After 8 Years, T-Shirt Hell Closes Its Doors Thanks to Hate Mail

UPDATE: It was just a stunt, they’re still in business.

The uber-offensive online T-shirt store, T-shirt Hell, will be closing its doors Tuesday, February 10th. However, unlike other companies that are dying due to economic stress, leader of TSH Sunshine Megatron offers a different explanation, inside.

I’m done. I’m finished. I can’t take the stupidity anymore, so I’m leaving and I’m taking my website with me. As of Tuesday, Feb 10, 2009, T-Shirt Hell will be no more.

No, I’m not selling out to some douchebag corporate entity. No, we’re not being sued by any of the over 40 companies that have sent us cease and desists over the years. No, I’m not going to jail (yet) and no, it’s not because of the economy. Although, the recent dip in sales certainly does make the idea easier to accept, even though we still sell over 3000 shirts a week.

I started this company in June of 2001, nearly 8 years ago, with the intention of producing the best satirical, the most controversial, the funniest t-shirts on the internet. Generally speaking, I feel I’ve accomplished that and am satisfied with what we’ve put out. I made a shitload of dough along the way. I’ve done cocaine off the better body parts of supermodels. I’ve even raped and killed a mountain panda in the hills of Shaanxi. But these perks are besides the point.

I just don’t feel like dealing with idiots anymore. I’ll give you an example of the kind of misguided morons we deal with on a regular basis at T-Shirt Hell. We released a new shirt a couple weeks ago that says “It’s not gay if you beat them up afterwards”. I will not explain the irony or the social commentary of the slogan because anyone with half a brain should be able to handle that on their own. Problem is, we’ve been besieged with emails from angry people complaining about the “fact” that the shirt is hate speech or that we’re promoting gay bashing and should take it down immediately.

Comments like:
“I can’t even believe people buy this shit. Do you realize your supporting a hate crime? That makes you feel better about yourself? Wow you need a life. We’re all human beings and you can’t except it.”
and
“It’s Not Gay:If You Beat Them Up After”?? That is highly inappropriate and very very morally wrong. I will be advising everyone I know to avoid buying anything from your site until shirts like this are removed. In this world people are fighting for equality and a chance to be themselves without fear of being beat up because of who they are, yet here is an established website promoting hate and violence. You all should be ashamed of yourselves.”

Now, I can’t say I’m surprised we’re getting hate mail from people who have nothing better to do than to start half-assed campaigns because of their lazy, just enough passion for an email, ideals towards a misguided cause. It happened when we did our first really controversial shirt, “The School Shootings Tour”, it happened when we did our “What About All The Good Things Hitler Did” shirt, it happened when we did our “Arrest Black Babies Before They Become Criminals” shirt (boy did it happen then). It used to happen all the time when we did more social commentary and didn’t give a fuck about what anyone thought and did shirts that did not leave anyone out. Unfortunately, as a concern for the safety of my employees, we don’t push the envelope as much anymore…and I can’t say I feel good about having caved in.

Anyway, rather than cater to the masses, I’m just going to stop making shirts. It’s not enjoyable anymore and I have enough money to move on to something more rewarding. Maybe I’ll start my own hooker farm or maybe I’ll practice sleeping. Whatever I decide to do, it will be better than this.

Attention any venture capitalists or independent investors/business assholes who are about to inquire about purchasing T-Shirt Hell. Don’t. You won’t do the company justice and I won’t take that chance. I’m putting it to sleep. It’s over.

That’s right, I’m crazy. I’m pulling the plug on a company I could have sold for millions. Why in the fucking world would I do something so stupid? Because I can. I don’t care about money. This is the way I’ve always done things…my way.

So, to all the kickass motherfuckers who supported us and REALLY got what we were trying to do, thank you (no, not you, you racist idiots who thought we actually had racist intentions and no, not you, you dumb as a stump fucks who just think any shirt with the word “fuck” on it is as right as rain). Thanks to all the people who contributed to my vice fund and at the same time helped make a funny statement about the world today.

As a final farewell, I’m going to bring back some of the top selling Worse Than Hell shirts as a fuck you to those who forced me to remove them. To those who are offended by them and to those who think I’m racist, promoting rape, a nazi, homophobic or just the world’s biggest asshole…well, at least you think I’m something, which means I’ve achieved what I wanted.

Thanks to Gary, Mika, Jacob, Greg, Bob, the black lady who writes our newsletter, and to everyone else who was part of T-Shirt Hell. Time to move on to even greater things. I’ll miss you (by miss, I mean, it’s going to suck not being able to give you my excellent reach arounds when you least expect them).

Fuck you,

-Sunshine Megatron

What do you guys think? Is the excuse a cop out for caving to economic stress? Is Sunshine Megatron legitimate in wanting to stop due to fear for the safety of his employees? Are you sad to see a champion of free speech go, or glad to see an internet eyesore finally pass? Leave your comments below.

Comments

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  1. MaxSmart32 says:

    I…may be one of the people he is railing against, but I don’t really find the shirts that he was touting as being controversial as anything more than…being controversial. I mean…am I missing something? They don’t seem to provide much of a social commentary to me…they’re just inflammatory for the sake of being inflammatory.

    Or maybe I’m wrong.

    At least he’s got a personal ethics and is sticking to them.

    • ForrestWhitakersLazyEye says:

      @MaxSmart32:

      Ugh. They’re funny. Get over it.

      • WBrink says:

        @ForrestWhitakersLazyEye: Some are funny, like the one that baits you into looking on the back and then says “Just kidding. Believe in Jesus!” The rest are pretty bland. Too bad bench-riding activists (which he totally gets right) feed him hate email instead of ignoring the tees.

      • LadySiren is murdering her kids with HFCS and processed cheese says:

        @ForrestWhitakersLazyEye:

        Exactly. Some of the shirts are downright funny, some have a subtle undertext that makes them funny, others are a bit banal and tired. We live in a culture where most of us walk around just waiting to be offended; I wish people would loosen up more and not take themselves so seriously. Also: Sunshine is laughing all the way to the bank, according to some of the news stories I’ve read out there. And bonus: he got to hang out with Ron Jeremy. Something to share with the grandkids, no?

    • GMFish says:

      @MaxSmart32: “they’re just inflammatory for the sake of being inflammatory.

      Yep, that’s it exactly. But you missed that they’re totally fricken hilarious because they are so pointlessly inflammatory.

      • MaxSmart32 says:

        @GMFish: Of course I missed the point – I wasn’t trying to be obtuse, but they just don’t strike me as being particularly anything but banal, as someone else said in the comments below.

    • madanthony says:

      @MaxSmart32:

      It does strike me as pretty silly to be annoyed that your intentionally offensive T-shirt caused some people to get, umm, offended. And I’m not buying that they were some sort of social commentary.

      The other thing I never figured out is, you know, exactly where one wears a “What about all the good Hitler did” shirt.

      • tgrwillki says:

        @madanthony: You’d wear that to a bar mitzvah.

      • Spaztrick says:

        @madanthony: “The other thing I never figured out is, you know, exactly where one wears a “What about all the good Hitler did” shirt. ” Well, maybe when you visit Auschwitz.

        When I was about 18, I visited Dachau. Part of my head was shaved, so the tour guide said I was a skinhead and I was almost booted out. Not a skinhead, not racist, but I do love a funny shirt.

        • SacredByte says:

          @Spaztrick: I’ve been to Dachau… There really isn’t much there; It’s basically (as of April 2006 anyway) just a big field with one recreated blockhouse (that looks much too modern), the SS barracks (which has been converted to a museum of sorts), and a few “memorial sculptures.”

          In all, an afternoon I could have spent better (Read: Gotten more out of) in Munich. Seriously, I remember other things (like a 20 minute period the night before) much more; Like the time one of my friends thought he way buying tobacco products from a vending machine only to find that he had purchased flavored condoms.

        • Wormfather is Wormfather says:

          @Spaztrick: I visited there too, the only camp that didnt have fully equiped showers.

          Me, I’m comptimplating the “black babies” shirt, if only to send my mom into complete coniptions.

      • XTC46 says:

        @madanthony: I have friends who where lots of shirts from t-shit hell. Its about going against what is normally considered socially acceptable. People are overly sensitive and need to relax as a whole, and these shirts push that to an extreme.

    • cuchanu says:

      @MaxSmart32: You don’t think that “it’s not gay if you beat them up afterwards” isn’t social commentary? I don’t think it’s offensive for the sake of being offensive (well… a little bit maybe) but it’s got as much social commentary as “American Beauty” when the redneck dad tried to hump the guy he thought was gay. It’s the same thing. It’s commenting in a harsher way, on the guys who are in the closet or in denial, and are always talking shit about gay people.

      • MaxSmart32 says:

        @cuchanu: I said I didn’t see it. My opinion. I’m not saying I’m right. It wouldn’t be the first time I’m wrong today, and won’t be the last…

    • MaxSmart32 says:

      @MaxSmart32:
      salteater
      4:37 PM

      A couple things:

      1. “It’s not gay if you beat them up after” is only social commentary insofar as you’re commenting on something that happens in society; it’s not deep, it’s not clever, and it’s not something that sparks healthy debate about violence toward homosexuals.

