‘Occupy North Pole’ Artwork Offends Some, Amuses Others

The transposition of the 99%-1% concept to the North Pole seems like a no-brainer. Santa’s domain is after all a place where all year long, elves slave away making the goods, only to see one privileged white guy bask in all the capitalistic glory.

However, when Austin-based apparel manufacture Despair Inc. unveiled just such a piece of merchandise for pre-order a few days before Thanksgiving, some customers declared themselves less than amused by this year’s artwork:

“It’s mostly emails from people who see the illustration as an endorsement of police brutality and-or a mockery of legitimate civil disobedience,” company rep Justin Sewell tells FishbowlLA via email. “It’s not intended as either.”

“We have a five-year tradition of rolling out a limited-edition Christmas T-shirt (illustrated by Glenn Jones of Glennz.com)–and usually, they feature the senseless death of a beloved Christmas figure,” he adds. “We actually put a funny Facebook post out there that features several earlier designs- along with another angry email excerpt. It’s prompted some pretty amusing reactions.”

Despair Inc., which expects to sell between three to five thousand of the 2011 edition Xmas T-shirts for $19.95 each, embraces cheeky humor across its website. Their “About Us” blurb for example describes the company dream as one “that would create dissatisfied customers in the process of exploiting demoralized employees while selling overpriced and ineffective products…” Mission accomplished?