Tech Life The proof we built something

The Deal with All Those Fucking T-Shirts

If you’ve dated a software geek or just rifled through said geek’s clothing, you’ll invariably run into a stash of corporate wear. These are the t-shirts, hats, polo shirts, fleeces and various other crap adorned with company/product logos and tag lines.

Every geek has a stash. It doesn’t matter if they’ve worked in the industry for two days or twenty years. There’s a pile of corporate wear sitting somewhere gathering dust.

In general, corporate wear is just plain embarrassing. Whether it’s corporate logos a’blazin’ or obscure product code names, this apparel should not be worn outside of the mother ship. It was intended for one of two things: free advertising or as a token team building trinket. It was not intended for public usage and when it is worn, it only further the geek stereotype that we’re a bunch of boobs who don’t know how to dress ourselves. Still, we wear it. We keep it. We keep it longer than we should and they is a very good reason.

We keep it because it’s the only thing they actually build.

Software geeks are bit pushers. Their job is to constantly rearrange ones and zeros into interesting and profitable configurations. They have the added joy of having to do this under managers and architects who are constantly pushing them for bigger, better, and faster. Yes, they get lots of sexy hardware to do this bit pushing, but, at the end of the day, all that pushing bits around results in, well, bits.

Yes, there is often a useful product generated by all this bit pushing. Sometimes it’s a great product. Sometimes it’s generates lots of money and results in big gains in stock price. People get rich. People buy more stuff. The geek that started this whole thing might be lucky enough to get rich, as well, but what are they getting rich on? Bits. Ones, zeros, that’s it. This brings us back to the t-shirts.

For many geeks, corporate wear is the only actual proof that they did anything with their lives. Yes, they can drag their friends to Fry’s and point at boxes of their software to give they actually built something in the physical world, but the boxes aren’t what they built. They merely contain the media which contains the alleged product.

We’re not losing sleep over this. Living in a digital world means you taking the existence for most things granted (“I trust the person on the other side of iChat is who thy say they are” or “With this smiley, I am sure that every understands that I am being sarcastic”). Software geeks, of all people, are intimately familiar with this. They are also engineers, people who apply scientific and mathetical principles to practical ends. Translation: they like to build shit. Anyone who every touched a tinker toy knows that being able to touch what you create is where the gratification lies.

20 Responses

  1. Shirts exist because untalented bimbos have nothing better to do in the officeplace and therefore they exist to plan parties, make coffee, make sure the dishes in the break room are clean and… make shitty t-shirts for their idiot officemates. Me, I like the shirts, they’re great for cleaning up cat barf, drying my car or as a, uh, dreamcatcher.

  2. krahli 13 years ago

    Heck. I thought we were going to hear more about Jerkcity t-shirts.

  3. I’d buy a shirt with nothing but a picture of spigot pointing and screaming on the front (or rands gayface with his hands up, or pants screaming and panicking, or deuce screaming and flailing his fists)

  4. Orion 13 years ago

    Does “dreamcatcher” mean jerkrag/spoogemop/tosswipe?

    I would like a T-shirt with Spigot (point & shout) on the back, emblazoned with the legend “Jamming the Hose” or possibly “It Goes in Your Face”.

    On the front should be a small logo just above the left nip with Pants doing the scream and panic thing and the word Jerkcity just beneath it.

  5. I would like a Jerkcity t-shirt which I can wear to work without getting fired. (But no one asked me)

  6. actmodern 13 years ago

    I’d like a jerkcity t-shirt which I can wear to work and get fired, and then have some massive lawsuit with lawyers pulling out their dicks and HUGUGHLUGHG (STILL JERKING)

  7. Rands, you hit the nail on the head. It’s SO TRUE that t-shirts (and other goodies to a lesser extent, should they be available) are the only tangible proof of life most geeks have. I remember when Lycos outsourced their search engine, one of the biggest disappointments (other than getting laid off) was when we didn’t get the long-promised t-shirts.

  8. Orion 13 years ago

    If I were really brave, I would have one with Pants saying, “I’ll let you poke her in the cunt with a pencil”.

