I have a t-shirt that friends always ask me about. Not necessarily because they like it, but because I've lived in some fairly conservative places, and they worry that people will react badly to it.
The shirt which looks a bit like the one to the left has, until today, never drawn comment.
Not from my father, a career military man. Not from any of the Armed Forces folks in the town I grew up in. Not in any of the conservative places I've lived. I've worn it concerts, to art galleries, to dinner and drinks. Its been seen in the park and on front porches and on long pointless walks all over the place.
So you can imagine my surprise when my uncle walked into the house this morning, took one look, screwed up his face, and said, "That's an interesting shirt."
"Yes, it is," I replied, noncommittally. I knew it wouldn't go well but damned if I'd be the one to start it.
"Is that the philosophy of your school?" he asked.
Now, I couldn't help it, and I started laughing. "You'd have to go a long way to find a university that adopted Soviet era socialism as its philosophy. Or did you mean Soviet Russia as the school's philosophy? Because that doesn't make any sense. Anyway, my school is Catholic, and there aren't a lot of socialist or communist or Marxist Catholic institutions in U.S. if anywhere"
"I just don't see why you'd wear THAT shirt," he said, clearly offended by my laughter and unconvinced that there weren't hundreds of universities out there teaching the tenets of Marxism in hopes of overthrowing this glorious American way of life.
And what else could I say? Where would I begin?