It's hard to stay away when there are so many interesting stimuli everwhere, so I guess I'm off hiatus for a while.
A few entries ago I had talked a bit about my fascination with American society's continued elevation of ribbons to precious status, even though the ribbons may now be massed-produced, plastic, and no longer labor-intensive and expensive items to produce.
Over the years ribbons have had a symbolic role in the US. In the 1970s Tony Orlando and Dawn sang "Tie a Yellow Ribbon Around the Old Oak Tree," in which they requested that the recipient of the song tie a ribbon if he/she wants the singer to come home. In some wars a yellow ribbon was used as a symbolic gesture to the veterans to come home. (I was young when Tony Orlando & Dawn's song came out -- was this a Vietnam war song?).
In the early 1990s red ribbons were worn to promote AIDS awareness, and in recent years ribbon stickers have appeared on cars in support of soldiers and/or the US invasion of Afghanistan, Iraq, & counting.
A few weeks ago Doug and I were in Pacific Grove, CA (near Monterey), and we came across a car with this sticker on it:
This sticker of course appeals to my love of the subversive. Text is being used with a representation of a precious ribbon to convey a message. The ribbon with its red, white & blue coloring initially appears to be in support of the invasions, but the written message clearly is an anti-war message about people's acceptance of the rhetoric of the government. Just this past weekend, we watched the documentary, "Murderball," which is about paraplegic rugby. At the end of the documentary, the players were showing their sport to wounded veterans from the recent invasions (veterans' legs were missing, etc.). I remember saying to Doug, "Oh my god. They're just kids." These veterans were perhaps 18, 19 or 20 years old. Why is there censorship of images of flag-draped coffins and wounded veterans? Is this censorship by the government or by the press? I think that this censorship gives the message that everything is all OK. But is it really?
Relating back to the text-textile connection -- it's interesting how the ribbon has migrated from a textile to a sticker with text for cars. (Also, I've bought a magnet of the above image for my refrigerator.) It's interesting how the ribbon shape is maintained. Is this ribbon shape that powerful? Is it that precious?
Maybe this blog should be called the text-sticker connection.