11.06.2005

In a Far Off Land .... or, Confusing Bumper Stickers Spotted in Central Illinois

God, Guns, and Guts
Keep America Free


I really was taken aback by this sticker, probably because of the images it conjured up. I pictured the male, white-bearded vengeful God (bound to be the object of faith of the person who would slap such a sticker on their vehicle). I saw the guns of America, millions strong and enjoying their heyday. Then I imagined guts. Bloody, shredded intestinal bits strewn over a battlefield. This was the most shocking image induced by the sticker, and I was amazed that someone so blatantly patriotic would embrace gory violence in this way. I mean, I know the God Bless America crowd doesn't shy away from war, but the assertion that GUTS keep America free seemed especially harsh and senseless.

Then I remembered that guts has a figurative meaning. This sticker wasn't referring to a person's innards, but rather their testicular virility, in the famous sexist words of our governor. I guess that makes more sense, but doesn't make this sentiment any less disturbing for me.

I don't want to launch into stereotypes about my hometown. All I'm going to say is that I've never seen this sticker in Chicago.

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