Turn Your Car Into A Tombstone!

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    Mar 02, 2009 8:24 PM GMT
    There’s a new trend that sort of disturbs me. I noticed it a few years ago mainly in the Hispanic community around LA, but it seems to be rapidly spreading into mainstream culture. On the rear windows of their cars, people place decals in white script that read something like, “In Loving Memory of John H. Doe, 1959 – 2009”.

    I’m not sure what to think. Are these people really so consumed by grief over the loss of a loved one that they need to announce it to the world every time they go for a drive? Or is this just another fad, the modern day equivalent of the “Baby On Board” stick-ons of the early 80s?

    At the very least, isn't this all a bit morbid?
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    Mar 02, 2009 8:42 PM GMT

    Lack of awarness can turn it into your tombstone ... I'ts disturbing what's going on streets .. people aren't careful enough ..
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    Mar 02, 2009 8:50 PM GMT
    Well there's that and the same thing in tattoos. As a memorial, I guess it's not any more odd than other funereal customs.

    On the other hand, the idea that everyone gets a 4 x 8 plot of land after death, forever, is just weird. (Except "native americans" also get a 200-foot buffer zone around it.) Pretty soon there won't be any room left for the living.
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    Mar 02, 2009 10:31 PM GMT
    Hopefully its a fad... and even the shirts that have the RIP of a loved one isn't so cute.
  • coolarmydude

    Posts: 9190

    Mar 02, 2009 10:35 PM GMT
    It's not an Hispanic or an LA thing. I see it everywhere.
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    Mar 02, 2009 10:36 PM GMT
    Maybe it's all over, but here in the mid-Atlantic there are roadside memorials all over the place.
    Some of 'em even have chairs and glass-enclosed cases with Bibles....even current holiday decor.

    Isn't the grave a better place for all that?
    (I'm assuming the deceased wasn't planted in the ditch, but....)
  • NickoftheNort...

    Posts: 1416

    Mar 02, 2009 10:42 PM GMT
    It's morbid, but if it's a genuine expression of someone's loss (and does nothing to anyone else other than possibly disturb them), I see nothing wrong about it.

    Along these lines, we could also ask why the Roman execution method of the Christian messiah is that religion's symbol (and why it is so prominently displayed). It is also morbid, but we've adapted to its use over the centuries and have come to accept it as a routine.

    Morbid isn't a bad quality.
  • jaded57

    Posts: 85

    Mar 02, 2009 11:28 PM GMT
    I think its stupid. Especially when its on the back of a 1997 ford Taurus. When I first say it I thought that the car was bought in memory of the deceased. On a lighter note I want one that says "In memory of my virginity 1980-1987 thanks uncle Bob"
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    Mar 02, 2009 11:53 PM GMT
    ^ LOL
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    Mar 03, 2009 12:37 AM GMT
    This thread title was completely misleading! I was expecting to see photos of cars crushed into cubes labeling burial plots.

    Anyway,

    A lot of people in my home town have decals/stickers on their cars as commemorations. Unfortunately this home town of mine has recently come into the self-loathing trend of teenage suicide. . . Before I graduated I experienced two. Last year, during a seven month period three teens committed suicide (I have no clue if that's a high number. My hometown is about 12,000 people)--and I'm pretty sure one was still in junior high. High school girls always get together to make buttons and decals for the deceased--like some after school activity. And then there's a pedestrian bridge in town that has fencing all around it. If you die and are important or have some friends that care they spell out "RIP so-and-so" by sticking styrafoam cups through the chain-links. This community has grown into the awful habit of "caring" about someone only after they've died.

    The decals irk me, but suicide is a touchy subject so I just tolerated it.
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    Mar 03, 2009 4:42 AM GMT
    there are a number of publications in scholarly journals that discuss the origin of automotive customization/detailing in the Hispanic population

    Seems to me there are a number of cultural factors that play into this trend including the one mentioned above, the close family ties, the tradition of not only paying tribute but also celebrating the dead.

    it could also be their attempt at expressing their disgust of the current state of things in their communities. mainly the increasing crime rates, and the casualties from this violence. my guess is many of the people they are paying tribute to are victims.

    could be a lot of things, and its obviously not restricted to the hispanic population
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    Mar 03, 2009 4:57 AM GMT


    I live outside Detroit, and Memorial decals on the back window are FAR to common over here.

    To Beaux commit:

    As far as road side memorials, i have seen people put fully decorated christmas trees on the side of the road, with presents under it, isint this littering?

    ]
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    Mar 03, 2009 4:59 AM GMT
    Just so we're clear on this, I am not at all bagging on the Hispanic community. In fact, when I first saw the decals on their cars a few years ago, it made perfect sense to me in light of their culture.

    What I am bagging on is the same decals on the white yuppie soccer moms' SUVs. They're getting prevalent where I live. Saw one more today, which is what prompted this thread. The "In Loving Memory" decal was right next to the cute flipflops decal; the only thing missing was the little stick figure family. I had to think to myself, how healthy is it for the kids to have their noses rubbed in the memory of their dead aunt every time they get in the car? (based on the age of the dead chick, it was probably the soccer mom's sister) And I couldn't help wondering how much of this was out of genuine feeling, and how much out of a need to be trendy?