The Doubloon; or, the Moby-Dick T-shirt (men’s)
Celebrate uncertainty with this T-shirt featuring the famously ambiguous Moby-Dick doubloon.
This shirt reproduces the design of the gold doubloon that figures prominently in Chapter 99 of Moby-Dick. The coin described in the book is an actual coin minted by the Republic of Ecuador in the early 1840s. It looked exactly like this except that it was a coin instead of a T-shirt.
In the book, a series of characters look at the doubloon and say what they think it means. Ahab looks at the three mountaintops and decides that they all represent himself. Starbuck says that the bright sun above the dark valley symbolizes God’s superintendency of the universe, even its evil parts. Stubb concludes that the coin depicts a jolly romp through life, and so on. In the end, it seems like the doubloon itself doesn’t really mean anything; we see in it whatever want to see. The white whale is the same way. And maybe the universe is, too.
See what happens when you put this design on your chest. When people ask you what’s on your shirt, ask them what they see in it. Then tell them that all meaning is essentially make-believe, that all the things that make life meaningful are merely projections of our own fantasies onto a world that is ultimately a blank, atheistic meaninglessness. Let us know how it goes over.
American Apparel TR401 short sleeve t-shirt: 50% polyester, 25% cotton, 25% rayon, made in Los Angeles.
Shirts ship in about 3 business days. U.S. shipping is free; to Canada, $3; to Europe, $5; elsewhere, $10.