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And here I thought it was spontaneous!
January 23, 2001 5:54 PM   Subscribe

And here I thought it was spontaneous! Boy do I feel cheated. The whole thing was rigged from the start. Feh. I'd be curious to know if others have information.
posted by rschram (35 comments total)

 
Personally, I'm pretty sure I disagree with Mike.
posted by Doug at 6:09 PM on January 23, 2001


Mike is a bit of an ass, really.
posted by kindall at 6:22 PM on January 23, 2001


I was at a taxiyard today, one that is next to a railroad track with a passing train. One tank car was marked up with spray paint saying things like 'Jesus Saves' and 'You Need Jesus' and the like. One of the mechanics came running out yelling at another guy saying 'You see that? You see that? Read that, you need to pay attention to that.' It made a rather amusing scene

I'm christian (meaning I believe in Jesus Christ) but I don't agree with that kind of simplified view of religion or spirituality. That way of simplifying religion brings out the people who say 'God hates fags' or the kind of people that kill doctors over abortion.

Oh, and I don't agree with Mike either.
posted by mutagen at 6:31 PM on January 23, 2001


I wonder if this Mike this anything like everyone's buddy, Buddy Christ.
posted by mathowie at 7:05 PM on January 23, 2001


I think if someone did some crap like this at Grand Valley, I'd purposely make up things saying "Mike's an idiot" "I hate Mike". Admittedly, my friend Lisa would hate me, but oh well.

This whole thing looks very disturbing to me
posted by dagnyscott at 7:33 PM on January 23, 2001


People have been agreeing with "John" (the Revelator, gospel-writing John) at Easter time for a few years now here at Michigan State. If you agree enough, you get an orange t-shirt.
They (the orange shirted ones) write "I agree with John" and "Do you agree with John?" all over the sidewalks and by the banks of the Red Cedar.
Last year, one of the pieces of chalk got loose and someone (else) wrote "I have a piece of chalk and you don't." near the Union.
Which was true.
posted by iceberg273 at 7:44 PM on January 23, 2001


This whole "catchphrase Christianity" (here's hoping that catches on, heh, I'll sweep the nation with the George Bush-like definitions) is somewhat disturbing. For instance, teenage girls wearing WWJD while binging at a party, or high school and college campus groups who try to organize the social network around a Christian organization (to get members).

I have a feeling Jesus wouldn't pass out T-shirts.

Peace,
Kevs
posted by Kevs at 8:00 PM on January 23, 2001


I know Jackie Chan fans that wear those t-shirts. Obviously, it's not about Jesus for them. ;)
posted by frykitty at 8:23 PM on January 23, 2001


Ok, here's what you do:

When you see one of these goofballs walking around campus in their "Mike" shirts, put on your "I'm With Stupid" shirt and walk around next to the person, making sure to wave and smile at passers-by. Hours of fun.
posted by Optamystic at 8:29 PM on January 23, 2001


We had that here at Ohio State; they had a whole "Do you agree with Jared?" campaign going without telling anyone any more about it. So of course, this got people talking about it for a bit, wondering what exactly it was they'd be agreeing with Jared about.

Anyway, it was eventually revealed to be just a little plot by Campus Crusade for Christ that ended up with a bunch of people wearing bright yellow "I Agree With Jared" T-shirts (and a few miscreants wearing orange "I Disagree With Jared" T-shirts, thus making them targets for preaching). Unfortunately, I thought better of giving CCC $5 for an orange T-shirt just to tell them that I thought they were a bunch of idiots :)
posted by zempf at 9:29 PM on January 23, 2001


Yeah, we had something like that at U Penn in Philly. I can't remember who everyone agreed with. Same thing, though.
posted by ookamaka at 10:12 PM on January 23, 2001


i used to live with some of those CCC people. (random roommate selection)

they really didn't like when we snuck the beer onto campus.

they really didn't like me all that much, either. of course, i'd sit in my room and sneak cigarettes and shout rather loudly back and forth with my non CCC roommate, particularly emphasizing "FUCK" and "GODDAMNIT."

