Burning a T-Shirt

From Fanlore
Jump to: navigation, search
Event: Strikethrough
Participants: Burning a T-Shirt
Date(s): August 2007
Click here for related articles on Fanlore.

In the wake of Strikethrough, Aja demonstrated her repudiation of Livejournal by burning a LJ t-shirt on video.[1]

However, the t-shirt was very difficult to ignite.[2]

icon by kadath ("THE T-SHIRT IS ROBUST" is referencing The servers are robust])

Many viewers were amused.[3]

The original video is no longer on YouTube, but the remix edition (using Tom Tom Club's "Genius of Love") is still viewable here. This is thought to be the first Video Flounce.

Aja's Comments: 2012

Okay, so I am quite notorious for having burned a shirt.... . I got really upset about Strikethrough, and I had this T-shirt that LiveJournal had given me, because I guess I'd bought so many gifts or something.... [snipped] I had this very nice shirt that I had actually worn for years because I was like, Hey, LiveJournal, and (laughs) —there's no way to make this story not embarrassing. So, I won't even try. I am something of a crusader, and one of the things that makes me so wanky is I get people riled up, but also, when I go on my high horse, to like, do things that people aren't quite on the ball with. They're like, Um ... maybe not... I basically took one of those little lighters (laughs) and lit my shirt on fire while filming it on—I think I had a Flip video camera. I essentially was saying, I'm going to leave LiveJournal now. I'm going to leave it! and I intended to leave it for good—only there was no Dreamwidth at that time.


People cared more about actually burning the shirt than they did about principles around the shirt burning, you know? : And to this day, I think that remix of the video, which I'm sure everybody's seen, because it's the only part of the video that exists. You can still find the remix of the video, I think, if you look hard enough. [4]

Original Transcript (Audio)

Hello LiveJournal and hello to all my friends.

For the last six years I have been an active and supportive member of LiveJournal and its fandom community. I have loved, trusted, and defended it. I have invested in it my money, time, energy, and passion. Last night, Six Apart gave its fandom community irrevocable proof that their voices and concern do not matter to it. They showed us that they are willing to make subjective judgments of what does and does not constitute artistic merit without considering the wishes or the long-established social boundaries of their fandom communities here on LiveJournal.

So, after six years, I am leaving. I am taking away my financial investment. I am taking away my time, my energy, my passion, and my trust. I am taking away my fanfiction, my three thousand memories, my three thousand photos, and all of my communities. I am taking away my permanent account.

If anyone watching considers this to be an overreaction, let me say this: it's not about porn; it's not even about artistic expression; it's about censorship. Six Apart has proven that it is willing to censor fandom. If you are not outraged, then you have not really been paying attention, and I can only warn you that you will be outraged before long, because it won't stop at the four artists (that we know of) whose journals were suspended last night without warning. It won't stop while fandom's interests conflict with those of LiveJournal's. [Here for some reason she starts to fight off a smile.] And Six Apart has unequivocally sent us the message that they are willing to censor us to bring our community in line, with their 'new vision' of LiveJournal.

Censorship anywhere is a threat to freedom everywhere.

Speak out. Join us in the effort to create an open source fandom blogging service and a fandom archive of our own. On the meantime you'll find me on JournalFen and Word Press.

[Here she holds up the T-shirt.]

LiveJournal, you bastards - [Here she attempts to ignite her lighter and repeatedly fails] [5]

