Written by Anthony Burch
Quick – what’s the quickest, easiest way to make a person you’ve just met hate you with the fire of a thousand suns? Why, wear a t-shirt with a banal, pointless slogan on it, of course! Not the funny, ironic, quasi-offensive stuff you might find at Snorg, BustedTees, or T-Shirt Hell, mind you, but the sort of pathetic, pointless crap which embarrasses not only the shirt-wearer, but everyone who has to come into contact with him. Here’s why you shouldn’t wear crap like that.
First off, the shirts aren’t fucking funny. Period. Never have been, never will be. Most of these shirts contain either stupid, dated catchphrases (I once actually saw someone with a shirt reading, “Houston, we have a problem”), or absurdly out-of-style slang (“Don’t hate the playa, hate the game”). It’s one thing to wear a shirt with a cool symbol or idea like, say, Viva La Stewart. It’s another to wear something which will become dated and unfunny roughly two weeks after you’ve bought it. Will Ferrell fans: I hate to break it to you, but your “I LOVE LAMP” shirt isn’t even remotely grin-inducing anymore.
We’ve all seen the movies, we all get the catchphrases — simply wearing words taken from a film or song do not make you as clever as the people who originally came up with them. Okay, great: you really liked Superbad. So did I. But wearing a shirt that reads, “I am McLovin” doesn’t really mean anything, does it? Wearing a catchphrase from a great movie does indeed signal to your peers that you’ve seen and enjoyed a film which everyone and their goddamn mother has seen and enjoyed, but it also says that you aren’t original enough to come up with things of your own to say. Now, I’m not suggesting we all go out and make our own t-shirts (though Cafepress does exist for a reason), but wearing a shirt with a film quote which will get old in less than a few months just seems an exercise in futility. If you’re going to cover your torso with something people will either find irritating or wholly irrelevant within ten weeks of your purchasing it, you’d be better off just wearing a blank shirt.
Disregarding film quotes, though, there’s always the ridiculous shirts which include culturally devoid sayings which somehow manage to be smarmy and pretentious whilst simultaneously appealing to the lowest common denominator. For example:
The above panel, taken from the truly brilliant xkcd, is almost horrifically depressing in that all but two or three of those truly exist. And people buy them.
Perhaps the most irritating thing about these fucking shirts is that the people who wear them don’t experience the same amount of irritation and anger that the rest of us – the ones who actually have to see the damn shirts – feel everytime they come within fifty feet. They get to walk around life, oblivious to the endless banality of their torso slogan, while the rest of us are constantly confronted with smug horseshit like “If I throw a bone, will you leave?” I mean, really, how does one respond to crap like that? If someone was to come up to your face and say it to you personally, harsh words or fisticuffs would be exchanged – whatever the method of conflict resolution, the person making the insult would have to take responsibility for their words. Wearing these absurdly unnecessary and condescending shirts, however, seems to give these douchebags a pass: they’re insulting everyone, and yet it would be considered socially unacceptable to kick someone in the stomach just for wearing a shirt that reads, “If you were me, you’d be awesome.” Why is that? Seems like a rather irritating double-standard.
Even if these shirts were effective, even if they did tell observers a great many positive things about your personality, would that even be a good thing? Why would anyone want to tell every single passerby who might happen to glance at his chest so much unnecessary information about his personality? Don’t you people have any concept of subtlety, of nuance? Of getting to know people through real human conversation and debate and discussion? No, of course not – why engage in actual human contact when you can reduce all information gathering into compact, meaningless soundbytes taken from a third party?
Thankfully, that’s not really a question the slogan shirt-wearers have to answer, considering (A) nobody actually cares about their damned shirts, so nobody ends up learning anything about the shirt-wearer’s personality, and (B) the shirt-wearer probably has no personality of his or her own to speak of, anyhow. If they did, they wouldn’t wear shirts which serve only to regurgitate stupid cultural slogans and catchphrases. As these shirt-wearers do indeed have no free will or creativity of their own, it is with an unusual amount of confidence that I suggest, in the hopes that they might for once take some positive advice which might be beneficial to them, that they heed the following advice:
GODDAMNIT, STOP WEARING STUPID SLOGAN SHIRTS.
hahahahah awesome. I am SO sick of those shirts….
worst one I have ever seen: here is what it said:
that was it, no specific college or any mascot on it, that was it. college, (worn by a 9th grader)
You’ve never seen my movie, I take it.
THANK YOU for such a simple, yet largely ignored opinion.
While I agree that the aforementioned slogans are inane, I’d MUCH rather wear them than a ‘corporate logo’ shirt (i.e. Nike, Joe’s beer, or even .
Why in the world would I pay 2/3/4/x for a shirt simply so I can be their billboard? Never made sense to me.
Unquestionably, plain clothes are cooler.
This is the worst article i’ve read in this page. It offended me. Put a photograph of yourself and i will rate your clothes…
If you judge the people by the clothes the’re wearing, you have a little problem, man. Learn to look inside the people instead they external appearance.
Probabily a person who wears a shirt whith a dick with Dark Vader helmet and the sentence “I’m your Father” have a little more sense of humour than a person wearing a dolce & gabana shirt. Don’t you think???
Awfull article. The worst in this page.
to John Belushi:
OH! now I get it…..
oh man..i have to say that this was extremely funny. however, maybe a little too long for just shirts. i don’t really care for the shirts myself except one that i have saying, “if you choke a smirf, what color does it turn?” i don’t think its from a movie.
i think the worst of them all would have to be the ones from hot topic. seriously people, hot topic is NOT witty. or punk. its for posers and scene kids. hardly anything from that store is good anymore. its a disappointment.
Oh, come on, I think that last one (‘finally love me’) was hilarious, even though it was probably just a mockery of the t-shirt concept to begin with.
Good stuff; you’ve put words to a feeling that depressed and disgusted me for years.
Anyone find the SnorgTee ad ironic
The perfect “T” for you with the message, “I have issues!”
And btw, it is DAMMIT, not DAMNIT
This rant was weak. T-SHirts are meant to be stupid. Meant to be dated.
Get off the caffine Dude…Its going to be alright…
dated t-shirts? how many pink floyd or grateful dead shirts do you have in your closet. got any t-shirts with the transformers or superman logo? you’re “dated” t-shirt ideals hold no water. i saw a shirt the other day that read “if anyone orders merlot, i’m leaving” half you people wouldn’t get that. but as a wine drinker and someone who has watched the movie it’s funny. and always will be. cause merlot will always suck.
i don’t know whether you were seriously pissed off about Ts like what was mention but dammit, your article was funny, if not offensive in certain ways. Not to me of course, i dont wear those kind of clothes.
I’m Asian, i wear boot-leg clothes so instead of your standard issue Adidas or Nikes. i’ll be wearing those Adidos and Nikos, with slogans like Juice duud et.
yes, we do have shirts like this in existence.
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