Honk If You Hate Me

March 20th, 2023

I’ve been thinking a lot about bumper stickers.

I’ve written several times about why folks are more passionate than ever about politics. People are not more political; politics have become less about politics.

I have a tremendously annoying habit of trying to understand things. When someone is telling me a story in which another person has wronged them, I often wonder aloud why that other person would have done so.

It’s not a matter of playing devil’s advocate; I genuinely want to put myself in other people’s shoes, no matter how uncomfortable they may be.

So, I was driving behind a car with a “Let’s Go, Brandon” bumper sticker.

(If you don’t know what that means, I highly recommend finding the video from where the phrase originates. A crowd of sports fans are chanting a NSFW rant on live TV, which amounts to giving the current president a giant middle finger. It’s immature, it’s hilarious (the reporter thinks they’re chanting “Let’s Go, Brandon”), and it’s become a secret handshake among Republicians.)

I decided to consider the bumper sticker, the person who displayed it, and what its consequences could be.

I started with worst-case-scenario: another person could hate this guy without ever meeting him, just because he decided to put a sticker on his car. There are many reasons to dislike a person, and this is both a stupid and valid one.

But then I thought of the best-case-scenario, and it actually made me sick.

Somebody could love this guy just because of the sticker on his car, and their connection would be based on… their mutual hate for a person, or whole group of people.

If you don’t see how this is a problem, you’re actually not alone.

There is an epidemic — not of people hating each other (that’s normal), but acting like they have no idea why.

“Why is our country so divided?” “Why does it feel like people hate so much more?” “What happened to mature discourse?”

As if people can’t see bumper stickers.

Human beings are starting relationships based solely on what they hate, and they have never advertised that more.

It is quintessentially American at this point.

I love wearing fan shirts. When I’m wearing a Star Wars or Spider-Man shirt and somebody tells me they love that thing, too, there isn’t a feeling like it in the world. At conventions, I have started full friendships based solely on something I was wearing or displaying.

It goes both ways

Thank goodness it does.

You want love?

Advertise love.


Published by dennisvogen

I'm me, of course. Or am I?

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