      2. He’s selling t-shirts to socially-maladjusted teenagers. Let’s not give him more credit than he deserves.

      Again, this is what I was trying to express, except I did quite inelegantly.

    • adamondi says:

      @MaxSmart32: There are lots of people who go around holding up a huge, metaphorical “LOOK AT ME!!! I NEED ATTENTION!!!” sign and then make excuses about how they are doing social commentary. But you are right, they are simply inflammatory because this guy wants to be noticed. Hence this line in his manifesto: “well, at least you think I’m something, which means I’ve achieved what I wanted.” Indeed. All he wanted was for people to react to him somehow. Classic attention whore.

      • ohenry says:

        @adamondi: I think the “social commentary” angle could be compared to South Park. If taken on the surface, it certainly could be seen as obscene just for the sake of being obscene, but only if you’re just looking at the surface. If you take what’s saying and note that it’s satire, in the context of what society thinks about the subject, then it is indeed social commentary in a satirical way.

        • Caitfish says:

          @ohenry: I wouldn’t compare this level of “social commentary” even with that found on South Park. It’s not even THAT nuanced and insightful.

    • feckingmorons says:

      @MaxSmart32: “Al Gore didn’t invent the Internet | But he made up global warming.” That is social commentary if you ask me, true and funny too.

    • TCTH says:

      @MaxSmart32: Kind of troll shirts, really. Not much else there.

  2. boomersix says:

    So….He makes controversial shirts, and is quitting because he gets mean emails. I think it’s a load of crap.

    • yagisencho says:

      @boomersix:

      Yep, comes across as self-pitying bull patties if you ask me. Still, I enjoyed the one shirt I bought from them. Or rather, enjoyed the humor. The shirt material itself was of sub-par quality so it didn’t last beyond a few washings.

    • Applekid ┬──┬ ノ( ã‚œ-゜ノ) says:

      @boomersix: Specificly quoted: “Safety of the Employees”

      I’ve noticed a loss of edge over the past year of so… I wonder if they got threats of violence? Yeah, it’s a crime and you can ask authorities to investigate and protect, but will they really pull agents off, say, abortion clinic bombings to protect T-Shirt Hell or the Plastic Vomit Manufacturing Plant?

      I’ll miss them and look forward to the hooker farm promised.

    • mykie says:

      @boomersix: I’d bet that after awhile the mounting pile of hateful emails kind of gets to a person, no matter how prepared or how tough they might appear to be.

      He is human, after all.

      • muddgirl says:

        @mykie: I’d bet that after awhile the mounting pile of “controversial”, unfunny t-shirts insulting #random_group_that’s_not_a_white_male kind of gets to a person, no matter how prepared or how much shit they’ve appeared to go through already.

        We are human, after all.

        • tsume says:

          @muddgirl: Why are white males discriminated against so much? No one insults them, for some reason. Then everyone gets super jealous and comes up with ideas like “affermative action” Everyone should be treated equally. The mounting pile of white-male-is-exempt-from-reverse-discrimination will eventually get to someone.

          We are all human, after all. Even the white male’s and the non white male’s.

    • mythago says:

      @boomersix: Word. And on the “oh, I could sell the business and make millions but I don’t wanna!” Right, buddy. In this economy, somebody wants to pay millions to some little snotbag for a T-shirt company that anybody with a CafePress account could duplicate?

      I’m betting he just ran out of money and got bored, but it wouldn’t be all edgy and retrohip to say that, y’know?

      • boomersix says:

        @mythago: Exactlty what I was thinking as well. Not to mention the people who are out of a job in this economy that work for him. He certainly doesn’t seem to be thinking of them.

      • Shadowman615 says:

        @mythago: Yes, I’m certain he’s overstating his position there. I doubt he could have sold the business for millions, or he certainly would have.

        • mythago says:

          @Shadowman615: I suspect he couldn’t sell the business at all, and I *really* suspect that’s what led to it being shut down. Much more enfant-terrible to claim that you really could have sold it but, oh, nobody with the right vision was offering you those millions…

          • TVarmy says:

            @mythago: Yeah, I thought the same thing. Definitely sounds like a 12 year old kid started and ran this company all these years, and his mind was stuck in the Never-Never Land of emotional development.

            It’s really not social commentary, in my opinion. It’s not calling out the problems in society, or the prejudice or bias hidden in our culture. It’s just making near universally rejected statements, in order to provide shock value, and it’s not done very well or in a witty way, either. I do feel postmodern racism/sexism/etc are okay and probably constructive, but usually the person making those statements is deliberately portraying an ignorant, mean and/or foolish character, or pointing out the flaws of their logic in plain sight (but feigning ignorance to those gaps in logic). Sascha Barron Cohen did this well as Borat, as did Andy Kaufman in his Intergender Wrestling stunts for the WWF/WWE.

            Since I find T-Shirt Hell depressingly amature and awful, here’s a clip of Andy Kaufman in his wrestler persona in case someone needs context.

  3. lulfas says:

    Kind of depressing.

  4. libbybee says:

    That’s some serious internet flouncing, there.

  5. WBrink says:

    I’ve never ordered a shirt from there because the guy is obviously stuck in some 17-year-old faux edginess. WE GET IT DUDE; THIS ISN’T OUR PARENT’S TEE-SHIRT. Oh man you think school shootings are funny. Damn dude, you’re cold blooded.

    Those slogans have the originality of a Nickelback song.

    If you’re going to be controversial, do it with some flair like Oscar Wilde. Don’t have tee-shirts that have an ad-lib construction. The shirts- as far as offensive goes- are about as banal as one can get.

    • xip says:

      @WBrink:

      About 90% of them seem to be typical rebellious teen BS. However, I think that 10% or so are pretty clever. I haven’t bought any either, but every time I read the selection, I get a good laugh.

    • GMFish says:

      @WBrink: “Oh man you think school shootings are funny

      You don’t get it at all. Not even a little bit. The shirt is not funny because school shootings are funny. It’s because school shootings are not funny. It’s called irony: “the use of words to express something other than and especially the opposite of the literal meaning.”

      If you’re going to be controversial, do it with some flair like Oscar Wilde.

      God how fricken narrow minded. “Oh, you should only do music, movies, TV shows and t-shirts based on my very own and very narrow subjective criteria. Anything that I don’t get is total crap.”

      • MaxSmart32 says:

        @GMFish:”The School Shooting Tour” is just stupid, it is not ironic.

      • salteater says:

        @GMFish:

        Irony doesn’t automatically qualify something as funny.

        You might wear the t-shirt because you think you’re being clever or subversive, but everybody else thinks you’re an attention whore. And not even an entertaining attention whore: you’re somebody who calls attention to themselves by wearing a rebellious t-shirt.

        Of course, you missed WBrink’s point entirely. Maybe you would have understood him better if you had seen him wearing his opinion of Oscar Wilde on an ironic t-shirt?

        • BluePlastic says:

          @salteater: I agree.

          Also, he seems to really enjoy pointing out that he made loads and loads of money with his T-shirts, just so you know that he’s not quitting because his business is a failure or anything. I don’t really buy that he’s not selling the business because he’s afraid someone else will mess it up.

      • Weirdsmobile says:

        @GMFish: Yeah, I’d have to say that you pretty much missed the point. Irony doesn’t automatically equal wit. Wit requires some creativity and intelligence. Joking about, or joking about joking about, school shootings in an ironic way requires nothing but the willingness to be offensive. A trait shared by vandals and shit-flinging monkeys.

        The difference between the t-shirts this joker makes and genuine wit is like the difference between a class clown scrawling obscenities on a classroom wall and Banksy. Both can be funny, but let’s not pretend they’re the same thing.

      • mythago says:

        @GMFish:
        1) The fact that other people disagree with you that something is funny does not mean that they simply aren’t on your hip, elevated level of understanding.

        2) Saying something unpopular or offensive does not make you clever, ironic or deep, anymore than a three-year-old who pees on the rug is clever, ironic or deep because, man, you just don’t pee on rugs in front of The Man and his oppressive pee-related mentality!

    • Eyebrows McGee (now with double the baby!) says:

      @WBrink: I actually really liked their wrapping paper. I was always *just about* to wrap my presents in “merry fucking christmas” paper this year.

      • QuantumRiff says:

        @Eyebrows McGee: Indeed, I will miss it. With wife and I talking about having kids in the next few years, I was really looking forward to purchasing a few of their infant shirts, which are even funnier than the adult ones. Sadly, I don’t think I’ll be able to.

    • jnrcorp says:

      @WBrink: “Those slogans have the originality of a Nickelback song.” Rephrase this to “My t-shirt has a slogan thats as original as a Nickelback song” and I’ll buy it.

  6. Tom_Servo says:

    Don’t care. Next.

  7. Ash78 ain't got time to bleed says:

    Kudos to him. I don’t think ill of him at all…free enterprise at work. However, the douchebags who actually wear some of those shirts in public, that’s another story.

    • anonairman says:

      @Ash78:
      Yeah. If people will pay you for something everyone else thinks is horrible… who’s the dumb one: The guy who buys something with no taste… or the guy who makes money off him?

