24 February 2014

Goodbye, Porkpie Hat (and Others): A Personal Journey Away From the Flip Chapeau Insolence of Youth



I look good in a hat. I always have. Photos of me extending back to my teenage years provide ample evidence that I can rock a fuckin’ hat, yo. (and no, I will not post those photos here, as I am not into embarrassing myself with photos from my childhood, whether that childhood was my first, second, or third.

I’ve owned a number of hats: toppers, tams, caps, woollens, up to and including in the last ten years a leather porkpie, a coarse-woven trilby, and a fedora. A picture of me in the trilby used to occupy the space in the “Your Host” photo; this weekend I chose a more stylized image to replace it. And, with the exception of a baseball cap for hot days, a fur-lined newsboy hat for more temperate days, and a winter hat that covers my ears for cold days, I am no longer a hat wearing man. Especially--and it pains me to say it as I love it so--my black fedora, which I bought for two bucks at a resale store about a year and a half ago, and which looks quite frankly awesome on me.

Why have I stopped with the noggin huggers, you ask?

Well, there’s this. Also this. And this, and this, and this, and this.


Let’s get something straight: As Stephen King so eloquently wrote in The Stand, I ain’t no Nice Guy. Nor am I forever alone. I am happily married to a woman I love and respect, and I have two awesome kids I would lay my life on the line to protect. I am not nice to them; I am good to them, as they are good to (and for me). I do not behave like this towards them because I expect something in return, as my right for mastering something even a dog can learn. I do it because it is the ethical, moral, and correct thing to do.

So I hope I’m a good person.

But I ain’t no nice guy.

I am, to put it honestly, a bit of an asshole. One look through the archives of this very blog or my Twitter feed should be proof enough of that. Some of it is put on, some of it is deliberate. But I am not one of those sniveling little arrested-adolescence boy-men who whinge about friend zoning and expect--nay, demand--that a woman put out because they managed to achieve the most basic level of social abilities. I have no use for such creatures and neither, dear reader, should you. As far as I am concerned they should all be cast into the Pit Of Ultimate AAAAARRRRGGHHH where their skins will be flayed off by demons who look like the Swedish Bikini Team with Wallace Shawn's head, then dipped in Cheetos dust and forced to run marathons past a phalanx of hungry Hounds of Tindalos. And then, the torture.

(See, I told you I’m an asshole.)

You may gather I find these creatures annoying. More, I am especially pissed off at them because I consider it their fault I am no longer able to rock my favorite fedora. Not because they have made it a symbol of their (ahem) culture, but because they are fucking worthless jokes, and I have no desire to taint my own personal appearance with something that has, in the decades since I started wearing them, become the symbol of a joke.

A year or two ago I did not think this way. I even got into an argument with someone about it because she said, without a trace of irony, that I deserved to be judged for wearing a fedora because it was “their costume.” I found that troubling--part of me still does. However, it was subsequently pointed out to me that this is nowhere near as troubling as judging a survivor of rape on how high the hem of her skirt is, or how drunk she (or he) was. So that’s not an argument worth pursuing, in my opinion, because I’d still be making it from a position of privilege and it's just not worth going there. I have better things to do with my time. And one of those things is to hang up the childish business of life, and get on with the more important matters of adulthood. So long as I can keep my teddy bear.

So goodbye, porkpie hat. Toodle-oo, trilby. Farewell, fedora. May you rest well on your hooks in the closet where you hang. I hope you come back into fashion one day, untainted by the flop-sweat-tainted fingers from the lands of arrested development and ensemened underwear.

(See? I told you I was an asshole.)

So long, beloved hats. I will now join the ranks of men without them. And sing the Safety Dance!

(Yes, I’m a silly asshole too. Thpfffffft.)

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