31 March 2009

By Their Shirts Shall Ye Know Them

Every profession is cursed with its share of peculiar kitsch. (I myself own a small inflatable sarcophagus.) For any group of people, the way you represent yourself to the outside world says a lot about your collective neuroses. Archaeologists for instance are a bunch of rugged, dorky, alcoholic intellectuals who use our "cowboys of science" mystique to try to get laid.

Our issues are clearly reflected in my (totally unscientific) sample of the archaeology products over at Café Press. The anxiety about sex, for instance:

Above: Sad but true.

Below: Double extra WTF. Not sure whether to be turned on or grossed out.
Then there's the overenthusiastic alcohol consumption:
"Cover your unit, put down your trowel, get out your per diem, tell your boss: IT'S BEER O'CLOCK. Archaeology is hard work." Hella nerdcore detail combined with piss-yellow foaming beer font? Disaster on many levels.

Then there's the tendency to lecture, which leads to things like this:

"I'm an ARCHAEOLOGIST. And no I don't dig up dinosaurs."

I have to admit, I get pretty tired of people who want to talk to me about dinosaurs. (My dinosaur knowledge peaked at age 9.) But seriously: don't spend the cocktail party lecturing everyone about the difference between the Triassic and the Holocene. And don't buy a t-shirt about it either.

Then there's this bumper sticker, which makes my eyes bleed AND shows the emotional sophistication of a 7 year-old:

Why is all the archaeology stuff so bad? Seriously, the ridiculous anti-Obama t-shirts have way better graphic design. Can't we find a couple grad students with Photoshop chops to make some halfway cool-looking things for us to wear?

I'll end with this, which is offensive and amusing in equal measures. Fridge magnet 100-packs only $164.99!

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