T-Shirt Hell, a site dedicated to producing the most controversially funny clothing on the Web, will be officially closing its doors on February 16, 2009. Despite popular layoffs around the world due to the recessed economy, site/company owner Sunshine Megatron (formerly Aaron Landau Schwarz) assures newsletter readers that his decision to close the company has nothing to do with finances. Though they've admittedly seen something of downturn in sales lately, it's not nearly enough to run them out of business.
Instead, according to his final newsletter, it has more to do with simply being tired of dealing with irate and maniacal fundamentalist people who don't "get" what they've been trying to do with the site over the last seven and a half years. Trying to make light of such serious subjects as the Holocaust, slavery, abortion, pollution, sexism, racism, religion, hate crimes, school shootings, bestiality, suicide, pedophilia, rape, and murder, evidently enough people failed to find the humor, wrote scathing missives to the site, and even made attempts on the site owner's life that they've finally decided it's not worth it anymore. The antagonists' view was that it was worth a few innocent and clever casualties if they accomplished their goal of bringing the house down.
While there were those who thought the site was a blemish on the face of society and decent culture, the owner and his employees disagreed, saying that while they may have made a few dirty and juvenile jokes, pressed some people's buttons, and the like, entertainment and amusement have never reshaped the world on their own, only provided commentary on what's going on. One example they used was to say, "Minorities gained rights because a bunch of politicians passed laws, not because Bob Dylan wrote some pretty songs."
Many will be glad to see them go, many will lament the site's closure (myself included), but in either case, Sunshine Megatron is doing what he's always done: whatever he wants. He could have sold the site to some conglomerate and reaped the benefits for years to come, but sponsorship and becoming absorbed into a bigger entity that didn't care about what they were doing wasn't what he wanted.
The initial date of closure was to be this past Monday, February 9, but due to a surge of demand in response to the original deadline, they decided to stick around one more week till the 16th. Will they extend it again? Check back on the 17th to find out.