In high school, I read a book where the main character was super nonconformist, to the point where he would wear his shirts inside-out if they had a brand name on them. Mostly so he could sound all cool and anti-establishment, but also because, as he put it, “If I’m going to be advertising for someone, they’d better be paying me, not the other way around.”
I latched on to this idea, but since I didn’t want to bother with the whole inside-out deal (people would always be trying to tuck in my sticking-out tag), for the next three years, I refused to buy any clothing with a brand name or logo on it. Nothin’.
This led to some stellar choices, like a complete avoidance of all Abercrombie and Fitch and Hollister apparel. (“Oh, hey, let’s charge $60 extra for a T-shirt with our own advertising on it. People will totally fall for it.”)
But my boycott had its downsides. I distinctly remember looking longingly at some funny print T-shirts I wanted to buy…but they were emblazoned with some image of corporate evil (aka Toy Story or Oreos or Captain America). Being an idealist of the incredibly stubborn variety, I always refused.
Except for one lone pair of Snoopy pajama pants. I reasoned that this was an acceptable compromise because no one other than my family and a few friends would ever see me wearing them. Not advertising, therefore…acceptable.
If I had to make one exception, it makes sense it was for Snoopy, because Charles Schultz’s Peanuts characters are on basically any kind of merchandise you can think of, from figurines to lunchboxes to entire sections of amusement parks. More recently, in a blitz to promote the upcoming Snoopy movie, I saw what at least half my Facebook friends would be like as Peanuts characters.
Which reminded me…have you ever wondered why, if Calvin and Hobbes is, objectively, the best comic series ever introduced to mankind, there are no T-shirts depicting its main characters? (more…)