Metal, Star Wars and other dumbass stuff

Chances are, you’ve already seen these – I’m not exactly lightning fast these days. Here are som shirts that I find kinda good, despite the fact that they’re all dealing with stuff I don’t give a shit about: Star Wars, Metal and Metallica. All of this is stolen from Metalsucks.

metalwarz

First, the Metal Warz shirts. I just can’t resist logo stealing/tweaking/spoofing, as yo may know, so I thought this was a lot of fun. Made by the talented Sean Tidy http://tidyink.com/ it comes as no suprise they look really good. If I never see another Slayer spoof shirt again though, it’ll be too soon. Get these here.

larz

Next up, the ‘Tallica shirt. As I said, I don’t give a damn about Metallica, except for when they did the first Misfits cover song, but I dislike Lars Ulrich as much as the next guy so… I gave some brief thought to explaining the joke on this shirt, but seriously – if you don’t know, you really need to read up on popular culture. Go read the Wikipedia Metallica entry or something. Get this shirt here.

No one cares about your stupid fucking dog

stupid_dogFlying Coffin. Just because I don’t post about them all the time, doesn’t mean they stop doing cool things. I’d love to wear this shirt, dog owners do get on my nerves quite a bit. Sure, the design is very very simplistic, but in this case, it’s sufficient. Instagram commenters are already demanding a version that says “your stupid fucking kid”…

Second hand t-shirts – there’s a lot more to them than you’d think

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If you visit stores in Stockholm that sell second hand or even ‘vintage’ shirts, it quickly becomes apparent that someone is bringing in american shirts by bulk. There is just no way that so many used american shirts would end up here by themselves and even the scenario where a Swedish person would go on a buying bonanza, hitting every thrift shop in California, seems unlikely (not to mention not very cost effective). However, that’s where I’ve stopped thinking about it in the past, who cares, right? Well, the other day I stumbled upon this episode of a podcast I’ve been listening to lately, Planet Money, and if – like me – you’re interested in t-shirts, I think you would find it pretty interesting:

Episode 502: The Afterlife Of A T-Shirt

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Not  only do you get an explanation to where these shirts come from and how they end up here, but you also find out what happens to all the other used shirts people give to charity – the ones that aren’t cool enough for european vintage stores. The episode starts with a story that actually sends shivers down my spine, and there’s a moment just after the 14 minute mark that made me whisper “nooooo!” to myself, but don’t worry – it’ll turn out ok in the end. Before you read anymore, listen to the episode, ok?

Great, you’re back. Good huh?

There’s a few thoughts I have on this:

* I bet you could find some really really cool shirts if you went looking in Africa and similar places. I remember a story about Swedish metalheads and die hard Iron Maiden fans Erik and Per Gustavsson (aka ‘bröderna hårdrock’ aka Hellbutcher and Tyrant) watching a documentary about some jungle tribe when they suddenly spotted a true collectors dream super rare Iron Maiden shirt that one of the tribe members were wearing. I doubt, however, that this method wold be financially viable.

* As someone mentions in the comments to the podcast, the thing that does not get mentioned in the episode, is what the flood of second hand clothing is doing to the domestic African clothes manufacturing industry. It’s not doing good things.

* It’s easy to laugh at the criteria the African vendors judge shirts by, it all seems kinda crazy. However, us Swedes are not much better. I see shirts for church bazaars and plumbing companies all the time when I look at what’s called vintage shirts here (and from what I’ve seen of the u.k, they’r not much better) – as long as it’s American, it’s cool. And band shirts… don’t get me started. I don’t know if it’s the Swedish vendors that can’t tell a true vintage band shirt from a cheap knockoff from 2004 or if they bet on customers not being able to tell, but for some reason they all seem to be going at the same price.

Anyway, Planet Money also did a five episode series on the global shirt economy – what goes into producing and exporting shirts. This may sound dull but I didn’t think it was. I may or may not write something about that series too, but there’s no real reason for you to wait for me to do so, right? You’ve got the link to their podcast archive above, go check it out for yourself.

Oh, and one more thing – and this is a big one. The Bat Mitzvah shirt mentioned in the story, the one with Betty Boop on it? The internet being the internet – the original owner of the shirt and the woman who’s Bat Mitzvah it was from – have now been identified and contacted. I love stuff like this!

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You can’t sit with us

Sometimes, when you see a shirt and it seems like it has a phrase from a movie or a meme of some sort, and you google it – this thing you didn’t know about is a whole lot bigger than you thought. It was that way with the Get Sleazy for Ron Weasly shirt and today, it happened again. I saw the “You can’t sit with us” and like its high school 80’s feel and decided to do a web search. Holy moley, there’s a lot of shirts like this one! As best I can figure, it’s a line from the 1994 movie Mean Girls – maybe it’s big with people younger than me or something.

