..But Bitching is for Everyone


So apparently Urban Outfitters is carrying a T-shirt that reads: "Voting is for Old People." Cute, if a little predictable, and pretty obviously tongue in cheek.

But according to a self-righteously enraged letter from Ministry's Al Jourgenson, sent on behalf of PunkVoter, it's all part of an insidious scheme to suppress the progressive youth vote. Others are calling for boycotts. It's almost enough to get me to actually walk into an Urban Outfitters. But hey, if being a humorless civic duty noodge gets Ministry some news buzz for the first time in a decade, I guess I can't blame Jourgenson too much.

NEXT: Eat Your Heart Out, Riefenstahl

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. IMHO, the message is rather irresponsible considering the impact of fashion on the impressionable youth. In addition, it can reinforce the view that the youth vote is irrelavent to all the young would be voters. But, I shall not lose any sleep over it. If you are that impressionable and easily dissuaded out of voting, you probably shouldn’t be voting.

  2. Once again the Reason staff impresses me with their taste in music. Keep it up, guys.


    Sorry, had to do it.

  4. Did anyone read Al’s statement (http://releases.usnewswire.com/GetRelease.asp?id=148-02252004)? Here’s my favorite quote: “In an ideal world, I would love to have your product removed from your stores, but this is a free country… ”
    Now, as I understand it, Al seems to think that the ideal world is one in which you can suppress others whom you disagree with. When will “progressives” stop masquerading behind human rights, democracy, and freedom and come out and say what they really mean: “We want your money, we want the results of your hard work, otherwise you don’t matter.”

  5. Exactly J.

    He apparently wants it “his way”. What a poseur.

  6. Hey, he should be glad that young people aren’t voting. They might vote to stop geezers from stealing their money.

  7. I wonder if Mr. Jourgensen’s opinion of the t-shirts would change if it were supressing young Republican voters…?

  8. It’s a new world order.

  9. Their only good song was sung by the guy from the Butthole Surfers.

  10. Punk is so not Punk anymore…

  11. When I was a young lad, I made a t-shirt with the slogan “Fuck art, let’s kill”, fashioned after one I saw on a member of Ministry at one of their concerts. It gave my father conniption fits. It will bring my father much joy when I tell him Jourgenson is now having conniptions of his own. Maybe I’ll even have to go buy him a tshirt.

  12. There’s an UO across the street from one of my frequent watering holes. It seems like there’s a new kitchy T-shirt in the front window every other week.

    This one will be “out” long before election day.

    I think Julian hit the nail on the head as to what this is really all about.

  13. Shanep, I have nothing with him voicing his opinion (“but it is a free country” as he would say 😉 and wanting things “his way.” After all, we all want things our way. However, I shudder everytime I hear some so-called progressive complain about Bush’s oppression, when in reality, if they could they would be as oppressive or worse.

    I have seen this when it comes to so-called progressive’s slobering over Cuba. Although they may say that what they love is the free-aspirin per person and other trivialities. It seems to me from many conversations on that topic that what they truly love is the fact that those that disagree with them are kept in line (or worse) by force in that country. But that is just my personal non-scientific observations.

  14. Following the link,

    “While there have been a few stories about Hayne’s company getting in trouble for selling racist and anti-Semitic merchandise, most people do not know he also has contributed $7500 to the Republican Party and over $13,000 to right-wing Republican Sen. Rick Santorum’s campaign.”

    No, this isn’t a voter supression campaign. Urban Outfitters is not pushing an agenda with this tee shirt, and the fact that disaffected youth who DO vote are going to vote against Shrub in overwhelming numbers probably didn’t occur to UO at all.

    Al Jourgenson wrote and recorded “Burning Inside,” “Thieves,” “Stigmata,” “Faith Collapsing” (which appears to be an anti-communist song), “NWO,” and “Hero.” Urban Outfitters is packaging the GOP’s voter suppression efforts as nonconformist fashion. Who’s the poseur?

  15. Actually, considering most kids see anyone old enough to legally smoke as old-farts, isn’t this t-shirt actually just stating the obvious to them?

  16. Upcoming shirts from UO:

    “Whitey wants you to vote.”

    “So he hits you? Don’t be a narc.”

    “Only wimps wear condoms.”

  17. “Jesus hates you.”

