T-Shirts from Hell!

12 October, 2008

I enjoy people watching.  Not in any perverted sexual sense, I just enjoy observing my fellow homo sapiens in their natural environment.  Sometimes, however, people watching becomes disturbing.  Very disturbing.

I saw a family today who were, quite obviously, McCain/Palin supporters.  It was quite obvious from the five inch wide pasty blue (who picked that shade of blue for the McCain campaign?) button with the idiotic ‘America First’ slogan that Mom was wearing.  And the pasty blue McCain hat that covered Dad’s bad toupee (if you are going to get a toupee, fine, but make sure your hair colour and the toupee match!).  What made the view disturbing was the T-shirts. 

Mom’s shirt sported a caricature of Barack Obama.  The shirt was a rather well-done silk screen.  Professional, even.  Obama, however, was pictured complete with a turban and in the act of lighting a crack pipe.  Underneath, the words “This is your brain voting for Hussein.”

Dad wore a Dallas Cowboys shirt.  Offensive, but not abnormal.

The kids, though.  The kids.  Their shirts were somewhere between sick and twisted, but not in a good way.

The youngest looked to be about six years old.  A cute little girl with blond curls and blue eyes (proper white-supremacist Aryan).  Her shirt looked home made.  The words:  “Obama, will you teach me about sex?”  You have to wonder about parents who would make their kid where such a shirt?  You also have to wonder why her parents don’t like the idea of teaching little kids about ‘good touch, bad touch’ and ‘it’s okay to tell’?

A second little girl, even younger, sported a shirt (homemade look) stating:  “9/11 = God Saying No!”  No to what?  Intolerance?  Bigotry?  Stupid shirts? 

The little boy, who looked about eight (dark hair and brown eyes (same father?)) wore a shirt upon which was printed:  “God.  Guns.  The G.O.P.  Protecting America Since 1776.”  Never mind that the G.O.P. didn’t even exist until 1854, when it was formed from the ashes of the Whig party.  Never mind that the British Army was defeated by a combination of a regular U.S. Army (the citizen-armies never held together long enough to be effective, long term, against the British regulars (and yes, I know I am simplifying here)) and a lot of help from the French.  Never mind that many of the clergy opposed attempts to separate from England because a king was a natural (read Biblical) link between God and the common man.  Never mind the . . . .  Never mind.

When I see this, I almost despair for America.  These parents will never, ever, admit to the possibility that anyone but a Republican can legitimately govern America.  And, unfortunately, neither will the kids.

Sometimes wearing a recognizable uniform causes me to bite my tongue.  I did, and walked away.



  1. LOL! Billy, you can always celebrate the fact that you live in a country that allows people to be as weird, and as vocal about that weirdness, as they choose. That’s definitely an upside. 😉

  2. Betcha they home school the kids…

  3. Isn’t the phrase something like: Those who don’t learn from the past are doomed to cause even more horrible history

    They display less than a passing knowledge of the country, are indoctrinating their children, and…and…and…I can’t even type coherently at the moment.

  4. Beyondbluestockings: Thanks for stopping by. I agree. It is great to live in a country in which people do have the right to free speech, including, I might add, the right to ridicule said speech. Notice I did not say censor it. Censoring free speech seems to be a specialty of authoritarian politics and authoritarian religions (see previous post for an example). If the religious right succeeds in making America a Christian nation (a Bible-based version of what passes for democracy in Iran), the right to free speech, left, right, center, theist, atheist, will be abridged.

    Ric: Short sabbatical, eh? Most likely they are hoem skooled. And making t-shirts appears to be a major part of the curcula.

    Tungtide: That makes more sense than repeating history — history does not repeat itself as, just like weather, there are never truly identical circumstances. There are parallels, but no repeats. They are, as you point out, bound to create more horrible history. Good. I am stealing that. (“Plagiarism is Basic to All Cultures” — Pete Seeger)

  5. It’s ignorance like this that makes it impossible to have a truly objective political discussion this year. Everyone for McCain is ignorant, fundamentalist and a racist and everyone for Obama is ignorant, atheist and a terrorist. Then everybody screams.

    America. Ain’t it grand?

  6. () –

    Naw. It was an eternity. I get grumpy when I don’t write.

  7. Ric: And this would be different how?

  8. Billy, I have no issues with your right to ridicule, and perhaps I failed to communicate that I was genuinely amused at your observations. (I can afford that luxury, not having any personal stake in your country’s political issues).

    My thoughts on reading, where along the lines of.. “What was that mother thinking?”

    Little girls are way cuter in ribbons and frills than in, well, strange political slogans. We don’t see that kind of thing here (ever!) I’m not sure if that’s because we don’t take our politics so seriously, or if it’s because we choose to be more discreet about our preferences. Who knows? Either way, I hope it doesn’t catch on.

  9. Beyondbluestockings: I didn’t presume that you were having an issue with anyone’s right to ridicule. I just was pondering whether or not Mom and Dad realize that, should a certain authoritarian regime take over, shirts like the ones on their children would become potentially dangerous.

    I think the politicization of children has gone hand in hand with the sexualization of children. Girl’s foundation garments with sayings such as “Dive Right In” or “Credit Cards Accepted” along with the Modonnaesque clothing (the 1980s Madonna) seems to have grown in popularity along with religious and political propaganda as it relates to children. Odd, that. Not sure if it is connected, but we seem to be hellbent on forcing girls to grow up too fast, while simultaneously preventing our boys from maturing, and excusing immature behaviour at the adult level.

    And I agree: “What was the mother (and father) thinking?”

  10. “Dad wore a Dallas Cowboys shirt. Offensive, but not abnormal.”

    Okay, buster, now you’ve stopped preachin’ and gone to meddlin’ !!

    I just got on the Atheist Blogroll today and I’m trying to work my way through the *new* ones. (I wonder if all newbies do this, or if it’s just me. Probly just me. Not that I’m obssessive or anything…)

  11. Candace: Welcome to my blog. Dad is from the DC area. Mom is from Boston. I cheer for the Redskins (plus and team playing the Cowboys), the Patriots, the Senators (Nationals), the Red Sox (and whoever is playing the Yankees), the Bruins, the Capitals, the Celtics and the Wizards (who were much more fun as the Bullets). Nothing personal, I just immediately question either the sanity or intelligence of any Cowboy fan. I’ve just met too many who feed the stereotype. If you are a Cowboy fan, consider the slight well-deserved. It could be worse, though — you could be a Chiefs fan (not that they are a pro team anymore, but . . .).

    It blows me away how fast the atheosphere changes. I’ve been blogging since February, and yet many (such as yourself) consider this to be an old established blog. Weird.

  12. Man, I really feel sorry for those poor kids. I’m almost certain the kids are home schooled. I wouldn’t be surprised if at least one of the parents never finished high school.

  13. Chappie: Well, Dad’s a Cowboy fan, so the second part is a given. Joking, dammit. Joking. They probably are home schooled, using a textbook that says “Amurcah is a Christian Nation and the GOP (Republicans) created Amurcah!”

  14. Just remember, if people like this disappeared or did not have the right to say what they want then we would have a lot less idiots to laugh at.

  15. Kate: Welcome to my blog. Laughing (internally, of course) at idiots is just one of the benefits of people watching.

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