Friday, August 15, 2008

More T-Shirts

Who doesn't love a good t-shirt?

No one we know. In fact, Obama supporters have reinvented the political t-shirt. There are so many Obama tees out there, it's hard to keep up.

One of our favorites is the homeboy t-shirt to the left. Sure, his haircut looks a little too much like Bill Kristol's, but no one would ever mistake Kristol for a homeboy. We like the wood carved look of this shirt, and the Branson font is so downmarket it's upmarket. SemiObama Grade: A-

I call the shirt to the right the German postage stamp. I'm sure the designers would prefer to think of this one as the "Yes We Can" shirt, but we like "Ja, Bitte!" The small sun bursts shining up make Obama look royal, especially against the background that resembles a regal crest. SemiObama Grade: B+

One of the strangest is the Che/Obama shirt. I love how the advertisers make sure you see the enlarged Che icon, just so you won't think the "O" contains Obama's image. I wonder what the intentional connection is between Che and Obama. Liberation? Concern for the poor? Charisma? Cigars? My main critique of the film version of The Motorcycle Diaries was its silence on Che's post-revolution record as a thug, so over-romanticizing Che here costs the shirt SemiObama points. SemiObama Grade: C

The coolest shirt is the Bad Ass Obama shirt, a la Mr. T. We pity the fool who doesn't like this logo. Sure, it's an easy comment on race, power, and, most importantly, bling, but that doesn't make it predictable. Evocative of the iron-on decals of the 70s, the shirt is quietly political but loudly humorous. SemiObama Grade: A

The political t-shirt is an underexamined genre. More personal than a bumper sticker and more sassy than a sign, the political t-shirt combines both fashion and politics--two atypical spheres. Compared to the John McCain shirts, which tend to be largely textual and overly earnest, the Obama shirts skew toward the visual and the humorous, no doubt a reflection of of the candidates themselves. That said, we wait, anxiously, for the first Vice-President shirts of 2008.

Until the VP t-shirts hit the streets, though, we close today's post with some also-rans.



girlygirl said...

The nicest - high-end tee I have seen so far is from a site called - it is Obama tee in all sparkling crystals - i already bought a tank, and everyone stops me and asks about it - it really is pretty!!
check out the site (they give to charity too!)

Walker Hamilton said...

Also, there's an (official) Obama tees competition over here:

SemiObama said...

Great suggestions! Perhaps we should propose a SemiObama shirt . . . then we could write about it . . .