I’m actually really psyched that Sandwich agreed to do this. For those of you that don’t know him, Adam is one third of the podcasting super team at You Look Nice Today. Along with Merlin Mann and Scott Simpson, Adam takes part in an almost weekly “journal of emotional hygiene” that is often so hilarious that I start crying because I’m laughing so hard.
No, seriously. If I reviewed podcasts instead of t-shirts, I’d go on about YLNT all the time. So go listen already! You won’t be sorry, I promise.
Okay, enough of my yammering. Let’s let the guy do a little show and tell…
I’m a simple man. I like a shirt that fits. Form takes precedence over content on almost any day. I’m also a beefy man. This means, as many of my beefy brothers can attest to, most of the t-shirts out there, having been printed on American Apparel stock for the starving orphan, do horrendous things to my self-esteem. It’s rare to find a shirt that doesn’t either hug the shoulders, upper arms, pits and belly for dear life or drape half way down the arm to the elbows and obliterate the crotchal region. But when it happens, I’ll wear that shirt until someone tells me not to (which happens).
It wasn’t until after I started wearing my KUBRICK t-shirt a lot that people started to comment on how I resembled him. Having decided that removing my beard would never be a good idea, I had no choice but to own the resemblance. Once, somebody asked in earnest why I had a picture of myself on my t-shirt.
My friend Raza once remarked that he’d like to see a similar t-shirt printed in honor of a more marginal, lesser known or respected filmmaker, somebody obscure and without any discernable following. So for his next birthday, I went to zazzle.com and had a shirt printed up in tribute to the unheralded Ed Zwick. Why Zwick? I don’t know.
When I guest posted at kottke.org last December, I linked to a new energy drink called Brawndo, based on a fictional drink from the movie ‘Idiocracy’, and the post ended up starting a little discussion of what we came to call Defictionalized Goods. But strangely, it wasn’t the first time kottke.org had connected me with a Defictionalized Good in the form of a t-shirt. He and I have a shared worship of the David Foster Wallace novel Infinite Jest, so when he linked to an online shop selling a t-shirt for the Enfield Tennis Academy, the academy of the novel’s hero Hal Incandenza, I absolutely had to have it. It’s printed on American Apparel stock, but it’s a rare instance where the fit doesn’t make me want to cut myself.
This one’s off the beaten path for a t-shirt blog, but my go-to shirt for form over content will always be the Fruit of the Loom crew neck in white, which I buy in packs of three at Target. They’re best once they’ve been allowed to ferment for a while and begin to develop a delicate patina of yellowy pit stain. And they bring out the Stanley Kowalski in any man. That is to say, you’ll drink too much and method act all over the place. But God, you’ll look good doing it. I mean, look at me! (Pictured.)
Alternate to the white Fruit of the Loom is my other favorite, the black crew neck t-shirt from Banana Republic, which can be had for a little more money in economy packs of one, but they’re Banana, so you know the workmanship is quality. At one point, I figured I’d simplify my life and go all Steve Jobs by wearing one of these every day. Problem is, they are not kind to a dry scalp, my friend.
This last one is a one-off I did for my private collection. It’s intention is to convey the excitement and anticipation I get in the brief moment before a movie trailer starts. And the trailer, itself is a brief moment of anticipation, so really the MPAA certificate is metamoment of metaanticipation, which is, you know, pretty deep stuff. Film school. I designed versions for Red Band and DVD certificates, but never printed any. It was a pet project from another time.
You can see that none of my favorites are particularly design-oriented. I’ve never been much of a connoisseur of design. The period of men’s apparel where it was impossible to find a shirt or coat without shit scribbled all over it, that was a difficult time for me. I was one of those fuddy-duddies complaining that you can’t find a plain t-shirt anymore.
Thanks for playing along, Adam!