Mickey Mouse and Joy Division: The mash-up T-shirt


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Pitchfork is frothing at the mouth over this unholy repurposing of the Joy Division pulse-wave cover of ‘Unknown Pleasures.’ It seems to be real -- it’s listed in the Disney store’s online catalog, and unless this is a masterstroke of a website hack, it appears you can purchase one today.

There are all sorts of reasons to give pause to such a concept: from the rich, rich irony of Disney’s frequent lawsuits against trademark infringers; to the insane disconnect between the Happiest Place on Earth and a band that took its name from a Nazi sex-slave program and whose frontman hanged himself; to the blatant pandering to a musical subculture that should probably see right through this kind of thing; to the stratospherically curious explanatory note, ‘Inspired by the iconic sleeve of Joy Division’s Unknown Pleasures album, this Waves Mickey Mouse Tee incorporates Mickey’s image within the graphic of the pulse of a star. That’s appropriate given few stars have made bigger waves than Mickey!’


But as a piece of subversive Warhol-ian commercial art that unintentionally detonates the context of two iconic images, the mash-up T-shirt succeeds magnificently, in its way.

We’re contacting designer Peter Saville, Disney and the surviving members of Joy Division for comment, and will update accordingly with their comments as to whether or not this is officially licensed and the intentions behind it. But right now, we have to applaud the moxie of the graphic designer who managed to get this one through Corporate, especially with the hereforth-unknown-to-science level of irony being trafficked here.


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