When I was younger, everything I owned had to be name brand. I'm sure this was a byproduct of being raised on television while at the same time being denied the products it wanted me to need and buy because my parents couldn't afford them. Now I am anti-logo and anti-TV. Go figure.

The thicker you get into suburbia, the more logos you find on one body. The more logos you find, the less likely, I'd say, the person thinks, period. Most of the logo concentration you'll see, thank God, is on teens, so it's not like they won't get a wake up call at some point. There's still hope.

I rollerblade in Audubon Park every afternoon almost. Audubon Park is right next to Tulane, our big claim to academic fame, so I zoom by some of the (supposedly) smartest people in the city. All the shirts I've seen are either from athletic events where shirts are given away at random, fraternities, universities or sports logos. I mean, I would think that if a shirt is given away free, by American standards the message it has on it must not mean much either.

Before I leave New Orleans this spring, there are two T-shirts I want to buy. One is for the local beer Abita and the other is for Juan's Flying Burrito. Both mean little to anyone who hasn't visited Louisiana, and I have a personal attachment to these two companies. The other few T-shirts I own have the following names:

ARMY (Byzantine's souvenir from PT)
Rollins Band
Doc Martens

I think that all those geek shirts from thinkgeek.com or goofy ones you can get from that Things You Never Knew Existed catalog are all well and good, but they still serve a similar purpose other, blander logos do. They connect you with a group of people, aligning you on such a dermal level that you can feel falsely at ease in a room with them, you can breathe a sigh of relief because hey, at least you have something in common.

I don't slant that. That's your right. I just like being asked what my shirt means because people don't often know already, so I get to teach them something new.

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