Mittwoch, 1. August 2007

Bumper stickers and how good is your Arabic?

I love bumper stickers, buttons, campaign and election posters - all the ephemeral signs of societal conversations, conflicts and follies. They so often sum up the mood of a moment so well. They so often express (dark) humour in a way no pamphlet or long, reasoned argument could. In short, they entertain me - to such an extent that I probably only ever finished my first marathon in 2001 because it was election time in Berlin. Making my way through town one km at a time, I was fascinated by the various posters - and by the way you could tell the socio-economic make-up of a neighbourhood simply by looking at them. Kreuzberg was plastered with posters of various lefty splinter parties, for example, many of which even I had not heard off. Yet in the leafy, boring outer west of the city you could easily get the impression that Germany only has two parties (Conservatives and Liberals) ....
Travelling, for me, is always also a chance to come across new bumper sticker gems. And so, exiting in a wonderfully relaxed, my-muscles-loved-that-hot-water kind of way from the Radium Hot Springs in British Columbia last week, this is what I found on the back of an American car:

Now please don't quibble and point out that this sticker reflects badly on Americans' ability to speak foreign languages. Please also do not point out that casulaty numbers in Iraq are nothing compared to Vietnam. Just enjoy - that's what I did.

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