I try to be an equal opportunity t-shirt reviewer, and it’s now time to feature a couple of shirts critical of the new president. It takes more than a half-assed, baseless, or asinine attempt however, and I believe these two t-shirts raise legitimate concerns, or at least do so in an entertaining fashion.
A part of me believes that anyone who triviliazes the sacred institution of democracy by making a political t-shirt that satirizes, idolizes or takes advantage of a presidential candidacy is going straight to hell. So if I’m going to make one now, it might as well be the douchiest most offensive thing possible, right?
In case you aren’t aware, Ashley Todd filed a false police report claiming to have been a victim of a racially and politically motivated attack.
- There is no doubt this election has been closely watched from all corners of the globe, and Yes We Can attempts to translate Obama’s message into at least thirteen languages. Knowing how diverse this blog’s readership is, I think that many of you will find these shirts interesting.
- Like it or not, “Bros Before Hoes captures one of the more significant aspects of the 2008 election.
- “Obama is my Homeboy” was one of the earliest Obama t-shirts. They also had one for Hillary and just about anyone else you could think of.
- Obamarad – This only goes to show that three young, politically minded individuals can do it all themselves, whilke supporting their candidate of choice in the process.
- Y Label Clothing has several artsy Obama designs for sale.
- Do You Smell What Barack Is Cooking? There have been many puns made on Barack Obama’s name, and this is as good as any of them.
- Prez Dispencer is a foray into t-shirt design by fellow blogger Karl Long of tcritic. He has also started compiling a list of his favorite Obama shirts which has little overlap with mine, so be sure check it out for even more Obama designs.
- Gobama shows that In the age of Cafepress, all you need to start selling t-shirts online is a decent idea and some rudimentary design skills.
- Obama Speech Shirt by LA Pop Art. The makers of this shirt specialize in similar designs which utilize text to create shape and value changes, like this Scarface tee.
The Head Scratchers
Some of the more entertaining t-shirts are often those you would never be caught dead wearing. With that in mind, here are some tees that either went too far, or didn’t go far enough.
- Regulate the Banks – Whenever anyone makes a concerted effort to create something, I believe it to be a positive, even if the end result falls short of success. This is why I never like to rag on someone else’s t-shirt making attempts (anything that involves Mike Hunt notwithstanding). Ultimately, this shirt is underdesigned, and it conveys a muddied message by virtue of combining two disparate issues.
- Obama Ride – This is definitely a headscratcher in the purest sense of the term. It is a strange caricature of Mr. McCain carrying a hot-dog wielding Mr. Obama on his shoulders, presumably to the White House. The only possible explanation is that this shirt is made by an artist commune, which I think is pretty much the case.
- SuperBadTees – Dare I say… underdesigned? (NSFW)
- Pop Goes Obama – I happen to think that copying the whole Marilyn Monroe “pop art” motif just doesn’t make any sense nowadays. Not only because it’s formulaic, but because Warhol’s ideas lose their value without their context. Besides, the colors used are just hideous.
- Obama Antichrist – Coming from T-Shirt Hell, this shirt is pretty much an endorsement, although for some religious fundamentalists it may represent a very real fear. For what it’s worth, “Half Honkey, All Donkey” is now gone from T-Shirt Hell.
- Nobama (keep the change) – “Nobama” has been one of the most common campaign slogans on the McCain trail. This one does it with a clever twist.
- The Man, The Myth, The Legend. I’ve written about ThoseShirts in the past, and while I don’t agree with some of their heavy-handed slogans, I do suspect that plenty of conservatives find their shirts spot on.
- I wrote about the Obama/Curious George tee in an earlier post.
- Jews Against Obama. Ok, so the wheels are really starting to come off the wagon. If you are interesting in knowing more about this $200 shirt go here and here, but don’t read into things too much.
That’s it for Obama. Stay tuned for Palin and McCain t-shirts soon, which should be a lot easier since there won’t be nearly as many shirts to sift through. If you’d like to receive e-mail updates every time I make a new post you can subscribe by email. As always, feel free to add to this list in the comments.
I was trolling Digg and Cafepress to see if I could find any interesting campaign related t-shirt, and instead found something to file under t-shirts that shouldn’t exist. What I found surprising was some of the user comments in response to the bar owner’s assertion that, “. . . the hairline, the ears, he looks just like Curious George.” Have a look:
I support Obama and I think this shirt is hilarious. I would love to wear one and see peoples reactions. This is just the kind of thing we need to open up discussion on racism.
Really? I’d never wear a shirt like that, whether I support Obama or not, because the shirt is in bad taste. The next comment, however, cuts to the truth with a heavy dose of sarcasm:
Yeah, that’s racist as hell. Nobody ever made fun of Bush by saying he looks like a monkey.
Phew, that almost went over my head.
So is there anything inherently racist or offensive about comparing a person to a member of a different species? After all, the current president has been lampooned in much the same way. What makes this t-shirt racist is the racist lore from which it draws it’s imagery.
The bastion of newsworthyness that is the Gawker blog network used to run a small spinoff t-shirt site with a few slogan tees that I liked. Unfortunately they are in the middle of closing up shop, which I hope this isn’t because they’ve lost their joie de vivre for t-shirts, or that the rigors of running a business have become too much. After all, that wouldn’t be very encouraging news for those of us just starting out. The upside is that you can now own any of the Gawker tees still in stock for just $9.99.
What can you conclude about a site with with at least five different shirts displaying President Reagan’s image? That’s gotta be some seriously conservative t-shirt site! No, I’m not talking about Deez Teez, it’s Those Shirts that got liberals all worked up. We’re talking about saving paving whales, nuking mecca, even neutering pets! Still not interested? How about blonde and brunette Texan models wearing Che t-shirts, baring mid-riffs and toting AK-47s?