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Not appropriate

This shirt really makes me uncomfortable in the face of the political climate. They truth is that the US is making people talk against their will using instruments that are probably not unlike these. Our government is justifying this with double-speak and our legal system is shutting its eyes and throwing up its hands. To make a pop statement on shirt out of something so serious and horrendous makes me sad and disquieted.

Watch this
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tesco profile pic Alumni

very timely

I'm not offended though, this shirt has served to raise awareness of torture at least in this incidence. Maybe if some of the profit was donated to Amnesty International it would make up for any hard feelings.


The US isn't the only government that tortures people with such instruments.


also, people should have a choice anyway on whether or not to buy it. there was a collective choice made to print this so it's up to the buyer (who it is aimed at) to make a choice. i think anyway

ISABOA profile pic Alumni

hahahahaha - this shirt rocks - plus 82% of those tortured in the world deserve it -

hogboy profile pic Alumni

You have every right to your opinion & possibly if I came from a country who's government partook in illegal torture I'd be a little more cognisant of the issue when designing this, rather than seeing it as nothing more than black comedy... Incidentally Rosaline where do you stand on the appropriateness of wearing Flowers in the Attic, a print which pretty dramatically depicts suicide when last year, according to the National Centre For Health & Statistics 31,484 people commited suicide in the US, 16, 907 of them with a firearm?


I hadn't thought of it, but this is a it grim.... I wouldn't wear it.


And I'd just like to point out that the US isn't making people talk with instruments that look just like these. Except maybe the feather.

If you'll recall, the current debate is whether the following count as torture:
Pouring water down someone's nose, putting panties on their head, using uncovered female interrogators, threatening damage to a Holy Book, etc. None of that sounds like pliers and spikey bits to me.

King Sebastian

I love shirt depicting suicide and torture, and also making irate and offensive comments

very nice mr. hogboy I will enjoy wearing your lovely T


This blog is terribly predictable.


oh man I thought this blog was going to be about what I AIM to people when I'm THAT'S inappropriate!!

elleevee profile pic Alumni

torture and suicide is so cool right now

roadkill3d profile pic Alumni

i dig it. this is awesome!

roadkill3d profile pic Alumni

reminds of that movie

Aristarchus profile pic Alumni

Let's pour water into gtoast99's respatory system for a bit and see if he still thinks it doesn't sound like torture.

Douchebag out of the way, back to the shirt: It's a shirt.


Lol, I never said that I approved over waterboarding, just that that's the current debate, and that it's much preferable to what's on the shirt (feather excluded).

Silly aristarchus, you know what they say about assuming.

Aristarchus profile pic Alumni

Okay, I see what you're saying. All the same, the comment left it open to sound as though waterboarding wasn't torture.


It's all good :)

Aristarchus profile pic Alumni

Frankly, so long as they kept them out of my mouth, I'd sooner be cut and poked and stabbed with spikey things than endure a "simulated" drowning.


I'm personally uncomfortable with this shirt and think it just shows the extent to which torture has been Hollywoodised and normalised. The fact people would happily walk around wearing this shirt shows how desensitised we all are to the subject. Would we for example wear a shirt depicting instruments of rape ? If not why not ? Is it because we find the idea of rape an appalling crime? Forget The U.S - Torture is going on in many countries around the world against people whose only crime is to talk out against brutal regimes. Check out the Amensty website and educate yourself about some of the stuff that goes on.

And Isaboa - joking or not that remark was a disgrace

Aristarchus profile pic Alumni

A shirt featuring impliments of rape? Like... Penises? Fingers?

The inclusion of the feather sets the tone for this one, I think. Though I think the design would have been more effective to include other tools like that as well and not so many macabre ones.

Aristarchus profile pic Alumni

Ooh! Someone else said "macabre"!


Ok Rod Point taken but say we had a design that used black humour on the subject of rape - the date rape drug for instance. If it was well executed and humorous would there be any circumstances where it would be deemed acceptable ?


if a shirt can dictate in which direction a country which on its own is pretty much screwing itself at the moment... then i should feel pretty pathetic... gladly i don't this shirt is awesome

and a big thumbs up to WATER BOARDING!!!!


