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, September 17, 2013

T-shirt #180: Sand Castle Competition 1990

T-shirt #180: Sand Castle Competition 1990

So, I was walking home from teaching my classes at WMU yesterday, half-paying attention to my audio book, and thinking about my blog, when a thought struck me so hard and fast that I felt it was warranted to take out my phone and email myself a reminder while I was walking. This may not have been the safest thing to do. But I kept my eyes peeled for hazards, and nothing came of it, though I did actually walk under a ladder that a Charter service person had left propped to a utility pole, unoccupied.

This description is all just to set the scene. Flavor. Savory.

What was I thinking about? Narcissism.

I created a whole category for narcissism, but so far, I have only addressed this subject in any depth once in T-shirt #77, which may have the distinction of being the single most often referenced blog post on my blog. Referenced by me, that is. I am not going to count, but it seems to me that I have referenced this one more than any others. And this makes sense, as T-shirt #77 was a pivotal blog post. I turned a corner at that blog post. I also used it to bury my confession that I had cancer and was going to have my prostate out, which some people actually read. Thank you!

The subject of T-shirt #77 is integral to the blog. Originally, I dismissed the idea of doing the blog as overly narcissistic and self-indulgent. Who would care about the meaning behind my t-shirts? Even more strange, would anyone care to read so much about comic books, 1960s and 1970s nostalgia, the episodic narrative, my top 100 albums, and other subjects I care to explore (and exploit).

A great deal of my thinking and development for the blog culminated in T-shirt #77. I realized that I needed to provide more content to readers than just some thoughts on why I like my t-shirt for that day. I wanted to make my blog a conversation starter, a place to learn things, or to be reminded of things worth thinking about that you already know. I wanted to try to escape the inherent narcissism of the occupation and provide relevant, thought-provoking, and frequently entertaining content for regular readers, occasional readers, and those who just Stumble Upon the blog.

In T-shirt #77, I questioned how quick we are in our culture to brand someone as ADD or ADHD and now how quick we are to cast stones for NPD (Narcissistic Personality Disorder). These ideas are similar to my criticism back in the late 1980s of the self help book The Men Who Hate Women and the Women Who Love Them. Though misogyny is very real and though abuse (both physical and emotional) is also very real, I felt that The Men Who Hate Women and the Women Who Love Them could be applied unscrupulously and too easily. In an effort to help women realize that they may be in an abusive relationship with a misogynist, the author defined many different types of women haters, especially those who are very good at hiding their hatred of women, so much so that many of these men may not even be aware that they are misogynists. I thought the book was a bit reckless as the author defined so many types and described behavior in such a way that the book may be able to convince every woman that she may be involved with a misogynist. Nowhere in the book did the author engage in a disclaimer that some men are not misogynists nor did she ever caution readers to be careful in leaping to conclusions based on her descriptions. I remember giving my essay on the subject to a woman I wanted to date at the time, and she ripped me a new asshole, wrongly accusing me of trying to skirt a real and dangerous issue and unfairly criticize a book that could help women escape abusive relationships. I did not understand her ire, and I felt that she misunderstood my main argument. Needless to say, we did not have a romantic relationship. But just as our culture breeds attention deficit behaviors and narcissistic behaviors in people, it also breeds behaviors that may be abusive or seem misogynistic; however, just as not everyone suffers from Attention-Deficit Disorder or Narcissistic Personality Disorder not all men are misogynists. We need to be careful about how we apply labels.

So, these are the thoughts I had on my walk home about narcissism and where ruminating on narcissism took my brain. I think my blog is narcissistic. But I do not feel that I have Narcissistic Personality Disorder. It's true that what I am doing is inherently arrogant, just as producing any art is arrogant in its assumption that other people--that anyone--will care about what I think, what I feel, and what I care about. I accept these assumptions. Okay, there's inherent arrogance and narcissism here. Neither is a good reason to abandon the project nor never attempt it in the first place.

I am grateful for your readership whether you are regular, occasional, or stumbled in. If inspired, share these thoughts in a conversation with someone. Let me know how it goes.

Today's shirt was given to me by my father. His company (TPTA = Tower, Pinkster, Titus Architects and Engineers) competed in an annual sand castle designing and building competition. They felt it was a fun thing for architects to do, being architects and all. I believe my father and my sister always participated, but I do not recall that I ever did. Still, the whole family received shirts. I have written about my family before, and I will again, so I will leave off on that subject for now to instead close with something geeky and about science which I want to share, which is that inherent narcissism and arrogance again, but I think it's worth it.

Stumbled Upon this great comic strip via Stumble Upon .

This comic comes from THE OATMEAL: it's about TESLA. That's the Stumble Upon link.


- chris tower - 1309.17 - 8:56