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The New Pornographers self-censor on t-shirts for kids

By | Published on Thursday 30 January 2020

The News Photographers / The New Pornographers

The New Pornographers are a band with a name that sometimes requires a bit of explanation. But what if your child likes them enough to want a t-shirt?

How do you balance a kid’s self-expression with having to endlessly explain why they have ‘pornographers’ written across their chest? It’s fine, the band have you covered. For this purpose, they’re willing to pretend that’s not their name.

Currently on tour in the US promoting their latest album ‘In The Morse Code Of Brake Lights’, the band have just added a range of t-shirts in children’s sizes. The shirts bear the album’s artwork, but with the band name changed to The News Photographers.

So that sorts everything out. You can swan around knowing that you need explain nothing, and it will be your child who will loudly tell everyone in earshot that it should actually say pornographers. And that’s fine. No one pays any attention to children.

How hard is it to explain that band name though? Well, so hard that back in 2010 a US college gave up and just cancelled a show by the band.

The activities office of Christian college Calvin College said in a statement at the time: “We believe that the decision to invite the band fit our rubric of engaging culture through a Christian lens. The band makes good, thoughtful music, and we invited them here based on their artistic merit. However, after weeks of discussion and consideration, the irony of the band’s name was impossible to explain to many. The band’s name, to some, is mistakenly associated with pornography”.

Sadly, at the time no one at Calvin College thought to just tell everyone they were called The News Photographers.