Re: Put It On Your Chest

Was there ever a piece of clothing designed to convey what’s on our minds like the slogan T-shirt? For this post–and because there’s no escape from election coverage–I sampled the zeitgeist of the nation via, a design-your-own T-shirt shop. For the record, I picked out T-shirts that I thought were especially well-done and/or imaginative. I left out those I deemed to be racist, sexist, or insulting–and it was appalling to see how many of them there were. In my completely unscientific sample,  I detected what appeared to be a larger ratio of Democrat to Republican T-shirts which may reflect the hotly contested Democratic primary.

If you were going just by the T-shirts on display, you could be forgiven for thinking that the presidential race was between Barack Obama and Gov. Sarah Palin. John McCain seldom gets a shirt to himself and is generally only mentioned in a very standardized way along with his running mate.  I thought the moose–again, a reference to Gov. Palin–was a nice touch.

This is one of the few McCain-alone T-shirts I was able to come across. You would think that a guy with his record would inspire more shirts, but I think the lack of designs speaks to the general lack of enthusiasm for him among Republicans in general. McCain likes to style himself, with some justification, as a lone reformer, but the thing about being an army of one is that there is no need for T-shirts for your supporters ’cause you’re on your own.

So, is it really Palin vs. Obama for the presidency? Sure looks that way. What about that other guy …what’s his name …no, not McCain ….

Joe Biden, the Democratic vice-presidential nominee, rarely gets mentioned except when paired with his more famous running mate.

If you see pink elephants, you’ve knocked back one too many at the Republican Convention.

There are still more Barack Obama t-shirts than anything. People like to have fun with his name.

Barack is often portrayed as a revolutionary–both positively and negatively. On the positive side, Barack is seen as Dr. Martin Luther King-like figure, an inspiring social reformer. On the negative side, he’s seen as propaganda-mongering socialist–and that’s one of the nicer things that’s said. It’s a reminder that change of any kind has both its supporters and its detractors.

I like the elegance and simplicity of this design. A strong graphic that ties into his name.

It’s easy to forget that there was another candidate in the race not so long ago. Hilary and Barack were running so closely that at times it seemed like a three-way race between her, him, and McCain.

Unfortunately, Hilary came with her own unique political baggage.

And now a tribute to the power of the digital mob. Just two short weeks ago no one knew who Bristol Palin was. Now her name is on a T-shirt. More than one in fact.

My thoughts exactly.


Re: As Seen On Campus

Or the Fashion Faux Pas of incoming freshmen.

The fall semester on the campus where I work is always a time when you are guaranteed to see some brave eighteen-year-old sporting their new look in public. Sometimes their fashion sense is quite striking. At other times, they just need to be struck. Here’s my roundup of the good, the bad, and the ugly.

First, I can report that the ever-popular t-shirt or hoodie, jeans, and sneakers continues to be THE look among students. This year’s must-have accessory is the sturdy backpack bulging with a good fifty pounds of exhorbitantly-priced textbooks. Given what students are being charged for their textbooks today (and they were high enough when I was in college), I won’t be surprised to see students eventually sporting the barrel-and-suspenders getup that spells extreme poverty in all the cartoons.

Now, as self-appointed fashion commissar, I must issue the following citations:

  • Guys, if you are large and heavy, do not under any circumstances wear a ring through your nose. Not only does the “bullock” look not get the babes, but you may find yourself branded and put out to pasture.
  • Guys, if your shoulder length ‘do makes you look more strikingly beautiful and feminine than your girlfriend, get a haircut. As short as possible. Being a better looking woman than your woman ain’t going to get you anywhere–or, at least, nowhere you want to be.
  • Gals, if your low-rise jeans not only reveal your thong, but your plumber’s crack as well, you need better-fitting jeans. That draft across your backside is trying to tell you something.