How Quirky is Berkeley? Bumper stickers still and more

Photo: Mydael Moss
Photo: Mydael Moss

In Berkeley, we love our bumper stickers. We wear our beliefs and humor on our bumpers. Longtime residents may lose sight of our bumper sticker population, but Mykael Moss has not.

And, by the way, Ahimsa, which sorta-kinda can be translated as “non-violence of the heart,”  is one of the cardinal virtues and an important tenet of Jainism, Hinduism, and Buddhism.

Self-portrait by Mykael Moss.
Self-portrait by Mykael Moss

Moss moved to Berkeley from Chicago a couple of years ago. Much about where we live has given her joy and excitement.  She says: “I noticed an abundance of great vanity-license plates and bumper stickers here, and started documenting them (those I could safely catch up to without causing accidents). Every day, there are additions as we see new political, anti-political, intellectually provocative, controversial and suggestive ones. ”

Here are a few of the many, many bumper stickers she has recorded in Berkeley:


Photo: Mykael Moss
Photo: Mykael Moss
Photo: Mykael Moss
Photo: Mykael Moss
Photo: Mykael Moss
Photo: Mykael Moss
Photo: Mykael Moss
Photo: Mykael Moss
Photo: Mykael Moss
Photo: Mykael Moss
Photo: Mykael Moss
Photo: Mykael Moss
Photo: Mykael Moss
Photo: Mykael Moss
Photo: Mykael Moss
Photo: Mykael Moss
Photo: Mykael Moss
Photo: Mykael Moss
Photo: Mykael Moss
Photo: Mykael Moss

Etc. Etc. Moss photographs new bumper stickers almost every day. She is seeing our city and our world with the eyes of a beginner.

“My husband John and I got involved with the Berkeley Path Wanderers Association, hiking around to discover the richness of nature and history in our new locale. We have had our eyes opened to seeing this exciting city and San Francisco as endless opportunities to explore and discover the wonders of nature, both natural and human,” she says.

I am moved by her excitement for what we, at times, take for granted. I am excited by the passion and obsession with which she is cataloging our bumper stickers. And the bumper stickers — of course — are of great interest.

Tom Dalzell, a labor lawyer, created a website, Quirky Berkeley, to share all the whimsical objects he has captured with his iPhone. The site now has more than 8,600 photographs of quirky objects around town as well as posts where the 30-year resident muses on what it all means.

A longer version of this post may be found at Quirky Berkeley.


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