20 October 2006

pet peeve

Twice in one week I saw magnetic "ribbons" like this stuck to cars. Each professed love of a dog of a respective breed, but both were the same in their tackiness. (And this censure comes from someone who has photos of her cats as her wallpaper on her computer, mind you.)

I find the sentiment on these ribbons hokey at best and snobby at worst. I could laugh off seeing "I love my standard poodle" on a plain old bumper sticker. But the appropriation of "cause" ribbons as a vehicle for declarations of affection rubbed me the wrong way.

I've rolled my eyes aplenty at the host of cars bearing yellow ribbons or, worse, stars and stripes ribbons. I've laughed at the ribbons created to satirize the cause ribbon trend. Yet, seeing these "I love my dog" ribbon magnets made me inexorably defensive of the cause ribbon genre. My scoffs validated bearers of colored ribbons everywhere, but ONLY if they have a cause attached to their use. Loving a Welsh Corgi is not a cause; it's a preference (and an odd one at that, but whatever).

The "i love my dog" ribbons just seem to be a microcasm of an out-of-control consumer culture, which is willing to slap a slogan or logo on anything. And it further dilutes the point of colored ribbons. At one time, there were only red (for AIDS), pink (for breast cancer) and yellow (for supporting troops). And that was fine. That was noble—albeit passive activism.

But we can't leave well enough alone, can we?
I sure wish my family still had the guinea pigs we briefly owned. We started with two—a brother and a sister. Then, through no intervention on our part, there were four more. So I would definitely get a ribbon magnet that said "I love my spawn of incestous Abyssinian guinea pigs."

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