Aristarchus profile pic Alumni

I think the design should have included a Backstreet Boys CD.

hogboy profile pic Alumni

ok I'll go back to the point I was trying to make to the author of the blog & again this all comes down to individual moral sensitivities, everyone is entitled to their own opinion.

When I posted this sub there were several people who made similar comments, in a kinda kneejerk fit of defensiveness I sifted through a small selection of Threadless shirts & discovered a huge range of subject matter including assault, suicide, immolation, murder, natural disaster, hanging & drowning that when viewed in a particular context or if taken at face value or with the humor or light-heartedness removed could easily be perceived as unacceptable.

rosaline55 has chosen to take exception with the subject matter of this tshirt & yet she proudly wears Flowers In The Attic, a shirt which would undoubtedly disturb the families of anyone who has committed suicide with a gun... Spam69 you are happy to wear a shirt that depicts a human being burning alive (Burn by cicero) surely a more literal depiction of torture than some stainless steel instruments & a feather. Do I have a problem with those shirts existing? No. It's your choice to wear what you think. If you don't like the shirt don't buy it. Simple as that.


ummm..i love the shirt...

and i was suicidal for 3 years and the first shirt i bought was "flowers in the attic" lolzz


If you don't like the shirt, do not buy it. I don't see what the big deal is. Has anyone jacked your credit card, bought this shirt with it, come over to your house, and glued the thing to your skin in order to force you to wear it? Has anyone pried your eyelids open so you must see the design when someone is wearing it on the street? No.

I personally love it. I've ordered it, and can't wait for it to ship.

mezo profile pic Alumni

People are overly sensitive these days.
Grow a pair.


a pair of bewbs?

oh how i wish! make it so!

roadkill3d profile pic Alumni

Aristarchus on Dec 11 '07 at 9:43pm
"I think the design should have included a Backstreet Boys CD."



I'm buying the shirt because a lot of those instruments turn me on, not because of the torture aspect. To each his own.


Dragon077 - I always love that argument that we should only ever be concerned about ourselves rather rather than looking at the big picture or how it relates to the wider world. Nice to see it dragged out again.

hogboy - You make a good argument regarding sensibilities are you absolutely right, we all have our own line in the sand. As always ,context is everything and I think think it's the context that makes this more disturbing than the other shirts you mentioned. As far as I'm concerned this has been illustrated by the number of crass, ignorant and inappropriate comments posted so far on the subject.

I mean you no ill will though, you are very talented, it's just that personally I think this crosses that line. Good luck in the future with all you do.

Rod - The backstreet boys were misunderstood geniuses. Have you not heard We've got it goin' on ? Lyrical masterpiece.

  • and you are * absolutely right

I find it a little strange that this shirt should only be considered offensive "in the face of the political climate". It either is, or it isn't. Especially because the current debate is not even about the use of such things and is instead about this "waterboarding" and such. Methinks people who find it offensive merely have a political axe to grind.


i just thought it was a cheap homage to tacky horror 'gorno' films?

eskimokiss profile pic Alumni

i like porno films too


eskimo porno?


i guess they woudn't need any ice for..............

tracerbullet profile pic Alumni

i thought this shirt was raising awareness about mute people?


They're all implements for adminstering anaesthesia and performing vocal chord surgery. And tickling.


Does it come in a onesie?


PS The little rolly dude with the circle of spikes is a quilting tool.
I realize they might be misused, but I find that interesting.


On a more serious note, I think that the world is worse off if people turn a blind eye to torture rather than consider it in all of it's implications. Pop culture has already made its mark well before this shirt regarding torture, with all the horror films and James Bond and the like.
If you truly believe that waterboarding etc. are the only forms of torture being used in interrogations then that's your own rosey-eyed world, but quite frankly, I don't trust that sanctioned press release admission for a second.


wow everyone's so politically correct these days.

The design's made to be playful. What, do the designs of tees here with skulls, blood and knives offend too?


I love this picture from Frickinawesome's profile.


82% of people who were tortured on 24 deserved it.


i think this t-shirt is hilarious. It goes along with ever horror flick ever made. You can't take a shirt like this so serious. it's a t-shirt.

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