~ Monday, March 01, 2004 ~
A little bit of Berkeley
On Saturday, I saw a car parked on 95th and CPW that was once light blue, but is now entirely covered in bumper stickers. I'd seen it once or twice before (it sort of stands out around here, where most of the cars are one solid color without any bumper stickers at all, and of those, about 50% are yellow for financial reasons) but now I finally had time to stop and look at it closely. It had New Jersey plates, and the owner of the car seemed to have a broad spectrum of interests. There were several about drumming, including one about a short period of time when places all over the world would have drumming sessions simultaneously, which is an interesting idea, but it would be a nightmare to get all the drummers to play in rhythm with each other. The owner also seemed to be a big fan of hiking/backpacking, because much of the driver's-side-door was covered with prismatic stickers naming national parks. There were a bunch of pro-choice and pro-vegetarianism slogans on the roof, and plenty of pro-intellectual anti-establishment slogans like "not fooled by the government" on the passenger's door, which made me sigh and miss Berkeley a little. (Not that New York isn't pro-intellectual--it decidedly is, probably unnaturally so--but differently from the way Berkeley is. In Berkeley, the young hip clever vocal people rail against whoever's in charge, but in New York, those people act like they *are* in charge, and inasmuchas New York is a cultural center of the world, they're right. To put it too generally, people are much more interested in watching New York than New York is in watching other people. As a result, it seems to me that there's much less interest in marketing things by trying to convince people that our product is somehow related to that other hot item that you've heard of, or the "as seen on TV" method. Trends seem to show up here first, before they've been named and boxed and sold at Hot Topic. Maybe it's the three-hour time difference.) There were the cute-clever standards like "hang up and drive" and "my karma ran over my dogma" sprinkled about liberally, but among them were a few I hadn't seen before. Two of my favorites were, on the passenger's door and just below the trunk, respectively, "Militant Agnosticism: I don't know and you don't either!" and "Do not meddle in the affairs of dragons/For you are crunchy and good with ketchup". There was another about dragons on the hood which I have forgotten. In a space of honor just above the right side of the bumper, and looking as if it had been there longer than many of the others, was the familiar black and white sticker saying "They Might Be Giants".
I found it highly satisfying to see a bumper-sticker-covered car that is not in motion, and to be able to stop and take a few minutes to read every last bit of text. I hope the owner wasn't peeking out a window and watching nervously. Peeking out and watching proudly would have been okay.
Current Music: Complete Paranoia, TMBG
~ prattled by Miriam at 2:03 a.m. [+]
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