      I wonder how many shirts off his website I’ll recognize… I’ll have to read it when I get home from work.

  8. jjeefff says:

    Are the shirts 100% cotton? I have to reserve judgment until I know for sure.

  9. aguacarbonica says:

    That was a very emo letter he wrote. What is the point in making “controversial” shirts if you can’t take the backlash. Did Orwell stop writing because people didn’t “get” Animal Farm? Please.

    This just smacks of internet culture syndrome. “I’m clever and cynical and flippant, why is everyone else too stupid to understand my SOCIAL COMMENTARY?”

    This person whines about the people who complained that his shirt endorsed a hate crime (it obviously didn’t). But what about the similarly misinformed people who, because of their own prejudices, took that at face value as an endorsement? Why didn’t they get called out?

    I mean hell, was anyone really enlightened by these t-shirts. If not, the social commentary aspect was just ego-stroking, anyway.

    • nataku8_e30 says:

      @aguacarbonica: he sort of called them out “no, not you, you racist idiots who thought we actually had racist intentions”

      • aguacarbonica says:

        @nataku83:

        It sounded more like he was saying that the people who called him racist were racist for making the assumption. That’s how I read it, in the context of the rest of the rant. I could be wrong, but I don’t think so. Why would racist people who supported the face value of the messages send him hate mail? Wouldn’t they be happy?

        • downwithmonstercable says:

          @aguacarbonica: This is probably one of the best posts I’ve ever seen on here. You absolutely hit the nail on the head. It blows my mind how right you are. And no I’m not being sarcastic. Awesome post!

        • muddgirl says:

          @aguacarbonica: Haha, that’s some Rush Limbaugh logic right there: “You are racist for even assuming that I’m racist!”

    • MaxSmart32 says:

      @aguacarbonica: What I wish I could have said in my original post. Well said!

    • GMFish says:

      @aguacarbonica: “What is the point in making ‘controversial’ shirts if you can’t take the backlash.

      I’ve defended him in my other comments, but I have to sort of agree with this. It sounds like he got a lot of pissy emails, not actual physical meat-space threats. Big deal.

      • alexcassidy says:

        @GMFish: No, actually, somebody (allegedly) tried to kill him at least once. Take that with a few grains of salt, internet rumor being what it is, but I find it weird that he’s calling it quits now when that happened a long time ago.

    • theblackdog says:

      @aguacarbonica: Great post, and doesn’t the T-shirt hell person strike you as a long time user of LiveJournal? ;-)

      • aguacarbonica says:

        @theblackdog:

        Oh no. Deadjournal definitely. I don’t know if you remember it, but it’s been around almost as long. The name says it all, but it’s worth one visit for the laughter.

        I’m glad I struck a chord, I guess (unless everyone’s being sarcastic and I’m just obtuse!)

        It’s just that Sunshine Megatron reminds me of a lot of people I know who like to push people’s buttons, but get EXTREMELY upset and indignant that those same people aren’t smart enough to see their wit.

        • theblackdog says:

          @aguacarbonica: Yeah, I do know of Deadjournal. I just figured that Mr Sunshine there was a Livejournal user because he is such a drama queen. It reminds me of when folks would have to throw down a big dramatic post about why they were cutting someone off of their “friends” list.

          /Is a Blogger user now.

  10. Anonymous says:

    I am really disappointed to see this site go. I have bought my fair share of T-shirts from them that raise eyebrows and I believe people need to get a sense of humor.

    Granted, some of the shirts have made me laugh in disgust, but come on, when something is put right in front of you, you can not be afraid that it is coming to get you. When you are forced to see these things for what they are (just like the shirts listed) the fear loses its power.

    Ex.
    It’s not gay if you beat them up afterward – fear of sexuality and homophobia
    Arrest black babies – racial profiling

    Get a grip people.

    Social Commentary over

    • Claytons says:

      @DanaMole: I;m guessing your neither black nor gay.

    • Jubilance22 says:

      @DanaMole: I have 2 shirts from there which I love and wear proudly. I’ll miss this site.

      For anybody that cares, I have the “I’ll be using these to my advantage” shirt & the “Must be this long to ride” shirt. And the Advantage tank has actually gotten me a great deal on a car repair.

    • HoooooooT says:

      @DanaMole: This story totally made me go buy two shirts…the one that says “I should be in the kitchen” (which is HILARIOUS) and the one that says “God Bless America, except Idaho, fuck Idaho”

      • eXo says:

        @hooooooot: HAH, i got my wife the Kitchen shirt as a joke since she can’t cook for shit. She loves wearing it to parties and letting all her friends laugh at the irony, as everyone knows the LAST place she should be is the kitchen.

  11. fcastro says:

    Wow, I use to go to the site just to laugh. Shame but hey that is part of the game. If you can dish it but can’t take it then you shouldn’t be in the game.

  12. Suulia says:

    Sometimes social commentary needs to be shoved into your face for you to notice. This is what he did, and well, too. He did what he wanted and is now moving on. I say good for him, and good luck.

    • SunnyLea says:

      @Suulia: Social commentary does not, in fact, have to be shoved in my face to notice. I’m not exceptionally bright, I don’t think.

      You (and I do mean you) might want to watch your use of “you” there.

  13. floraposte says:

    Huh. I hadn’t heard of this company and thought that the shirt maxims would really piss me off, but I actually found the ones in the article rather sharp. However, I think Mr. Mega has a somewhat overmagnified sense of personal mission and importance, and that we’ve probably long ago achieved a world sufficiency of t-shirts.

  14. unobservant says:

    Can you really sell used ideas for millions? I see those shirts at mall kiosks all over the place.

    Besides the shirt about waking up with marker on your face, I can’t see how people would actually wear those shirts. Maybe I’m just hanging aound with the wrong people.

    Would YOU wear a shirt that says “It’s not gay if you beat them up afterwards”? And if so, where?

    • proskills says:

      @unobservant: Yes, that site has enough traffic to be sold for millions on internet advertising alone.

    • Eyebrows McGee (now with double the baby!) says:

      @unobservant: I own “talk nerdy to me.” I wear it everywhere. People always crack up.

      And “I’m What Willis Was Talkin’ Bout” was worn on Scrubs by JT.

    • SunnyLea says:

      @unobservant: Would YOU wear a shirt that says “It’s not gay if you beat them up afterwards”?

      A gay bar.

      (Seriously, I have no idea. I really hate this sort of in-your-face so-called “social commentary” that often smacks of immaturity. “Talk nerdy to me” aside, because that really is funny.)

      • SunnyLea says:

        @SunnyLea: Sorry, I don’t function today. Obviously, my first comment was meant to respond to the notion of *where* one would wear such a shirt, not *if* one would wear such a shit.

        • SunnyLea says:

          @SunnyLea:<—-(proofread this post 4 times)

          Oh, hell.

          I give up.

          Although, in context, it is kind of a funny typo. That’s gotta count for something, right?

    • humphrmi says:

      @unobservant:

      Would YOU wear a shirt that says “It’s not gay if you beat them up afterwards”? And if so, where?

      I’m a strait male, and 25 years ago I worked as a bouncer at a lesbian dance bar. The women there, back then, would have loved to see me in that shirt.

      • MightyDwarf56 says:

        @humphrmi: But gay wormen are a different animal than gay men. I can say a lot more offensive things around a gay woman(that I’m friends with) than a gay guy, I don’t know why but that’s how it is.

    • TaterTom says:

      @unobservant: “Would YOU wear a shirt that says “It’s not gay if you beat them up afterwards”? And if so, where?”

      To prison

  15. lannister80 says:

    Wow, that guy has an ego the size of a truck.

    • ObtuseGoose says:

      @lannister80: Agreed. The only thing that came to mind after reading that inane diatribe was “major douche bag”.

    • Anonymous says:

      @lannister80: he has a clear vision (however simple), a clear conscience (rightfully) and is doing SOMETHING for society. Getting enough shit for it from groups of people who DO NOT UNDERSTAND neither the basest concept of free speech, or more obviously it’s most nuanced aspects, will piss a person off and provoke a fight. A strong ego is necessary in that case.

  16. mmcnary says:

    I think he’s channeling Lew Ashby.

  17. xip says:

    I’m sad to see him go. People who get offended over t-shirts are idiots.

  18. Pink Puppet says:

    To be fair, the backlash of his company has led to some serious whackjobs having it in for him. Didn’t someone actually try to kill him? I honestly doubt its caving into economic pressure, but the consequences of the fact that he’s made a great living off of making people hate him.

  19. 12-Inch Idongivafuck Sandwich says:

    Good for that guy for making some cash and getting out. I always thought the shirts were funny, but never pulled the trigger on buying one. With him closing down, I guess I’ll probably go pick up a couple…

    People are too sensitive about everything these days, so I can’t blame him for getting fed up with dealing with all sorts of bs…

    • unobservant says:

      @12-Inch Idongivafuck Sandwich: Congratulations! You just fell for his last(?) marketing ploy.

