Provocative Clothing

In the most recent issue of The Colorado Central Magazine (good magazine) there was an opinion piece by Martha Quillen about our problems getting along with each other. She refers to a book, The Madness of Crowds: Gender, Race and Identity by Douglas Murray whom she describes as a, “…white, gay, conservative-leaning, British journalist…” I didn’t get a clear take-away of how she ended up regarding the book, but her own piece makes the point that while we can’t individually solve world problems, we could get along with each other better than we do. I agree, we could and we should, but…

Getting along is a two-way street and since the advent of printed T-shirts we carry our editorial views around on our clothing creating a barrier (in many cases) to “getting along.” An example? Well, Lois, her son and I were feeding some Tilapia at the Gator Farm on Saturday and a friendly man came up behind us and said, “Pretty cool” or something like that. I turned to see who it was and it was a guy wearing a red hat that said, “Trump is STILL MY PRESIDENT.”

I bet he’d forgotten all about his hat, but I still didn’t want to talk to him. His hat was picking a fight. Without saying anything, I walked away. The only thing I wanted to say to him was, “You want to negate my vote?” HOWEVER the “get along” person would have said, “I know, aren’t they cool?” I couldn’t do that.

Personal residue from 2020/21? January 6? The continuing stupidity of the Congressional “rep” from my district? Yeah. All of that. I adamantly resist the world those people would make for me to live in. I don’t want to live in the midst of so much ignorance and anger; if I have to live there (and I do) I’d rather not have it shoved in my face where I have to contend with it all the time.

Wearing clothing that proclaims our politics — as if the leadership of a nation were equivalent to — and no more important than — two opposing football teams — doesn’t help us get along. It’s true that my favorite sweatshirt (of which I have three identical ones) says, “Stay True,” but even I don’t know what that means in a general sense. It’s just a great sweatshirt, a good weight, hood, zipper, and, anyway, I plan to “Stay True” to, to, to — painting? writing? Bear and Teddy? my friends? my valley? Absolutely. Staying true. But those two words aren’t going to start a fight. So, I wonder how are we going to get along when we proclaim our divisive political beliefs like that?

Over the weekend, my friend said that she doesn’t think humans are designed to get along with each other. I recalled reading an article a few years ago that said that in all human history there have been only 8 years of peace. I don’t remember anything about the article besides that and, even at the time, I wondered how anyone could KNOW that. Even eight years of peace seemed too long.

So…dogs. Having had multiple dogs at a time, I’ve seen some bad fights, and one of them was deadly. As far as I can tell, it was over a piece of ham that had fallen on the kitchen floor when I made a sandwich. Resource guarding and hoarding are carnivore traits — reasonably because (having watched some carnivores other than dogs engaged in a hunt) it’s not always easy to find food and every other carnivore will come after your kill once you’ve managed it. Why is that we — as omnivores — who have, for the most part — a guaranteed source of food, still behave as we do? As my friend pointed out, the red-hat-Trump-is-still-my-president guys are listening to news sources that have created a world for them and they live there, a world in which the Clinton’s operate a pedophile ring from the basement of a pizza parlor in New Jersey.

So, when Red Hat Man and I meet up at a tilapia tank in the middle of nowhere one of us (namely me) will perceive it as an attack and move out of range, as I did.

What if he were the same guy and hadn’t worn the hat? How would it have played out?

“Pretty cool!” (Red Hat Guy sans Red Hat)
“A lot like people, fighting over their food like that!”
“Yep, a lot like people.”
“Enjoy your day.”
“Thanks! You too!”

17 thoughts on “Provocative Clothing

  1. Stay true — I would add “to yourself!” An interesting article — I’ve often thought that we are not peaceful creatures, but rather, like other predators, somewhat belligerent.

    • Stay True to Myself is exactly how I “wear” all three of these sweatshirts. I got one when I first moved here because it was on sale and then? I realized that was exactly what I needed to tell myself at every turning point. 😀 And no. We’re not a peaceful species. I would even say we get a kind of “rush” from anger and all that ensues from that.

  2. There is a cute little house that I pass if I go a certain way home. It was a cute little house until they hung a huge ‘Let’s Go Brandon’ banner on the side of the house. Now I can’t even look at that house. Some people are just so ‘in your face’ and that, probably more so than the sign, really bugs me.

  3. Humans may be ominivores but dropping a big piece of meat is still the jackpot. And how is finding a productive berry patch any different? We evolved to survive lean times and that trait continues even though we’re suffering extraordinary levels of obesity.

    Plus tribalism runs deep. The reassurance and support of our tribe is often more important than our tenuous grasp on reality. I just roll with it.

    You can’t convince a true believer, so why try? Just be friendly and neutral. Way too many people take politics personally and I think it is important to be people first and political animals last. The world will evolve how it is going to evolve independent of anything I do.

    “Stay True” reminds me of Billy Joel. Everybody love Billy Joel, right?

  4. “His hat was picking a fight” – well said! During the height of the red hat years, I designed a hat that said “Make America Not a Laughingstock Again”. It was never made into a hat, just a meme on my blog one day. I didn’t think it was worth the time, effort, or money to make an actual hat. I thought it gave attention to someone I thought already had too much of it, but “hat picking a fight” is another good reason not to have made it. Unfortunately, as long as people like “your” representative Lauren Boebert and “my” senator Ron Johnson remain in positions of power, we will remain a laughingstock.

    • Exactly. I can live with this because here, for the most part, the people behind t-shirts and under the hats are nice people, but when it’s in my face? I really see it as picking a fight OR (I don’t know about Wisconsin) maintaining the “us v. them” thing which is pretty big in small communities like this. Today’s paper (local rag) is full of it. If I made a hat it would say, “Your vote is your right. Mine is mine. Shut up and vote.” It would need a HUGE hat… OH well. The magazine I mentioned is printing a revised version of the post next month so that’s a little something. ❤

    • Yep. It’s inconsiderate, provocative, unkind and a lot of other things including inhumane. It would not be so hard to think, “Let’s give the world a break from politics today.” 😦

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