Author: Sticking Points
Straight and to the point. Visual politics in the English-speaking world. A group column, by Souciant and friends.

Plastering political bumper stickers on the back of your car or truck may win you friends and enemies, but paying for a customized wrap-around paint job takes vehicular self-expression to a whole new level. When I saw this SUV parked in front of my local Trader Joe’s recently, I had to tip my cap. Because even if I found the message it communicated a little monomaniacal, there was no denying the owner’s passion. (More…)

Although almost everyone around the world has a superficial knowledge of the American way of life, forced down their throats by the United States’ two most successful export industries, weaponry and media, deeper understanding can prove elusive. How, for example, can the people of a nation that has been a global superpower for the better part of a century still conceive of themselves as renegade underdogs, fighting for freedom? (More…)

In the part of the Tucson metro area where I live — the same part where Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords was nearly assassinated in 2011 — anti-Obama sentiment has been strong since he first became a viable Presidential candidate. I take it for granted that I’m going to hear people disparaging him on a daily basis. (More…)

The Occupy movement was perplexing. Heavily covered by some media organizations and ignored or ridiculed by others, it could seem huge one moment and tiny the next, a bold model for the future or a tired rehash of countercultural platitudes. Outside the United States, figuring out what to make of this decentralized phenomenon was even more challenging. (More…)

Hour after hour, I’m bombarded with reasons to dislike Barack Obama. He has conceded too much ground on what’s left of the American safety net. He hasn’t conceded enough on executive privilege. He keeps talking the talk, but refuses to walk the walk. An American Tony Blair, a wolf in sheep’s clothing. Enough of this relentless assault and I’m ready to disown him. But then I see something like this. (More…)

Margaret Thatcher provoked the same passionate responses in death as she did when she was Prime Minister. It’s hard to imagine a Briton being on the fence about her. That was once true for her American counterpart Ronald Reagan as well. But he fared much better than Thatcher in retirement. Both because of sexism and the suspicion that, despite his fiery anti-statist rhetoric, he was deep down a “softie” (More…)

From a distance, it looks like the sort of thing you’d see on a dusty highway in those parts of the world where “development” is still regarded as progress, a testament to the ingenuity of people who have learned to make do with less. But then you remember: I’m sitting outside a branch of Chase Bank, across a strip-mall parking lot from Trader Joe’s. (More…)

Americans spend an inordinate amount of time on the road. In places like the Los Angeles, Houston and the Washington D.C. metropolitan areas, commuters may spend more time studying the cars ahead of them during stop-and-go traffic than they do their own spouses and children upon finally arriving home. That’s why bumper stickers are such an effective means of declaring one’s allegiances. (More…)

Seeing the political posters Souciant features in Randomizer, readers sometimes ask if there’s a US equivalent. In cities like New York or San Francisco, and around college campuses, analogous street communications aren’t hard to spot. But elsewhere in the country, particularly suburbia, the dominant form of street communication is mobile: the bumper sticker. This startling couplet is a fine example. (More…)