I'm done. I'm finished. I can't take the stupidity anymore, so I'm leaving and I'm taking my website with me. As of Tuesday, Feb 10, 2009, T-Shirt Hell will be no more.
No, I'm not selling out to some douchebag corporate entity. No, we're not being sued by any of the over 40 companies that have sent us cease and desists over the years. No, I'm not going to jail (yet) and no, it's not because of the economy. Although, the recent dip in sales certainly does make the idea easier to accept, even though we still sell over 3000 shirts a week.
I started this company in June of 2001, nearly 8 years ago, with the intention of producing the best satirical, the most controversial, the funniest t-shirts on the internet. Generally speaking, I feel I've accomplished that and am satisfied with what we've put out. I made a shitload of dough along the way. I've done cocaine off the better body parts of supermodels. I've even raped and killed a mountain panda in the hills of Shaanxi. But these perks are besides the point.
I just don't feel like dealing with idiots anymore. I'll give you an example of the kind of misguided morons we deal with on a regular basis at T-Shirt Hell. We released a new shirt a couple weeks ago that says "It's not gay if you beat them up afterwards". I will not explain the irony or the social commentary of the slogan because anyone with half a brain should be able to handle that on their own. Problem is, we've been besieged with emails from angry people complaining about the "fact" that the shirt is hate speech or that we're promoting gay bashing and should take it down immediately.
"I can't even believe people buy this shit. Do you realize your supporting a hate crime? That makes you feel better about yourself? Wow you need a life. We're all human beings and you can't except it."
"It's Not Gay:If You Beat Them Up After"?? That is highly inappropriate and very very morally wrong. I will be advising everyone I know to avoid buying anything from your site until shirts like this are removed. In this world people are fighting for equality and a chance to be themselves without fear of being beat up because of who they are, yet here is an established website promoting hate and violence. You all should be ashamed of yourselves."
Now, I can't say I'm surprised we're getting hate mail from people who have nothing better to do than to start half-assed campaigns because of their lazy, just enough passion for an email, ideals towards a misguided cause. It happened when we did our first really controversial shirt, "The School Shootings Tour", it happened when we did our "What About All The Good Things Hitler Did" shirt, it happened when we did our "Arrest Black Babies Before They Become Criminals" shirt (boy did it happen then). It used to happen all the time when we did more social commentary and didn't give a fuck about what anyone thought and did shirts that did not leave anyone out. Unfortunately, as a concern for the safety of my employees, we don't push the envelope as much anymore...and I can't say I feel good about having caved in.
Anyway, rather than cater to the masses, I'm just going to stop making shirts. It's not enjoyable anymore and I have enough money to move on to something more rewarding. Maybe I'll start my own hooker farm or maybe I'll practice sleeping. Whatever I decide to do, it will be better than this.
Attention any venture capitalists or independent investors/business assholes who are about to inquire about purchasing T-Shirt Hell. Don't. You won't do the company justice and I won't take that chance. I'm putting it to sleep. It's over.
That's right, I'm crazy. I'm pulling the plug on a company I could have sold for millions. Why in the fucking world would I do something so stupid? Because I can. I don't care about money. This is the way I've always done things...my way.
So, to all the kickass motherfuckers who supported us and REALLY got what we were trying to do, thank you (no, not you, you racist idiots who thought we actually had racist intentions and no, not you, you dumb as a stump fucks who just think any shirt with the word "fuck" on it is as right as rain). Thanks to all the people who contributed to my vice fund and at the same time helped make a funny statement about the world today.
As a final farewell, I'm going to bring back some of the top selling Worse Than Hell shirts as a fuck you to those who forced me to remove them. To those who are offended by them and to those who think I'm racist, promoting rape, a nazi, homophobic or just the world's biggest asshole...well, at least you think I'm something, which means I've achieved what I wanted.
Thanks to Gary, Mika, Jacob, Greg, Bob, the black lady who writes our newsletter, and to everyone else who was part of T-Shirt Hell. Time to move on to even greater things. I'll miss you (by miss, I mean, it's going to suck not being able to give you my excellent reach arounds when you least expect them).
Odd, eh? Personally, I could see trucking on no matter what as long as the filthy lucre was flowing. I also couldn't see not selling the site after I decided I was done with it. Just for the traffic alone it could be worth quite a bit of money. Slap some google ads on there and you could milk it even if you never sold another shirt again.
I guess it's possible that the owner simply doesn't care about the money. It does seem sort of strange that someone who cultivates controversy would, well, get tired of all the controversy. I can just imagine all the spazz cases that must send hatemail each day but that's just the price of doing buisness. You'd think they just post the most spastic ones and then ridicule them for the world to see. I guess it could just grind you down after a while but in this economy you could hire some poor schlub to filter through hatemail for peanuts.
So I guess this is the last chance you have to buy yourself a Hitler t-shirt. I was hoping that the discounts for their closing sale would be a little more generous, but 10% is 10%. Maybe the discounts will increase the closer we get to the shut-down date. It probably all depends on whether they do print on demand or actually have a warehouse somewhere with craploads of t-shirts.