    • cynical_bastard says:

      @12-Inch Idongivafuck Sandwich: my delete button would have been long worn out…

    • Verucalise (Est.February2008) says:

      @12-Inch Idongivafuck Sandwich: I agree. No matter how much you take the heat for shit like that, it eventually gets old. And who gives a crap about whether he’s making excuses on why he decided to close shop. He put some friggin funny stuff out there, made a ton of money, took a lot of flack for it.

      Congrats on the nose candy/hookers farm ambitions. I’m bummed, I never got a reach-around.

    • TaterTom says:

      @12-Inch Idongivafuck Sandwich: Yup, good for him.

      As far as threats to him and his company go, I’m certain they were made. However empty they may have been, I believe the bit of just wanting to do something else. So what if it’s a marketing stunt. That’s what the guy does. The whole business was a marketing stunt. Now he’s off to do something else.

      Aiming doubts about his sincerity and actual reasons for dumping the biz only stands to further publicize it and give attention to his next endeavor.

  20. nicemarmot617 says:

    How can you even run that kind of place unless you enjoy reading the idiot’s emails and laughing?

  21. Tallanvor says:

    My tiny violin. Let me play it for him.

  22. ohnoes says:

    Probably no one bought his t-shirts; his website probably generated a lot of traffic because of the controversy, but who in their right mind would buy a t-shirt from there and then wear it in public, unless they had some sort of “get-my-ass-kicked-in-public-while-wearing-an-inflammatory-t-shirt” fetish?

    • Applekid ┬──┬ ノ( ã‚œ-゜ノ) says:

      @ohnoes: I’ve worn quite a few shirts in public and have never gotten my ass kicked… not even had a fight picked. I’d wager to say most people get the joke… at least in the kinds of areas I hang around.

      • TheWillow says:

        @Applekid:

        I have the one with the strategically placed text that says “I’ll be using THESE to my advantage.” About 50% of the people who see it think the T in These is a C, but either way, everyone loves it. :D

    • TaterTom says:

      @ohnoes: I myself am not a slogan or logo sporting kind of man, but I’ve purchased t-shirts like those as gifts quite a few times.

  23. DerangedRoleModel says:

    What a whiny pathetic fool. That’s what there’s a delete button for.

    • Rectilinear Propagation says:

      That’s what there’s a delete button for.

      @DerangedRoleModel: MTE
      I don’t think having to delete an e-mail counts as having to ‘deal with’ somebody.

      He mentions getting threats but only as an explanation as to why they stopped making the more offensive t-shirts. It’s the normal complaints that got to him. What?

  24. Adrienne Willis says:

    If the shirt offends you dont buy it. If you dont like that I am wearing one of these shirts tough shit. Everyone really needs to grow up. I have bigger things to worry about in my life than t-shirts that make fun of all races, religions and sexual orientations.

    • Adrienne Willis says:

      @Adrienne Willis: continued….and whether or not it hurts your feelings. Boo fucking hoo.

    • Das Kommunist says:

      @Adrienne Willis: I agree. I think some people hear about this site from a friend then check it out.

      Next thing you know, they are sending him hate mail. If you don’t like what you see, close the browser and move along in your life. It’s not like T-Shirt Hell is going to be following you around in a car.

    • rpm773 says:

      @Adrienne Willis: Then what’s the point of wearing such a shirt, if you don’t want people to give you a reaction?

      • Adrienne Willis says:

        @rpm773: I personally did give a shit how people react. I wear something because i like it, simple as that end of story.

        Ive had people tell me that what I am saying is racist, sexist or whatever and I have told them I don’t give a fuck what you think as I wasn’t talking to you. Rude maybe but I don’t care. I am tired of everyone being over sensitive and NOT HAVING A SENSE OF HUMOR.

        Now grant it there is a time and place for everything, I wouldn’t wear the “Slavery works” tee to work but on the weekends you better believe I am rocking that as I go to the beach, supermarket, etc.

        Again boo fucking hoo if you dont like it, I really dont care.

        • MaxSmart32 says:

          @Adrienne Willis: Sorry, if you’re wearing a shirt for “social commentary” then you’d better be prepared to receive some of that commentary. Don’t wear something inflammatory and expect everyone else to keep their mouths shut.

          Free speech works both ways…

          • Adrienne Willis says:

            @MaxSmart32: Like I said before I dont care what people want to say to me on how offended they are because of my private conversation or the shirt I am wearing. I know free speech works both ways but people are over sensitive about everything and expect that because they say to you that they are offended that I am supposed to immediately apologize and kiss their ass.

        • rpm773 says:

          @Adrienne Willis: Saying that you wear something because you like it doesn’t really answer the question.

          There’s some reason why you like it. Is the shirt a nice shade of yellow that goes well with a smashing set of suspenders and corduroy pants in your possession? If that were the case, a plain yellow t-shirt would suffice.

          No, I think it’s because of the verbiage. I suspect you don’t really support slavery, well, maybe you do. While I can’t respect that position, I can respect your honesty for wearing a “Slavery Works” shirt. But then, perhaps something a little more to the point and little less confrontational would be in order. Something like “Ask me why I support slavery” printed on that nice yellow shirt.

          If, on the otherhand, you don’t support slavery but you still wear such a shirt, then you must be fishing for a reaction of some sort. Now perhaps you don’t want a reaction that carries a fist to the face by one who believes slavery “doesn’t work”, as it were, but you may still enjoy the idea of someone rolling his eyes or sighing, etc as he walks past.

          You see, you want to have it both ways. You want to provoke a reaction, but then you want to be able to take the high road with a “if you don’t like it, look the other way” response. My point, though, is that if you don’t get the reaction, then that shirt is essentially worthless.

          Of course, perhaps you roll with a group that takes amusement by laughing and pointing at each others shirts all day, every day. If that’s the case, I sincerely apologize, for I suppose that’s a completely legitimate reason as well.

          • Adrienne Willis says:

            @rpm773: I dont support slavery since my family are direct descendants of it (I am a black female) however I find the shirt funny because well its true, it got shit done! Just like I find the “arrest black babies before they grow up” funny because well lets be honest for a second and look at crime statistics and jail populations.

            I dont want it both ways but I am not going to censor myself because it may hurt your feelings. I feel the vast majority of people that want to cast judgment are the same ones that behind closed doors will say some really racist shit. I am not racist, I just view myself as being real. Humor wouldn’t be funny if it wasn’t based on truth.

            • aguacarbonica says:

              @Adrienne Willis:

              Wow, that’s pathetic. “Just like I find the “arrest black babies before they grow up” funny because well lets be honest for a second and look at crime statistics and jail populations.”

              One black female to another. How does it feel to have a colonized mind?

              • Adrienne Willis says:

                @aguacarbonica: Colonized how? Because I dont choose to be a sheep and think like other black folks should because of the color of my skin? Instead of digging on me how about you get up in arms about the the black on black violence, high teenage birth rates, underachieving in high schools, lack of self respect and pride and the fact that BECAUSE of this people can go out and make t-shirts that say “arrest black babies….”

                You know why I find that shirt funny? Because it isnt me, doesnt apply to me, my immediate nor my extended family. I have great self pride and self worth and I worked hard to get where I am today because of my upbringing, because I was brought up with an open mind and taught that not everyone is the same and you judge people based upon their actions not as a group or the color of their skin. I dont blame my skin color for the mistakes I have made in my life.

                I love being a black female that is open minded, I love that I was brought up to see things for what they are, to see the humor in situations and laugh about it. I love that I can surround myself with people of all races that can look at the world the same way I do. My mind and thoughts are my own and no one can change or influence how I think or what i say. So before you sit there and judge me in the typical black way (that I am in bed with white folks because my views are “anti-black”) how about you take a step back at look at your narrow minded thinking.

                • aguacarbonica says:

                  @Adrienne Willis:

                  Sorry, but you still sound like fourteen year old me. Bootstraps bootstraps bootstraps!

                  It’s sad that you don’t think that those problems apply to you. They apply to society as a WHOLE. White, black, you name it. However, it is particularly sad that a black person would not make this connection because statistically, it is far more likely that you would end up experiencing those social ills than your black fellows. Ideally, that disparity would make the problems more salient to you, whether they personally affect you or not.

                  You actually don’t know what I get up in arms about. I get “up in arms” about all of those things because I believe that black people owe it to themselves (no one else!) to do their best to overcome obstacles that no one will voluntarily move for them, whether they were self-inflicted or not.

                  You are not open-minded, you are brainwashed. I don’t know how else to say it. You have internalized a middle-class ethos of self-determination, which is fine as long as you acknowledge that there are millions of people who have socially imposed obstacles that impede their mobility.

                  Colorblind racism is still racism – that is, the belief that if we ignore race, it simply ceases to be an influencing factor.

                  Also, I think it’s really funny that you think I’m calling you anti-black or saying you are in “bed with white folks.” That’s the typical response of someone who is defensive about being accused of being an “Uncle Tom” and I am sorry if that is your experience (it was mine!) But that is not what I am saying at all. What I am saying is that you seem to be sociologically uneducated. If you are so open-minded, why assume that I am militant or accusing you of being in cahoots with “white people.” I know many white people who agree with me, and I am pretty sure that some of them have posted right in these comments!