*snark*
posted by sugarfish at 10:41 PM on January 23, 2001


Why does the person being agreed with always seem to be male (if these examples are anything to go by)?
posted by Georgina at 3:53 AM on January 24, 2001


Another question:

How is this different from supposedly spontaneous demonstrations of folks wearing shirts that say "Meat is Murder", or "Free Mumia", or "Go State!" These hapened all over my campus, with few counter-protests.

Truly I agree with mutagen and Kevs in my discomfort with "Catchphrase Christianity" (there you go Kevs, first direct quote), but isn't all advertisment a quick and dirty distillation of what is being promoted? I'd rather see someone with a shirt that has a real message rather than see someone with a "Tommy Hilfiger" ad slapped all over her body.

Methinks that the protestations against "Mike" and his crusade (doube entendre intended) has to do with our own personal beliefs as well as some uncomfortable interactions with the kinds of folks who would wear these shirts.
posted by Avogadro at 5:54 AM on January 24, 2001


That may be the case with some folks, Avagadro. Personally, I'm just trying to do my part to bring "I'm With Stupid" t-shirts back into style.
posted by Optamystic at 6:04 AM on January 24, 2001


They go great with those "I agree with Mike" shirts too!

I AGREE WITH MIKE     <== I'M WITH STUPID

Anyone up for an "I agree with stupid" shirt?
posted by rodii at 6:50 AM on January 24, 2001


How is this different from supposedly spontaneous demonstrations of folks wearing shirts that say "Meat is Murder", or "Free Mumia", or "Go State!" These hapened all over my campus, with few counter-protests.

They're not, much. It's the question of whether you want your religion reduced to the level of, say, sports, whether you want people seeking spiritual enlightenment or whether you want them screaming that they're the best and the rest of you are DAMNED if you disagree.

I'd rather see someone with a shirt that has a real message rather than see someone with a "Tommy Hilfiger" ad slapped all over her body.

I dunno. Given that a t-shirt is not a place for thought-out dissertations, I'd rather they be put to their proper use of keeping you from being topless, not trying to convert people. If my t-shirts say anything, it's "I listen to weird music and watch old movies you've never heard of".
posted by dagnyscott at 7:00 AM on January 24, 2001


Given that a t-shirt is not a place for thought-out dissertations

See, but they can be. Well, they can be a place to start thought-out dissertations from. Putting a slogan on a t-shirt advertises an opinion, and can spur people to come up and say "Zuh?" to you.

I have a t-shirt with the caption "Primers for hackers" that has a kid under a tree reading "C:\DOS C:\DOS\RUN RUN DOS RUN" and the number of people who've walked up to me, laughed and started talking tech with me in a coffee shop is astounding.

They're great ice breakers. While I too disagree with Catchphrase Christianity, it's more because I don't agree with most Christian tenents than because I think it harms spirituality.

Evangelism is a fundamental part of much religion, spreading the Good Word and what not. One of the basic tenents of these peoples' religion is to save other people. Is churning up interest through proven meme-spreading techniques really such a bad thing? Certainly not from where they're standing.

If people get involved for the "hype" (I know, "hype" and "Christianity" don't really mix well :-) gets a few people to seriously learn and believe the beliefs that are being spread, then they've acheived their goal.
posted by cCranium at 7:14 AM on January 24, 2001


Zuh?
posted by rodii at 7:19 AM on January 24, 2001


rodii:
Anyone up for an "I agree with stupid" shirt?
Your wish is my command.
(no mark up because I agree with low priced happiness)
posted by iceberg273 at 7:23 AM on January 24, 2001


I think the t-shirt "campain" has already started serving it purpose. Its gotten you all talking about it hasn't it?