  18. But Al “You can call me Alain” Jourgensen is old anyway!

  19. Forgive my sloppy examples, I’m too lazy to look up the specifics:

    1) A kid gets suspended for wearing a Pepsi shirt to a school “Coke” rally.
    2) A kid wearing an ant-war T-shirt is thrown out of a mall
    3) As we speak, there is controversy over the “Boys are stupid-throw rocks at them” shirts.
    4) Now this bullshit

    I want to sell my own Ts “If this shirt offends you, please feel free to go fuck yourself”

  20. Yeah. I mean, you know, yeah.

    But “Just One Fix” is fucking awesome.

  21. joe

    I think the T-shirt’s just a joke.

    Not as funny as democracy though.

    Democracy: n. two wolves and a sheep deciding what’s for dinner.

  22. “1) A kid gets suspended for wearing a Pepsi shirt to a school “Coke” rally.”


  23. So what?

    BTW…the “Fuck art Let’s Kill” slogan is credited to Jared from Chemlab. Skinny Puppy’s Ogre wore the shirt on the MTTTT tour and it had an appearance in their live video.

    As far as the ideal world thing, I don’t think you should take it literally. It just means that he wishes the thing didn’t exist and acknowledges that in the real world it does. If he said “government must stop this” I could understand getting upset.

    An an ideal world there Filth Pig would have been a lot better, but in the real world there isn’t much I can do about that.

    Who cares, this all beats apathy.

  24. “Punk is so not Punk anymore…”

    Tru dat!

    J, that was my point. “His way” includes using government to get “his way”.

    Not good.

  25. Al Jourgenson wrote and recorded “Burning Inside,” “Thieves,” “Stigmata,” “Faith Collapsing” (which appears to be an anti-communist song), “NWO,” and “Hero.” Urban Outfitters is packaging the GOP’s voter suppression efforts as nonconformist fashion. Who’s the poseur?

    Uh, joe is.

    Just kidding joe. But you were asking for some good-natured ribbing on this one. I’d bet a week’s salary that you hadn’t heard of Al J. or Ministry before today – not that this disqualifies you for the discussion somehow. But when you old folks jump on the disaffected youth bandwagon and then start pointing the poseur finger, well, the best you can expect from me is a hardy chuckle.

  26. Al doesn’t do drugs anymore? Al does interviews with VH1? Al’s career and faith in music are revived by…Steven Speilberg? Laughter fills the sky instead of rain.

  27. oh man, this makes me wanna break out “the mind is a terrible thing to taste”

    i’m kinda surprised grandpa al ain’t dead yet.

  28. The “Fuck Art, Let’s Kill!” t-shirt was a take-off of the “Fuck Art, Let’s Dance!” t-shirt from the early 80’s.
    Can’t remember who wore one first, but I want to say Sham 69.
    Also, am I the only one who can’t find “Land of Rape and Honey” on CD ?

  29. Sorry Rich, this “old folk” owned “Mind” and “Land of Rape and Honey” on cassette – cassette! – when you were watching Barney. Al/Hypo Luxa/Buck Satan has been a favorite for…let’s see…uh…FUCK I’m old! Keep chuckling, but I’ll be waiting for my $127.45 – maybe your manager at the car wash can send me the money directly.

    I found “Land” on cd, Tom. In the “Super Saver” bin. Stupid kids.

  30. aw dude, joe just became cooler than 90% of reason.

    i’d still rather listen to last rights though i’ve had stigmata stuck in my head all weekend (a friend got dragged by an R&B client to some charismatic catholic group out in jersey city where the guy would “manifest” a really lame stigmata after two hours of lecturing on the rosary)

    i ran around her house last night yelling the lyrics and eating ice cream. was a good time.

  31. I played my “Land of Rape…” LP last night and thought to myself “Geez, I used to really like this shit.”

  32. Yeah, Joe, we’re all impressed with your googling abilities.

  33. Ah, but who saw Buck Satan and the 666 Shooters with Flaming Lips at the Liberty Lunch in Austin, TX?

    The crow jewel of that night was their cover of Little Red Corvette. Ahhh, college days.

  34. I thought the punks were anarchists…

  35. Yeah, well, according to popular definition these days, favoring universal health care and trade barriers are requisites for being an “anarchist.”

    And I’m now just curious enough to see if I still have that old copy of Psalm 69 lying around somewhere… every now and then I’ll pop on something I haven’t listened to in years and either be surprised at how well it holds up or at how I ever stomached it. I’m guessing this one’ll fall in the latter category, but who knows.

  36. Ah, but who saw Buck Satan and the 666 Shooters with Flaming Lips at the Liberty Lunch in Austin, TX?

    I saw Wattie from The Exploited get jumped by 4 or 5 skins at CBGB’s and kick all their asses…..

    Therefore I am a cooler punk than you.