                  You are misinformed if you think that no one can change or influence how you think or what you say. Everything you think and everything you say is the product of your environment, your upbringing, your education, and the company you keep. This is the same for all people in a society who share many unique experiences, but also many that are familiar across communities.

                  One last thing: I go to a top tier private school, and probably 60% of my friends are white or Asian. I speak academic English and engage in many interests that are not typically associated with so-called “black culture.” Many people call me “bougie,” or accuse me of being white-washed. I don’t care at all, because I know who I am, and in that respect I sympathize with you. I say all of this to re-emphasize that no matter what assumptions you have (also) narrowmindedly made about me, I am a unique, openminded, individualistic black woman who just apparently has more empathy for downtrodden black people than you. And other racial minorities, and poor whites. And I think t-shirts with slogans are dumb.

                  One last P.S.: African-Americans actually do not in general lack pride or self-respect. Studies have shown that black students, for instance have similar and often higher aspirations than white students. The arising sociological question becomes, why does this respect and aspiration not translate to similar levels of academic achievement?

          • TaterTom says:

            @rpm773:@LochNess: No, you start first.

            @aguacarbonica: I’m pretty sure you missed the point of her reasoning. I took it as ‘arrest black babies before they grow up’ is something that already happens, and drives the stats to their current state.

            @supercereal: A racially charged t-shirt is just not something that’s business attire, or workplace-appropriate. That’s judgment passed before given the option to wear the shirt. I also don’t agree with simply dismissing someone’s statements as a whole because of the words they use. That’s just silly to me, and now that I think about it, is similarly prejudgmental [I guess that’s not really a word] on your part, which equates to racism in my mind.

            @Adrienne Willis: You go girl. You have every right to wear a shirt just because you like it, or for no real reason at all. I bet you can tell us firsthand that you don’t need to explain yourself to the people that physically see you wear it much, and if so, it’s easy to pick out something about anyone that can be considered hypocritical, stupid, or just plain off. Just look at your critics.

            • supercereal says:

              @TaterTom: …and now that I think about it, is similarly prejudgmental…

              Forming an opinion about someone based on a repeating trend in their words and actions? Isn’t that the opposite of “prejudgment”?

              Again, I’ve got nothing against her or anyone’s desire to wear whatever they want. It’s just my experience that the ones who proclaim the loudest that they don’t care what other people think are the ones that want the most attention, positive or negative.

              • TaterTom says:

                @supercereal: I say it was prejudgmental simply because you’ve decided before she spoke that if she speaks curse words, then you will dismiss the surrounding ones. You certainly do have a point about the loudest proclaimers trend, though.

                @aguacarbonica: “she was implying that black babies are more likely to grow into criminals.” That’s exactly what I meant. Apparently, I misunderstood your take on it. I would actually like you to clarify the ‘colonized mind’ remark, though.

                When it comes to humor, though, the opinion of how funny something is relates directly to the audience member’s personal beliefs. If I were to make a joke about a particular religion, I don’t really expect any but the most intelligent and third-person-perspective-capable people of that religion to find it funny. Bill Hicks comes to mind here.

                • aguacarbonica says:

                  @TaterTom:

                  Having a colonized mind means having internalized racial prejudices against oneself. Think of what the word “colonization” means and then draw the analogy to one’s mental state.

                  I have nothing against anyone’s right to wear what they want. But I do grow irritated when black people toss out their race as a legitimizing factor for views that perpetuate systemic inequality.

                  The racial inequalities of the American justice system are not material for a t-shirt quip. I don’t like the attitude that such cynicism can only be understood by the “he most intelligent and third-person-perspective-capable.” I understand it perfectly well; I just grew out of it myself at about age 15.

                  To me, a joke about a wrong implies tacit acceptance that “that’s just the way it is.” And that is an unacceptable attitude to have about social problems.

                  • TaterTom says:

                    @aguacarbonica: “I do grow irritated when black people toss out their race as a legitimizing factor for views that perpetuate systemic inequality”

                    I agree with you, that description seems to be not dissimilar to reverse discrimination.

                    I approve of it simply because a black girl wearing a slogan in faux-support of slavery or police discrimination, to me, points out to people who see it just how silly it is to continue to drag out such prejudices, thereby knocking down that old “that’s just the way it is” state of mine.

                    In fact, it seems as if it is at least more acceptable for a black girl to wear such a shirt than for another race, but, that said, such a stance is, in itself, racist. No one race should have priveleges over another, right?

                    Wow, this is becoming the deepest conversation I’ve seen here yet. Thanks for engaging!

                    • aguacarbonica says:

                      @TaterTom:

                      I guess we just disagree on the purpose and effectiveness of a snippy t-shirt slogan then, and that’s fine :)

                      I think it’s a source of amusement to the cynical, falling on deaf ears to the ignorant, and preaching to the choir to the already informed. And thus sort of useless.

                      And like you, I don’t agree that being black should give you a carte blanche on mocking the plight of black people! Especially if you’re from the middle class and mocking issues that disproportionately affect the poor and which you can only have an intellectual understanding of.

                      Damn, it’s too late to be typing out another thesis on a BLOG. Sorry. Nice debating with you.

            • aguacarbonica says:

              @TaterTom:

              Yeah, I’m pretty sure that you’re the one who is missing the point. That’s what the shirt is supposed to mean. However, in the context of that “slavery works” comment she made, it’s pretty obvious she was implying that black babies are more likely to grow into criminals.

              She’s welcome to clarify. Even if I misunderstood her, it’s still not funny. I can’t respect anyone who believes that such an enormous, (and more importantly as yet unaddressed) social ill is material for a t-shirt quip. You know what else is hilarious in the same way? AIDS. It’s pretty easy to make a joke about it when you’ve never had to watch it destroy your community…

        • supercereal says:

          @Adrienne Willis: I personally did give a shit how people react.

          and

          I wouldn’t wear the “Slavery works” tee to work…

          obviously show that you DO care how people react. Why should you care if you lose your job? You got to express yourself, and that’s all that matters, right? Or do you only care when there are negative repercussions for you?

          Don’t get me wrong, I think all the shirts are hilarious. I even agree with the underlying principle of what you’re saying. Dropping a “fuck” or “shit” (or fillers for the ineloquent and uneducated as I call ‘em) every other line in your rhetoric, though, makes me pretty much dismiss anything you’re saying. Maybe that’s why people judge you.

    • LochNess says:

      @Adrienne Willis:

      Everyone really needs to grow up.

      Starting with you, apparently.

  25. ctaylor says:

    It’s a very passive-aggressive letter without all the passive.

  26. Vivelafat is the Quizat Haderach says:

    I’m glad the black lady that writes your email doesn’t have a name. She doesn’t need one, she’s just that “one black lady”. Yeah, your not racist. Not even a little bit.

  27. squatchie44 says:

    As soon as im off work i will go to the site and buy a few shirts as one final thank you.

  28. trlstanc says:

    The economics make sense. When you’re poor, and all you’ve got are a bunch of ideas for really funny and controversial t-shirts, you’re willing to put up with a lot of crap from the people you offend. But then once you’ve made a bunch of money, and killed a few pandas, the marginal income from selling a few more t-shirts might not be worth the hassel.

    If it was me, and the economy is in the toilet, and if I really believed that I was making a big social commentary that no one got, I might decide to just throw in the towel. Hell, even if I didn’t care about the commentary, it’s probably just not worth getting that many emails from iddiots at some point.

  29. kateblack says:

    Post-adolescent jocks think rape jokes are all funny-ha-ha until someone pulls a Joe Francis on them.

    [www.msnbc.msn.com]

  30. puffyshirt says:

    awesome tag to this

  31. rfjson says:

    I fully understand where he’s coming from. It’s not internet culture syndrome, it’s T.E. Lawrence syndrome. When you work your ass off to do great things and inspire a sense of independent thought in people … only to see them squander all of your effort in their own petty mediocrity, it tends to make you want to give up, take what you have left, and move on.

    So long, sunshine megatron. Try not to die in a motorcycle accident.

    - rfjason

  32. salteater says:

    A couple things:

    1. “It’s not gay if you beat them up after” is only social commentary insofar as you’re commenting on something that happens in society; it’s not deep, it’s not clever, and it’s not something that sparks healthy debate about violence toward homosexuals.

    2. He’s selling t-shirts to socially-maladjusted teenagers. Let’s not give him more credit than he deserves.

  33. copious28 says:

    When I read that, I see a guy slobbering because he is not stopping to swallow his saliva.

  34. rpm773 says:

    Hmmm. What’s the point of designing (or for that matter, wearing) shirts like these if you’re not going to get the reactions that this guy supposedly can’t stand.

    If the point isn’t “look at me, I’m wearing an offensive shirt”, then why not just wear a white t-shirt with nothing on it?

  35. Margaret Powell says:

    I love that he’s quitting :) He sold a really classy “I’m anti-abortion but pro-rape” t-shirt last year that many people complained about.

    What a classy business.

  36. JulesNoctambule says:

    Who’d have thought he was such a whiner?

