Archive - Jun 9, 2004

Bragging Rights and Assholes

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Memo to the asshole on Highway 169 North: YOU ARE DUMB.

In fact, let's expand the mandate a bit to any asshole who permanently affixes something to the back of their car without actually thinking about what it says. Like getting a tattoo when you're drunk, it's a bad idea. Case in point. People who spend their money on personalized license plates that say something that was already on the back of their car for free. I've seen a Lexus with the license plate "LEXUS", a four by four with the plate "4 X 4", etc. I can only assume they got hung up on the idea of a personalized license plate, only to discover, to their horror, that there was nothing at all interesting about them, so they panicked.

Similarly, bumper stickers. If you must express a viewpoint using your car's ass as a medium, put some thought into it. Take some care. Try to show us something we haven't seen before. And try to show us something that makes sense.

Which brings us to the asshole on 169. Driving there on Monday afternoon, we saw a bumper sticker that said: "NO ONE CAN KILL AMERICANS AND BRAG ABOUT IT. NO ONE."

Which is an incredibly odd sentiment to put on your car if you take it literally. I mean, no one can play ping-pong with their own spleen, either, but you don't see people with "DOWN WITH SPLEEN-PONG" bumper stickers. If it's so impossible that you have to state not once, but TWICE, that "no one" can do it, then what's there to be concerned about? Obviously, for it to be enough of a problem to warrant a bumper sticker, SOMEONE must be killing Americans and bragging about it.

Maybe he means Dubya? After all, as Governor of Texas, our president presided over 134 executions, including children and the mentally disabled. And in an infamous Talk magazine interview, openly mocked one of them (Karla Faye Tucker). Perhaps he's still incensed at the President's callous attitude toward life and death?

Of course, Americans kill Americans all the time. Maybe he means the perpetrators of the thousands of murders in the US every year. I bet some of them brag. Corporate polluters? The NRA? Those guys at Enron who had the parties and the cheering during the California wildfires? Hm.

That's the problem with unclear bumper stickers. We simply don't know. Oh, of course we could play the ODDS, and assume that since he 's so hung up on Americans being killed and bragged about that it must be non-Americans that are doing the killing and the bragging. Heck, we could even play the odds further, and assume that he means filthy brown Ay-Rabs that are doing the killing and the bragging and must be stopped.

Which brings with it its own set of problems, doesn't it? Because for that to work, for the 169 asshole to be able to take a moral high ground so absolute that it can be printed on vinyl and adhered, permanently, to a steel bumper, then Americans would have to be so noble that none of us would ever even consider bragging about killing foreigners...

Oops.

But this is my point. Ten minutes of sober reflection would have revealed to the 169 asshole that the entire point of his bumper sticker is demolished by the mere existence of Ann Coulter. He'd have reached the conclusion that putting this bumper sticker on his car would make him an asshole, and, ideally, not done it, thus simultaneously saving hundreds of drivers from having to read assholery and depriving me of fodder for the column.

Today's article has been brought to you by yee-haw jingoism and the numbers one, six, and nine.