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Monday Mar 27, 2023

What Makes the Humble T-Shirt the World’s Most Perfect – and Personal – Gift?

There’s something so all-American about the humble america shirts. We use it to declare our political affiliation. Our favorite football team. Or baseball team. The causes about which we feel passionately. A shared joke about just about everything. Even – and sometimes vulgarly – our disdain for . . . well, just about anything.

Free speech. Writ large. Upon chests and breasts. Both large and small.

What a perfect gift that is! It says, I know what you believe in. And I salute that in which you believe. Or even that which you are.

Giants fan. Animal rights activist. Gay, Neo-con, liberal, libertine, pro-choice, Packers fan, pro-Union, clean energy advocate, anti-bailout, free the free market, save the auto industry, save the whales, save the world.

Our tee shirts say it all. Go ahead: stare at the narrow chest, the ample breast that blares out the slogans of our choice. Of our beliefs.

This is us. This is America.

Oh, slogans have been criticized. As well they should be. Like the thirty-second sound bites that pass for political analysis, they don’t communicate nearly enough.

But they do get the conversation rolling. They invite comment. They demand dialogue.

And it is dialogue, in the end, that will keep America strong. We must talk with – not just to – one another.

And our tee shirts can lead the way. Give us talking points, if you’ll pardon the pun. And even if you won’t.

Because free speech – even coming from our tee shirts – is what makes America great.

As long as we remember not to stop at the slogans. As long as they are only an invitation to further thought. And further dialogue. And further resolution of our common problems.

Then maybe we can save the whales. And the polar bears. And women’s rights around the globe. And marriage between consenting adults. And the NY Yankees. And General Motors. And the planet.


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