T-Shirts and Theme Parks

While I was out in Florida I was complimented on my t-shirts a few times, and each time it threw me for a few moments. I don’t know if it’s a Floridian thing or a Disney thing, or a wider Stateside habit. It certainly isn’t very common over here in the UK, outside of online geeky hastags, to compliment people’s geek references.

To put it another way, a friend might comment when meeting down the bar or unexpectedly while out and about. It might even be used as a chat-up line. What would be very odd, and a little threatening, would be a random person in the street doing so.

Not so in the Disney Parks while I was there. I’m inclined to think it came from the same sense of social inclusion that comes from #geektshirtfriday or members of the same social club or group of sports fans.

In Disney Parks there is an assumption of a certain holiday spirit or club inclusion just by being onsite. You see it once people are past the turnstiles – a certain relaxation of shoulders, a slowing of pace, the widening of smiles. It does seem to put people in a more familiar frame of mind for the most part – where little kindnesses to strangers come more easily for example.

While my t-shirts were not Disney themed, they did point to a certain fantasy/sci-fi flavour (a Lego spaceman logo, a UKCC MCM Comiccon logo, and a technical diagram of an X-Wing Starfighter) that prompts the tribal familiarity that seems to lead to unprompted comments about clothing as a point of similarity.

A slightly odd variant on that was something I noticed a couple of times in the parks where what seemed to be geeky t-shirts like superman logos were then subverted with religious references – for example small ‘je’ and ‘us’ either side of the superman logo to form the word jeSus. I saw enough of them to think that there had either been a summer Bible camp or local church flirting with copyright violations recently.

I’m still not sure what to make of it – there feels a deceitful element and breach of the geeky social contract, but maybe I’m overthinking it. I do know I didn’t hear anyone complimenting them.

About Tim Maidment

Writer, House Husband, Library Person, Raconteur, Poly, Queer and Bon Vivant. You were expecting something simple?
This entry was posted in holiday, idle musings and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s