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Five t-shirts that you probably shouldn't wear
September 16, 2010 11:34 AM   Subscribe

Few things are more American than t-shirts and pissing people off for no reason. Vice Magazine designed six wildly offensive t-shirts and managed to get all of them printed. (nsfw)
posted by The Devil Tesla (65 comments total) 8 users marked this as a favorite

 
It's the papyrus that makes it.
posted by The Devil Tesla at 11:34 AM on September 16, 2010 [2 favorites]


Needs moar penis! Nothing makes a good, offensive t-shirt quite like a stylized cock&balls.
posted by phunniemee at 11:37 AM on September 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


Paying someone to print it is one thing, wearing it in public (especially in areas where people associated with the image on the shirt might frequent) is entirely something else.
posted by Burhanistan at 11:38 AM on September 16, 2010 [2 favorites]


The Mother Theresa one is a onesie.
posted by smackfu at 11:40 AM on September 16, 2010


I'm going to go out on a limb and venture that this is possibly not the best of the web.
posted by swift at 11:41 AM on September 16, 2010 [18 favorites]


These would be better if they were funny.

But humor is subjective, I guess. I made this t-shirt design, and clearly I thought it was both offensive and hilarious (previously). I doubt anyone agrees.
posted by gurple at 11:41 AM on September 16, 2010 [5 favorites]


The most offensive part of the whole exercise is the unimaginative crap Vice will do for pageviews. It is far easier to piss people off than inspire them.
posted by infinitefloatingbrains at 11:42 AM on September 16, 2010 [3 favorites]


The thing about this is it's just kind of dumb. Of course you can find people willing to do anything for a buck. Especially in Brooklyn. The best thing I cna think of to say about this is that I guess it isn't isn't much more pointless than any other dumb shit Vice Magazine does in the name of trying to freak out the squares.
posted by dersins at 11:42 AM on September 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


It's the papyrus that makes it.

It would've been better if it had been Comic Sans.
posted by zennish at 11:43 AM on September 16, 2010 [3 favorites]


I doubt anyone agrees.

Once I figured it out, I <3.
posted by The Devil Tesla at 11:43 AM on September 16, 2010


Ooh, so edgy!
posted by kmz at 11:43 AM on September 16, 2010


How about one saying
"I'm not being obnoxious, I'm being a
Distinguished
Individual
Communicating
Knowledge"?
posted by oneswellfoop at 11:47 AM on September 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


I'll go against the tide of nay-sayers and say that I laughed. That said, wearing it would be more entertaining.
posted by ripley_ at 11:47 AM on September 16, 2010


I like how they're just heat transfers of some pretty mediocre photoshop images.

Actually I don't like it, everything about Vice depresses me. Everything.
posted by hellojed at 11:49 AM on September 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


In fairness to Michael Jackson, I've never heard it said that he touched dead babies. (Wait, maybe I'm reading it wrong...)
posted by coolguymichael at 11:50 AM on September 16, 2010 [4 favorites]


ripley_: Likewise. I guffawed at the 9/11 shirt. Didn't really find the rest all that funny, though.
posted by Dreamcast at 11:52 AM on September 16, 2010


Vice Magazine designed six wildly offensive t-shirts
Six pages, five shirts. Here's a list for the impatient:

- Michael Jackson "Dead baby toucher" tee
- Photoshopped image of friend blowing his brains out tee(printed by his friend)
- Haiti... Let them starve tee
- Mother Teresa photoshopped into porn (printed on baby clothes)
- "9/11 was a blast" tee

I was curious to read about his experiences getting the 9/11 shirt done in Brooklyn, but most of this wasn't too surprising or shocking.
posted by Avelwood at 11:59 AM on September 16, 2010


I'm struck by how inoffensive these are. Has this dude never heard of 4chan? No cat declawing or circumcision t-shirts? These designs are strictly amateur hour.
posted by chrchr at 12:00 PM on September 16, 2010 [4 favorites]


Summer before last, during Gay Pride Week, I saw a young guy, a tourist, I figured, wearing an I (heart) NYC shirt, with a handwritten NO HOMO written underneath the logo. Having not heard that this was a popular expression, I found the t-shirt shocking, particularly considering that it was Pride. I almost considered tipping him off, but then figured, eh, this conversation will probably not go well, and he'll probably learn on his own soon enough.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 12:01 PM on September 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


That 9-11 one is duh. Too obvious. I thought of that same shirt, and a few others, on 9-11 actually. But I didn't print it because it was too dumb to actually pursue. Plus I'm not in the business of being the kind of asshole to wear something like that.
posted by Liquidwolf at 12:06 PM on September 16, 2010


That's nothing. On the DAY OF September 11th, 2001, I found a T-Shirt with an image very similar to this one on Cafepress. I somehow found the kid's AIM name and had a long and cathartic argument with him before not really going to bed.

