Here’s Something I Never Thought I’d See On a T-Shirt

Yesterday at the Sidewalk Café where I like to first-draft in longhand, I saw a guy walk in wearing the most extreme T-shirt I’ve seen in a long time. It depicted a pair of B-52s dropping—not bombs, but crosses.

Big red crosses.

(Here’s what I wrote yesterday, with some elaboration/revision) Crosses. And Americans get upset with progressives’ depictions of Xistian Nationalism. If I was Muslim, I’d be pissed right off. “We aren’t just bombing you; we’re converting the survivors. Accept Jesus or eat more cross-shaped bombs.”

Horrifying, nauseating, unacceptable in any halfway-sane country. But its wearer means this imagery in specific terms, in defiance of what he thinks he’s encountering here.He looks like he recently visited the USS Alabama and looks to be out for a little Xistian payback for 9/11 all these later by, oh, I don’t know, killing or converting all three billion Muslims. Look: Forget killing. Just wrap your minds around the idea of enforced, mass conversion. “Convert or die.” Does that sound like anyone familiar to you from world history, perhaps? And who the fuck wants to go down that road?

No. sorry, white Xistian Americans. You can’t kill all the Muslims, neither can you convert the rest. Islam is a long-standing presence in our reality; get used to it. To deny that is to deny certain fundamentals (sic) of history. Besides, you probably didn’t much like it when certain protesters, rioters, and fighters spouted off against Bush and Cheney but, come on: Iraq was undeniable an illegal war (for which no one has yet been prosecuted), and Afghanistan so badly handled the Karzai govt. is now making overtures to the Taliban.

Karzai. The fucking Taliban. No kidding.

(From this morning’s entry, again with some revision) If only I could’ve photographed the shirt, but the wearer didn’t look a bit interested in my taking the photo, so—I didn’t. Still, it took either industrial-sized balls or the brains of a jelly doughnut, take your pick, maybe both, to wear that shirt anywhere. This guy made a conscious decision, or as conscious a decision as he ever makes, when he got dressed yesterday morning. He made that one. What could’ve inspired him? Not love, surely not as Christ explained it. A fucking B-52? “I come to bring not peace, but a sword.”

Oh, that Jesus and his contradictions. Sermon-on-the-Mount Jesus had other things to say on the subject.

Now, if this dude had real cohonés, he’d wear that shirt in beautiful downdown Baghdad—during the day, and outside the erstwhile Green Zone, mainly because of the lack of reliable electricity elsewhere and people would really want to get a good look at this particular shirt….Then we’ll see about his balls….also his liver, spleen, and intestines, I should think. I give him no longer than thirty minutes before some of al-Sadr’s boys get, well, medieval on ol’  Convert-’em-All. Or: How about certain Detroit neightborhoods? Again, during the day and in full public view (there’s a lack of reliable electricity in some of those neighborhoods as well).

hy did he choose the Sidewalk for his minor-league piece of performance art? Did he really think somebody was going to start something with him? Far as I know, no one did. Still, he was giving people he perceived as progressive, etc., the Xistian middle finger. I found it unmistakable. Sure, I was offended, but I’ve already gotten into trouble at the Sidewalk, so I made a choice of my own, and let him go without a word. He knew I’d seen it, tho. He has no clue what I’m doing with it.

This. That’s what.

He becomes yet another poster boy (he’s my age) for the current state of white Xistian (as opposed to Christian) American ignorance, which in turn allows these callow politicians on all sides but primarily the hard Right, the one-percenters, to run the political table as they have.

So this nervy asshole calls this a politico-religious statement? OK. I’ll wear my Free Marc Emery T-shirt to a DARE rally. Or this idiot’s “church.” oh, wait: most Americans of his ilk don’t regularly attend church. And oh, by the way, we are talking about the Sidewalk Café as our setting here, not the public library this fuck would never recognize anyway.

Ah, Xistian values. They still look, sound, and smell like shit.



About johnwylam1957

I'm a poet and teacher now living in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
This entry was posted in Culture/Politics, Life "After". Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Here’s Something I Never Thought I’d See On a T-Shirt

  1. Once again – you’re spot on…right….I’m fortunate to belong to a church that taught a class about the Islamic religion – but it was in NO WAY bashing it in any way, shape or form…It focused on the similarities between the Islamic and Christian religions as well as the true history (which wasn’t negative) about Islam…I walked away APPRECIATING the religion and not HATING those who belonged to it…….I belong to a progressive Methodist church…Conservative in some ways but very loving, open and inclusive and never stating that it’s got to be “our way or you’re going to hell”….Wish more people would belong to a church like this – but well……that’s just not the case….

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