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, June 11, 2013

T-shirt #82: Cerebus for Dictator

T-shirt #82: Cerebus for Dictator

"Everybody wants to Rule the World": 

Would the country be better off if we had a single dictator who made all the decisions? Do countries under a dictatorship prosper more effectively than those with other forms of government?

I am not a political scientist, so I do not know the answer to this question. Since dictatorships tend to be totalitarian and oppressive, I am not seriously advocating that fascism (as often dictatorships are also fascist governments) is my favored form of government or that I would prefer to live under such a regime.

And so, the shirt is meant to be funny. Ironic, even, if you subscribe to a more broad definition of irony.

This is my second Cerebus shirt. I only own two, so this is for Cerebus features. I already featured Cerebus as "Pope" in my blog entry for T-shirt #24.

This shirt features another idea that is common among people, and I have heard it come out of the mouths of many friends and associates: "The world would be a much better place if I was in charge."

Could we live in a new world order made to serve your agenda or my self-interest-based agenda?

Would a world with my agenda be any better than a world with your agenda?

Do we already live in such a world dictated by an Illuminati-like cartel of churches, heads of state, corporate executives, and assorted special interest groups?

ELIMINATE IT: THE ATOMIC PILGRIMAGE: If Cerebus were the dictator, in the version of the character featured in today's T-shirt image, he would just hack and slash whatever got in his way, whatever he didn't like. Ruling the world through elimination of whatever does not fit like a glove into your New World Order is a very appealing option. My friends (see T-shirt #81) invented the idea of the Atomic Pilgrimage, in which all the undesirables are marched into the desert and blown to smithereens with nuclear weapons. Marching to their doom would be all the rapists and other heinous criminals, religious zealots, all the power hungry and excessively greedy, all those deemed too "stupid" to continue to live, and so on. We rule the world. We choose who lives and who makes a date with a nuke. This idea is firmly rooted in misanthropy, which I explored in T-shirt #40. There is quite a bit of misanthropy in Cerebus (also explored  to some extent in T-shirt #24). I have tried to cast off my misanthropy, which seems unnecessarily arrogant and an unwise reaction the universe. If we are all connected, then the better reaction to the universe is love. But judgment comes easy; love is hard.

Also, I explored these ideas in T-shirt #64: Embrace Uncertainty.

SURVEILLANCE SOCIETY: Ruling the world through might and force is no longer necessary because technology has changed the game. Armies used to be the route to great power. (This idea was mentioned in last night's GAME OF THRONES, season three finale.) Knowledge and resources also played a role, but these could both be secured and defended with armies. Now, armies still defend possession of the means of control, but those who control technology control the world. Love the machine; fear the machine. Noticed all the cameras staring down at you from dozens, maybe hundreds of vantage points that you pass each day? More and more cameras all the time. RFID tags in your clothes, food, auto parts, and soon maybe underneath your skin. Computers tracking your purchases, web page views, personal data, habits, vices, all while running your face through facial recognition software and using MRI scans to identify how your brain lights up in reaction to different stimuli.

Scared yet? The virtual Panopticon has arrived. Want to rule the world? Want to run a computer program that scans millions of data streams: camera video, RFID information, data based repositories of consumer markets? We are being watched, our data analyzed, and complex plans are being hatched to keep us controlled, fat, and complacent.

There are many, many books on the rise of surveillance society, living off the grid, and the issues of privacy and freedom. Three of my favorites are No Place to Hide by Robert O'Harrow, The novels of John Twelve Hawks starting with The Traveler, and Welcome to the Machine by Derrick Jensen and George Draffan.

Though I should mention Cory Doctorow, also, as I am currently reading Homeland, a very good sequel to the excellent Little Brother.

How prophetic was Pink Floyd's frightening, slow, dirge-like "Welcome to the Machine"?

So what? What does all this have to do with Cerebus?

Nothing and everything.

Ruling the world, control through the machine, and how we cope in the end: DOCTOR WHISKY. Cerebus used to booze it up quite a bit as a means of coping with the disastrous ruin of his life created by the choices he had made. My favorite author Warren Ellis (whom I have blogged about in T-shirt #75 and T-shirt #22) often sends Twitter prescriptions from "Doctor Whisky." In 2008, he held court from a pub near London on Twitter with his thoughts on whisky, whiskey, and bourbon. With due credit, I want to enter his thoughts into the permanent record here beyond the jump because these Twitter messages are what made me a whisky lover.

As for this edition of 365 T-shirts, that's a wrap.

"Hey, you, get off of my cloud" kind of sums it up.

- chris tower - date - time