Fan Reaction


  • "whoever that is in the vid, I fuckin applaud her." [6]
  • "Why try and burn it? Why not just write/sew/draw "sucks" (or something similar) on it and wear it in public as often as possible? If I can find a good marker in my house, that's what I'm doing." [7]
  • "you are my hero" [8]
  • "::starts slow clap::" [11]
  • "Well, that's just embarrassing." [12]
  • "Con-FLICT, honey; the accent's on the second syllable. Also who the fuck has a Livejournal shirt?" [13]
  • "I have a HUGE embarrassment squick and this triggered it hardcore. It actually took a couple of tries before I could sit through it." [14]
  • "Oh my god. That is simultaneously the best and most embarrassing thing I've ever read in my life.... Ack, so embarrased to be in fandom right now. SO EMBARRASSED! [15]
  • "It was the burning of the livejournal t-shirt that finally sent me into the cringing ball I am currently in....I could never giggle at it. It wouldn't even burn. As if watching the painful embarrassment wasn't bad enough, there's this awkward eternity where she was just sat there staring at it and trying to look dignified. You'd think at some point in that stretch, there'd be some little glimmer that would just go "W.T.F. ARE. YOU. DOING?"" [16]
  • "Oh man. What really got me was the cut. As if it wasn't awkward enough, there's this awesomely painful jump cut to moments later when she finally got it to lit. I admit I started laughing really hard, but I think it was more out discomfort than actual amusement.... Yeah, the hilariousness of that goes without saying. Burning the shirt that LJ already has your money for? Leaving behind the server space that LJ ALSO already has your money for? But I agree. I don't know which is more disturbing, the over-dramatic way people are behaving, or LJ's cowardly silence over the whole thing. (Unless that's their plan. Stay completely silent and smoke out the really batshit parts of fandom.)" [17]
  • "My amusement is that people are angry enough that they're burning shirts and such while getting huffy. She was trying to be serious and it came across as semi-overdramatic. That display of action isn't going to resolve much -- talking to the company will. What LiveJournal really SHOULD do is come up with a forum or open meeting to where they actually tell us what is/isn't appropriate." [18]
  • "That was the funniest thing I've seen all day." [19]
  • "Wow, that totally wins the epic version of the Scarlett O'Hara Golden Flounce award!" [20]


  • "Oh my god I forgot about the attempt to burn a shirt. What beautiful fuckery that was." [22]


  • "I will never get over that. The fact that the t-shirt didn't light on fire at all, that it was horribly planned out in case it did light on fire (just sitting on her couch holding it with her arm??), and then that she still posted the unedited video online. Wow. Amazing." [23]

Transformative Works


  1. ^ hearsawho. Transcript of the video, 04 August 2007. (Accessed 17 March 2015)
  2. ^ Fandom Wank Wiki.The T-Shirt is Robust - Fandom wank wiki, Archived version, via Wayback: 05 September 2011. (Accessed 17 March 2015)
  3. ^ Discussion in fandom_wank: Strikethrough Two: Electric Boogaloo - Apologies for trolling but ..., 04 August 2007. (Accessed 17 March 2015)
  4. ^ Fan Fiction Oral History Project with Bookshop (2012)
  5. ^ hearsawho -, Archived version
  6. ^ comment by lizrocks at LJ news: August News, Archived version
  7. ^ comment by cattyhunts at LJ news: August News, Archived version
  8. ^ comment by randombastary at LJ news: August News, Archived version
  9. ^ comment by ex_pinkocrac87 at LJ news: August News, Archived version
  10. ^ comment by thorvald viking at LJ news: August News, Archived version
  11. ^ comment by theheartless69 at LJ news: August News, Archived version
  12. ^ comment by gmth at LJ news: August News, Archived version
  13. ^ comment by kinneas at LJ news: August News, Archived version
  14. ^ comment by hearsawho at hearsawho -, Archived version
  15. ^ comment by pet at hearsawho -, Archived version
  16. ^ comment by verpon at Fandom Wank: Strikethrough Two: Electric Boogaloo, Archived version
  17. ^ comment by chudley cannon at Fandom Wank: Strikethrough Two: Electric Boogaloo, Archived version
  18. ^ comment by dracolovessharry at Fandom Wank: Strikethrough Two: Electric Boogaloo, Archived version
  19. ^ comment by nonny mouse at Fandom Wank: Strikethrough Two: Electric Boogaloo, Archived version
  20. ^ comment by squib at Fandom Wank: Strikethrough Two: Electric Boogaloo, Archived version
  21. ^ comment by aerobot at Fandom Wank: Strikethrough Two: Electric Boogaloo, Archived version
  22. ^ All this leaving tumblr talk is making me hark back to the LJ days of old, man oh man.
  23. ^ comment at fail_fandomanon Re: Aja and Andy, 11 March 2015. (Accessed 17 March 2015)