Americans experienced a range of emotions when they heard the news earlier this week that Osama bin Laden was dead. Some were gripped by renewed loss and grief. Others experienced a sense of comfort and closure. Still others took to the streets to pop champagne and celebrate.
And then there were those Americans who made t-shirts and coffee mugs -- proving to the world once and for all that even in the face of a momentous event, there are no limits to our vanity and tackiness.
No doubt you've already stumbled across some vestige of "Dead Osama" merchandise in your online wanderings. The Internet is flooded with t-shirts, baseball caps, buttons, bumper stickers, phone cases, mugs, and other cheap collectibles commemorating the demise of the terrorist mastermind. Leave it to America to find a way to make a buck by glorifying the death of our enemy on a tchotchke.
Now, before people call me a "socialist" or worse in the comments for not partaking in the fun, let me say that I appreciate a good marketing opportunity just as much as the next person. But there's one word that comes to mind when we're talking about celebrating death -- any death -- on a souvenir that costs less than $20 ... it's "tasteless." Not to mention the fact, isn't anyone afraid of the retaliation that might come from us being so brazenly vulgar in our dress and liquid consumption?
Not everyone agrees. Here's Joe Schmidt, senior vice president of retail at CafePress, defending the deeeelightful commemorative "Got Him" mugs and t-shirts on his site:
We've always viewed ourselves as being a mirror to the culture ... What's more important than personal expression?
Well, when you put it that way, I'm totally convinced. Except I'm not.
I suppose it's way too much to ask that we practice a little restraint in our display of patriotism. After all, this should be an old hat by now lest we forgot the ever-popular Saddam Hussein Hangman t-shirts (and other garb) from 2006. Stay classy, America -- as much as you can, anyways.
Image via CafePress