Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Either/Or

Riding to work last Sunday afternoon, I saw someone in our neighborhood wearing a t-shirt featuring the design you see here. Three possibilities occurred to me. One, this man is destitute. He's homeless or nearly so, unable to buy clothing, and so gratefully accepts whatever he is given or can find. Two, this man is a hipster and means to announce his embrace of amoral irony. In this case, the t-shirt would be semantically indistinguishable from one reading 1986 WORLD CHAMPION BOSTON RED SOX. But demographic clues compelled me to eliminate these two possibilities and I was left with: Three, this guy is serious, he's declaring a nuanced patriotism that takes the form of don't fucking fuck with us fuckwad or we'll fucking kick your fucking ass!

Whether or not the t-shirt was stupid or base in 2001 no longer matters, because — let's face it, buddy — it is now just factually wrong. He has run and he has hidden, successfully. The most fearsome military that this world has ever seen has laid waste to two entire nations in the past four years but it can't find and capture one 6'7" man.

Or else it just doesn't want to find and capture him. It may just be that the interests of the people who run that fearsome military are in conflict with the emotional needs of the man wearing the t-shirt. The disjunction isn't a happy one for the t-shirt wearer: either we don't fucking kick ass or else there is no we, no legitimate polity that we are all part of in any meaningful way.

In a post-rational world, however, we don't have to worry about disjunctions. We can just keep buying stupid crap.

4 Comments:

Blogger Mr. H.K. said...

Stupid crap?

Surely you don't mean the Pledge of Allegiance/ Reagan Freedom Quote ceramic mug?

Do you think I should remove it from my Shopping Cart?

Is that what you are saying?

*Wow*

Cheers,
Mr. H.K.
Postcards from Hell's
Kitchen

And I Quote Blog

5:03 PM  
Blogger Ashbloem said...

Excellent post, sir.

9:00 AM  
Blogger Joel said...

Wow, Lillet and Trey, I was just coming here to thank you for visiting my blog and for your nice comments , and.... I see a link to my blog on your sidebar !!!! Thank you SO SO much!!! It is very kind of you ! I love New-York, so of course I love your blog ! I immediately put a link to your blog on my page !

Later!
Joel at Ecoute s'il pleut.

12:48 PM  
Blogger Defiant Symmetry said...

Honestly, I'm not surprised. I'm not surprised. Did I say I'm not surprised? It's the blind leading the blind. We'll blindly go whereever Monkey Boy leads because that's the kind of country we've become. Thanks for reminding me that not everyone in America is not a stark, raving, blithering idiot.

10:13 AM  

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