Saturday, June 28, 2008

Why is CNN so stupid?

Have you noticed that CNN has this new thing where they put a t-shirt icon next to some of their headlines? If you click on it, you can order a shirt with the specific headline on it. My question is: why is choosing which headlines should be on t-shirts? They are universally retarded. I get the feeling that some baby boomer/greatest generation producer noticed that all The Young People were wearing t-shirts with nonsensical slogans on them, sometimes about different states being for lovers, sometimes about something called the "Flying Spaghetti Monster." And then s/he learned that some of them - the one's that read "Area Man" or "Area Woman" - were from a humorous fake news publication called the Turnip or the The Scallion or some such. S/he rushed into the marketing department and declared, "The Young People are idiots! They'll buy anything anything! They call it "irony;" I call it "profit." If they like wearing fake headlines on their chests, I'm sure they'll love wearing real headlines!"

I don't know who chooses which headlines could become shirts, but they are universally stupid. Why would you want that on a shirt? The thing with ironic t-shirt slogans is that they are a decontextualization. If you went to Virginia and bought a shirt that said "Virginia is for lovers," and were like, "Look at the awesome shirt I got; Virginia is totally rad," you would be a dork. Or someone's grandmother. But if you buy that shirt at a store, it is not actually an advertisement for Virginia, it's just an intentionally dorky t-shirt. And if you are intentionally dorky, then you must be cool because no one would ever intentionally be a dork. Or it is a shirt that has a non-slogan on it, like "Bowling Sucks" or "I'm A Quitter," something that no one would ever seriously use a t-shirt to advertise. And that juxtaposition is, I believe, funny. I think that's how ironic t-shirt logic works, anyway.

The choices from CNN are just headlines. They're informative. They're not even particularly funny. Here, I will give you the list of headlines with a t-shirt icon available right now:
  • McCain, Obama in nuclear battle
  • Motorists push car to get free gas
  • Lost dolphins feed in New Jersey river
  • Hawaii reels from high food prices
These are decontextualize; they provide their own context in that they are informational headlines. They aren't a juxtaposition, like something that would never be a headline to begin with (a la the Onion) because they are actual headlines. And they're not even dorky things someone's grandmother would buy. Grandma might think "Virginia is for lovers" is a cute slogan; she probably doesn't think "Motorists push car to get free gas" is all that adorable. It's so stupid! And it doesn't work even a little. I suggest checking these out whenever you use; maybe you can explain to me who would buy such a shirt.


Ojalanpoika said...

I've collected the best Christian T-shirts I found in here:

Personally, I would prefer those apologetic figures such as Dinoglyfs documented by the ancient man few thousands years ago, as displayed in the site above. Unfortunately, they are not sold anywhere... Anyway, anyhow, this might be the Elder Wand you sought:

Do You happen to know a site for such "apolo-wear"?

A recent book "Understanding Intelligent Design" by ­William Dembski and Sean McDowell, son of Josh McDowell just became available last week.

The book is geared at Christian young people (junior high and high schoolers) as well as for Church groups (e.g., Sunday Schools) to help get out the word about ID, Intelligent Design. A MOST REVEALING INSIGHT FROM ITS FIRST CHAPTER:

"A few years back, skeptic Michael Shermer wrote a book called
How We Believe. For it he commissioned a poll of thousands of
people. He asked participants why other people believe in God. The
most popular answers focused on religious benefits: God comforts
us, provides the basis for living a moral life, gives purpose to our
lives, and is the source of meaningful religious experiences.
Then Shermer asked participants why they personally believe
in God. The number one answer changed drastically. The most
common response was the design and complexity of the world.
Our natural tendency, it would seem, is to believe the world was

Hunting the best T-shirt slogans,
evolutionary critic
Biochemist, drop-out so called
(MSci-Master of Sciing)
Helsinki, Finland

Anonymous said...

I agree with the t-shirt thing. The headlines make no sense and i cant see spending that amount of money for a t shirt with a headline on it you could make yourself. It is utterly retarded.

what the hell does this t shirt blog have to do with intelligent design you retard? No one said anything about christian t shirts and im sure no one cares.

Sydney said...

Thanks, Anonymous! I'd totally forgotten about that super weird comment. I suppose Ojalanpoika could argue that everything has something to do with intelligent design, everything being intelligently designed by god. That is, if s/he wasn't a Finnish bot or troll, which is my suspicion. I wonder why I left that up. Probably because it's so weird, so non-topical, so obviously a hard sell on the one idea in modern gateway-deism that ought to be soft-sellable that it had to be left in place as a little beacon of misdirected proselytizing for all the world to see. Either that or I forgot.