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The ugly time and bumper stickers

The presidential election is approaching and racism is on the rise again. Signs were apparent yesterday on California’s Monterey Peninsula.

I’ve always thought of graffiti and bumper stickers as a form of literature, good literature and bad literature. What happened yesterday in Carmel was bad, and we can expect more of it in the coming months.

Vice President Joe Biden spoke at Carmel’s Sunset Center, a building of some fame, a place where greats in the arts and humanities and literature have performed and spoken over the decades.

The Carmel Bach Festival is held there annually, and in 1955 it was the location of the taping of jazz pianist Erroll Garner’s classic album, ``Concert by the Sea’’ in a performance attended by Korean War vets.

Yesterday, Larry Parsons wrote in the Monterey County Herald, ``There was an ugly touch to the vice president’s visit with the anonymous distribution of racially offensive bumper stickers that were affixed to a few vehicles outside the Sunset Center.

``The bumper stickers had the Obama-Biden campaign design, but contained the words `Don’t re–nig in 2012.’’

A Carmel police officer spotted the stickers on two cars parked in the Sunset Center lot while Biden was speaking. A man was seen in the lot but ran off. The officer removed the stickers and one was turned over to the Secret Service.

A Carmel resident also reported one of the stickers on his car covering an old 2008 Obama sticker and called the police. He told Parsons and The Herald he was feeling ``irate’’ about what happened ``It sounds like a threat on the president’s life in a broad sense.’’

Freedom of speech, ugly or otherwise, is one thing, slathering your thoughts onto another person’s property is another – good reason for someone to be irate or more.

This has always been the trouble with graffiti: it is sometimes put where it shouldn’t be or isn’t wanted. Now that appears to be happening with bumper stickers.

Keep an eye on the back of your car. It might be saying something you don’t like.


6 Comment count
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Bumper Stickers

Excellent post! I appreciated your thoughtful commentary and sage advice.

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Thanks, Eva,

it was good work by Larry Parsons and the Monterey Herald to pick up on what happened. Another paper missed it.

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Steve, I like what you write.

Steve, I like what you write. I can see how this invasion can be quite intimidating and almost scary. The tactics are transparent. How foolish those who pursue these matters. My mother in law lives in Carmel now. And I feel more in touch from reading your post. I might be visiting in the Fall and will drop into your gallery. m

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I know, Mary. We get kind of used to

looking over our shoulders, now we have to check out the bumpers of our cars? For all it's gingerbead architecture and charming plazas, Carmel is a tough town politically and people there resent what happened. Be good to see you in the Fall.

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Bumper sticker I spotted in L.A. last week

'Did you vote for Obama? Thanks Asshole.' It was on a beat-up Toyota, maybe 20 years old, and the driver was an old grouch clearly proud of his declaration. I was tempted to yell out a retort but decided to follow LBJ's advice: Never get in a pissing match with a skunk. Never seen politics so ugly. The president's race appears to have brought pus to the surface.

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Let's see, that also offends

parents who don't want their kids reading that kind of thing on a pleasant Sunday drive, or any other day. Politics are getting very ugly.

I was just told a humorous bumper sticker story, by a friend about one of her friends who was driving along and the car in front of her had a bumper sticker that said, ``Honk if you love Jesus.'' ``Well, my friend decided she did love Jesus, so why not honk and she did. And the driver of the bumper sticker car made an obscene gesture.''