Monday, August 22, 2005

Does That Come in XXL?

Around the corner from my front door, on Polk Street near Post, there is a head shop that has been in the neighborhood for, oh, probably 15 years or so. It's called Sardar's Hi Times, and is run by a couple of Sikh fellows who I assume are probably brothers (or maybe cousins, I don't know). Lately, among the bongs and roach clips and hash and crack pipes on display, among the ceramic statues of undressed women and dragons and barbarians wielding axes (none resembling any of the BARBARians I know and love so well, of course), among the patches reading "Fucker" and "Lick Me" and "Rock Out With Your Cock Out", nestled prominently amidst the Slipknot and Slayer and Metallica T-shirts, is a bright red T-shirt that sports the smiling visage of George W. Bush surrounded by the words "BEST PRESIDENT EVER!!!"

I'm not sure what to think of that. On the one hand, I find it highly amusing that such a shirt would be sold in what he and his supporters, I'm sure, would consider a den of iniquity. Were former Attorney General John Ashcroft to walk into the store, you can bet the feds would be there moments afterward to shut it down and take the proprietors to jail. But I also have to wonder if Sardar the Sikh and/or his brother/cousin are serious. Do they really believe Bush is the best president ever? Is the shirt supposed to be taken ironically? The picture of him is fairly goofy-looking, but not so much as to immediately turn the shirt into a joke. I can easily see some know-nothing 22-year-old with a neck the same color as the shirt buying it and wearing it proudly. So I'm puzzled and bemused -- not that this is a foreign state of affairs for me, I'm often puzzled and bemused at any number of things and events -- and just wondered what, if anything, you readers of this site might have to say on the subject. Do you think the shirt is to be taken at face value, or is it meant to be an ironic comment on the man who, IMHO, is by far the WORST PRESIDENT EVER!!!...? Anyone? Anyone? Bueller...?

***UPDATE*** As of this morning (Tuesday, 8/23), the shirt in question, which had been prominently displayed right in the middle of the window for the past month or more, is gone. It's been replaced by a completely innocuous (not to mention vacuous) black T-shirt that reads "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation San Francisco."

And though Mr_Blog (in comments) has a point about Sikhs in this country perhaps playing it safe by opting to demonstrate that they are on the same side as the current administration in the so-called War on Terror, I wonder if that position plays as well in SF as it might in, say, Omaha or Toledo.
Free Counter
Online Universities