T-Shirt Hell, that is. Company founder Sunshine Megatron (of the Chesapeake Bay Megatrons, I believe) is throwing a strop, taking his toys and going home. The reason? People just don’t get his sense of humour, man!
Actually, I sympathise. I’ve always quite liked T-Shirt Hell. Not enough to buy the t-shirts, because I’m just not the sort - I find the idea of wearing a joke everywhere I go a bit tiresome. But I do find the shirts pretty funny, and I think I understand where Mr Megatron is coming from.
Here’s the t-shirt that broke the camel’s back.
I think that’s funny. It’s funny because it’s outrageous. If it weren’t outrageous - if it were an expression of a person’s actual belief - it wouldn’t be a joke. It’s not a statement t-shirt! It’s a joke t-shirt!
I suppose you can’t vouch for the mindset of the person who buys the t-shirt, of course. That person might actually be a guy who has sex with men and then beats them up afterwards. Because if you were a guy who had sex with other men and then beat them up afterwards, wouldn’t you want a t-shirt about it? I know I have t-shirts for all my crimes!
A lot of the humour is potentially offensive in other ways - it’s sophomoric fratboy stuff about boobies and faeces, ha ha ha - but those aren’t the t-shirts that get the hate letters that have caused Mr Megatron to retreat back down the series of tubes. The problem t-shirts are ones like, “What About All The Good Things Hitler Did?”, and, “Arrest Black Babies Before They Become Criminals”.
Now, maybe you don’t think those are good jokes - maybe they lack the Wildean sophistication you look for in a ticklesome bon mot - but they’re not meant to be taken as serious political platforms. They’re t-shirts designed to mock the stupid attitudes they seem to represent. Get angry at the Holocaust deniers and the racial profilers, not at the people wearing the t-shirts mocking the Holocaust deniers and the racial profilers!
All that said, because the humour comes from breaking taboos and saying outrageous things, Mr Megatron should have known what he was getting into. He knew people would get offended. He’s just upset because they’re offended at him. You’d think a man who made his fortune offending people would be a little more thick-skinned. If he couldn’t take it, maybe he should have just ignored the hate mail?
T-Shirt Hell closes on February 10th, and all t-shirts are 10% off in the interim. If you want to buy some offensive clothing, now could be your last chance. That said, there’s always Burberry.