American Standard at the BBQ.Iguana in DC 1989
by Dave Brown
wearing a famous meese is a pig t shirt
more info look here
Something that has always fascinated me when reading about the “harDCore” scene in the 80s was the Meese Is A Pig phenomenon that occurred from the Winter of ‘87, to the Spring of ‘88. For those who don’t know, Jeff Nelson, the former drummer of Minor Threat, organized his own select group of people from within the community’s Positive Force organization to spread simple screen printed posters around the DC area, seemingly overnight. Their plan was to try and put pressure on their corrupt Attorney General, Edwin Meese, but the posters gained an incredible amount of attention, eventually leading to some pretty favorable results.
The phrase “MEESE Is a PIG” materialized quickly. Nelson decided that a huge poster with that simple phrase, rendered in striking letters and colors, would be the perfect instrument. The poster’s designer didn’t realize at the time, but his choice of words was oddly appropriate. For years Meese, an archenemy of 1960s protesters, had been collecting pig statues in an odd personal tribute to law enforcement officers. (taken from Dance of Days: Two Decades of Punk in the Nation’s Capital by Mark Anderson & Mark Jenkins. pg 247)
The movement soon united the local young punks, allowing them to push their way into politics in a much deeper fashion than expressing their distress through lyrics, as they had already done for quite some time. With expanding attention, the poster was redesigned with an added “experts agree!” to showcase the mounting urgency for Meese’s resignation. Nelson eventually created t-shirts to spread the word further, initially as gifts for those involved, and later put up for sale at an independent bookstore.
On July 6th of 1988, Meese resigned.
The shirts are now a rare token from that era, as is the story in itself.