News from the Tennessee Valley Columnists


Here’s a message for bawdy T-shirts

If things ever go poorly in this newspaper gig, I may have a future writing insulting slogans for teenage T-shirts.

Here's the first offering:

"My parents are idiots for buying me this T-shirt."

There must be a lot of money in displaying poor taste, bad attitude and insults on clothing. My children are among the best customers, I'm sorry to say.

While shopping for clothes earlier this year, one of my sons held up a T-shirt to see if it would pass Dad's censorship.

"I ride the short bus," the shirt said, referring to students with disabilities who ride special school buses.

I shook my head no and let him know I was disappointed in him for asking. I'm amazed that a clothing company would stoop so low.

That's why I'm so proud of a group of girls from Pittsburgh who are leading a campaign against Abercrombie & Fitch's "attitude T-shirts."

One of the retailer's offending shirts reads: "Who needs brains when you have these?"

Another states: "Blondes Are Adored, Brunettes Are Ignored."

"What these girls are saying is we would be happy to shop at your store, but we want you to sell smarter clothing and clothing that doesn't demean your customer base," Heather Arnet, one of the founders of the group, said in an Associated Press report.

One of my sons complained about a bully at school who constantly belittles him with insults. I told him that jerks in junior high often end up losers in adulthood.

"Tell the bully, 'That's OK, buddy. You'll be working for me some day,' " I advised my son.

When he found a T-shirt that said, "Someday you'll work for me," he was ecstatic.

I let him buy it, but in the spirit of civility it was probably a bad idea.

I think we have enough attitude circulating among our youths. They get it from watching too much bad television, playing too many bloody video games and spending way too much time sitting on their butts, viewing the Internet.

Controlling it all takes vigilance, determination and a willingness to be the bad guy at home. I think less entertainment and more old-fashioned work would do all of our children good.

T-shirts aren't the problem. They're the writing on the wall.

Scott Morris Scott Morris
DAILY City Editor

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