I’D BE PRETTY AFRAID IF ANYONE WALKED THROUGH THAT DOOR WITH A ‘HITLER IS MY HOMEBOY’ T-SHIRT ON…

(Circa 2004 Urban Outfitted Hipster Walks By)

Bob: “Uhh, I hate those shirts.”

Tim: “What shirt, I didn’t even see what he was wearing?”

Bob: “Those fucking ‘Jesus is My Homeboy’ t-shirts.”

Tim: “You don’t think that’s even a little funny?”

Bob: “No. It’s, uh, one of those statements that’s ambiguous, which actually benefits both types of people that would be wearing the damn thing.”

Tim: “I’m not sure I follow you.”

Bob: “Well do you think a t-shirt that says ‘Jesus is My Homeboy’ offends anyone?”

Tim: “Probably some old stiff priests and church ladies, but aside from that, no. I would actually think it’s kinda hip in a funny way for people that do believe in all that shit.”

Bob: “And therein lies my problem with the message. It’s funny to the people that don’t believe in Jesus, and also funny to the people that do believe in him.”

Tim: “I don’t think that’s a problem. I just think it’s just good marketing…..”

Bob: “Well it’s a problem for me. You see, if people that didn’t believe in Jesus wore a shirt that said ‘Fuck Jesus,’ I’d be all for it, but applying a term that was cool for two weeks in 1989 to one of the world’s most formidable deities is kinda patronizing to Christians. But my problem is that they probably don’t see it as patronizing at all; they probably just think they’re finally cool to the slacker generation of twenty-somethings that shops at Urban Outfitters.”

Tim: “So you’re saying that the non-believers shouldn’t patronize the believers with form-fitting retro t-shirts then?”

Bob: “Exactly.”

Tim: “But then what would you say to a t-shirt that said something along the lines of ‘Fuck Satan’ then?”

Bob: “I’d say that I didn’t know Stryper used cuss words on their tour t-shirts.”

Tim: “No seriously. Saying ‘Fuck Satan’ is patronizing to Christians, but it’s also ironic in the fact that Satan is as much a part of pop culture as Michael Jackson, right?”

Bob: “I guess so, but that’s mostly Slayer’s fault.”

Tim: “Still, Satan is a somewhat ‘cool’ part of pop culture. Maybe not cool, but at least acknowledged….”

Bob: “Yeah he is, but still, throughout history, we’ve basically been taught that ‘Fuck Satan’ idea….”

Tim: “As have we the ‘Jesus is My Homeboy’ ideology. Not in those words, but the message….”

Bob: “I see what you’re getting at.”

Tim: “Do you? I’m not sure you do.”

Bob: “Well, maybe you aren’t, but here’s what I think you’re trying to make me understand. That you can take any symbolic figure that creates polemics between people, put a funny message about said person alongside their names, and this creates a sort of neutrality between the two opposing sides.”

Tim: “Well, no. I didn’t mean that at all. But it does make sense with most subjects, with the exception of Dick Cheney… and probably Hitler as well.”

Bob: “Yeah, I’d be pretty afraid if anyone walked through that door with a ‘Hitler is My Homeboy’ t-shirt on….”

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