Saturday, May 13, 2023

My bumper stickers

I was never much of a bumper sticker guy until the past few years. I'm not sure what my aversion to decorating the car's rump was. Perhaps I didn't want strangers knowing anything about me. Perhaps I found the endless stickers featuring sports teams, stick figures, colleges, presidential candidates and that kid from "Calvin and Hobbes" peeing to be clich├ęd. (Of course, Scatological Calvin is incredibly mild compared to the today's tsunami of bumper stickers featuring vulgar and/or hateful phrases you wouldn't want to repeat in front of your kid, your grandmother or you cat.)

But I think the combination of the pandemic, turning 50 and seeing how important public visibility is for vulnerable and marginalized groups unlocked a higher level of What Do You Care What Other People Think? within me. So I began adding stickers to the bumper of my blue Honda Civic.

Unsurprisingly, most of these are directly tied to things I've written about on Papergreat. My passions here are my passions in the physical world.

Pictured above are most of my current bumper stickers. I think this is good for posterity, too, because these are pieces of ephemera that will not last. They can't be put into an envelope for safekeeping. In the unlikely event that they survive many years of Arizona sun and weathering, I'll have to part with them when I eventually get another car. 

Featured bumper sticker themes, as you can see, include the long-gone Brigantine Castle in New Jersey; WNEP-TV's Hatchy Milatchy; the outstanding podcast Fairy Tale Fix; the artist SpaceMonsterKidStar Trek and now-defunct WKBS-48; and an illustration by Philadelphia artist Hannah Carnes, who goes by iamfartist on Instagram.

I discovered SpaceMonsterKid in August 2020 when Ashar and I took a side trip to Sutton, West Virginia, and the Flatwoods Monster Museum. I was surprised to discover that I've never mentioned that on the blog. I'll rectify that this weekend, because I got some interesting photos during our short time there.

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