What’s Up With All the Bumper Stickers?

Happy New Year! Here’s a question I’ve been pondering: why do people put bumper stickers all over their cars? Out running errands the other day I was stopped at a light behind an individual who had not one or two, but many bumper stickers all over his car representing his political, social, religious, and economical world-wide views. The most memorable one was this doozie:

Real Men Neuter Their Animals

 Really? That’s the definition of a real man? What about spaying? Is that a given or something only fake men do? I don’t care, dude. And furthermore, you’re probably the type of person that would hog the conversation given the opportunity – just my opinion.

I have two window decals (the kind that don’t stick) indicating what universities my kids and money go to, but I file that under “School Spirit.” I don’t care to thrust my views on other people minding their own business, driving to wherever they need to go. But here’s my caveat for bumper stickers: if they’re funny, I don’t mind them. I mean, if I’m stuck in traffic why not have a laugh? Like this one I saw:

So what kind of person feels the need to express their views to unsuspecting strangers sitting at a stop light? For starters, these people are not afraid of commitment. Tried pulling some of these off? Goodbye paint job. And if you live in a large city like I do, potentially thousands of people will see your beliefs and many will disagree – even if it’s just about having a nice day. In a blog post by Ken Chitwood at houstonbelief.com he wrote about the motivation of people who put bumper stickers on their cars:

“Whether the bumper sticker elicits admiration or ire, “your” reaction to “my” bumper sticker helps “me” define who “I” am.

For thousands of years, humans have felt the shared need to mark the boundaries of their territory, particularly in opposition to others. With fences, personal decorations and other markers, humans today continue to trademark their territory so that others know what is theirs and how they identify their own.”

In other words, it’s the social equivalent to a dog peeing on a tree. That’s my take away, but maybe you have a different one. Share your bumper sticker thoughts in the comments section below.

Random Thoughts – What’s Up With All the Bumper Stickers?
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