One of the most desirable skills possessed by mankind, right behind eating and mating, is the ability to intricately express an idea or opinion to another person.
Language is an amazing thing. Pink Floyd suggests in their song Keep Talking that the realization of speech excited the imagination so much that it instigated great leaps in cerebral development, creating a significant turning point in human evolution. From that point on, it was all ideas, all the time.
Now, millions of years later, there is practically nothing that can be imagined that can’t somehow be put to words. Oh, sure, it’s still impossible to adequately relate the experience of an orgasm, but things like Space Shuttles and microprocessors indicate that we are quite capable of acutely exchanging amazingly complex ideas to one another (provided, of course, our audience is intelligent enough to keep up).
Nevertheless, even in the 21st century, there are those who choose to remain cryptic for whatever reason, be it tact, embarrassment, guilt, self-absorption, laziness, stupidity, or what-have-you. Vagueness can be quite aggravating, particularly if seems like the message might actually be pretty powerful – if only the person relating it had just a little more courage and/or cognition.
To wit, I ask anyone who knows more about pop culture than I do to please tell me what message I’m supposed to get from the relatively new and painfully ubiquitous decal depicting a pineapple hand-grenade.
Back in the eighties, when silhouettes of reclining naked bimbos began appearing on mud flaps and rear windows across the country, the message was clear: “The driver of this vehicle is a man who loves the shape of the female form but has to masturbate a lot because he remains positively clueless to even the most obvious of female sensibilities.”
Then, in the nineties, the decal of Calvin urinating on the Ford logo told us quite plainly the person behind the wheel was shallow enough to unilaterally dislike all vehicles made by a particular manufacturer while simultaneously being either clueless or unrepentant about having stolen the intellectual property of one of America’s most beloved cartoonists.*
But this new image confounds me. Certainly these people aren’t saying they have a deep love of short-range weapons capable of maiming large groups of people in mere seconds, right? They can’t possibly be trying to tell me they think problems are best solved by exploding them, can they? And I have yet to hear of any hand-grenade lobbing ranges popping up anywhere, so I doubt this image is the new unifying icon of the recreational target-bombing crowd.
So, what’s the deal with the recent hand-grenade obsession? I open the floor to anyone who can make me understand.
*Bill Waterson, the creator of Calvin and Hobbes, never licensed his characters for anything other than strips and compilation anthologies of those strips. If you see a Calvin and Hobbes product, it’s a bootleg for which Waterson received no compensation.