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About T-Shirt Diplomacy

T-shirt Diplomacy is the first-ever intergalactic casual-apparel website.

In March 1977, the famous T-shirt Accords, a treaty between Earth and over 100 alien races from across the Nine Galaxies, laid the groundwork for the peaceful and mutually beneficial trade across the stars that we enjoy today.

Signed simultaneously in Oslo, on Earth, and Hrasbvakchar, in the Greater Chakpasadts, the T-shirt Accords represent the belief by all sentient beings that the best way for humanity and alienkind to learn and benefit from one another is via a joint commercial venture selling imprinted casual garmentwear.

Now, many decades later, the dream of Ambassador Xog has come to fruition. T-shirt Diplomacy, a fully-functional ecommerce store featuring ideas and designs by some of the brightest minds from both Earth and the stars, is the website you are on right now.

 

The History of Human-Alien Relations

While First Contact may be a historical event with which every Earthling is familiar, very few actually seem to recall their high school history lessons!

A poll conducted in 2012 asked 200 high school graduates to describe the events of the T-shirt Accords. Over 63% of respondents believed them to be a program to appease "terrifying alien overlords" with a large and steady stream of t-shirts for combustion in their space-barges, and following that, consumption in their space-bellies (for species with space-bellies). 

What a ridiculous and dreadful misunderstanding! It turned out the poll was also poorly designed, but alas!

In reality, the T-shirt Accords are for our benefit as much as for aliens’.  Can you even imagine a Ferculean Shadoworm wearing a T-shirt?  Or a friendly hydro-cephalic Gargantite from the floating cities of Maroon V trying to fit a T-shirt over its bulbous and beautiful headsphere?  Of course not!

While human-alien tensions may seem like a thing of the past (barely anyone remembers the Mind Control and Pre-Digestion riots of 1981 anymore), we believe in honouring our origins by continuing the creative collaboration that got us to where we are today, now that it is finally legally permissible.

We invite everyone – from the most intolerant human, to the friendliest Grofbarf from the Suffer Pits of Kablar – to browse and purchase these T-shirts. For they represent an unprecedented union of human, alien, AI, and parasitic wasp storm efforts, and it is our belief that the simple medium of T-shirtery enables every being to put aside differences, appetites, and basic respiratory needs in order to comfortably and economically sheathe any quasi-human-shaped torso.

 

Earth’s First Contact

Xog’s craft lands outside Lincoln, Nebraska—18 June 1976

June 18th, 1976. The Day The Earth Stood Still, Then Coughed, Looked Awkwardly to The Closest Responsible-Looking Person for Guidance, Received a Shrug in Response, Scratched Its Head, And So Tentatively – For Lack of Any Other Suitable Reaction – Offered A Warm, Mammalian Hand to The Visitors from The Stars. 

On this day, a spacecraft – which at the time, seemed magnificent and glorious beyond our feeble comprehension, but we now know to have been a mid-range family vehicle, a Turbojet 5000 – came to rest on our planet’s surface. Spilling forth from its five childproof pneumatic doors came Ambassador Xog and his eight-person, two-robot, and one-being-of-pure-energy crew (as well as a cool breeze of air conditioning from the driver’s side, thanks to the Turbojet’s advanced micro-climate control). 

What courage it must have taken those brave ambassadors to extend a hand – or intestinal protuberance, as turned out to be the custom of Xog’s species – to seemingly primitive apes!  We could have disappointed them; that day could have ended in terrible tragedy.  But it didn't, and while it may seem bold to say so, we believe that we've given Ambassador Xog and his colleagues the gift of friendship, of collaboration, and of human ingenuity.

For in the days following First Contact, no feat of human engineering impressed our alien visitors as much as the humble T-shirt.

Professor Fiona Angelica Brasstax

Fiona Brasstax at the inaugural meeting of the Very Good Planet Society.

Fiona Brasstax  grew up with a love for the stars. After receiving her degree in Advanced Space Studies from Cambridge, she moved to the United States, where her work quickly began to outshine that of her peers – including Frank Drake, Carl Sagan, Clyde Tombaugh, and others.

By 1976, Professor Brasstax (then known by her married name, Brasstax-Buttons) had become the youngest-ever director of OSETITBO (Other Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence – The Better One). So, when Xog’s vehicle came to rest on that dusty Nebraska plain, President Ford considered her the obvious choice to be the first human being to officially make contact.

