Weird is seeing this bumper sticker on a car during my afternoon walk:
Surreal is seeing it on a Toyota Prius.
Now, it’s been pointed out to me that this is surreal only if one indulges in political stereotypes. In my own defense, I have to say that first of all, I’ve always associated the Toyota Prius with the relatively affluent, centrist-left-leaning Democrat crowd (the folks further to the left would be driving a car powered by vegetable oil, biowaste, solar power, or marijuana). I associate Sarah Palin with the far-right-leaning wing of the Republican party that is represented more by blowhards like Rush Limbaugh or Mike Savage or Ann Coulter, who are happy to put ideology ahead of country if there’s a buck in it for them, than with the respectable, thoughtful ilk of Barry Goldwater or George Will, with whom I’d still fundamentally disagree but with whom I would at least feel like I could have a civilized conversation.
In other words, yes, from a certain perspective, I am engaging in a certain degree of political stereotyping. Still, though, my experience has been that Toyota Priuses (Prii? what is the plural of Prius, anyway), if they have bumper stickers, always have left-leaning bumper stickers, and that the Palin supporters I’ve met have without exception looked upon anyone who does not drive a large American-made pickup with a certain degree of disdain. Granted, many people I know as interesting and even rational people may have been secret McCain-Palin supporters, and chose to keep it a secret.
This is why the bumper sticker struck me as surreal. Every expectation I have about the world has been shattered now. Up is down, left is right, right is left (so to speak), and green pandas roam the Australian outback with impunity. It’s the equivalent of dogs and cats living together
Unless the owner of the car was simply engaging in a little bit of political irony. In which case, everything’s okay.
(This still doesn’t explain the time I saw a “Yes on Prop 8” sticker on the same car as a Rainbow Pride sticker. I suppose there are certain political, ethical, or religious sensibilities that could lead someone to express such an apparent political contradiction on the rear end of their car, but it hurts my brain to think that way. I’d rather have the stereotypes, thank you very much.)