Everyone has some sort of message to get out. All most people (Christians, Techies, Veggitarians, animal welfare people..etc) want to do is get some sort of conversation started. If I see a t-shirt on someone I like...I tell them.

Please don't assume that because someone wears a shirt stating their "message" that they are fanatical. They just want you to know that this is what they choose to talk about at the moment and you can choose to join them in the conversation.
posted by Princess Buttercup at 7:35 AM on January 24, 2001


All joking aside, I think that I agree with agreement as well. If someone want's to wear a shirt that state what they agree with, I really doesn't restrict my behavior in anyway - in fact, I actually have more options for interaction with that person (the previous options being 'smile' or 'ignore'; now I've got 'mock' and 'befriend').
I think that I feel the same way about 'I agree ...' t-shirts as I do about bumper stickers (of any sort). If you drive like an idiot, I'm more likely to make assumptions about the people that your cause attracts. Likewise, if you agree with John or Mike or Ralphie on your t-shirt, I'm gonna find out what people who agree with those beliefs are like by watching you. If you live up to your beliefs, you may have won me over, but if you don't . . .
I have great respect for people who are willing to label themselves and live up to it. Would that I could always live up to what I believe. That's why I wear plain t-shirts. (people who claim one thing and do another, on the other hand, sadden and/or annoy me, especially if I agree with what they say)
posted by iceberg273 at 7:48 AM on January 24, 2001


One aside, and then my main thought: ICEBERG273, I found you comment about having more options interesting... It's interesting that in addition to your standard smile/ignore option you've added mock/befriend, but still don't have any option to simply expand your horizon. Nothing against you, iceberg -- and maybe you were just being brief -- but the world is not just about allying yourself with like-minded people and shunning, mocking or bullying the rest. It's too easy in modern society to fall in with one's own crowd and to disengage one's self from the rest. Tragic, really.

Anyway, on to the more germane comment: I'm of two minds on this whole t-shirt thing. Faith -- any faith -- is a complex matter, not easily relegated to pithy one-liners or catchphrases (props to KEVS for "Catchphrase Christianity"). I think that trying, ultimately, cheapens the experience for both the faithful and the bystander... but in today's world where _no-one_ seems willing to listen to anything that takes more than 30 seconds to digest, can you blame these folks for joining the fray? I dunno.

Personally, I don't wear t-shirts or any clothing with obvious branding... I'm not a billboard. Hopefully people will read in my comportment, in my countenance, something worth getting to know at a deeper level, despite my not being part of their tribe -- Pepsi's, Gap's, A&F's... or Mike's.
posted by silusGROK at 8:16 AM on January 24, 2001


the world is not just about allying yourself with like-minded people and shunning, mocking or bullying the rest. It's too easy in modern society to fall in with one's own crowd and to disengage one's self from the rest.
Perhaps I was too brief.
If you are smiling or ignoring someone, you're not really getting involved with them - you're passing by; it's an interaction of a few seconds at most. If you are going to mock or befriend someone, you at least have to get the message that they are send (maybe more so if you are going to mock them) and respond to it. I meant befriending in the sense of expanding your horizons.
You are exactly right, Vis10n, it is too easy to fall in with your own crowd. I've often found my life as a Christian and my life as a scientist to bear this out. The people that I attend church with can't understand how my athiest friends could ever believe "that way". My atheist friends at work could never believe that Christians could ever believe "that way". Where does that leave me? I agree with both sets (although obviously not about everything) - but I've learned (and am still learning) that there are a lot of people who agree with a lot of things, and you can learn something from almost all of them if you're willing to start a relationship with them based on the things that you and they both agree about.
The option to mock is there. And I sometimes (to my deteriment) slip down it. But the other option is much better - although it's hard to start any relationship unless you have some starting point. Maybe wearing a t-shirt is that start. Maybe it's hanging out with (a searching out)people who think that some of the things that you believe in are lunacy, if not heresy. FWIW, I've learned a whole lot about being Christian by living and working with people who think that Christians are off their rockers.
Maybe that's why we all read MeFi. Our weblogs/pages/journals say what agree with, but here at Mefi, we expand our horizons.
Well, my navel has been thoroughly gazed.
posted by iceberg273 at 8:39 AM on January 24, 2001