I clearly remember the strict hierarchy of the Fulton High lunch room, where I sat with the geeks, the outcasts and the metalheads (the only ones that would have me) and they turned out to be great people. So yeah, I don’t wanna sit with you anyway,  popular clique people!

youcantsitwithus

(these are just a fraction of the shirts an image search on Google turned up)

High on octane

Seriously, I’ve been looking at a blank screen for a couple of minutes now, wondering what to write. High on Octane… I can’t make up my mind what I think. First of all, here’s their new stuff:

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No problemo here – I like these. You can get them in a lot of varieties, featuring various classic car models.

Then there’s also a bunch of older shirts, like these:

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And you know… there’s nothing wrong with these at all, I think some of them are pretty nice and for the right person, they would be great, I just can’t shake the feeling that some of them are so generic, it almost feels like the “let’s put any old american phrase and a skull on a shirt” thinking that New Yorker did so much of back in the day when they only operated in countries where few spoke English (like Poland and Germany). Awww, I dunno, get ’em if you like ’em, there’s nothing wrong. Kudos for the Yorik shirt too. Oh, and one more thing – if you’re just looking for a nice “high on octane” shirt, have a look at this one too.

Repping the underrepped

underrepped

Ok, so today – for once – I’ll let someone else do a lot of the talking. Here’s what Underrepped have to say for themselves:

A few months ago my dad and I were walking down the street and started commenting on who we saw on people’s shirts. It blew us away that the same faces kept reappearing. We repeatedly saw the faces and names of top athletes, actors, and celebrities. While those individuals are important, we wanted to see someone new. And the idea behind UnderRepped was born.

Since we are both involved with medicine, we searched for a shirt that represented someone in the medical field but never saw one. We easily came up with a list of 10 scientists/inventors/doctors we wanted to represent on a shirt because they have made major contributions to the world. We thought it’d be so cool for people interested in science to get the chance to recognize someone they admire in their field and recognize their legacy. And then we realized that anyone with an interest has someone they could represent. Whether it is in science, the arts, music, or whatever…Who invented the electric guitar? Or stethoscope? Or the electrical components in your iPhone? What about the creators behind the camera? All these great inventions and ideas came from people, and I wanted to start a project that revolved around recognizing them. We’ve chosen to do just that by making high quality shirts.

So, not a bad idea at all. I am often surprised and depressed by the extreme amounts of “me too” shirts that are being produced and by the (assumed) fact that people buy them, by the fact that trying to squeeze yet another little snort or giggle out of an umpteenth Unknown Pleasures or Keep Calm… tweak, is so more common than someone doing something new and different. Sadly, I don’t see these guys making a lot of money, but then again, neither did Rembrandt, right?

Anyway, Alan Turing, right? Who wouldn’t want him on a good looking quality shirt? Actually, I wish there was a Turing shirt that was more aggressive, some sort of revenge shirt for the way he was treated by society after making a pretty badass contribution to it.

As stated, there’s a heavy slant towards inventors and scientists among these shirts, which is totally fine – it’s always good to work with the stuff you know best – but I can’t help wishing there was a suggestion box for entering unsung heroes I’d like to see on a shirt.

Also, I wonder how many people would mistake Ada Lovelace with Linda when you wear that shirt…

Monster Aesthethics confuse the hell out of me

I have to admit I’m very confused by Monster Aesthetics. But hey – let’s start where I started, with the shirts:

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See, not bad. Your classic upsidedown cross, casket and soforth – good design, bad photos, no problem here – I would wholeheartedly recommendt this to anyone. But then it gets a bit strange:

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So, what’s strange about this? Well, in my world, patches mean stuff. It’s your preferences and opinions showing, and aesthetic preferences are not enough. This is like walking around with a big plackard with just a nice photo on it, for no good reason.

And then, it gets even “worse”.

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Pre-studded, pre-patched and pre-bleach splattered clothing. This is where we head into no-no land, into clueless hipster scum land. This is where I turn my back and say I don’t care about the shirts, this is all too much for me. And why? Why isn’t it OK to treat patches and jackets the same way you do shirts – as decoration? Because it doesn’t adhere to the rules of the punk police? Because it goes against all DIY ethics? Because I get to decide what’s ok for others to do and wear? Yeah, pretty much. I’m not saying I’m not happy that this is one-directional communication and you can’t do much to argue with me, because it feels a bit asshole-y, but at the same time, I know I’m right.

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