    Again gentlemen, note the use of the subjunctive to indicate a condition contrary to fact.

  9. i think people are clamoring for simplicity in tshirt design rands. give the people what they want!

  10. Orion 13 years ago

    While you’re undoubtedly correct in your assertion that I (at least) desire simplicity – nay, elegance – in my Jerkwear, I would be more interested in getting hold of any *at all*.

    Or does the thought of literally *tens* of loyal fans wandering around emblazoned with images of Rands, Spigot, et. al. give the Jerkcity players hives?

  11. While in Vegas, I saw a t-shirt design that I thought we apply nicely to a Jerkshirt.

    FRONT:

    HBUABHAAHGUBUAGLUBAUGBLAV

    BACK:

    http://www.jerkcity.com

    Black shirt, long sleeces, nice font. Thoughts?

  12. krahli 13 years ago

    That’d be fine. I’m just fairly eager to be mobile ad space.

  13. Eliza 13 years ago

    OKAY BESIDES THE FACT THAT THIS WHOLE WTF-IS-UP-WITH-T-SHIRTS POST WAS MY IDEA

    No more fucking t-shirts, Jerk or otherwise. Stickers, patches, lunchboxes, novelty icecubes, glow in the dark vibrators in the shape of Pants, with jelly Deuce sleeve (with nubbies).

    Something none of you mentioned, probably because you’re all fat dorks so it doesn’t affect you, is that none of these shirts come in sizes smaller than GAMER. That’s like 8X or something. I can’t wear that shit; I swim in it. How can I show off my nubile mammaries and adorable abdomen? Jerkcity baby-tees or tank tops for the Jerkclitties, PLZ.

  14. actmodern 13 years ago

    I’d get one of those HBUABHAAHGUBUAGLUBAUGBLAV t-shirts but can it say:

    HBUABHAAHGUBUAGLUBAUGBLAV (STILL JERKING)

    ?

  15. krahli 13 years ago

    T ELIZA 8X?! I’M NOT TRYING TO DRESS MY XBOX!!! LOL! SIMP!#@

  16. The reason I like “HBVUABHAGUHBAVUHGHUAUBH” without anything like “STILL JERKING” is that it’s work safe. It’s also a nice and embarassing CONVERSATION TOPIC.

  17. Darien, I have yet to begin to jerk! 13 years ago

    That’d be fun to explain… perhaps people will think it’s acronym and you’d have to stare at your shirt while making things up…until they see you walk away “wait…JERKCITY???”

    JC strikes again!

    Half a closet full of ADWEAR the only thing which makes me chuckle is the Apple Newton shirt I got I DON’T KNOW WHERE …seriously I had a newton… I had two newtons… but where on earth I got the shirt I don’t know I’ve never had a connection to Apple and certainly not back when I was IN SCHOOL.

    ~Darien, I also think we’re ignoring the small geeks.. who need a Small-medium as well …

  18. T Rands;

    Re:FRONT:

    HBUABHAAHGUBUAGLUBAUGBLAV

    BACK:

    http://www.jerkcity.com

    I slike it fine because I can surf in it (wit’ no pants on,lol)

  19. Armin Tanzarian 13 years ago

    i found a jerkcity shirt on ebay recently…

    it was the “Duck Duck Goose” episode-only $3.

    Rands, is this an official licensed Jerkcity product, or is there somebody out there making bootleg Jerkcity merch?

  20. At this rate, any Jerkshirts would be appreciated. The “HUAGABAGABAGLUAGBLABUAG etc.” shirt would be a good idea, but I also liked the ideas thrown out above. The whole “work-safe” thing is admittedly a good idea as well, though I’ll miss not being able to, say, have the “WIN/WIN” comic on a shirt.

    T Eliza I wear between small and medium, which doesn’t place me within the “HURR BLUH CHEETOS AND TWINKIES AND BONGHITS AND OH MY GOD I CAN’T SEE MY FEET” camp in the slightest. Granted, the availability of female Jerk attire should be mandatory, but come on, I’m not Harry Knowles or whatever the name of that fat bastard at Ain’t It Cool News’ is.