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Support our Troops [...more]

  (+5, -2)
(+5, -2)
  [vote for,

My city is considering putting "Support our Troops" on all city vehicles. It sparked quite a heated debate. My idea snuffs out all the fire out of this heated subject.

The whole problem is that "Support our Troops" is so ambiguous ... support them in what exactly? Bringing freedom to oppressed people? Murdering everyone they see until the population submits? I may want to support them in one thing but not in another. How do I make sure I'm not inadvertently supporting something I'm actually against?

Here are the fixed slogans, I'm sure one or more of them will be suitable for your beliefs.
Support the Troops: Pull out now
Support the Troops: Send in more ammo
Support the Troops: Send them beer
Support the Troops: Send them hookers
Support the Troops: Increase their pay and pension
Support the Troops: Believe in their mission
Support the Troops: After they return
Support the Troops: Don't leak army information
Support the Troops: Expose the truth about their mission
Support the Troops: Fuck the politicians who keep them there
Support the Troops: Vote for the politicians who support the troops
Support the Troops: By not supporting them you put their lives in danger
Support the Troops: 100% of profits from the sale of this sticker went to veterans association
Support the Troops: Let's get those new F-48's deployed now
Support the Troops: Because now it's too late not to
Support the Troops: Send money to abc@def.com
Support the Troops: Let's nuke that shit hole from orbit and be done with it
Support the Troops: (The enemy troops)
Support the Troops: Pray for them
Support the Troops: Pray for peace
Support the Troops: Join the army
Support the Troops: Educate yourself on the mission
Support the Troops: Organize peace rallies
Support the Troops: Kill them all to end their suffering
Support the Troops: Even those who desert
Support the Troops: Anarchy will end all wars.
Support the Troops: Stricter home land laws and more military power will end all wars.
Support the Troops: ___ fill in your own ____

See, without being more specific, the sticker is a blank cheque .. how do I know what I'm supporting without making it explicit?
ixnaum, Jul 27 2011


       Support implies action. Even sticking that sticker on your car is an action. What action should I take to support? Because I really DO want to support, but don't know how. What if I take the wrong action? Wouldn't that suck for the troops? My improved sticker focuses on the "how" part and clarifies what's the right action to take.
ixnaum, Jul 27 2011

       // what's the right action to take //   

       We'll go with "Let's nuke that shit hole from orbit and be done with it"   

       Works for us. More than once.
8th of 7, Jul 27 2011

       [21]... so I looked at a dictionary and one of the meanings of support is "to endure" or "to tolerate" .. unlike what I said previously those don't imply action at all. They mean "just wait until it's over even no matter how tough the things get".

Maybe that's the meaning you had in mind. But this makes things even more complicated. In a dictatorship it would make complete sense. I just endure and tolerate the suffering of the troops until the war is either won or lost. But in a democracy all citizens are indirect commanders in chief (as their feedback to the commander in chief is hard to ignore)

Therefore, this non-action meaning of support is incompatible with democracy. After all, as citizens we are responsible for the well being of those soldiers. They are our soldiers, risking their lives to do our bidding. So by just sitting back, and not acting you are putting their lives in jeopardy. Unless you are saying:

Support our troops: have faith in the commander in chief to make the right decision on your behalf
Support our troops: Sit back and leave it to the professionals until it's done ...no matter how long it takes
Support our troops: Temporarily suspend democracy for the benefit of the war effort
Support our troops: Keep your democratic mouth shut until DD/MM/YY (after that we will publicly debate the best action one again)

...this may be a valid argument (or not)... but it has to be spelled out, not hidden beneath layers of different meanings of "support"
ixnaum, Jul 27 2011

       There is a pleasing ambiguity to the slogan, a far more satisfying degree than, say, "save the whales" but I do think that what we have here is a lawyer's point, a desire for definitional certainty where none is needed. It is worthwhile being clear though that it is not not needed for the reasons 21Q provides (this idea is sufficient to prove the ambiguity) but because bumper stickers are a curious form of communication, in that they communicate •to• the stickerer once and to the later reader almost never.   

       These slogans are not affixed to yr pickup because you want to engender support for troops but because the sticker chimed neatly with a thought you once had: the existence of the sticker confirms (erroneously) that enough people have had this thought as to make production of such a sticker economically viable, which in turn confirms that this idle notion of support that you once had is, in fact, wisdom. As such, the stickers are statements of pride in oneself: my thoughts are widely held, therefore my idlest thought is wise (check me, I'm smart). That this conclusion starts from a faulty premise and follows from flawed language is the true irony of the bumper sticker.   