  37. Crude: you must be thinking of the Austin Lounge Lizards classic “Jesus Loves Me, But He Can’t Stand You.”

  38. “Yeah, Joe, we’re all impressed with your googling abilities.”

    Well Rich, I guess the only thing left is to ding dang dong my wamma long ding dong.

  39. I got that shirt for Christmas. One of my lefty activist friends practically ripped it off of me at a party last weekend. “18 is old!” I pleaded in my defense.

  40. Man, that looks really dirty typed out.

  41. “Hero” is the best song from Psalms 69. “Jesus Built My Hotrod” and “N.W.O.” are both decent as well, but the rest is throwaway material.

  42. “Scarecrow” will scare the piss out of you if you’re wasted and alone on Halloween.

    And what about “Just One Fix?” “Never trust a junkie.”

  43. “It’s a love affair, mainly Jesus and my hotrod.” I used to listen to this before hockey games to get pumped up. I was/am a total tool.

  44. As long as we’re pontificating about the good music WE knew that YOU young whippersnappers are ignorant of, what about Meat Puppets’ cover “If I only had a brain” at the 40 Watt Club in ’85?

  45. Well I would just like to say to Mr. Alain Jourgensen that I have this T-Shirt and….

    Any place, anywhere that I go all the
    People seem to stop and stare, they say

    why are you dressed like it’s halloween?
    You look so absurd, you look so obscene
    O, why can’t I live a life for me?
    Why should I take the abuse that’s served?
    Why can’t they see they’re just like me it’s
    The same, it’s the same in the whole wide world

    Well I let their teeny minds think that they’re
    Dealing with someone who is over the brink and
    I dress this way just to keep them at bay
    Cause halloween is everyday.

  46. I personally shiver at the thought of most voters’ knowledge.
    Of course, it is like age, where those older than me, are old,
    and those younger, are young.
    Those who are politically more knowledgeable than I, should vote,
    and those who don’t know squat except straight ticket, should not.

    I would raise the voting age, the drinking age,
    the go to war age, to 21, at least.

  47. The AARP will be ordering these shirts by the boatload.

  48. Of all the things that the insidious “white, male, capitalist-pig, establishment” COULD do to suppress the vote of spoiled, dour, black clad, rock-throwing-at-a-WTO-protest “progressives”, I doubt that a snippy T-shirt is even on the list.

    Until Jourgenson and his Limousine Leftist ilk give up their millions (assuming Al hasn’t spent his on drugs, booze, and groupies) and move to Cuba, I’ll take them about as seriously as I do those T-shirts.

  49. All Day

    well i’m hiding my eyes from the morning sun
    and I keep on working till the work is all done
    but a voice in my head keeps ticking away
    as the sweat’s hosed down from yet another day
    well he works hard
    and he lives hard
    and he breaks his back without nothing to gain
    while the boss man sits around and drinks champagne

    all day (you work and you work and you work and)
    in life, there’s just one transition
    all day (you work and you work and you work and)
    in life, there’s just one decision

    well i’m peeling the blisters off my working hand
    is that what it takes to make you understand?
    that it’s something you read, not something you meant
    to be slaving away without a shred of integrity
    he worked hard
    and he lived hard
    and he broke his back without nothing to say
    while the man in control was just laughing away

    all day (you work and you work and you work and)
    in life, there’s just one transition
    all day (you work and you work and you work and)
    in life, there’s just one decision

    was it something you read?
    was it something you meant?
    was it something you said?
    or was it heaven sent?

    all day (you work and you work and you work and)
    in life, there’s just one transition
    all day (you work and you work and you work and)
    in life, there’s just one decision

  50. Uhrrrrggg!

    I. Hate. Punk. Muzzzick!!!


  51. Joe, sounds like me and you were listening to the same 45.

  52. I’ve been a Ministry fan since ’89. I didn’t see them live until their most recent tour (the last album was surprisingly ferocious, and their cover of Magazine’s “The Light Pours Out Of Me” fucking smokes), but I did see the Revolting Cocks on the Beers, Steers & Queers tour in 1990, with the Mentors and the Skatenigs. That was one of the loudest, funniest shows I’ve ever seen; like an industrial-redneck version of the Beastie Boys’ Licensed To Ill tour.

  53. Since when is ministry punk?!?!?

  54. Especially telling is the fact that they consider the bureaucratic “senior citizens” preferable to the English “old people.” Barbarians.

  55. BTW, the Moody Blues ruined “Late Lament” with their jarring use of “senior citizens.” That little snippet of late-20th century, PC bureaucratese completely clashed with the language in the rest of it.

  56. I was a punk before you were a punk!

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.