Dearest Rachel –
Today was too cool to walk around in thin white cotton, so I decided to wear one of my black shirts. Not sure why I picked this one:
I’m actually thinking this might be the first time I’ve worn it in public. I know you thought we might all wear it together when we were down in New Orleans and, but I think at the time I couldn’t even find my shirt, and I don’t remember if Daniel remembered to pack his. I do have a photo of you wearing yours, with the camera juuust sort of looking over your shoulder at the crowd on the steamboat and the Dixieland band.
In fact, I’d actually included it in the montage that I attached before the service, mostly on the strength of the (admittedly illegible in the photo) design on the shirt. Because what better logo to show off as part of it a funeral montage than a shirt saying “one day we’ll all be skeletons”?
In any event, this is yet another memory that I need to go through and explain. What kind of motto, what kind of design is this, and why would you find it worth buying for yourself and all three of us?
It all has to do with a YouTuber which you and Daniel favored once upon a time, but I quite honestly never warmed up to. Philip DiFranco presented himself as an Internet news reporter (by which I mean he reported Internet news – the latest gossip between this or that YouTube celebrity and the like), but he would also report global news from time to time. And it was that part of his news presentation that stuck in my craw, because his slant – and all news reporters have one, I wish they wouldn’t insist otherwise – had a very distinct leftward bias. The strange thing is, I wouldn’t have taken so much umbrage from him and his positions a year or two previously (although I would have considered Internet gossip to be a bit of a waste of time; after all, we rarely knew any of the people that he seemed to consider newsworthy), but after the events of 2020, well, I lost a lot of faith in mainstream news.
And let’s face it, he followed the mainstream party line. Yes, he did it with a “hello fellow kids” wink and a nod vibe, but the party line was still the party line. And I didn’t agree with it. And more to the point, he like everyone else, just seemed so condescending to those whose opinion differed from his. Oh, he put up a good front, better than most, honestly (probably because he had no choice but to acknowledge that the YouTube comment section is a wild and woolly place), but I’m not the most observant of people, and even I noticed that he didn’t think much of… dissenters… like myself.
You’ll notice by now that I refer to him in the past tense. It’s not because he has stopped making videos, although he did say that he was going to at the end of 2020, due to being just burnt out from the news cycle. No, we (and by we, I mean you two) stopped watching him because the two of you wound up getting ‘red-pilled’ as well. I’ve said it elsewhere, and I’ll say it again, it was so weird how I went from being the most conservative member of the family to the most liberal without changing my perspective. 2020 really did a number on people like us.
Although admittedly, you did make an effort to send him a few comments that tried to be conciliatory, admitting how much you disagreed with him, but could still be capable of enjoying his work (your remarks seemed indicate that he had mentioned that he ‘knew’ that anyone who disagreed with him would no longer be watching him anymore. Of course, now that’s proven to be true, but you did give him a chance).
Anyway, politics aside…
Like so many other channels, he helped support himself by selling merch. Believe it or not (and of course you believe it, because you heard him tell the story), the slogan was inspired by his – I think – six-year-old son. The way Phil told the story, he had asked his boy what part of the human body was his favorite, to which the boy replied with “the bones.” When pressed as to why, the boy responded with the slogan as proudly displayed on these shirts (And, if I recall, and a hoodie that Daniel also owns).
In fairness, the kid’s not wrong. And coming from one so young, it is something of a cute “from the mouths of babes” moment. At the same time, a realization that we’re all going to die at some point seems a little bit disturbing to be held by someone so young. It gives off a certain Wednesday Addams vibe, but I can’t tell if it’s more Lisa Loring or Christina Ricci.
But I give the kid credit for understanding how little this life matters; that, one day we’ll all be… well, skeletons. Or less, like in your case.
You and Daniel liked the design so much, with the whole Vitruvian Man parody, that you decided that each of us should have one, and someday go out together all wearing the same shirt. Sorry it never happened. You even went so far as to write Phil, and ask him if he could re-release it the design, because people were asking you about it, long after he’d discontinued it. Philly D always had a tendency to make his merch limited edition, I guess to keep his line fresh, but it does seem to limit the possibilities (which were already small to begin with) of his fans recognizing each other by one slogan or another. Oh well, that’s his business model.
Anyway, that’s the story. As it’s getting late, I suppose I might as well wrap this thing up. As the man himself would say, I love yo’ face, and I’ll see you next time.