2005/03/11

Where old bumper stickers go to die...

surrogate here today.

About ten months ago, after hearing my son's band play in nearby Baltimore, I visited Washington D.C. I'd never been there so I took the opportunity to do some sightseeing and visit some friends.

Along Pennsylvania avenue, about three blocks from the White House, is a little shop that sells political memorabilia. Hundreds of books by the politicians, pundits, wannabes, and never-quite-weres are proudly displayed; the publishing industry's unintended representation of the national time line.

They have hundreds of books written by all the power players associated with every administration going back to F.D.R. showing in about as thorough a way as possible the country's evolving political landscape.

On the store's shelves are buttons, bumper stickers, leaflets, mugs and all sorts of other promotional trinkets from the campaigns of every major Presidential candidate for at least the last hundred years, as well as tons of stuff from lesser campaigns that featured well known senators and congressmen.

Even though political advertising has traditionally been gaudy and low brow, advances in the graphic arts industry are also easily discernible as one looks over the thousands of items displayed there.

It was interesting to me how some of these items evoked such strong feelings in me. There were the series of books written by all the Watergate players from Woodward and Bernstein, to John Dean, to Charles Colsen's tomb about his jail house conversion. There were campaign doo-dads from all the big third party candidates over the years. George Wallace, John Andersen, Ross Perot and even David Duke were for sale in all their failed, faded and hopelessly lost glory.

I picked up a mug from the George Wallace campaign and then put it down quickly, suddenly worried that somehow the karma associated with his twisted view of humanity might somehow rub off on me all these years later.

A bumper sticker supporting the Walter Mondale / Geraldine Ferraro ticket for 1984 evoked a feeling of hopelessness in me. I remember so clearly knowing immediately that they had no prayer at a time I knew the country desperately needed a change at the helm.

There was a not so very old book by Orrin Hatch, penned if I remember correctly, about five years ago at a time he was considering his own run at the White House. I remember feeling queasy even seeing it included there.

For more reasons than I care to go into here, Hatch is a man, who to me represents the the height of insensitivity and smug self righteousness found so frequently within the American political scene. Last night I heard him gleefully praising this overhaul of the personal bankruptcy law the senate passed yesterday.

To be honest, I haven't read much about what is proposed, and don't have a clear notion of what it will mean to poor folks, but based on who supported it and who spoke out against it, I'm sure it will screw the little guy in favor of companies who contribute heavily to the campaigns of those who think it's a peachy idea.... meaning Hatch and his ilk.

It was hearing Hatch's whiney voice last night, sounding thrilled with his triumph, that reminded me of my lengthy browse in that store, and my eventual single purchase of a button with the words "Princes of Darkness" printed on the top, a large "666" across the middle with pictures of G.H.W.B, G.W.B. and Jeb centered in the circles of the sixes. I bought it for a friend who really dislikes the Bushes because I thought it was funny and cute.

I find less and less humor, and more truth in that button as the months go by.

Be good to everybody.

6 Comments:

MoveOn sucks..just a bunch of pacifist whiners.....I haven't bowed out of here dianne...for some reason I have trouble posting comments here...besides..I have better things to do than sit here and bitch about a bunch of frogs and other assorted amphimbians.....like WORK...You know that thing that Americans do to get richer and buy bigger houses and more cars so that we can laugh at the folks on the side of teh road with a sign that says "will work for food"? 

Posted by Kender
3/12/2005 01:08:00 am  
Kender, I don't actually care if you've bowed out or not. I baited you because I see you find lots of time, in spite of work, to verbally abuse women such as Pia. I'll be checking in on her regularly just to make sure she's has someone in her corner.

 

Posted by Dianne
3/12/2005 02:28:00 am  
Ah...another whiner :) 

Posted by Sarah
3/12/2005 05:06:00 am  
I only ever got one bumper sticker in my life. I was living in Australia at the time, and I thought it was really cute, so I bought it and stuck it to my rear window. It read:

Save a mouse, eat a pussy 

It only lasted 2 days. Some good religious folks shredded it to pieces and spray-painted my car for good measure with religious slogans about filth and blasphemy. 

Posted by WhyNot
3/12/2005 08:36:00 am  
'Princes of Darkness' would be right. I especially remember David Duke. It was unbelievable that so many Louisianians (700,000)ignored his Nazi background and voted for him for Governor because they agreed with his views on segregation and welfare. They of course, weren't racist as they would be quick to tell you. I'm talking about 1991 not 1950.
His speeches are endorsed by the National Alliance who has been identified by the Anti-Defamation League as the single most dangerous organized hate group in the US today. The National Alliance btw was originally called Youth For Wallace.  

Posted by Dianne
3/12/2005 01:43:00 pm  
Dianne,

Unfortunately, the current crop of Republicans are, on too many issues, closer to the Youth for Wallace/Duke supporters/National Alliance than they'd ever admit, or want mainstream America to figure out....until it's too late.  

Posted by surrogate
3/13/2005 01:35:00 am  

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