While I was on vacation in the UK I wanted to find the perfect kitschy souvenir. It should be the equivalent of a china teacup that says “Memento of Lyme Regis”, but should be something you would buy in Hot Topic. I imagined that somewhere in London I might find a completely ridiculous tea towel or dish towel printed with album covers by The Smiths or the Sex Pistols. Instead, I found dishtowels with mummies on them from the British Museum, and tea towels commemorating the Battle of Britain from Walton-on-the-Naze. What does it take to get a punk rock tea towel!?
One is a Sex Pistols 2010 calendar and the other has a photo of the Queen with a safety pin through her nose. You can buy them from Spoonflower or make your own. I now can wrap loaves of bread in the Queen’s face or wipe the table with Sid Vicious. The towels look hilarious hung up in the kitchen.
Anyway, why confine semi-ironic retro-hipster album images to things like tshirts and skateboard stickers? Put them on places they have absolutely no business being. There should also be retro postcards in this series of nostalgic music for Gen X dorkwads. For example, the “Welcome to Sunny L.A.” postcard and dishtowel would have a picture of The Runaways rather than some orange trees and the Hollywood sign. We don’t have to limit it to punk or new wave, either. We could have general pop culture souvenirs, like giant pencils with pictures of Lady Gaga’s greatest videos, or fridge magnets depicting Janet Jackson’s nipple slip at the Super Bowl. There should also be lolcat dishtowels. I’m waiting! Get busy, crafters!
Back to the “Battle of Britain” dishtowel. That one boggled my mind. It has little airplanes all over the map of Britain and the names of famous air battles. Who would buy that? Other than me – I am now its proud owner. More to the point, who would manufacture it? At what point during or after a war do you make commemorative tea towels of its horrible battles and bombings? Do you have to have won the war, but suffered in the specific battles? Because I really can’t picture the “Bombing of Dresden” dishtowels being made by either side.