In Florida: Bumpers of "Wisdom"

John Turner
Harvard Square Commentary, November 27, 2006

It seems to be a peculiarly American phenomenon for people to put signs on their cars promoting their beliefs or allegiances.

I haven’t noticed the practice in other countries. As Paul Fussel once noted, it would be inconceivable to find a car in England with the sticker, “Christ Church, Oxford.”

In a Lakeland, Florida mall parking lot recently, I noticed a number of messages conveying typical sentiments, none of them particularly witty (don’t expect wit in Lakeland), but, evidently, appealing to the car owners who pasted them on their vehicles.

Some were religious, -- or, at least, what passes for religious in the United States -- some political, and others broadly philosophical.

I’m not sure, exactly, what “Git’r Done,” implies. Perhaps it suggests impatience with dallying or, merely, a general aggressiveness.

Come to think of it, car stickers are, themselves, a kind of aggression.

At any rate, if your goal is to find a direction or meaning for life, I’m afraid you need to search somewhere other than car bumpers.

If you tried to live by the guidance they provide, your life might become more disordered than the traffic patterns around gigantic malls.

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