Considering how little attention T-Shirt Hell used to get from the tee blogging world, the announcement of their closure seems to be creating quite a stir. I think they didn’t get much attention simply because most of ‘us’ didn’t care for their style of design, and also it’s pretty rare to find a blog that regularly writes about offensive t-shirts like the ones T-Shirt Hell sold.
The story, and with T-Shirt Hell it’s always hard to tell what the truth is, is that after receiving hate mail for more than 8 years, the founder and owner of the brand, Sunshine Megatron (no, really), has decided that enough is enough, and instead of selling on a business that sells 3000 t-shirts a week to someone that won’t do it justice, he’s just going to close the doors on February 10th and be done with it. There’s a long and fairly funny open letter on their site if you want to check it out, but I’ve given you the gist of it just then.
For me, I won’t be sad to see them go. I rarely found the tees particularly funny, and I do think that some of them crossed the line in terms of subject matter. I totally understand that the tees themselves are not meant to be hate speech, they’re meant to be sarcastic and ironic, but sarcasm and irony are almost entirely determined by their context and not the t-shirt itself. Let’s say a black guy was wearing the “Arrest black babies before they become criminals” t-shirt, fair enough, I get it, that’s actually a fairly powerful political and social statement, but what if it was a racist wearing the same tee and actually wanted to lock up black babies? I know there’s no way for T-Shirt Hell to control who wears their shirts, but I’ve never liked their idea that just because the tees aren’t meant to cause offense means that they aren’t meant offensive.
You have until February 10th to purchase tees that I’ve never seen anyone in public wearing.