Careful With That T-Shirt, Eugene

So it’s come to this: in the USA, you must use caution when wearing a t-shirt that reads: Give Peace A Chance and Peace on Earth. A 60-year old lawyer was arrested in a mall in Albany NY for refusing to remove his t-shirt, featuring the aforemention phrases. His 31-year old son avoided arrest by removing his t-shirt, which read, No War With Iraq and Let Inspections Work. The capper: he bought the t-shirt in a store in the mall. The good news is the mall owner has dropped the charges after protestors entered the mall wearing similar t-shirts, and refused to leave until the charges were dropped; what’s insane is that the charges were ever laid in the first place.

Since Sept 11 2001, free speech is America isn’t as free as it was once perceived to be. I watched Politically Incorrect the first night it was back on the air after the attacks, and heard Bill Maher suggest that the pilots of those planes were not cowards, but that the American military was, for lobbing missles from hundreds of miles away. He was admonished by Ari Fleischer, in what smacked as censorship from the White House.

The last time I visited NYC, I entered a shop in Times Square that sold souvenir t-shirts. One of the t-shirts read: F*ck You, You F*cking F*ck. I couldn’t believe it. I thought, well, can it get any more extreme. That shirt would offend me many times more than a peace t-shirt.

One Response to “Careful With That T-Shirt, Eugene”

  1. Keith Says:

    When I was in Japan, some of the teenagers and young adults demonstrated their defiance (of what I don’t know) by wearing clothing with crude English slogans that I wouldn’t repeat on a web page even with asterisks (*). One of the stores that sold this type of clothing even had a signboard on the sidewalk with similar wording. There was little or no understanding of the meaning of the words, or of how offensive the words were in English, in the same way that some boys thought that repeating phrases from American “tough guy” movies was a way of talking to foreigners.

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