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Judge not, let ye be judged... [Jul. 17th, 2008|09:19 am]
I'll be the first person to say that my gut feeling that people who have American flags and conservative messages pasted all over their car are far more likely to cut me off in traffic or otherwise be pindicks on the road...is a total fallacy. I just NOTICE those cars more, I know that. It's not because they're politically or morally conservative that bothers me, it's the aggressiveness of their message...and then I see it spilling out into traffic aggressiveness. And that further irks me, because I hate it when people treat their political or moral beliefs like it's some kind of sports team affinity. ("We're number #1!) And I think that personal beliefs are just that. Personal. I don't mind you sharing them, but I'm tired of being assaulted by your need to pray or your desire to keep tabs on my womb or your threats to shoot me if touch your car.

But plenty of unidentified cars are cutting me off and being jerks. I just don't have anything to hang on to, except their inherent a-holeness, so it passes more quickly from the colander that is my brain.

But now, twice in two days, I have had a car come speeding up beside me in the breakdown lane and then literally shove its way in front of me or the person in front of me. And both times they've had the Christian fish symbol on their car. Okay, I'm a Darwin fish person, who's been the recipient of several little earnest cards tucked under my windshield, either scolding me for being offensive or threatening me with the flames of hell for co-opting and making fun of the Christian symbol. And while I see that some people might find that offensive...and that may be why I didn't replace it after an accident wiped it off the back of the car. Athough that may mostly be a combination of The Lazy and it's become so popular that now, to me, it's uncool. But truthfully, I always found it neat because to me it symbolized that you could have Christ AND evolution. One didn't cancel out the other, as some believe. But, whatever.

Now I've got someone who professes to be a Christian -- enough so that they've made a statement on their car and they are breaking the law (driving in the breakdown lane) and being rude/aggressive and potentially causing an accident, making other people slam on their brakes. What the hell happened to the "meek inheriting the earth"? Other quotes elude the aforementioned colander this morning, but I'm pretty sure that given time I could come up with all sorts of kindness and patience and waiting your freaking turn kind of stuff to bolster my argument.

Hell-llooo....if you're going to cut in front of a car, why would you choose the "nature, red in tooth and claw" person to cut in front of? I'm supposed to be the evil, aggressive, out-only-for-myself kind of person you want to steer clear of. Or at least convert. Cutting me off is NOT going to convert me.

Of course, maybe you really understand evolution and understand that there is a place for compassion and cooperation -- because I know that if I patiently wait my turn, I am less likely to die in an auto accident. And if I cooperate and let my fellow humans merge every other car, that I am more likely to get the same consideration back, which may be crucial one day to my survival. At the very least, I won't die from high blood pressure on my way home in traffic. And you're taking advantage of the fact that I know I'm not going to heaven so I will let you in, rather than risk dying and going to hell.

Don't bet on it! Remember, if you're young, I may fear that you'll breed more like you. And if you're old...you're using up my resources.

Plus, the commute home makes me crabby.

[User Picture]From: 3fingeredsalute
2008-07-17 02:18 pm (UTC)
I seethe at that type of driving. If someone attempts to come up the breakdown lane and get in front of me, I pull close to the bumper of the car ahead of me (and just a bit to the side the car who is trying to pass is on) to ensure they will not get ahead of MY car. If they want to try to continue on ahead, and cut someone ahead of me off... so be it. I'll get pissy, consider all the names the individual should be called, maybe even say a few choice phrases, and eventually get over it. But my true wish is for them to sit on the side of the road until they have a legitimate break (behind 3 hours of rush-hour traffic), or they are conveniently assisted in their task of sitting while a nice policeman/woman writes them a love-letter (sent COD).

Road-rage is an awful state, but... when you don't take some matters into your own hands, I feel like you're "letting the terrorists win", and that just can not be in this case. In a sense, I have lived most of my adult life trying to ensure ignorance is painful. It's a task I take seriously, even though it pains me to do so. *rimshot*

A little funny your story reminded me of:
A man was being tailgated by a stressed out woman on a busy boulevard. Suddenly, the light turned yellow, just in front of him.

He did the right thing, stopping at the crosswalk, even though he could have beaten the red light by accelerating through the intersection.

The tailgating woman was furious and honked her horn, screaming in frustration as she missed her chance to get through the intersection, dropping her cell phone and makeup.

As she was still in mid-rant, she heard a tap on her window and looked up into the face of a very serious police officer.

The officer ordered her to exit her car with her hands up. He took her to the police station where she was searched, finger printed, photographed and placed in a holding cell.

After a couple of hours, a policeman approached the cell and opened the door. She was escorted back to the booking desk where the arresting officer was waiting with her personal effects.

He said, "I'm very sorry for this mistake. You see, I pulled up behind your car while you were blowing your horn, flipping off the guy in front of you, and cussing a blue streak at him. "I noticed the 'Choose Life' license plate holder, the 'What Would Jesus Do' bumper sticker, the 'Follow Me to Sunday School' bumper sticker, and the chrome-plated Christian fish emblem on the trunk.

