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»  July 8, 2010

Politics  

Yes, English

Today it was in front of Target but I'd seen the bumper sticker before:

If you can read this, thank a teacher.
If you can read it in English, thank a soldier!

What we see is the evolution (presuming the person sporting this version believes in evolution) of the bumper sticker phrase "If you can read this, you're too close!" through the "thoughtful" phase which featured just the first line above to a jingoistic, anti-intellectual response that, like most blind expressions of nationalism doesn't really make any sense. Except for the brain fevers of the Reagan years when the Soviets were going to drive their tanks up from Nicaragua* or the more recent Reconquista fears of Lou Dobbs (or Phillip K. Dick's novel Man in the High Castle), when has the US been in danger of being subjugated by non-English speakers? The only serious invasions of US territory were two centuries ago, and the people who did the invading spoke English perfectly well because they were the English. You might as well have a bumper sticker that says:

If you can read this, thank a teacher.
If you can read it in English, thank your
pre-Revolutionary colonial masters!

* You have to wonder why the hell would anyone want to invade Brownsville, Texas or Red Dawn-era Colorado, anyway. Wouldn't the Soviets have been smarter to just hop across to Sarah's house and take over the Alaskan oil fields?
Thu Jul 08, 2010 15:12 -0700