Sunday, December 16, 2007

The Hat Makes the Man

A man's hat can tell you so much at a glance that you often needn't even ask.

Sometimes there is the hat and also another obvious clue to the man's character.

There is a hat.

There is a man's hat.

And there is a real man's hat.

When we witness that happy day when men across Europe don real men's hats, then we will see a new age of peace and prosperity and the Kingdom come. I look forward to the day when every man wears a good hat. You may say I'm a dreamer, but I'm not the only one. I hope someday you'll join us, and the world will be as one. But please wear a good hat. It might seem a small thing but a hat is important to the future of the free world. The hat is as important as what's under it. I prefer the Kossuth hat. Any cowboy hat will do, of course, but one must wear a real man's hat if we are to save what we can of the world of the free. It says what one is. No need for words, no glorious speeches, just the hat.

Dear reader, I can almost hear you say, "Dag, are you being weird?"

Well, no. A hat is such an obvious sign of what a man is that one can hardly argue it. We in the West seldom wear hats, and it shows in our lack of real mission in life. A hat says. And a lack of hats also says. Real men wear hats for real men. When it becomes a sign of our times and our being that we have Kossuth hats, then we will know we are ascendant. It's not weird, it's just out of the blue. In time, I can for now only hope, a hat will be an obvious sign of ones stand, of our stand, as hats are for others today.


tiberge said...

@ dag

It's always surprising to look at older photographs of crowds, for example at sports events, or political events, or crowds in the streets of NY, etc... All the men wore hats. My father always wore a kind of fedora (I'm not sure that's the word - whatever Bogart is wearing in your photo). This came to an abrupt end in the late 1960's, early 70's. As women threw away their bras (and their brains), men must have felt obligated to be as liberated and dumb as their bedmates. In short, EVERYBODY was better dressed. Today we all look like "boyz in the hood" or something like that - black parka, jeans, Adidas. In the subways late in the evening the females are all tarts, the "men" all slovenly smelly bums. At one time a ride on public transportation was a pleasure - you could read a book or look out the window. I would imagine Vancouver is still much better than East Coast USA.

dag said...

Tiberge, I have a Walker Evans photo from the depths of the Depression of men standing in a sup kitchen line-up, each man wearing a suit and tie and a hat, all of them poor as could be, and all of them dressed like men. The author of the text accompanying Evans' photos entitled the book: "Let us now praise famous men."

Let us now praise famous men and the fathers that begat us. Maybe we might even try to be bit like them.

Charles Henry said...

In the old black and white gangster movies, the cliche scene would be to see police bursting upon a back office poker game at mob headquarters and announce, "grab your hats, boys, we're going downtown"...

Everybody, even the bad guys, wore hats.

I used to wear hats all my adult life, until just in the last year or so. Can't remember why I stopped... Reading this post gives me the itch to renew old habits..!

In terms of general trends, the decline in dressing behavior that I notice the most, and that has shocked me the most, is the lack of care adults take in dressing for sunday church services nowadays. Faded jeans and travel souvenir or rock concert t-shirts in church??? Once upon a time such choices of apparel would have been unheard of.
I think the faded jeans at such occasions are a sad symbol of the fading desire to "grow up".

What's next, t-shirts and jeans at weddings? Or funerals?

truepeers said...

Someone once told me that the decline of the men's hat can be attributed to JFK not wearing one to his inauguration. That may be a proximate answer, but the larger question is why did JFK think he could/should go hatless - why do we witness a decline in dress standards across the board?

dag said...

I put in a fair number of years in some of the world's poorest nations, and every one of them had a population of near-starving people who looked sharp.

I recall a scene from one of my more recent adventures in the jungles of Honduras, going by an old school bus donated somewhere up the line from a high school in Ohio, the bus passed-down till it finally reached the mud ruts I traveled. We slowed to an even slower crawl and moved as wide away from the kids on the path-side as we could. I looked at them, youngsters in spotless white blouses and uniform pants or skirts, all of them carrying donated school book, going home to the semi-circle of thatched roofs on bamboo poles around a smouldering garbage dump littered with vultures. Spotlessly clean kids living like that and going to school.

I saw a stretch-limo recently with highschool kids hanging drunk out the window shouting and spraying booze at passers-by. I could weep.