Once upon a time, a car wasn’t truly complete unless it had a bumper sticker that said things like “Jesus Loves You — Everyone Else Thinks You’re An Asshole,” “Gas, Grasss or Grass: Nobody Rides For Free,” or “Honk If You Like Black Love.” To celebrate this heady 3×12 piece of Americana, Jack Bowen signs his new book, If You Can Read This: The Philosophy of Bumper Stickers. Decades before Twitter and instant messaging, bumper stickers occupied a violently special place in the American prefrontal cortex, doubling as a thumbnail sketch of the person and/or asshole driving the car. Equal parts Bentham and Bierce, it’s the kind of triptych the AAA won’t tell you about. Bowen has gone the extra mile to analyze the slogans that in comparison are infinitely more erudite than pissing-Calvin stickers, “Baby on Board,” or several species of holy fishes.

Sat., March 27, 5 p.m., 2010

LA Weekly