Since my early 20s, I’ve had an obsession with T-shirts, of all sorts; they usually carry a sense of whimsicality to them. Often, I’m looking for shirts that fit a general theme: Irreverent, not offensive, touching on popular culture, making deep cuts.
Sometimes these shirts are intentionally tacky. Sometimes they’re incredibly bizarre.
I’ve had a few favorites from over the years that I like to think back on: A shirt featuring a DeLorean crashing into a TARDIS; a Super Mario Bros. 3
-era Mario, wearing a Sonic suit (one of MANY
Mario shirts I’ve owned over the years); an early map of the prehistoric world with the words “Reunite Pangea” (which I’m currently wearing); a drawing of a demonic Teddy Ruxpin
saying, “Read or Die”; a drawing of Waldo reading a book titled “Find Yourself.” You can call it taste or lack thereof, but it’s what I wear.
My most recent addition to my collection is quickly becoming a favorite, because it’s not only a deep cut, it’s a journalistic
deep cut. That shirt, full of 1s and 0s, promotes the technology company Jukt Micronics, a fake firm that became infamous because it was the made-up company that led to the downfall of Stephen Glass, the New Republic
writer whose fast success was undercut by his journalistic fabulism. (If you’ve never seen Shattered Glass
, I highly recommend it; one of my favorites and a strong case for Hayden Christensen as an actor outside of the Star Wars universe.)
Glass, at this point, has been out of the journalistic game for close to a quarter-century, and after some fits and starts, has found a second career as a legal researcher (he tried
to become a lawyer, but the state of California wouldn’t let him).