American Apology Shirt

| July 2, 2003

In the past, U.S. citizens have donned Canadian flags on backpacks to avoid being associated with their true point of origin. But if Yankees traveling abroad are willing to come clean and humble themselves in front of their foreign hosts, then the ?American Traveler International Apology Shirt? might be an effective tool. The shirt reads, ?I?m sorry my president?s an idiot. I didn?t vote for him? in the six official U.N. languages?Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Spanish, and Russian. The T-shirts cost $16 and are available with or without the English translation in several sizes and styles, including ?baby doll.? On the web site selling the T-shirts, consumers are encouraged to buy the shirt, then fix the system. But on the ?comments? portion of the site, one visitor wonders if the shirt?s message isn?t redundant. ?Of course, your president IS an idiot. But so is anyone that would wear a T-shirt like this one,? writes Toy Chicken. ?Could I suggest an alternative logo? In all the U.N. languages of course. ?I?m sorry, I?m an American, and would rather make money from ?apologizing? than doing anything genuinely valuable. My president is an idiot, but hey, that?s what you get, with our brand of democracy!?? From there, the talk of T-shirts quickly descends into an argument over who won World War II. If nothing else, the shirts have proved to be good fodder for healthy international debate.
?Nick Garafola

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