Bumper Stickers: Searching for Messages in Our Decals Steve Wiley
Retriever Weekly Staff Writer
Across the UMBC campus parking lots and that infamous "loop" of ours, a.k.a., Hilltop Circle, you can find attached to our automobiles examples of personal expression as diverse as the student body itself… or such was my hypothesis, entering into the strange, eccentric journalistic experiment I undertook.
After commuting to school for the past two and a half years, I’ve seen a lot of bumper stickers as I hunted for a close spot, avoiding pedestrians and construction crews, while outwitting and outdriving the many nefarious parking sharks who lurk about, as if we were all part of some twisted reality show. Fear Factor: Parking Lot Edition, or something like that, played out for the amusement of school administration, monitoring our pathetic game of chance by way of ever-present surveillance cameras.
But I digress. Paranoid fantasies aside, I had a bumper sticker fascination, I guess I should admit. Just what was so interesting about those kitschy slips of glossy coated paper stuck on the rear ends of our vehicles, I’ll never know. But the odd obsession of sorts stuck on my brain like so much adhesive…
Sadly, the online edition lacks a rather essential sidebar of statistics that was present in the print edition. Here I will remedy that shortcoming:
The results of my inspection were as follows:
Number of cars viewed, total: approx. 750
…with one or more bumper sticker or window decal: approx. 145 (19%)
…with one or more UMBC sticker/decal: 44 (5.9%)
…with another college’s logo: 16
…with an environmental message: 15
…advertising a radio station or music group: 12
…with an American flag: 10
…with one of those plain white circular abbreviations for vacation spots, like OBX for Outer Banks, N.C. and CI for Chincoteague, VA: 10
…campaign sticker for Gore, Clinton or current Dem. contender: 4 …for Bush or Ehrlich: 3
…Jesus fish: 5 … Darwin fish: 1
So, there ya go. Glad to do the dirty work of investigative reporting, whilst you Internet addicts sit around and play Everquest all day. Suit yourselves. ;-) posted by Steve
2/15/2004 01:45:00 PM
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