Loved your comments, iceberg. On the UC Berkeley campus, last year there was an "I agree with Paul" campaign, with orange t-shirts. I thought they were referencing Paul in the New Testament but it ended up being some guy on campus.
posted by doublehelix at 9:04 AM on January 24, 2001


I could at least understand "I agree with Paul" if it referred to the Biblical writer. But why should anyone care whether you agree with some random guy on campus?
posted by kindall at 11:35 AM on January 24, 2001


Slogans and soundbites!! Yes!, yes!!!
posted by sonofsamiam at 12:12 PM on January 24, 2001


I agree with Paul. Mostly because I'm Paul.

The whole Mike thing is probably viral marketing at its finest, if you ask me.
posted by hijinx at 12:52 PM on January 24, 2001


At Wisconsin, we had a great little "Soul inside?" thing going on for a few weeks. The graphic involved a little traffic sign type guy peering at his chest, and the flyers eventually advertised a "debate" in which it was determined there is a soul inside. The banners sparked many clever parodies, my favorite being "Cream filling inside?"
posted by dcodea at 1:08 PM on January 24, 2001


Berkeley's "I agree with Paul" campaign got some really great countercampaigns. Among them:

"I agree with Ringo."

"I agree with RuPaul."

Then there was this guy who, on Ash Wednesday, was lugging a big, 5-foot wooden cross around with him everywhere he went. Everybody thought this was pretty cool, until we noticed that he had attached wheels to the bottom of the cross. Kinda defeats the purpose, that.
posted by shylock at 1:42 PM on January 24, 2001


Shylock... you've reminded me the most hideous and potentially funny (if you're deranged... like me) thing I've done in my life. Oddly enough, it involves the CCC at Eastern Michigan when I went there.

They had a similar deal on Ash Wed. and even went to the main kiosk on campus (basically a big pole) and had a mock crucifixion ... very weird.

This is where I go to hell....

My roommate (Scary Mike) and I proceeded to do a little performance art piece with the props they left behind entitled "Hey buddy, got a light?" followed by "the Spear" with help from a few Wendy's ketchup packets.


posted by tj at 2:51 PM on January 24, 2001 [1 favorite]


Evangelism is a fundamental part of much religion, spreading the Good Word and what not. One of the basic tenents of these peoples' religion is to save other people.

Well, that's where I disagree. Maybe it's my Calvinist upbringing, but I don't see the point of that sort of evangelism. I mean, if there is an all-powerful being, does he really want a bunch of brainless followers, whose only knowledge of his teachings are some bastardized, watered-down version that some kids put on a t-shirt? If I were God, I'd rather people concern themselves with how to live a good life (and, thus, be an example unto others) than how to recruit people with catchy slogans who will never give a second thought to how religion should change the way they live their lives.
posted by dagnyscott at 6:30 PM on January 24, 2001


dagnyscott:

I agree with you. I don't think God needs people running around saying "Jesus Saves!" but the people that do run around, well, they do. Mostly because of the Scripture that says "Run around and say 'Jesus Saves'"

Being steeped in tradition means that things that were important 2000 years ago are still important today. <shrug>
posted by cCranium at 8:59 AM on January 25, 2001


Every time I hear "Jesus Saves!" I have to bite my tongue to keep from blurting out that old "but Gretzky scores on the rebound!" thing. Does that make me a bad person?
posted by rodii at 10:06 AM on January 25, 2001


If my t-shirts say anything, it's "I listen to weird music and watch old movies you've never heard of".

A t-shirt slogan if ever I've heard one.

Thanks for the idea Iceberg273, and ditto on the happiness comment.
posted by Lirp at 8:51 PM on January 25, 2001


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