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Original Political T-Shirts

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Why I Make T-shirts
Simply put, wearing your point of view on your chest may be the easiest, most practical and legal way to express your opinions...

I decided to start making t-shirts in 2001 to communicate political ideas and attempt to help foment social change. The lack of access for average people to the transmitting side vs. the receiving side of mass communication (i.e. the mainstream media, be it television, radio, periodicals or billboards) got me thinking.

Most people can't afford to purchase airtime on commercial media. Sure you can do public access television or radio, but those you reach are very few in comparison to those you can reach via the mainstream media. You can write a letter to the editor of a newspaper, but the chance of it getting published is slim. The chance of it not getting edited is slimmer. Plus it must be short, making a complex argument almost impossible to present. Further, ongoing dialogue (the basis of Socrates' method for finding greater meaning and agreement) will likely not be possible since the chance of you getting published twice is even less likely than all of the other probabilities mentioned previously.

You can have a website like this, but in a sea of millions of other websites, it is hard to get many people to notice yours unless you promote it, which can cost a lot of money. Those who find out about it are often the choir of people who already agree with you.

You can also engage in illegal activities like pirate radio or billboard redesign in order to break through the barriers to conventional modes of mass communication, but there are obviously significant risks to these options that may catch up to you eventually. You could also walk around with a sign in your hands with your ideas on it, or hand out literature, but many people (even those sympathetic to particular ideas or causes) avoid people who do this.

Simply put, wearing your point of view on your chest may be the easiest, most practical and legal way to express your opinions to people outside of the choir.