"Naturally. I assumed you had stolen the car."
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[User Picture]From: mistressfetch
2008-07-17 02:28 pm (UTC)
This story is full of AWESOME !
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[User Picture]From: majorchaos
2008-07-17 02:45 pm (UTC)
haha... classic!
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[User Picture]From: chellebelle74
2008-07-17 09:18 pm (UTC)
Bwahahahahaha!!! Have I told you lately I love you?
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[User Picture]From: majorchaos
2008-07-17 02:50 pm (UTC)
I refer you back to the post about the driver that did something similar... but I'll summarize...a driver passed me and several cars in the break down lane of the on ramp to rt70 from security blvd and then got stuck in traffic. When I caught up, I noticed they were several cars behind a cop. I started pacing the cop making like I'm just normally driving, but at the same time actively blocking the little car. they eventually got pissed off enough that they got around me and right out in front of the cop, who pulled them over :D YAY!

but that's a bit different from what you are talking about...
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[User Picture]From: lowlandscot
2008-07-17 03:48 pm (UTC)
Recognizing the attention-bias fallacy makes you smarter than most of the science and medical writers in this country. I've never noticed any pattern at all in DC, but when 95% of the drivers I interact with are psychotic asswipes, my brain lacks the storage capacity to compute frequency distributions. In all honesty, though, in Minneapolis you could always count on a guy in a rustbucket Chevelle sporting 20 stickers of the "Free Leonard Peltier" variety to be the biggest prick on I-94, albeit at a level of prickocity that would fade into background noise on 270 or the beltway.

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[User Picture]From: pyratelady
2008-07-17 05:10 pm (UTC)
The thing with those damned preachy bumper stickers is that, hey random driver who I don't know, I didn't ask your opinion and I don't much care. Why must you wave it in my face via your bumper?

So I've got a few bumper stickers of my own brewing in my head:
"I'm ignoring your preachy bumper sticker. And I vote."
"I don't much care what you think about abortion rights or liberalism."

Something like that. If I ever go through with it, it WILL be a magnet, of course. So nobody keys my car in a parking lot.
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[User Picture]From: terribleturnip
2008-07-17 05:39 pm (UTC)
For magnetic bumpersticker holders:


It's really just a big bumpersticker sized magnet that you can put a bumpersticker on. Only so many places it will go on a plastic Saturn, but there are so many cool bumperstickers -- I like to be able to change them. AND take off the "Five days a week my body is a temple, the other two days it's an amusement park" sticker before I go to visit my parents.

My friend has a bumpersticker that reads "Bumpersticker" in that black on white generic labelling fashion, which I find funny as hell.
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[User Picture]From: lowlandscot
2008-07-17 07:30 pm (UTC)
Speaking as a politically conservative, religiously orthodox Catholic.....I don't get the aggressively patriotic or in-your-face pious bumperstickers either. You're not going to convert anyone with a bumpersticker, you're just going to piss someone off. It's the opposite of the injunction to spread the gospel if you do it in a way guaranteed to make people want to smack you. Which is why the only two bumperstickers on my Jeep are "Eat Bertha's Mussels" and an advertisement for a flea circus.

And I think the scriptural instruction that Christian drivers ought to be following is that corny "do unto others" one. Just be a mensch, for crying out loud; it's better preaching than a billion "God is My Co-Pilot" stickers.
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[User Picture]From: terribleturnip
2008-07-17 08:40 pm (UTC)
It is my fervent hope that "normal" Christians will rise up and re-claim the word "Christian" from the fringe.

Heck, I won't even display the flag because I don't want anyone to think I'm one of the uber-righteously patriotic. Okay. And I'm lazy and won't remember to take it in every night. And I'm a greenie AND a Yankee so I won't keep it lit all night, if I succumb to the lazy. And the only thing that irks me more than aggressive flag-waving is aggressive flag-wavers who don't treat the flag with respect.
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[User Picture]From: regineaubergine
2008-07-17 07:57 pm (UTC)
The Washington Post recently had an interesting article on this. Folks that personalize their vehicles with bumper stickers, etc. tend to become more territorial about "their space" on the road and are generally more aggressive drivers then those with undecorated cars regardless of political, environmental, or religious persuasion. Here is link to the article:

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[User Picture]From: lowlandscot
2008-07-17 10:04 pm (UTC)
That was interesting, but I really have to question the premise. I mean, when I'm driving -- I'm piloting two tons of steel and glass with a tank of explosive fluid strapped to the bottom down a river of concrete at 60 mph. I don't think a couple of bumperstickers and a personalized license plate are what's enforcing the distinction between "private" and "public" space. I think the fact that I'm inside the steel shell and not splattered on the concrete is all I need.
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[User Picture]From: ferlonda
2008-07-18 12:46 am (UTC)
Whee! Great stuff for hot afternoon reading with a gin and lemon chaser.

Hey, did you ever notice what that "fish" looks like if you stand it up on it's tail? And guess who that "fish" got stolen from? Hint- same folks as what came up with the original "Easter."

Our bumper stickers are two: a Waterbug one to promote the label our albums are on (not that anyone recognizes it) and a "Kill Your Television" which we have to keep replacing because it falls off periodically. We had a little rainbow sticker for a while but it fell off, too.

Re: the driving stuff. I used to ride motorcycles, even taught motorcycle safety (yes, there is such a thing) education classes for a while. Now I drive a great big white van (5 tons worth, to be fairly exact) with a remarkable similarity to a Beluga whale. And you know what? People STILL DON'T SEE IT. I am driving what is basically a very small house... and people just don't notice it. It's actually kinda funny. :) Though I'd give up the laughs in a second if it meant someone would actually LOOK before changing lanes.

Okay. Stopping now before I break something. Ooh, I know, more gin!
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