There was a time when this country had a very different idea of what free speech was. Challenging censorship used to be pretty radical. It's old hat now. The offensive is not really transgressive any more, and while people have the right to say whatever they want, and private presses have the right to print anything they want, a lot of people should just do the right thing and shut the hell up.

Dos and Don'ts is occasionally funny, but Vice is way past its early 2000s tastemaking prime.
posted by keratacon at 12:07 PM on September 16, 2010 [2 favorites]


You know, on the whole, this thing was kind of puerile and dumb, the way VICE tends to be, but I am more than happy to give credit where it's due: The one where he made a photoshopped image of a t-shirt printer blowing his brains out and then sent it to that t-shirt printer to have it made - I don't know if it's just the mood I'm in but I cannot stop laughing at that.
posted by FAMOUS MONSTER at 12:13 PM on September 16, 2010 [5 favorites]


These arent' offensive enough to be funny. South Park humor is better than this.
posted by ZenMasterThis at 12:15 PM on September 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


A friend of mine has a t shirt he bought pre-Katrina at Bourbon Street in Amsterdam that says "Who Needs New Orleans?" He only wears it around the house these days. That's an offensive t shirt. These are just dumb.
posted by Floydd at 12:17 PM on September 16, 2010


That was shockingly lame.
posted by TwelveTwo at 12:18 PM on September 16, 2010


I like Vice because it's free and there are copies at my local fish and chip shop to read while you wait. I definitely wouldn't pay for it, and while I appreciate the sentiment of this article I think it's pretty poorly framed and executed.

Put "niggardly" on a tshirt if you really want to offend someone.
posted by doublehappy at 12:20 PM on September 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


So basically the story is: They made shitty shirt designs and wrote about how they found someone who takes money and prints the image on to a shirt.
posted by joelf at 12:22 PM on September 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


Ill admit that I did enjoy use of the word "blast" to mean "good time". But that's one of the world's oldest puns.

How is "Who Needs New Orleans?" offensive?
posted by doublehappy at 12:23 PM on September 16, 2010


They could have just gone to TShirtHell.
posted by stifford at 12:24 PM on September 16, 2010 [4 favorites]


Lame. Lame. Lame.

The one t-shirt shop that screamed, "YOU MOTHERFUCKER!" and hung up probably just sighed at the moron wasting everyone's time and rolled his eyes to the ceiling while muttering "motherfucker."

Oh, and six pages of ad exposure for five bits of utter dreck? Fuck you very much, Vice Magazine.
posted by codswallop at 12:24 PM on September 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


I have created a shirt that will have Metafilter paralytic with impotent rage. And it's worksafe!
posted by everichon at 12:28 PM on September 16, 2010 [27 favorites]


Well, these are pretty clueless. The funny thing about offensiveness is that when it's done for absolutely no reason it fails to be offensive and just becomes kind of stupid. To really offend someone you need to hit a nerve.
posted by Decani at 12:29 PM on September 16, 2010 [1 favorite]



Put "niggardly" on a tshirt if you really want to offend someone.


Man, if you want to offend everyone you only need two images. On the front of the shirt: Obama as a Mammy, tits hanging out, with the words 'Faggot Nigger Jew' beneath. On the back of the shirt: the twin towers being struck by Christian crosses, big ass flag motif in the background, the text 'Abort Baby Jesus: Save America from Sarah Palin' across the bottom. Ideally, this should all be done in an Ed Hardy style, maybe fit in spread legs and a vagina where the text reads Sarah Palin.

Please send death threats to my P.O. Box in Illinois.
posted by TwelveTwo at 12:33 PM on September 16, 2010 [19 favorites]


I have created a shirt that will have Metafilter paralytic with impotent rage

"A girl will never get a man to support her if she has more than one cat."
posted by smackfu at 12:33 PM on September 16, 2010 [8 favorites]


I love love love making heat transfer t-shirts for my toddler daughter. She has:

one that says "Defend [our quiet suburb]" over a pair of crossed AKs.

one that features an FSLN flag with "SANDINISTA" and a red star below it.

one that depicts Lenin giving a smile, wink and thumbs-up with two cartoon rabbits peeking out behind him. Beneath that it says "Преве́д!"
posted by Mayor Curley at 12:34 PM on September 16, 2010 [9 favorites]


I have created a shirt that will have Metafilter paralytic with impotent rage. And it's worksafe!
posted by everichon at 8:28 PM on September 16


You know, I was honestly expecting a shirt that said

"I sent my cat to get de-clawed and the vet was such a mouth-breathing dick he circumcised my atheist kid instead.

