Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Muscular Liberal Pride

I wrote the piece below for my personal blog - Lock&Load, but I thought I'd share my handywork with GALHA readers as well, since, one gets the distict feeling that when Guardian columnist Madeleine Bunting - their former religious correspondent - lectures that society should be taking pointers from religion and denounces "muscular liberals" she addressing herself to secular humanists like us. We're being inflexible on human rights issues? Guilty! I say we should wear that label with pride. To that end, a T-shirt was born.


If standing firm on issues like women's rights and gay rights makes me a "muscular liberal" then I am proud to be one. While gangly, perished and withered liberals like Madeleine Bunting - who flounder is a quagmire of equivocation and uncertainty about the universality of human rights - need a moral lifejacket, the rest of us have more sartorial options.

The Lock&Load team have come up with some options for Guardian-reading, yet "muscular" liberals to assert their identity. I give you the L&L Autumn Collection:

The range includes four choices of above-the-waste clothing bearing the slogan muscularliberal in a typeface designed to be comfortable to the eye of average Guardian readers like ourselves.

TESCOA - The "Value" T-shirt

For a mere $10 you can get the basic muscularliberal T-shirt. Okay, we have no idea where it's made and whether the fibres are organic from replaceable resources, but hey, it's cheap and we can't worry about everything all the time. It's a bargain. Buy it here.

ORGANIA - The "Organic" T-shirt

Same thing really, only it's made out of organic fibres. So you can wear it with added moral superiority to go with the moral superiority you already have as a muscular liberal. Believe it or not - some people think moral superiority is a bad thing! This one's slightly pricier at $18. Did I say it was made in the USA? Is that a problem? Hope not. Buy it here.

GYMNASIA - The "Sporty" T-shirt

This is a T-shirt is designed to mimic the slightly off-white paper colour of the new Guardian -semi-Tabloid (sorry, Berliner) format. For this conceit, it is a slightly more pricy $16, but it is still cheaper than the Organia - and it looks 'sporty'. This enhances the fact that we muscular liberals aren't confined to armchairs. Buy it here.

CHAVIA - The "Hoodie" Top

Designed to help the muscular liberal who may also be concerned with CCTV in shopping malls (thankfully, L&L is only sold online), or for that 'dangerous' look. You may not be allowed into Bluewater, but on the bright side it'll scare the hell out of Madeleine Bunting when we loiter outside her office waiting to engage her in dialectic. A steal at $26. Buy it here.

At time of writing, the exchange rate was roughly 54p to $1. So in British terms, its a bargain, um, innit?


* Look, even if you don't buy the damn shirt, please do make sure that women's rights, gay rights, the rights of secularists, trade-unionists, political disidents, writers and academics remain a real concern, and not, as Ms Bunting suggests, "an elite squabble". Keep it real!


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