  37. Jfielder says:

    Haha, the T-shirts must rotten! The site blocked on my work PC for “Profanity, Hate Speach, and Sexual Materials”.

  38. tahamaki says:

    I think it’s a publicity stunt. Just last month he was advertising that he was shutting down the sister website TorsoPants and then decided not to. Previously he pulled some of the shirts due to hate mail and then decided to bring them back. I doubt it’s serious and everyone writing about it is playing into his little game.

    • BlondeGrlz says:

      @tahamaki: BINGO.

    • SunnyLea says:

      @tahamaki:

      I fully expect to hear soon that due to some sort of outpouring of support he will have decided not to shut down the site after all.

      I didn’t know about the TorsoPants thing, which only confirms my suspicions.

    • Cafezinha says:

      @tahamaki: Hell, I didn’t believe the TorsoPants site was shutting down, either. The mister and I both figured it was a publicity stunt and sure enough, the shirts are still around. Dollars to doughuts this is gonna be the same damned thing.

      We bought a few shirts from them, but they were on the milder side–probably would have been sorted into TorsoPants if it had been around at the time. I mostly just subscribed to the e-mails for the amusing shock factor.

  39. BlazerUnit says:

    So basically, this egomaniac is getting out of the vulgar T-shirt business because of the hateful things complete strangers are saying about him. A business that he could have sold for ‘millions’, he’s simply choosing to shut it down for principle.

    Totally believeable to me. Or not.

  40. MichaelLC says:

    Sounds like a spoiled brat who didn’t have him Mommy telling him how unique and special his t-shirts were.

    I’m 100% behind people being allowed to make “edgy” widgets if they want, but yeah, crying about it, not so hip.

  41. admiral_stabbin says:

    Great stunt. I almost believe it. Either way, wanna buy a t-shirt?

  42. Borborygm says:

    I think it’s a PR stunt to get people to buy shirts in admittedly a ‘slow’ period of ‘only 3000 shirts a week’.

  43. DrGirlfriend says:

    Thanks to hate mail, indeed.

  44. WTRickman says:

    I liked

    “What Would Jesus Do for a Klondike Bar”

  45. pauld79 says:

    I own several of his shirts. I have a doctorate. I think he’s a riot.

    I’m also gay and I’m planning on buying the “It’s not gay if you beat them up afterwards.” C’mon, people, that’s hilarious. Back me up here, gays: how many “straight” guys have you met who muttered, “I’ve never done this before”? Uh huh, you mean you haven’t done this since you got drunk last weekend.

  46. Chris Cuttriss says:

    For all the crap that he’s put up with the guy is quite a class act in real life. I was doing some business with him about a year ago and met him for dinner. Walking up to the hostess’ podium (for lack of a better word) and hearing him say “Reservation for Megatron” and watching the woman’s reaction was priceless.

    We had dinner at Nobu’s, a swank sushi place in Malibu, CA. Surrounding us were people in business suits, evening gowns, and what appeared to be 100$ bills plastered to the side of their heads. Sunshine, on the other hand, was wearing a beanie, an overshirt, sandals, and some ragged jeans (read: old jeans). For as rich as he is, he doesn’t flaunt it, and that’s hard to find nowadays.

    If not for anything else, the guy surely accomplishes whatever he sets out to do, so +1 to that.

    • SunnyLea says:

      @Chris Cuttriss: Sunshine, on the other hand, was wearing a beanie, an overshirt, sandals, and some ragged jeans (read: old jeans).

      In a nice restaurant? Sorry, not my definition of a “class act.”

      I am not rich, and I can manage to find nice things to wear to a nice dinner. That isn’t “flaunting.” It’s just manners.

    • Jason Luna says:

      @Chris Cuttriss: You are such a kiss ass… :)

  47. DeeJayQueue says:

    I’d buy that it was maybe social commentary or ironic if I thought the people wearing these shirts were capable of understanding either of those terms.

    Too often I see a shirt with some dumb would-be offensive slogan on it worn by some 14 year old with no sense of anything beyond his peripheral vision, and That’s where I see the irony.

    I say that because when I was 14 I was the one wearing stupid incendiary shirts like that and didn’t really get the meaning or the irony, and honestly didn’t care. Nor did any of my friends. It was just something to get a rise out of people.

    I see these people wearing shirts like this and I think “well, he either thinks I care about his opinions one way or the other, or he wants to get a rise out of someone.” I’m not offended by the slogan on the shirt, I’m offended by the cry for attention.

    • coren says:

      @DeeJayQueue: Just cuz they’re idiots doesn’t mean the message isn’t social commentary or ironic – idiots are fans of a lot of things

      • Celria Cel says:

        @coren: Just because its “ironic” or commenting on events that happen in society doesn’t mean its clever, or funny.

      • DeeJayQueue says:

        @coren: I think the deliverer of the message, in this case the wearer of the shirt, gets to define what that message is.

        Kids with no clue about social issues don’t know how to make social commentary. It’s like an american wearing a shirt with a bunch of japanese characters on it. They have no idea what the shirt says but the characters look cool. Little do they know what they may be promoting or condoning to people who CAN read japanese.

        The same is true. People who look at those inflammatory shirts don’t always get that they’re supposed to be ironic or not serious. Sometimes they take them literally. “Oh who cares about a few idiots who don’t get the shirts” right? But those are the idiots who end up doing dangerous things or having dangerous ideas because they don’t know any better.

  48. Indyken says:

    Ahhhhh that’s too bad all of the bed wetting liberals of the world got to him, it that’s really the truth. Either way, ain’t it great we have a country anybody who wants to can start a viable business on an idea and capitalize on it? I’ll miss having the site around but sure somebody will fall right in line to take this space over.

    Ken

  49. prag says:

    Satire is one of the most difficult things for small minds to grasp. It’s not meant to take literally in much the same way as the Bible is not.

  50. Corporate-Shill says:

    What a pssy.

    There. I disemvoweled myself.

  51. Ann O'Dyne says:

    If those comments are typical of his mail, I don’t even think that qualifies as “hate” mail. Those sound like well worded complaint letters. Jeez what a crybaby

  52. specialista says:

    one shirt says “my feminist marxist dialectic brings all the boys to the yard”. i haven’t seen that on any of my favorite feminist sites… it’s pretty good. makes up for some of the eye-roll inducing others.

  53. cmdrsass says:

    So, he got his feelings hurt on the internet. I guess it’s his first day.

  54. reviled says:

    I love the shirts. I wear the shirts. I’m bummed to see him go based on the witless rantings of a bunch of wanna-be do-gooders.

  55. BytheSea says:

    Those shirts are ugly and childish and represent the worst of our culture. I’m not surprised that this is the kind of immaturity running that site.

  56. Anonymous says:

    If I know drug binges as well as I think I do, it’s possible that he’s either running too low or too high right now. Once he finds the middle ground he’ll come to his senses and remember how much fun it is insulting people.

  57. khiltd says:

    But he doesn’t actually make anything; he just steals from other people.

  58. Corporate_guy says:

    If this is a stunt to get sales. Consider the Consumerist trolled.

  59. Jackasimov says:

    This guy’s shirts are just one naughty word away from what they sell at Old Navy. So, people hate you, big fuckin’ deal, douchebag, bye.

    Yes, please do move on to bigger things…like underwater welding or space station repair because I don’t want you or your kind anywhere near me or mine. It’d be a whole lot different if I’d gone to the site and read one or two funny shirts. But I didn’t. I went to the site expecting to find one or two funny shirts and instead I found zero funny shirts. Just porno set/construction site/frat house/STD clinic humor that I find distasteful because it is wholly unfunny. So, uh, yeah, anyone wanna go in on a easy-money t-shirt business idea I’ve got brewing?

  60. SubarnaAgraulus says:

    In this economic crisis, he decides to shut down his business (and put other people out of jobs) not because of losses (in fact, he flaunts his monetary gains), but because someone called him a bully. How pathetic.

  61. Anonymous says:

    Social commentary with humor huh? He intents to offend, he makes money. Some people don’t like it and tell him so, he pouts cries about it and quits. He’s gone, big deal. Free speech isn’t free it made him money.

  62. Anonymous says:

    I don’t know if anyone else has pointed this out yet (i didn’t have time to go through all the comments) but 2/10 is when the new CPSIA goes into effect. TSH sells children’s clothing — so maybe they can’t afford the lead testing? I have read about other small businesses being forced to close operations because of this.

  63. billy says:

    Right: I make “controversial” shirts. I admit that they are “controversial” shirts. Now I’m mad and shutting my store because people think my shirts are controversial.

    Huh?

  64. Anthony Rinaldi says:

    Whiney P.C. Libtards ruin everything.

  65. derelk says:

    First of all, I just wanted to say that I’m almost positive that “Sunshine Megatron” is a woman, based on subtle references in the T-Shirt Hell newsletters over the years.

    While I often find the shirts hilarious, it’s true they’re not as good as they used to be. Some of them do seem offensive just for the sake of being offensive/funny, but some I think strike more of a social commentary chord.