Made in Israel."
posted by Decani at 12:39 PM on September 16, 2010 [10 favorites]


T- shirt Hell has done this for years.
posted by pianomover at 12:44 PM on September 16, 2010


I'm looking for someone to write a "Mr. Grumpy's Guide to the 1st Amendment" cartoon as exists for punctuation usage.

And to the guy driving I-95 who somehow was able to get a custom vanity plate with a Pentagon design and the letters "P0WND", I would like to know what condition your car is in nowadays.
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 12:46 PM on September 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


Done in by slow typing.
posted by pianomover at 12:49 PM on September 16, 2010


Each entrepreneur who refused my business would define yet another instance of American indecency and chip away at the bedrock of liberty as we know it... I am happy to report that the First Amendment prevailed...

I am thisclose to going postal over America's apparent ignorance over the First Amendment and its application. Let's review, people: freedom of speech and the First Amendment don't mean you can say whatever you want wherever you want. Freedom of speech doesn't mean Dr. Laura has to have a radio show. Freedom of speech doesn't mean I'm not allowed to yell at you if you want to burn religious texts. The First Amendment isn't about making me print a t-shirt I find offensive.

Freedom of speech means the government can't restrict what you say, full stop. Radio stations, protesters, companies, t-shirt printers, churches, and everyone else who isn't the government can restrict your right to say what you want if they're able to, because - get this! - that's protected speech, too.
posted by incessant at 1:00 PM on September 16, 2010 [7 favorites]


A link to a link to my favorite t-shirt ever linked on the blue.
posted by heyho at 1:05 PM on September 16, 2010


Drawing moustaches on heroes and making fun of abstract groups is the weakest sort of tastelessness. It's obvious when it has been done and everyone knows the target can just shrug it off. These shirts are pathetically restrained.

Serious tastelessness would have been the work of just a few moments in the brain's back closet for anyone who's spent any time at all thinking about real human problems. I'm actually having to restrain myself from going back there and typing a few in because FFS who really needs to have the truly horrible aspects of life made literal.

The linked article is rather like putting a "WORLDS HOTTEST HOT SAUCE" label on a bottle of moldy catsup. Vice sucks, and I use ad blocker, so fuck 'em.
posted by seanmpuckett at 1:09 PM on September 16, 2010


Here's how I've always figured it when someone wants me to print a shirt I think is horrible:

Before: You're a crazy-stupid sonofabitch, with x moneys.

After: you're still a crazy-stupid sonofabitch with a bunch of offensive t-shirts, and I have x moneys.

win=me.
posted by Devils Rancher at 1:15 PM on September 16, 2010 [2 favorites]


Wow, I must have a really particularly corrosive entity living in my mind, because I was able to come up with some stuff that would probably be considered far more offensive without even really exerting myself.

Sometimes I don't like living in my head. Offensive brinkmanship seems to be one of these times.
posted by quin at 1:25 PM on September 16, 2010


>I have created a shirt that will have Metafilter paralytic with impotent rage. And it's worksafe!

Is that Mioawhammed? Watch out for the catwa!
posted by chavenet at 1:40 PM on September 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


How is "Who Needs New Orleans?" offensive?

I'm not sure if your being serious with this question or not - but I'm going to believe you are, and missed the controversy following Katrina when some pundits questioned the value of rebuilding the city.
posted by never used baby shoes at 1:47 PM on September 16, 2010


I have a friend who is a master at this sort of stuff.

In Wisconson he went to a Gay Pride parade to stir the pot, but not in the typical way. He took his Polariod camera and would snap a pic of some guy's butt, then try and sell it to another man for $5. At one point he went up to a vendor and asked if they found him attrative. When the vendor said he did my friend whined 'You weren't suppose to say that!' and ran away full tilt.

Then he went over to the Christians protesting the whole affair. He played the ignorant game and asked why they were there and all that. He then asked if they were thirsty, walked back over to the vendors supporting the gays and bought a bunch of drinks. He walked back to the Christians and started handing them out. That's when the police were called.

All in all, he said the gays took his shennanigans in stride, while the Christians failed to turn the other cheeck. He framed the citation he got that day and kept the newspaper clipping mentioning the 'removal of a troublemaker'.

