The Internet is Weird: Christian Edition

I have a shopping problem.

Namely, that I like to do a lot of it. And have the income of a graduate student.

making it rain
Pictured: Not me, unless she’s raining receipts of things she didn’t need.

This minor addiction is made both better and worse by my discovery of a website called Wish. Ostensibly, everything on this site is dirt-cheap because you’re ordering directly from the manufacturers, and cutting out the middle man saves costs. Which is probably about 40% true, but it’s also really cheap because . . . well, it’s really cheap.

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Yeah . . .
Yeah . . .

It’s a lot of fun, but only if you obey a few cardinal rules:

  1. Always look at the pictures uploaded by users.
  2. Never buy anything that doesn’t have pictures uploaded by users.
  3. Read the reviews — all of them.
  4. Memorize your measurements and don’t pay attention to sizing; they’re Chinese, which runs at least 1-2 sizes smaller than US.

I only break these rules like . . . half the time I buy stuff, so there’s another one I had to add:

  1. Expect everything you get to be crap.

In reality, I’ve bought 7 things so far, and of those, 3 have been better than I expected, 2 have met expectations, and 2 have been slight-to-significant disappointments. (One of which I got a refund for despite having been an idiot and not obeying #3, so that’s pretty cool. Also, if you know anyone who’s a Chinese XS-M, I have a super-cute dress for them.)

Okay, somehow this has turned into a review for the site. Don’t go on Wish: everything is cheap and it’s way too easy to fall into a shopping frenzy, because they reward purchases with discounts that only last a week, which if you’re me means that you have to buy something or else you’re throwing away free money . . . and next thing you know you’re living in a box drinking wine made by Hobo Joe, which you’re pretty sure is about 35% pee.

You don't want to emulate someone who voluntarily drank Ras-ber-itas. Trust me on this.
You don’t want to emulate someone who voluntarily drank something called a Raz-ber-rita. Trust me on this.

But if you have a shopping addiction and hate throwing away $20 a pop on cheap garbage, get this app. That way, you’re only spending $5 on cheap garbage. Just be prepared to develop a wishlist thousands of items long, full of things you probably will never buy.

For example, do I need a pair of tartan suspenders? Have I ever worn suspenders in my life? Do I see a situation in which I will benefit from tartan suspenders in any way? No, no, and not unless I successfully transform into a Magic Pixie Dream Girl. But I WANT THEM.
For example, do I need a pair of tartan suspenders? Have I ever worn suspenders in my life? Do I see a situation in which I will benefit from tartan suspenders in any way? No, no, no, and not unless I successfully transform into a Magic Pixie Dream Girl. But look at the great price! I WANT THEM.

Angst about how cute I used to be aside —

I was so skinny.
I was so skinny.

— one thing this site is great for is seeing what the Internet wants to buy. And the Internet, it turns out, is absolutely nuts. So let’s-a go!

Background: I started this journey by looking up diamond embroidery.

Which is awesome, albeit a bit hard if you don't read Chinese.
Which is awesome.

And suddenly came face-to-face with this . . . thing:

I kinda want to buy one.
I . . . kinda want it?

Everything about this is amazing. I have no idea why Jesus is white (well, aside from racism), 15,000 miles tall, and seems to be standing in an inferno. I’m a little concerned about why the Earth is so lifeless and gray, though the fire and speed-lines that indicate He’s spinning it like a basketball might explain that one. I’m also not sure what that expression is: it looks a lot like Jesus is falling asleep and is about to faceplant into the Atlantic.

Then again, maybe He’s just wondering where his legs went.

This genuinely changed my life. It’s so beautifully Middle America, Westernized Christianity at its finest. There’s a level of religious sincerity that, combined with ineptitude and just a pinch of crazy, creates something so nonsensically wonderful that it makes you happy just to look at it. So, wanting to spread the joy, I typed “Jesus,” “God,” and “religion” into the search bar to see what else was out there in the world of cheap knick-knacks for compulsive shoppers, with a likely language and/or culture barrier translated in 2 directions.

That, dear readers, was a mistake.

Disclaimer (disclaimers can happen 600+ words into a post, right?): I’m not making fun of Christians. Well . . . okay, I kinda am, but only because it’s so easy. I am one, so I think that gives me the right. An important lesson I had to learn was that just because something is Religious doesn’t mean it’s good, or that you have to like it.

But I’d like to be very clear that I’m not mocking God, or Jesus, or religion or the lack thereof, or anything except the products (and kinda the people who make/buy them). It’s just that . . . sometimes things are stupid. And it happens that sometimes Christianity has a higher tolerance for low quality and stupid products.

Boom.

Things should not be immune from criticism just because they’re faith-based, and also I want to make fun of accidental dongs. Who doesn’t?

