Derelict Junction

Providing missile launch codes for foreign cryptographers everywhere.

Tuesday, July 27, 2004

Cultural Significance


So I bought my nephew a T-Shirt in the Castro of Mr. T and his most famous quote "I Pity the Fool!" Thing is, he's 4, leaving my brother and sister-in-law the awkward task of trying to explain the cultural significance of the mean looking black man on his new favorite shirt. Where does one begin? Back in the Caveman days, they'd similarly pass down oral history, giving the children a sense of who they are and where they came from. -And I'm sure they had their own Mr. T's back then, except instead of boxing thick-headed Italians or living in his van with George Peppard, they were thinking of new, interesting ways to bring down a Woolly Mammoth, or some boring story that predates underappreciated Hollywood writers and their magnificent storytelling formulas.

Donnie (the brother) told me Jack(the nephew) was wearing the shirt at a party recently and a number of people immediately asked him to explain himself, which he did by simply saying, "Jeff gave it to him," and apparently that exempts one from further explanation.

I do hope, someday Jack's path will naturally cross with the Mr. T legacy(probably in history class), and he realizes the merit and magnitude of the random gift that confuses him so much today. As Patton Oswalt explains on his brilliant new CD, it's every parent's duty to be as lame as possible in the eyes of their children, thus ensuring when the child inevitably rebels, they'll be heading in the right direction in regards to music, movies, an in this case T-Shirts. In Patton's own words, the only CD every parent should have is Phil Collins's No Jacket Required. It's sure to send any rebelling child straight to Velvet Underground, The Pixies, and their modern day equivalents (whoever they are). Hell, any kid rebelling against parents with cool taste is on a collision course with a Young Republican convention. -Sends shivers down my spine.

So if it's every parent's duty to be lame, it's just as imperative the screw-up California uncle provide small flashes of what to expect when they decide to move to the big city "to find themselves." So, what might initially seem like a random thoughtless gift, is actually nature's beautiful way of revealing the rich pop culture history waiting for every child. Because, the Children are Our Future, damnit!

One last thing, and prepare for true shock and awe, check out this link Andrew sent for "Vintage" T-Shirts:
http://www.vintagevantage.com/productcats.php?productcat_id=1&view_all=true
I swear to Buddha, I must have had at least three of these, but threw them out. The prices are real, no joke.  Posted by Hello