Was it juvenile, sure, but at least it he didn't go for the obvious.
posted by The Power Nap at 1:50 PM on September 16, 2010 [2 favorites]


This sort of thing just makes me think of the number of years since the Sex Pistols released "Belsen Was a Gas" and makes me feel old. razzn frazzn goddamn lawn
posted by Halloween Jack at 1:51 PM on September 16, 2010


Mildly amusing... but it led me to this, which is horrifying and infuriating and reminded me of what a smug ingrate I am.
posted by bahama mama at 2:12 PM on September 16, 2010


When I was in college I made a "Jesus Died for My Sins...and all I got was this lousy t-shirt" t-shirt.
posted by cjorgensen at 2:32 PM on September 16, 2010


These are all pretty offensive, but I don't think any of them would get the wearer killed as quickly as this one that T-Shirt Hell sold about a week after the 6th Harry Potter book came out...
posted by Mchelly at 2:36 PM on September 16, 2010


These simply failed to offend me in any way. I guess either a) I'm jaded, or b) the author is both easily offended and unimaginative.

I think a little of both is in play, but the latter is the more dominant influence.
posted by moonbiter at 2:37 PM on September 16, 2010


The Mother Theresa one could have been so much more offensive. Making the depicted sexual act anything but the Plain-Vanilla live-adult-human-male-on-live-adult-human-female variety, and maybe showing a genital or five and an assortment of bodily fluids would be a start.

Does this guy have no imagination at all?
posted by Sys Rq at 2:49 PM on September 16, 2010


The only teeshirt I've worn that's got me sworn at in the street (which is not something I typically aim for, I admit) is Negativland's beauty from the late 80s.

I have recently recreated the design at Spreadshirt, but substituting the word 'Football'. We'll see how that goes.
posted by Hogshead at 2:49 PM on September 16, 2010


Most really offensive t-shirts are only available at Christian bookstores.
posted by shakespeherian at 2:52 PM on September 16, 2010


Those shirts are like focus-tested vanilla bland offensive t-shirts. They're carefully constructed to be offensive in very narrow, unoriginal ways. Doing Mother Theresa? Sure, I guess it's sort of offensive to a lot of people but it's safely offensive in humorous fashion. Are t-shirts designed to be offensive in not-actually-very-offensive ways really all that offensive? No.

So everything about that Vice article is stupid and terrible. I could design a t-shirt more likely to cause significant offensive without even trying in about 10 seconds. Ready? GO.

Ok, how about a t-shirt with a pig doing an arabic looking man from behind with the word "MOHAMMED" and an arrow point to the Arab guy? About a billion times as likely to provoke outrage as all of those t-shirts put together.

Vice: home to bland, safe, focus-tested offensiveness!
posted by Justinian at 3:07 PM on September 16, 2010


Most really offensive t-shirts are only available at Christian bookstores.

I have a rather large, burly friend who drives around with "Mandatory Sterilization of Christians" and "Condoms Work Better Than Prayer" bumper stickers. People have gotten out of their cars to physically accost him on more than one occasion, then gotten back in their cars after getting a look at him. Great fun.
posted by Devils Rancher at 3:09 PM on September 16, 2010 [2 favorites]


This routinely raises my blood pressure when I see it on the youths. I cannot explain why.
posted by everichon at 3:10 PM on September 16, 2010


Not so much, Vice Magazine. Not really at all.
posted by nj_subgenius at 3:15 PM on September 16, 2010


Offensive t-shirts
posted by shakespeherian at 4:13 PM on September 16, 2010


Wow, shakespeherian. You weren't kidding.
posted by Fuzzy Monster at 5:11 PM on September 16, 2010


TwelveTwo, that's sounds like enough of a creative brief to me. Let's get cracking.
posted by Extopalopaketle at 7:44 PM on September 16, 2010


...Brooklyn, which is perhaps the most verbally offensive territory in the world.

At the risk of proving his point. Fuck Darby Buick. Although with a name like that, I can see why he has no sense of humor.
posted by Splunge at 4:04 AM on September 17, 2010


Step 1. Call t-shirt printer you've done business with before:

"Hey, I need to make up an edgy story for a website. I will give you $X dollars to print eighteen individual highly offensive shirts for this project."

Step 2. Create fake articles for each shirt.
posted by odinsdream at 7:09 AM on September 17, 2010


swift: "I'm going to go out on a limb and venture that this is possibly not the best of the web."

MeFi stopped using that tagline in what, 2004? Can we stop using it as a club to beat on posts we don't like?
posted by Chrysostom at 4:01 PM on September 19, 2010


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