    I think other commenters have a point that shutting down a site for receiving angry email when you intentionally offend people for a living seems a little ridiculous. At the same time, I can imagine becoming very disillusioned when you receive email after email from people who just don’t get the irony. Some people are so thick and take everything literally, so I’m sure after a while you would feel like you’re wasting your time.

  66. Claytons says:

    T-Shirt Hell’s shirts were as effective as social commentary as is a Redneck with confederate flags plastered all over his truck. Not all social commentary is good, especially if it’s presented in a way that the bulk of the audience will miss the point.

  67. HawkWolf says:

    there’s probably no reason for me to say this…

    but I don’t like offensive tee-shirts. I just think it’s tacky. I once had to do a group presentation and the group opposite us (it was a competition) had this leader guy who was very politically outspoken and also a punk. (as in, punk rock and politics.) He wore a teeshirt that said, “Fuck Bush”. To a group presentation in a programming class. Everyone else in the class wore at least business casual.

    They lost. He spent the bus ride home talking shit about us for winning, wearing his “FUCK BUSH” teeshirt and blue hair.

  68. closethipster says:

    Good riddance.

  69. Brian Johnson says:

    Some are okay, the rest are just trying too hard to be funny. And there is absolutely no satire on any of those shirts.

  70. zacwax says:

    Now where will I be getting my “Eat me I’m kosher” shirt.

    Also I give it a week before Hot topic rips them off

  71. bigbadbyte says:

    I am a huge progressive and that site was hilarious. Refusing to acknowledge anything that even touches the subject of race is close minded. The more we make race taboo, the more you create this dichotomy on race, the more you just ingrain yourself into a racist system. Just reading those shirts gave me a good amount of joy over the years. I may have to make a last minute contribution to his vice fund.

  72. Anonymous says:

    “Social commentary”? In what way did this person educate the public about any particular views he held? His t-shirts were not *about* homophobia or racism; they were merely homophobic and racist. What did this businessperson do with his earnings? Donate to groups that fight the ignorance and hatred that prompts people to say the types of thing printed on his shirts? Did he work to make social change, or just capitalize off our society’s most entrenched social problems? Good riddance to bad rubbish.

  73. Anonymous says:

    I was actually on their mailing list for a while and every edition there was a “best of hate mail” kind of thing where they chose a hilarious email someone sent and then made fun of it. So I don’t think they were necessarily sissies about the hate mail because they used to milk it for laughs.

    Also, you could get email through them at one time and so I had an email address that was @punchmyvagina.com. It was hilarious (but very clunky email to actually use but I clearly wasn’t using it for the features).

  74. dmc says:

    News flash: there are idiots on the Internet. Film at 11.

  75. jsboehm79 says:

    I’m sad to see it go. I’ve ordered from them before, they ship fast, have good customer service.

    The shirts are funny, I have the 100% Organic one and I get comments on it all the time.

  76. lostsynapse says:

    They offer an option of printing on American Apparel cotton tees

  77. Louie Colon says:

    Sunshine Megatron has no cojones… Seriously the three examples of t-shirts he gave certainly should be expected to garner negative responses… I mean, don’t get me wrong, they are funny… offensive but funny… Much like I’d expect to get nasty looks, and perhaps jumped in the wrong neighborhood for the black baby tshirt, this person should certainly expect the negative feedback he gets on the shirts. If they truly wanted to stick it to everyone they’d remain open, make more offensive shirts, and ride it out… the fac tthat he’s closing because of the responses tells me their thin skinned and shouldn’t have pushed the envelop so far in the first place.

  78. DriverB says:

    I’m sure some of them are quite funny and would qualify as social commentary, but as we all know. . .there are an awful lot of asshats out there who would come across/wear that stuff because they mean it.

  79. Shawnette Smart says:

    Hey Sunshine. Hope you get this. I like your going away letter. Maybe some satirical writing is in you future. Best Wishes. Shawn

  80. Boulderite says:

    He seems a bit creepy

  81. I_have_something_to_say says:

    You have to be kind of a douche to wear most of those shirts anyway but it’s too bad the guy is closing his doors. I’m not sure what he expected though – running that kind of business is always going to attract the kinds of people he clearly hates dealing with.

  82. electrogeek77 says:

    I was never offended by his shirts. I just thought they were dumb. He tried too hard to seem “dangerous”, when really anyone could have come up with those “jokes”. And obviously the experience left him with an inflated ego, as seen in the letter.

  83. ninjatoddler says:

    Hurray! Less spam!!

  84. Anonymous says:

    God this is depressing. I loved the stuff.

    Where to wear such apparel? It was great as stagewear while I was performing with my band. Great stuff to wear around the house or (since I live close to New Orleans), the French Quarter.

    Once, I even went to a gay banquet with some of my homosexual friends with the ‘Straight’ shirt just for laughs. (And yes, while it was a big hint of my orientation, the clientele there actually got in on the joke and laughed out loud at it).

    Methinks this is less about nasty e-mails and more about possible personal threats? I can imagine what type of idiots wrote in to him.

    Sunshine Megatron, whatever your next great startup is, keep your e-mail list active so you can alert me. I’ll be proud to be one of your first customers for that next adventure.

  85. razremytuxbuddy says:

    He didn’t stand for anything important like free speech. He was just a guy trying to make a buck off of shock value. Not the first dude to try that, and not worth my time to figure out if his reason for shutting down is legitimate or if he’s lying about it. But I suspect he’s lying, and the truth is no one was willing to pay him anything for a business that’s basically just a series of lawsuits waiting in the wings.

    As soon as he’s closed up shop the next offensive tshirt maker will step forward and fill the void.

  86. kyle4 says:

    I would actually wear several of those t-shirts. I’ve never seen that site before now but read all of them and I’m not very offended. I was more offended by Chuck P’s book “Choke” then all of that entire website. It’s satire.

  87. loueloui says:

    Why should we care? I’m not one who offends easily, but I just don’t like things that suck. It would be different if they were funny, but they’re not. These shirts are totally irrelevant to anyone except 14 year-olds with their mom’s credit card, and drunken frat boy douchebags. Maybe everyone finally realized that a cheap chinese rag with some snarky comment does not make you look cool, or even good.

    The world is a better place not that T-shit Hell is gone, and I for one won’t miss it.

    One down 79,9999 more to go.

  88. eGRENADE says:

    Glad I got my shirts when I did.. “Fucking Classy” and “Go local sports team and/or college”

    RIP

  89. J.Heck says:

    My favorite t-shirt in my wardrobe is one from TSH…

    The front says: “I’m the new Pope” and the back says: “Who wants to go to Heaven?”

    I’ll miss t-shirt hell. I hope I have enough money left over from my paycheck this week to buy one or two before he kills the site.

  90. cynicgrl says:

    I’m disappointed that the t-shirts are only 10% off for the final two weeks. At least give a girl a bargain before you leave her flat, geez.

  91. Ssscorpion says:

    I too am sorry to see T-shirt Hell go. I get their newsletters and I have a really cool email address from them.

  92. BStu says:

    “I make all these ‘edgy’ shirts to offend people, but then folks have to ruin it by being offended.”

    Seriously, this guy is like the biggest wuss on the planet. What business did he think he was in? You sell t-shirts designed to piss people off. When you are a SUCCESS at that, you pitch a fit, take your ball, and go home? Is this parody or is he really this oblivious and hypocritical? I just don’t know.

  93. SacraBos says:

    I remember seeing a guy in Landover, MD selling t-shirts that had a charactature and the phrase “God’s Perfect Creation: The Black Man/Woman”. Looked like it was a nicely done shirt.

    But I couldn’t help but imagine the calls of racism and angry letters one would get if somewhere someone sold a similar shirt with the phrase “God’s Perfect Creation: The White Man”. After all, that would be wrong, wouldn’t it?

    I don’t know if he’s BS-ing or not, but I can understand his point of view.

  94. Alexander J Arent says:

    Gee. you make t-shirts that offend 90% of the world. Then you wonder why people won’t buy them. Then you call those people ignorant. Let me respond point-by-point. The shirts offend people because they’re wise enough not to buy them, as not everyone is a straight white male with a 100k+/yr job. People won’t buy them because they will alienate their friends, offend people in public, and generally be nothing more than props in their pathetic lives. And finally… you’re calling the people that refuse to buy your product ignorant. No. Clearly, in thinking that your small little internet storefront is worth “millions of dollars” is the ignorant part here.

  95. Destonio says:

    This man is a modern-day hero. I own a half dozen, from the Fallwell “Dick in a box” to the Obama/Hillary’s “Bros before Hos.”

  96. CSUSam says:

    I have a few shirts form there and loved that store. People would ask me how I could wear shirts like that, and my response was somewhat a more subdued and much shorter version of what was said up there. I will miss buying the occasional shirt from them, and laughing at all of the ones I didn’t buy.

    I completely buy him doing it for the safety of his employees, as he was actually poisoned a few years back. He took down the Worse Than Hell section for a little while after that, if I remember correctly.

    • mythago says:

      @CSUSam: Poisoned? You mean somebody spit in his food and he got Hep A, or do you mean he invented a big dramatic post about how the proles who didn’t understand his vision were out to get him?

