Supremely bad T-shirt acquires narrative, meaning; becomes top-seller

Posted by Rob Walker on May 21, 2009
Posted Under: Things/Thinking


E brings to my attention this BBC News story about the above T-shirt, for sale on and titled “Three Wolf Moon.” People started posting absurd reviews, and soon it took off — there are now hundreds of reviews along the lines of “”When I put this T-shirt on for the first time, my wife left me! Thank you, Three Wolf Moon T-Shirt,” with a five-star rating.

The shirt is now the number-one selling apparel item at

This is an example of an object acquiring a narrative, and meaning. At first, it was simply a bad T-shirt. Then it became that bad T-shirt, the one that attracted a reviewer-flash-mob. If you were wearing it, and someone asked, you could tell them a story. In fact you could tell them the story even if they didn’t ask — it’s a good story! — particularly if you submitted a funny¬† review which you can then recount.

The object becomes a souvenir of a moment and an experience: The time we all got together and made fun of this T-shirt.

Further diversion may be found at MKTG Tumblr, and the Consumed Facebook page.

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