Robot 6

A sticky situation: Box Brown on the “COEXIST” bumper sticker and its enemies

from "To Exist" by Box Brown

from "To Exist" by Box Brown

How can a harmless, feel-good bumper sticker get people so riled up? That’s what Box Brown sets out to explain with his webcomic “To Exist,” which traces the history of the “COEXIST” bumper sticker. Famous or infamous, depending on your political leanings and/or feelings about sloganeering, the sticker cobbles the word “Coexist” out of symbols for major world religions and has a tendency to spur some religious and political conservatives to paroxysms of conspiratorial rage, as you can see in the excerpt above starring Representative-Elect Allen West.

In addition to cataloging some of the more outlandish reactions to the sticker, Brown also traces its origin to the work of Polish designer Piotr Miodozeniec; the version you’ve likely seen is an unauthorized knockoff, making “COEXIST” the “Calvin Peeing” of the bleeding-heart set. Brown also advances some theories about why people would answer the equivalent of “Can’t we all just get along?” with such a resoundingly angry “NO!”, all while working through what looks to me like a pretty heavy Seth influence. Read the whole thing.

(via Jess Fink)

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Comments

12 Comments

This is really interesting. Great post.

Allen West defines the lunatic fringe, and he’s not alone. It’s going to be a very silly very non-productive two years in the House.

It’ll be fun to watch these madmen squirm and try to explain to their very ignorant Tea Party constituents that they can’t get anything done at all with just the house, all they can do is slow things to a crawl.

And their extremist antics will not ingratiate them to the sane people in their districts. I bet over half of these new republicans are 1 term congresspeople. Hopefully they all go down the drain and take that nutbar Michelle Bachmann with them.

Folks, I know politics is a divisive topic, and I think it’s actually good that it gets people’s dander up. But let’s try to keep the temperature a bit lower for the purposes of a comic-blog comment thread, DrunkJack and everyone else.

I saw one of these right next to the Darwin Jesus fish parody. Seems a little hypocritical to me.

@Brown- Not sure why it’d be hypocritical. It’s not like the coexist sticker means you must believe in every one of those beliefs, simply to be respectful of them

I guess I think poking fun at the jesus fish is disrespectful.

True I had never saw it like that and more of something connected to the intelligent design/evolution debate but admit that I don’t know the true history of either symbols

The thing I like about the “COEXIST” sticker is how the Islamic crescent comes first, and is the largest. It’s like it’s saying that Islam has the most work to do towards learning how to peacefully coexist with the rest of the groups represented in the logo.

J.

The problem with these political comic-blog posts is that they all appear to be about commenting on conservatives or tea-partiers, and those that want to “educate” them, etc. Just to name a few, I have seen this one, one on Michelle Bachman and another one depicting major conservatives as Nazis, which I find fascinating, because it is the current administration that is making airport screening akin to a police state, like Germany was pre-WWII.

Alemander, not to “educate” you, but the current digital-scanner/pat-down procedure was greenlit by the Bush Administration, which of course created both the TSA and the DHS. As for facile comparisons to the architects of the Holocaust, two wrongs don’t make a right.

“The thing I like about the “COEXIST” sticker is how the Islamic crescent comes first, and is the largest. It’s like it’s saying that Islam has the most work to do towards learning how to peacefully coexist with the rest of the groups represented in the logo.”

Or it could be saying “This crescent looks like a ‘C’ and the first letter of words is usually larger than the other.”

Or it could have a lot more to it, I guess.

“The thing I like about the “COEXIST” sticker is how the Islamic crescent comes first, and is the largest. It’s like it’s saying that Islam has the most work to do towards learning how to peacefully coexist with the rest of the groups represented in the logo.”

Or, hey, it could be because a crescent shape is the best for forming a C.

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