Anyone else might have looked Xog in the scaly-but-moist fingernail-like growths he calls eyes and been repulsed.  They might have screamed in fear before even bothering to ask whether the slick red fluid around his mouth was viscera, or simply the natural excretions of his disgusting biology. They might even have reached for the shotgun when the cool swirls of the Turbojet’s high-performance A/C touched their sweaty, summertime skin.

That other hypothetical person, had they done so, would have robbed the human species of the greatest opportunity since the original Family Feud – to speak to a cosmic brother, to connect with our long-estranged family from beyond. 

Brasstax, however, faced a different challenge. She and the scientific community were overjoyed to make the acquaintance of Xog and his repulsive entourage. But they would be a harder sell to the rest of Earth.

A Diplomatic Struggle

Professor Brasstax (left) with Ambassador Xog, Houston—19 Sept 1976
Alien technology, in 1976 especially, was loud, obtrusive, and frightening – the sight of the luxurious yet affordable Turbojet was enough to give even Brasstax herself nightmares, according to her autobiography (I Was Promised Little Green Men, Harper-Collins 1979) – and proved a huge obstacle to getting humans to accept their new neighbours.
For the immediate flood of alien-engineered instant-ovens and quantum teleportation was frightening to the humans of yesteryear. No Earthling seemed to want alien-designed throat-lengtheners or buttock teeth. After just three months on our planet, Xog and his surviving envoys were ready to depart, their efforts to establish trade relations with us a failure.

We have Brasstax, then his closest friend, to thank for what happened next. On a warm autumn day in Houston, Texas, the Professor excused herself to change into a NASA T-shirt, after Xog’s propulsive body seepages once again stained her expensive polyester flight suit. She had the foresight to bring a second one as well, for the Ambassador. 

That day, Xog put on his first T-shirt – finding it perkily ready to display any charming, expressive motto along with a comfortable, relaxed cotton fit – and everything changed.

The 1977 T-shirt Accords

Ambassador Xog (centre) with President Jimmy Carter and Secretary-General Kurt Waldheim, Oslo—10 March 1977

After that fateful day in Houston, the path forward was clear. With the help of Professor Brasstax and a multinational team of diplomats, Earth and the alien races signed their landmark treaty in March 1977, with the goal of bringing peace, commerce, and style to all.

Brasstax and Xog knew that T-shirts were an accessible way to communicate the love, laughter, and life of our alien friends to all residents of Earth. Alien culture could become the domain of everyone, young and old, expert and layman alike. 

Hearts quickly warmed to “I Transmuted Myself into a Multi-Dimensional Being and Left Several of My Electrons in A Parallel Universe; Now They Sporadically Return At Inconvenient and Terrifying Moments, And All I Got Was This Stupid T-shirt”.

Throngs lined up for days to see the band Genesis put on the very first advance printings of “I'm With Our Shared Galaxy (Unless You’re From Another Galaxy)”.

And who can forget the classic “Kiss Me, I’m Xblyz’frrkish” – over 10 billion printed, and nearly 50,000 sold!

Finally, now that the Ambassador has returned from his multi-lightyear journey home and back, bringing us our own fully-executed copy of the 1977 treaty, T-shirt Diplomacy has the legal permission to serve the public, via the Internet and any other means heretofore devised, in perpetuity, throughout the universe.

Today, we honour Professor Brasstax’s legacy. We are proud to carry on this multicultural diplomatic endeavour, in which both human and alien artists create T-shirts for human bodies, exploring themes that transcend species – proving that it really is an awfully small universe, after all. 

 

Legal Notices

T-shirt Diplomacy designs are © their respective owners. For licensing or bulk purchases, please contact us for further information.

Shirt sizes vary by manufacturer. We recommend consulting our sizing page for detailed information. If you would like to request a given shirt to be printed on a different brand or colour, please use our contact form.

All T-shirt Diplomacy apparel shipped to Earth originates from Burbank, California. Sales tax is charged on orders to California addresses. Local customs, duties, taxes or tariffs may apply to international or interplanetary orders. Tribute to the Cargellian Starfiends is not included in the purchase price of any shirt and is the responsibility of the buyer.

We accept United States dollars and Ridaxxian beltrans. Due to exchange fluctuations we can no longer accept either Padvorniac qualibir or personal cheques.

T-shirt Diplomacy is not remotely affiliated with TopatoCo. Probably shouldn’t have even mentioned it.

We love you, we miss you, Fiona.