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.)

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

T-shirt #236 - Happy Ending Massage Parlor

T-shirt #236 - Happy Ending Massage Parlor

Remember my "no bullshit on the blog" policy? If not, read T-shirt #231. I made the claim that I would not engage in bullshit on this blog. Only the unvarnished truth will appear here. Okay, that's bullshit. I use varnish, sometimes A LOT of varnish. But I am about to make a claim that people will think is bullshit, but it's not.

Honestly, I did not know the "true" meaning of this shirt and why the massage parlor is called "Happy Ending" when I bought this shirt. No lie. I can be quite naive. And I swear to you all, on the sanctity of my no bullshit policy, that I did not "get" the joke with this shirt until long after I bought it. I see some of you are nodding and musing "yeah, right." But it is a real and true thing.

I bought this shirt during one of my trips to New York. I was looking for a shirt that had something to do with Chinatown, and I spotted this shirt. Now, I did notice the semi-racist nature of the "happy Asian" in the t-shirt's image, but I was okay with that stereotype. I bought this t-shirt before I started teaching the women's studies course at WMU and fully realized the danger of promoting those stereotypes.

Given the flat thud an anecdote about my college days and a young Korean struggling with his L-letter and R-letter substitutions had with a small group not long ago, I am still learning that I play a part in perpetuating those racist stereotypes even when I have the best of intentions and feel I am coming from a place of love and respect.

Even before I realized the true joke of this shirt, it did not leave my closet. And once I caught on to the sex industry connection, the shirt definitely did not leave my closet.

But I am a fan of massage. I have been a semi-regular massage customer for close to 20 years now. I find a sixty minute, full body massage to be incredibly therapeutic. It's definitely part of my self-care. I strongly recommend it, though true certified professionals do not engage in the prostitution alluded to in this shirt. In fact, so ashamed am I for owning it that I almost did not share it because I do not want to offend anyone, especially massage therapists I know. And yet, I can use the shirt to reveal and denounce the stereotypes and to raise awareness of the damage racist stereotypes can cause to our culture.

Short post today. Grading Robot is chugging at maximum power and these warp engines need to be pushed to 129% yield.

So, I am going to admit A LOT of shame at owning this shirt, which I dug out of the back of my closet, and this shirt may certainly be bound for the massive purge of shirts that may take place in March because, after all, do I really need to own 365 t-shirts?

COUNTDOWN TO THE END OF THE YEAR: 129 shirts remaining.

- chris tower - 1311.12 - 8:25