Anyway, jumping in! It starts pretty mildly, with some more White Jesus gazing tenderly at a White Baby:

Though He does look a little like He wants to eat the baby. Christian artists: please learn how to draw facial expressions before rendering our Lord.
Though He does look a little like He wants to eat the baby.

Christian artists: please learn how to draw facial expressions before rendering our Lord. At least learn the difference between “serene and wise” and “blitzed out of His mind.”

Is He . . . healing the apple? Giving us the apple? Is this a reversal of the Eden story? Am I putting more thought into this than anyone ever has?
Is He . . . trying to grab the apple? Healing the apple? Giving us the apple? Is this a reversal of the Eden story? Is it from a heavily stylized anime? Are there anime about Jesus? Are they good? Am I putting more thought into this than anyone ever, including the creator?

If you don’t feel like creating your own Jesus art and already have a tacky laptop sticker, you can always buy a regular wall-hanging:

Gotta say, the Devil has impressive biceps. Is it blasphemous to think he might win this one? I mean, at least give Jesus some muscles! It seems like every image I see has Him ripped like a He spent all of his spare time bench-pressing His disciples —

I stand corrected.
I stand corrected.

It’s original, I’ll give it that. And there’s something beautiful about a Christ that appears to wear makeup. It illustrates that there truly are no men and women in Him, but all are one part of the glorious creation, and we can rise above ridiculous gender norms . . .

But come on. Blue eyeshadow and coral lipstick? On that (still white) complexion? And honey, that hair is not doing you any favors. It looks like you jumped out of the pool and fell asleep without brushing it, then slapped a cheap T-shirt on and rolled out the door. That is some tangled and thirsty hair.

Besides, somehow I don’t think the artist, or anyone who buys this, is particularly interested in advocating the many variations in gender expression. Typical American culture tends to emphasize the masculine, and depictions of Jesus, since He is in a lot of ways the American Ideal, are often focused on emphasizing the manly, the physically impressive, the virile and rugged —

Seriously?
Emphasis on virile, I see.

This isn’t just me, right? I can’t be the only one who thinks that someone just gave Our Lord and Savior three spinning, bright red, impossibly-sized dongs. I want to be offended, but it’s too hilarious to be truly upsetting.

And 66 people purchased this! They looked at that picture, said, “Nope, nothing weird about that,” and went ahead and ordered it.

So maybe I’m the problem here. I might be the crazy one. Perhaps that’s a perfectly normal watch placement.

Screen Shot 2016-05-11 at 11.36.57 PM

Perhaps what a true Christian really wants is Jesus watching them shower with the cold, dead eyes of judgement.

Great for parents who want their kids to spend less "alone time" in the bathroom!
Great for parents who want their kids to spend less “alone time” in the bathroom!
$33? Really?
$33? Really? That stellar Photoshop job is worth at least $33.50.
Screen Shot 2016-05-11 at 11.36.05 PM
Jesus: fully man, fully divine, about 17% cocker spaniel.

Apparently God was serious about being everywhere. And apparently people like to remind themselves of that with giant, ugly wall stickers.

Screen Shot 2016-05-11 at 11.52.30 PM Screen Shot 2016-05-11 at 11.53.08 PM Screen Shot 2016-05-11 at 11.56.28 PM

Really makes the room look like a tacky motivational poster, doesn’t it? But it’ll keep your daughter’s boyfriends slightly terrified and well-behaved when visiting!

If you don’t have enough wall space and would like to make your home look like a futuristic nightmare-land, don’t worry, because there’s something for you, too:

Screen Shot 2016-05-11 at 11.46.08 PM
Worst. Nightlight. Ever.

I believe I speak for everyone when I say AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHH!!! KILLITKILLITKILLIT!!!!!!

Ugh, enough decorations. Sometimes you want to wear your faith on your sleeve.

Or your finger.
Or your finger.
Or phone.
Or phone.
Or nails.
Or nails.
Or cookies.
Or cookies.

I have to wonder why the cookie cutter only got 1 star. How badly can a slab of metal meant to represent one’s religion mess up?

Well. Answers that question.
Well. Answers that question.

I don’t think the person who designed this understands that Cupid is not actually part of Christianity. To be fair, I don’t think the person who designed this understands how faces work, so perhaps I’m ignoring the forest for the trees.

It was smart of them to include “Hipsters” in the title, though, because I have a hard time imagining anyone wearing this unironically.

Screen Shot 2016-05-11 at 11.39.05 PM

You know, if you unfocus your eyes it kinda looks like Santa Claus.

We’ve reached a point where I’m honestly starting to wonder if these are all jokes. I’m just not sure a real person would wear any of these.

*sigh* Okay, that one I can see someone wearing.
Okay, that one I can see someone wearing. Unfortunately.

This post’s word-count-per-image ratio is approaching Buzzfeed levels. But what am I supposed to say to this? Does anyone really want to listen to me talk about religion and gun control?

