taking the passive out of passive-aggressive

Monday, July 26, 2004

This summer, all the SUV drivers peeled off their American flags and pasted on those idiotic OBX stickers, en masse. It's as though everyone with an Excursion buys a piece of the hive-mind at the same time that they sign the lease.

At least the sheeplike patriotism of the flag denoted a vaguely complex (if sinister) thought--something having to do with a fear of death, or a colonialist desire to conquer the world. But OBX stickers merely signal status of the lowliest kind. If everyone with an SUV is vacationing in the Outer Banks, how exclusive can it be?

Or maybe it's just some kind of sign that they're in the club--that they too know what OBX means and that makes them cool. It's like all the boys in my high school wearing that dumb haircut that fringed out in the back, and all the girls driving Cabriolets. Or like the moms who all show up to school events in the exact same outfit, comforted by their conformity, fluffing their identical blonde hair.

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