist responsible for all those 24 Hours of LeMons T-shirts and posters you see in the more disreputable garages, jabbed jumper cables into his cerebellum and created this nightmarish image— it strays quite a bit from the meme, but so what?
About that time, Texas LeMons racer Dave Mulvey joined the party, as did many others.
LeMons Assistant Perp and blissfully retired car journalist Nick Pon couldn’t contain himself after that, and I think this one may just edge out the Duesenberg EAT’N/SHIT’N decal for the best yet.
Nick remains traumatized by his experiences at various German press-launch events, and so he created this. Check the gallery for even more creations, and be sure to create your own!

2012-07-10_14-22-09_140 295337_183340231819498_1561772965_n 482451_10101014979744306_587367626_n 936940_10101014991425896_214140929_n EatinGeelysShittinChangans EatinJustysShittinExcels EatinSaipasShittinBahmans EatinZilsShittinLadas Eatn Shitn Meme - 1 - picture courtesy of Blake Rong Eatn Shitn Meme - 1 - picture courtesy of Brendan McAleer Eatn Shitn Meme - 1 - picture courtesy of Davey Johnson Eatn Shitn Meme - 1 - picture courtesy of Nick Pon Eatn Shitn Meme - 1 - picture courtesy of Sajeev Mehta Eatn Shitn Meme - 1 - picture courtesy of Steven Cavalieri Eatn Shitn Meme - 1 - picture courtesy of Tom Anderson Eatn Shitn Meme - 13- picture courtesy of Blake Rong Eatn Shitn Meme - 2 - picture courtesy of Blake Rong Eatn Shitn Meme - 2 - picture courtesy of Davey Johnson Eatn Shitn Meme - 2 - picture courtesy of Davey Johnson Eatn Shitn Meme - 2 - picture courtesy of Nick Pon Eatn Shitn Meme - 2 - picture courtesy of Sajeev Mehta Eatn Shitn Meme - 3 - picture courtesy of Davey Johnson Eatn Shitn Meme - 3 - picture courtesy of Sajeev Mehta Eatn Shitn Meme - 4 - picture courtesy of Davey Johnson Eatn Shitn Meme - 4 - picture courtesy of Sajeev Mehta Eatn Shitn Meme - 5 - picture courtesy of Davey Johnson Eatn Shitn Meme - 6 - picture courtesy of Davey Johnson Eatn Shitn Meme - 7 - picture courtesy of Davey Johnson EatnShitnTop- Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin Zemanta Related Posts Thumbnail

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Bumper Sticker of the Week! http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2011/01/bumper-sticker-of-the-week/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2011/01/bumper-sticker-of-the-week/#comments Thu, 13 Jan 2011 16:00:09 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=380295 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. While I do believe that drum brakes want to kill us all— I’m already hating the four-wheel/single-circuit drums on my ’66 Dodge A100 van— I still admire the cryptic […]

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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. While I do believe that drum brakes want to kill us all— I’m already hating the four-wheel/single-circuit drums on my ’66 Dodge A100 van— I still admire the cryptic sentiment expressed here.

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What’s Wrong With This Picture: Truth In Bumper Stickers Edition http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2010/05/whats-wrong-with-this-picture-truth-in-bumper-stickers-edition/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2010/05/whats-wrong-with-this-picture-truth-in-bumper-stickers-edition/#comments Sun, 09 May 2010 16:52:20 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=355868 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 […]

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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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