This morning in the gym, I saw a guy wearing a shirt with a slogan in beautiful copperplate script. It said: Fuck off.
At first I thought it might be a punk band shirt or something — not excusable by any means, but at least understandable, I suppose. But no. That was the whole of the message: Fuck off.
Since nobody gets custom shirts screen-printed, what must’ve happened was, someone out there sensed a market for a shirt saying “fuck off.” He ordered up a bunch of them, advertised them, and this guy bought one. Which means he either specifically went looking for a shirt that says “fuck off,” or he hangs out on the kinds of websites where a person selling a t-shirt reading “fuck off” would trawl for potential customers.
Ladies and gentlemen, Current Year America!!
Days like today, I wish the Kung Flu really was the extinction-level event the Branch Covidians make it out to be. That’s the plague we deserve.
UPDATE: An interesting divide in the comments. I can guess your decade of birth by your response.
Born before 1960, you can’t imagine anyone wearing such a shirt. You can do it *intellectually*, but you’ll never really believe it happened.
Born after 1990, you don’t really see what the big deal is. Sure, It’s crass, but welcome to the 21st century, Grandpa.
Born to Gen X, though, and you can believe it happened… but only because you believe the guy must’ve been looking for a fight. We’ve discussed Fight Club here. The reason it worked at the time was, even if you were the soulless yuppie Ed Norton type, you knew that out in the sticks there were places to go if you wanted to have a fight… and lots of people did. I never indulged myself, but even I knew of a dive bar where you could walk in wearing your preppie college boy stuff if you wanted to… and someone was guaranteed to say something about it, and you could then invite him outside. It was something of a right of passage for guys in certain frats, even in my day (early 1990s). You can probably ask Pickle Rick to confirm this, but I heard that frat dudes from San Diego State and Marines from Camp Pendleton pretty regularly got into it on Friday nights, again as a rite of passage, not that long ago.
For us, in other words, a “Fuck off” t shirt can only mean that the wearer is looking to start a fight.
For the Millennials, though (I doubt this guy was even 30), it’s just part of that general “make yourself as obnoxious as possible all the time” thing that they do.