Lockport Union-Sun & Journal Online

Columns

November 2, 2012

VINCENT DAVIS: America: World's largest t-shirt cannon

Lockport Union-Sun & Journal — During a week that’s been filled with political countdowns, Halloween, and harrowing tales of natural disaster and the resilience of the human spirit, people can’t be blamed for missing a news item here and there. Curiosity, the Mars rover recently analyzed its first soil samples and found that the chemical composition of Mars dirt is similar to that of Hawaiian volcanoes. Neat!

Some stories are here for a day and gone the next, it’s the way of the 24-hour news cycle; we always need something fresh and new. But some stories are so important they can’t be ignored.

On October 31, All-Hallows-Eve, the Philadelphia basketball 76ers unveiled “Big Bella”: the largest T-shirt cannon in the world. Capable of firing one hundred shirts per minute, history will look back on this day and remember it as the point where everything changed forever. As the election draws to a close people are at each other’s throats over all kinds of things; was Obama’s hurricane Sandy response Too Presidential? Not Presidential enough? Should Mitt Romney be in Jersey singlehandedly protecting the future historical landmark that is “The Jersey Shore” Shore House?

What I can tell you is that this time next week none of those questions will matter, the Shore House is forever and Big Bella will still have the ability to fire 100 t-shirts at you and your cheering friends in less time than it takes to watch the two Aaron Rogers All State commercials that seem to always play back-to-back.

Sure, we don’t build the number of cars we used to and the days of factories churning out American made refrigerators are for the most part behind us. But there is always hope. America has always done a brisk business in entertainment and innovation. Here’s a brief list of cultural touchstones that the US has innovated and dominated in over the last forty years: Laser Tag, roller rinks, TV shows that just feature other people dancing to popular music (Soul Train, American Bandstand). The United States should have a trademark on innovating entertainment and the Big Bella T-shirt cannon should be its logo/mascot.

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