       To be clearly clear, the support wur sodjers sticker is only one example. Comedy stickers are the same, mutatis mutandis.
calum, Jul 27 2011

       //Support the Troops: Even those who desert// Especially those who desert or disobey orders. Apostacy and heresy is your moral duty. Your masters deserve no less from you.
pocmloc, Jul 27 2011

       // in that they communicate •to• the stickerer once and to the later reader almost never.//
I have to disagree, stickers communicate quite a lot of information:
- Beliefs of stickerer
- The fact that stickerer is not shy about putting their beliefs "out there", and that they stand by those beliefs.
- The message of the sticker itself
- Prevalence of the sticker (is it on every car? or is it rare to see?)
- How recently this belief was held (dusty, partly peeled off sticker may not be accurate of current beliefs)
- .... and probably much more

Stickers classic form of communication. (before stickers there were cave wall paintings). When a city faces the decision of whether or not to communicate a message to millions of residents (through a sticker) or otherwise, that message needs clarity. What are they trying to communicate? Is the message going to do harm? Or is it going to do good? (and to who)
ixnaum, Jul 27 2011

       //communicate quite a lot of information//   

       I would be impressed if serving members (and National Guard while in uniform) rode free on the transit. Or got a property tax break.   

       However the message this conveys is more likely "if you argue about your water utility bill, the cops will show up at your door and beat you up".
FlyingToaster, Jul 27 2011

       //Support the Troops: Nuke that shit hole from orbit and be done with it//   

       Got that right. [+]
doctorremulac3, Jul 27 2011

       [calum] //There is a pleasing ambiguity to the slogan, a far more satisfying degree than, say, "save the whales"// - I always interpreted "save" to have the meaning it has in "save your pocket money" - i.e. that all the whales should be collected together and put somewhere safe, preferably under lock and key.
hippo, Jul 28 2011

       [calum] From your argument I sense that there must therefore must be a kind of Ur-bumper sticker of which all others are the logical children - something like "My opinions are sufficiently widely held for it to be economically viable for them to be printed as a bumper sticker" - only shorter. Maybe just "My opinions are better than your opinions".
hippo, Jul 28 2011

       Support the Troops: or they'll fall over.
Wrongfellow, Jul 28 2011

       What about a bra advert, for the less athletic female? (this is where I reveal my time spent engaged in ad agency work) "Support Our Droops"
xenzag, Jul 28 2011

       In Communist Russia, troops support you!   

       I'd consider having a bumper sticker that said, in full: "My opinions are sufficiently widely held for it to be economically viable for them to be printed as a bumper sticker"   

       But we're not sufficiently bumper-stickerish around these parts, so much of the message would be lost.   

       If I lived in the US though, where it's possible to perform most daily functions without ever having to leave your car, and where the cars are large enough to still allow reasonably large print on such a verbose sticker, I would definitely get one of those.
zen_tom, Jul 28 2011


       Support the Troops: Send them more violant video games and some heavy metal music.
VJW, Jul 28 2011

       [+] Support the troops (even if they are dead because they won't know.)
xandram, Jul 28 2011

       Some pork the troops. Lost fingat!
WcW, Jul 28 2011

       good point about "not a new idea" ... didn't realize this existed until I saw those links. I guess nothing is a new idea these days.
P.S. ... yes I did come up with all those on my own.
ixnaum, Jul 28 2011

       OK then, how about an advert for bras for women troops!!
xandram, Jul 28 2011

       Support the Troops: Raise your taxes and stop borrowing money you damn hell ass morons.
rcarty, Jul 28 2011

       [rcarty], you're wasting your time. "Borrowing" has three syllables; you're going way over their heads.   

       You might do better with drawing a picture.
8th of 7, Jul 28 2011

       . ___V__V
rcarty, Jul 28 2011

       [rcarty], Schrödinger's bumper sticker?
theleopard, Jul 29 2011

       More of a trunk/boot sticker we think ... you don't know if it's there or what it says until you open the lid and collapse the wave function.   

       You should post that.
8th of 7, Jul 29 2011

       [-]. I hate bumper stickers.
DrBob, Jul 29 2011

       //Support the Troops: Let's nuke that shit hole from orbit and be done with it//   

       Damn your pacifist leanings....   

       I thought it was just wanting more R&D wonga for exoskeletons? which would in version 1, support the troops, and in the upgrade actually go do the fighting on their own.   

       "....we would never leave a man behind"..."maybe that why we lost?" Would just end up replacing "man" with intelligent exoskeleton..
not_morrison_rm, Jul 30 2011

       How about a "my other bumper sticker is a bumper sticker"?
not_morrison_rm, Jul 30 2011

       [DrBob] good idea, but it's been done.   

       "Support our troops: more funding for prosthetic leg research."
mouseposture, Jul 30 2011


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