      Sorry, if he really was attacked and physically threatened, that is absolutely inexcusable, but given the ego-jack-off of a letter he posted about closing the business, I have my doubts.

  97. Wyrenth says:

    Who?

  98. GTB says:

    I ordered shirts a lot from Tshirt hell back in the heyday, before they started self-censoring the really horrible shit. The stuff on there now is tame, and no tshirt is worth 20 bucks.

  99. MrFrankenstein says:

    Sad to see the place go.
    A lot of the shirt slogans were lame, but there were some killer ones that made me cackle.
    And that’s not a bad thing.

    Its always been a shame that the site never pushed the envelope politically. (Okay well it did it in terms of what US folks think is ‘edgy’ – but never got near the deliciousness of the Osama Bin Laden worship t-shirts that I’ve seen in Africa…)

  100. P_Smith says:

    I never bought any of his shirts. Not because I was offended, but because people around me would have been offended. I got the point, but most people wouldn’t.

    As Colonel Kurtz says in Apocalypse Now: “We train young men to drop fire on people. But their commanders won’t allow them to write ‘fuck’ on their airplanes because it’s ‘obscene’.” With all the problems that exist and the lack of education indicative of people’s inability to focus on the problems, small wonder the same idiots don’t grasp what the shirts were about.

    The company’s owner deserves a cheer for standing by his principles. It’s disappointing to see him silenced, but it’s better than selling out. I raise a glass to him, and the middle finger to anyone too dim or tight-assed to get the point of his shirts.

    Or to repeat another well known phrase, “My duty is to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable.” He may not have done much of the former, but he certainly did the latter, which is something we need more of.

    Maybe I should start such a company, now that there’s a void in the market.

    • mythago says:

      @P_Smith: The well-known phrase about “afflicting the comfortable” was not about waving your dick around to ‘ironically’ make shitty comments about gays or blacks and pretend that, hey, it’s social commentary.

      If you love this shirts, good for you. Post about it on your angsty MySpace page. But don’t kid yourself that you were making the world a better place or striking a blow against TEH MAN. You were getting people to be shocked by being an asshole. Yay for you!

    • newfenoix says:

      @P_Smith:
      OUTSTANDING!!!
      I’m glad that some people still understand reality.

  101. moore850 says:

    Sounds to me like he’s trying to say that they were getting emails more on the side of threats if he is looking out for the safety of his employees, the letter doesn’t directly state that but there’s no reason to assume this isn’t authentic. No one would say that safety was a concern if it wasn’t a real concern.

    • Rectilinear Propagation says:

      @moore850: But he isn’t quitting because of the threats, the threats are why they stopped doing the more controversial stuff.

      He’s quitting because they can’t do the more controversial stuff and the stuff they were still doing was still getting non-threatening hate mail.

      What he wants to happen is to make the most offensive stuff possible without getting any hate mail. That’s lame.

  102. boxiom says:

    Damn city dwelling hipsters.

  103. tc4b says:

    Drama. Sell more shirts, don’t sell shirts, live your live, be happy, whatever. But this swan song is just drama.

  104. wdnobile says:

    Wait – let me get this right… he is running a “successful” buisness in one of the worst ecomonic climates in history but he is closing anyway? Because he gets a lot of hate emails?

    So basically this letter he wrote says “Hello. Im a big pussy so Im punking out. Later.”

    good riddance. wuss.

  105. Anonymous says:

    have always loved the store and the shirts. people should laugh a little more and not get offended at every little thing. sad to see them go. gonna have to buy a coupla shirts while I still can

  106. Deleriumb32 says:

    If this is social commentary, it’s the commentary of the pseudo intellectual. What good is it actually doing? Does Sunshine think that wearing a t-shirt is any less of a half-assed campaign because of people’s lazy, just enough passion for a [t-shirt], ideals towards a misguided cause?

    True social commentary makes people think and can spur change. Seeing a t-shirt that says, “Slavery works” will not make someone do anything positive.

    It may be irony, but that doesn’t make it a positive contribution to the world. It may shock people, but it won’t shock them out of their current mindset. I’m not really offended by them, I just find them pedestrian and overwrought.

  107. RamV10: The Axeman Returneth says:

    I have a bunch of tshirthell shirts and I’ve never gotten anything but laughs from them. I even wore my “Don’t mess with Texas (it’s not nice to pick on retards)” shirt to texas last year.

    I guess I’ll have to order a couple this week before they go out of business.

  108. Anonymous says:

    He sounds like an idiot, and he probably is. But I don’t get what the big deal is about the shirts. Some of them are funny, some of them are tasteless, some of them are tasteless but still funny. And who cares if they’re authentic social commentary, they’re just t-shirts. If you really do think social commentary really has the power to spur change! and make people abandon their prejudices! and also maybe please fill the hole in the ozone layer!, tell that to the man in that photo holding up the “HOMOSEXUALS ARE POSSESSED BY DEMONS” sign or the members of the neo-nazi movement.

    HIV isn’t even remotely funny to the people who are dying from it or losing people to it, but when Sarah Silverman talked about making lemonAIDS, it was funny, and I don’t recall anyone attempting to pillory her for it. Sometimes all we have is humour, black and twisted and when you actually get down to it, not really all that funny. It’s all one big joke and it’s on us. Lighten up.

  109. ZukeZuke says:

    Ahh, he sells t-shirts meant to offend people and then he gets his feelings hurt when he has to hear the backlash? Poor emo baby can’t take the heat? What a p*ssy man-child. They should make one last shirt commemorating their closing – “You made us cry, so we’re taking our ball and going home.”

    I suspect this is just a marketing ploy to get more traffic to their site, and they’ll announce their triumphant return in a week or so after. Heck, I clicked the link… You know, when they come back, they could have another shirt – “You thought you made us leave, but we fooled you. So F you.”

  110. Anonymous says:

    Anyone that gets offended over a t-shirt that is obviously designed to rile you up needs to relax and take life a little less seriously. I don’t think his shirts were worthy of the label “social commentary” but they were funny; and even if I didn’t think they were hilarious I’m sure someone did, and that was the point-amusement. Everyone needs to be able to laugh in the face of the ridiculousless of prejudices, and none of those prejudices need to be singled out or neglected. I admire his equality. One thing I will truly miss when T-Shirt Hell is gone: the section of the email updates where they post hate mail and their responses to it, much like the article above. Who doesn’t love seeing idiots getting self-righteous and railing about their bigoted opinions with, usually, horrible grammar that makes you laugh until your sides hurt and wonder how on earth this chauvinist expects anyone to take them seriously when they sound like an ignorant child, stupidly spouting the beliefs handed down through generations of morons.

  111. dlab says:

    I can understand. It’s a thankless job and it must get annoying as heck to deal with people bitching all the time. That’s why working tech support sucks so bad. Hope he continues to spread snarkiness and sarcasm throughout the world.

  112. cinnarose says:

    I’m glad I got my Swallows shirt when I did.

  113. Anonymous says:

    I totally sympathize with them. I am a programmer, and last year I came up with a really useful web app for travellers. My friends and family really loved it, so I put up a website so the public could use it for free. You would not believe the outpouring of malice and hate I got for providing this free service. I ended up volunteering several hours a day for strangers for whom nothing was good enough — The program did not have all the features that everyone wanted; The “business” wasn’t professional enough; It was my fault if they couldn’t locate my emails in their junk folder; I must be running some sort of scam for providing it for free. For every legitimate, normal email I would get, there would be 30 complaint emails. Then when I gave up and took the website down there was even more criticism for NOT providing the free service — I was a wuss and not professional or dedicated. Whether you are making money or not it is totally exhausting dealing with mean and hateful people and sometimes it is just not worth it.

  114. Anonymous says:

    Understandable, got hundreds of death threats and hate mail every day for years. I think he was even poisoned at one point. Start losing “inspiration” and it stops being fun, time to call it quits.

  115. brodie7838 says:

    That’s the best farewell letter anyone could write.

  116. Anonymous says:

    I too will be sad to see T-shirt hell gone. I bought a few shirts from there and still wear them, in public. I’ve been harangued by people who didn’t “get ” them , and by people that thought hey were somehow offending them personally.(contrary to popular urban myth, there is no law to prevwent people from being offended. And the creation and wearing of such t-shirts is protected by the first amendment) I’ve many other people laugh with me over them and ask where I got them. Glad to know he made money doing something he enjoyed; and I can understand that if it’s not enjoyable anymore it’s time to do something else.
    Thanks for the shirts. hope someone else fills the void.

  117. Geblah187 says:

    The day the internets stood still … :(

  118. Cocotte says:

    For all those who called a sale-boosting fake: you were right.

    And I concede I fell for it and bought a few shirts because I thought it was my last chance, even though money is hella tight right now. Well bugger.

  119. KeithPellig says:

    I think it’s all pretty funny. He admits it’s a little of both, but I reckon a little more of the econ troubles. The shirts are funny, especially the eco ones, and there is something of a social commentary in them. People these days are hung up on being PC and condemning those who show even a glimmer of individuality, and the shirts are the opposite of that, I suppose. I think they’re mostly just funny though.