Screen Shot 2016-05-11 at 11.45.59 PM

Screen Shot 2016-05-11 at 11.47.13 PM

Okay, now I can’t tell what’s serious and what isn’t. I do know that I wouldn’t spend $6 on a patch that put more attention to detail in the gun than in Jesus’ lily-white face.

Okay, that's actually awesome.
Okay, that’s actually awesome.

What? I’m a sucker for a good pun.

Looking over the rest of my images, they tend to run the gamut from painfully earnest —

The battlefield of taste?
The battlefield of fashion?

— to pathetically uncool —

Nice 1998 graffiti font.
Nice 2002 graffiti font.

— with a brief stop over in the land of Obviously Not Trying:

The idea of anyone spending money on this makes me genuinely angry.
The idea of anyone spending money on this makes me genuinely angry.

I’m pretty sure a friend made me a shirt like that for free. It had Fullmetal Alchemist on it.

Also, that’s absolutely a blank white shirt with a cross picture edited in, right? Makes me want to buy it just to see what the real thing looks like, but I have an allergy to spending more than $15 on one item on this site, especially when that item could be made as part of an elementary school craft.

This shirt took at least marginally more effort:

Screen Shot 2016-05-11 at 11.44.12 PM

I have to admit that I don’t quite understand how the pictures work . . . they seem to be the same on the front and the back, and it took me an embarrassingly long time to work out what “Underated” had to do with anything. Do you think they’re aware they spelled their brand name wrong, or did their spellcheck break and they just decided to go with it?

Screen Shot 2016-05-11 at 11.43.10 PM

Screen Shot 2016-05-11 at 11.44.35 PM Screen Shot 2016-05-11 at 11.45.42 PM Screen Shot 2016-05-11 at 11.43.52 PM

Despite being tacky, I appreciate the gay shirt because it reconciles the rift between popular Christianity and the LGBT+ community, caused by the wholesale — in all but the official sense — expulsion of these individuals from many denominations. This rejection (commonplace for decades, even centuries, but ramping up in the last few years as it faces increased criticism and, perhaps, its death throes) is supported by the claim of a “moral righteousness” (or masked bigotry and fear of the unknown) that has resulted in an understandable unfortunate resentment on the part of LGBT+ individuals towards the faith; in large part, this community has abandoned Christianity in turn because it tells them they are wrong and evil, even if they otherwise have a vibrant and devoted faith, because all other factors are overridden by their sexuality, mixed with many Christians’ refusal to even entertain the possibility that they might be wrong about this issue, just like we were wrong about slavery and witches and the Crusades and everything else we ignored the cultural and historical context of in favor of selective literalism and

No one comes here to listen to me talk religion or politics. Anyway, these shirts all have a fantastically smug and bitchy quality to them, don’t they? Very “I’m one of the cool kids, but also I’m going to co-opt something popular and use it to push my beliefs onto anyone who has the misfortune of looking in my direction.” I have to imagine that the people wearing these are dying for someone to come over and start an argument.

“You only live once (unless you accept Jesus).”

tumblr_n5w9nmfA1p1qz5q5lo1_500

After that, things get pretty benign, as long as you don’t mind ugliness.

Screen Shot 2016-05-11 at 11.56.33 PM

You know these things just jangle so loudly. And not the heavy clanking of real jewelry, but that hollow clink clink clink of steel cut ultra-thin to save money.

Screen Shot 2016-05-11 at 11.45.34 PM

This shirt costs less than the one with the edited cross on it. Think about that for a moment.

(Don’t get me wrong, it’s ugly. But it’s the kind of ugly that’s obviously trying.)

Screen Shot 2016-05-11 at 11.42.18 PM

Oh how cute! A Barbie Bible, so she can go and convert the other Barbies. It’s like practice for Jehovah’s Witness children.

Wait, that’s supposed to be for humans? Does it come with a magnifying glass? Or a real Bible that you can actually read?

Also, there’s no way the pages don’t start falling out within 10 minutes of delivery. You can’t get quality binding for $1.

And if you’ve been feeling guilty because you haven’t gone to church in a while and have missed communion, Wish has got you covered:

Screen Shot 2016-05-11 at 11.50.21 PM

I’d really like to meet the priest or nun (deacon, bishop, etc.) who was shopping on Wish and decided to cut costs by ordering what looks like a lens-cleaning cloth with a sheep printed on it. I think we’d get along.

The cup is not included. I know, I’m disappointed too.


Aaaand I’m out of stuff. We’ve reached the epitome of whiteness and unintentional cringe, and now there’s nowhere to go but . . . literally anywhere else.

I hope you enjoyed this journey down the rabbit hole, and if you’re disappointed at how tame these were, a) what exactly were you expecting? and b) don’t worry, because I have way more amazing finds from this site.

Next week: things are getting sexy.

No, this is for the week after. Thank goodness?
No, this is for the week after. I don’t think this is meant to be sexy . . . at least, I hope it isn’t.
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