365 T-shirts - the reasoning

This blog should be sub-titled: a journal of my life in geek.

I get my geek on with things about which I am geeky: comic books, Baseball, Ultimate, science fiction, my favorite bands, books I have read and loved, and Jungian psychology to name some of the most frequently traversed subjects.

I began this project simply as a way to count my T-shirts. I own a lot of T-shirts. But how many do I have? Do I have 365? We shall find out.

When I started this blog, I thought about how each T-shirt means something to me. I bought it for a reason, after all. I set myself the task to post an entry about a new T-shirt every day as a way to simply write something every day, a warm up for writing fiction, which is my passion. Writing is like exercise. Warm ups are good for exercise. But after completing a month of blogging about T-shirts, I have learned that this blog serves as a journal; it documents my life in geek, sort of a tour of my interests in pop culture. The blog serves as a tool for self-inventory, for assessment and analysis of self and the origins of self, for stepping through the process of individuation in catalogues, lists, and ranks.

The blog also made me aware that I have some serious gaps in my T-shirt ownership, and I am in the process of collecting some new T-shirts for several of the great popular culture icons that I truly love. Stay tuned.

I was also a bit surprised that people checked out my blog and continue to check it, read it, and even comment on it. I am very appreciative of this readership. Please feel free to share your thoughts in my comments section. I will respond.

Also, please note that I have moved the original introductory text to the side bar. And now, I present to you the most recent entry of 365 T-shirts: a journal of my life in geek. Thank you for reading.
(Second Update - 1310.24. First Update - 1306.05 Originally Posted - 1304.25.)

Thursday, April 25, 2013

T-shirt #35: Joy Division: Unknown Pleasures

T-shirt #35: Joy Division: Unknown Pleasures

This shirt features the cover art of the debut studio album by the band Joy Division (1976-1980) called Unknown Pleasures. The Manchester label Factory Records issued the album in June of 1979. The iconic image derives from radio waves imagery from the pulsar CP 1919.  When the pulsar was first discovered, the regularity of its signal prompted many to propose that it may be a signal from a sentient civilization and thus was nicknamed LGM-1 for Little Green Men. A similar image was also featured in the 1979 film Alien by Ridley Scott, resonating with fans of both.

At the time of its release, Unknown Pleasures failed to chart and was a commercial failure. I did not discover Joy Division until much later, sometime around 1981-82 when the legend of the band had begun to grow and news of them to trickle into America. The band's second album, Closer, was my first experience with Joy Division. I do not have a T-shirt for Closer (at least not yet). Shortly after discovering Closer, I purchased Unknown Pleasures, Still, and the maxi-single for Love Will Tear Us Apart. These were all LPs back then, "in the day," as it were. I did not buy the T-shirt until much later.

I bought this T-shirt after seeing it advertised in a British music magazine. I am mad for British music magazines, such as Mojo and Uncut, the antecedents of classic music publications, such as NME and Melody Maker. I sent away to the U.K. for this shirt and a few other Brit-centric items that will surely be featured in this blog soon. I paid extra in pounds to dollars and shipping only to discover the Joy Division shirt being sold here in the States, even locally. I love the shirt's image and the meaning behind it, even though I love the album Closer more.

I listened to Joy Division constantly throughout the 1980s. Well, not non-stop. I listened to other things, too. But Joy Division was always in the rotation.
Though I do not listen to the music as much these days, I still count Joy Division as one of my favorite, all-time bands. I have not yet watched the bio-film Control (2007) or the documentary Joy Division (2007), but these films are high on my to watch list.

Joy Division ~ Shadowplay (from TV broadcast)


- Joy Division took its name from the prostitution wing of a Nazi concentration camp mentioned in the 1955 novel The House of Dolls ("Joy Division," Wikipedia, 2013).

- Learning about Ian Curtis' suicide and listening to Joy Division profoundly influenced my own thoughts on life, death, and suicide for many years.

- The remaining members of Joy Division formed New Order (but I would be surprised if anyone reading this does not already know that fact).

- My wife and I share a love of both of these bands; this is one of the ways we are most compatible, for which I thank the universe every time we are in the car rockin' to "Love Will Tear Us Apart" via her Pandora account.

- I lied earlier in the entry. I have my friend John Locke's Joy Division Closer shirt, which he left behind after a game of Ultimate when we graduated college and somehow I never managed to return it to him (among other things). Can you say, GUILT? I should listen to some Joy Division to wallow in this guilt and regret.

- My favorite Joy Division song is "Isolation" from Closer, which explains a lot if you know the song.

- Of the top five albums in my life that I have played over and over and over again consecutively, Joy Division's Closer joins Donald Fagen's  Morph the Cat, Pink Floyd's Wish You Were Here, Laurie Anderson's Mister Heartbreak, David Bowie's Low, and 10,000 Maniac's The Wishing Chair. Oh, that's six. Okay, top ten, top ten...

- Though Unknown Pleasures is now considered one of the greatest and most influential albums ever made, I still like Closer better. I think these opinions often have to do with which I hear first.

- chris tower - 1304.25 - 9:22
Photo courtesy of Liesel MK Tower