Libertarians Can Have My Hat When They Pry It From My Cold Dead Head

My HatA year and a half ago, I wrote, Fedoras, Libertarians, and Russell Edson. It was about my love of hats of all kinds and how libertarians had ruined the fedora because it had become a “talisman of a certain strain of man-babyish libertarian white guy.” I figured that this had to do with Sam Spade and The Maltese Falcon — a way of feeling hip, even as you are pushing a philosophy of the power elite. (Also: it’s a bit misogynistic given the femme fatale — dangerous woman — core of so many of those movies.)

But I wrote something at the time, “I’m not up for a pointless fight.” But I’m beginning to think that maybe I am now, “This will not stand, this aggression against hats and poetry and all that is good.” And a big part of it is that I no longer think the libertarians have grabbed the fedora because of Sam Spade. I think they’ve grabbed it because of Guy Fawkes. And that is actually kind of hilarious because, you know, Guy Fawkes didn’t wear a fedora. Based upon the pictures of the time, Guy Fawkes wore what we loosely call a pilgrim hat: wide brim, conical shaped, with a flat top.

I’ve decided to go back to my beaten up pork pie hat. And the libertarians can run around in their two hundred dollar Stetson fedoras.

It comes as no surprise that libertarians would get this wrong. They get most things wrongs. Libertarians are the quintessential subgeniuses. Just ask them about the minimum wage and you will see. They aren’t clueless. They understand some of the issues related to it. But they almost never take another step to understanding it more than in the most narrow, theoretical (cut off from reality) form. So it isn’t surprising at all that they would look at the ridiculously varied hat environment from the last several hundred years and pick one at random.

(As an aside: why do people glorify Guy Fawkes? I understand that England was not a good place for Catholics in the early 17th century. But the man was a terrorist. The Gunpowder Plot sought to kill the protestant king and House of Lords and replace it with a Catholic queen. Fawkes and his allies just wanted a change of ownership. And given what the previous Catholic queen had done to protestants, it wouldn’t have been pretty. So how is Guy Fawkes a symbol of freedom?!)

Now, if libertarians were more knowledgeable, I would be fine with them co-opting the fedora. In truth, it is far too flashy a hat. It began its life as a woman’s hat. And women do look great in them. It tends to make men look like dandies — and in a bad way. If libertarians had even half a clue, they might mistake the fedora for the Homburg — at least a more masculine hat, although one I really don’t like because it is hard to make fit correctly. The real problem comes with the pork pie hat or the trilby. But this is the world of hats to most libertarians:

Every Hat a Fedora

It doesn’t help that hat manufacturers have taken to calling any hat with a brim a fedora. But you know: I don’t much care. To me, what is annoying bout the libertarian obsession with the fedora is that it is all about style. For me, all hats are about temperature regulation. My favorite hat is a pork pie — but not a normal one — not the kind you see on The Brothers Bloom or Breaking Bad. It’s pointy. It’s kind of a cross between a pork pie and a trilby with a really thin brim. But for most people, it’s just a fedora because they don’t know any better.

For the last year, I’ve been wearing only baseball caps. But I’ve decided to go back to my beaten up pork pie hat. And the libertarians can run around in their two hundred dollar Stetson fedoras. Because here’s the thing: man-babyish libertarian white guys look particularly silly in fedoras, but they would still look (and act) like man-babyish libertarian white guys even without them.

27 thoughts on “Libertarians Can Have My Hat When They Pry It From My Cold Dead Head

    • Queen Elizabeth has lovely hats. I tend to like ones that don’t obscure the face. I may like women in hats because I like women with their hair pulled back. Women are pretty. I’ve never understood why it is the fashion to hide their pretty faces with lots of hair. As a result, if I find a woman on television attractive, 90% of the time, she’s a lesbian. Which is great! It’s far less humiliating to have a crush on a woman who would never want you even if you were attractive and rich and famous.

      • It is fashionable for various reasons: sometimes because we are taught we are ugly, others because we are shy, and still others because good hair is expensive so why not show it off?

        Although in my case because outside of ponytails, my hair flops everywhere almost as soon as tucked up even with an entire bottle of hair shellac.

        • It definitely is seen as feminine. I might like hair pulled back because it reminds me of librarians. I also like glasses. So anything that says “intelligent” helps. As for me, I am simply not willing to suffer in the slightest for beauty. My hair is very thick, so when it gets longish, it bugs me so I cut it (usually half-asleep in the middle of the night). I almost never comb my hair. The idea that I would spend 5 seconds putting on make-up (much less a half hour) is amazing to me. (However, I used to work with a woman who sold beauty products, and I’m really impressed with the art.) But I think all of this just makes me very much a guy. But as I often say: I think I’m more a real man in my total lack of care about such niceties than most “real” men, who care about ridiculous things like combed hair and clean clothes. Sissies!

          • When it comes to make up-it is better someone else slathers it on my face since I have slightly shaky hands. I don’t mind sitting there because some of the creations are amazing and I apparently have great cheek bones somewhere in my face. As for hair in a bun-I did that once for a play in high school but it was the incredibly messy bun that harried women can have since again, floppy hair.

            Now I know why you were treated poorly at that bookstore. A guy who only bathes every other day, has poorly trimmed messy hair, ill fitting and stained slightly musty clothing but incredibly clean teeth buying classical literature? You probably confused the heck out of the woman.

            I have a FWB who is somewhat similar-he does have to comb his hair since it is shoulder length though but he recently told me the reason he doesn’t shave his stupid looking facial hair is because his battery died in his shaver.

            • You think I bathe every other day? Wow! That would be extremely wasteful. I don’t work — in the physics definition of the term — for a living. Americans bathe way more than they should. I have a complete program worked out, but I won’t go into it here.

              • All I remember of the post about it was that it was not daily and you have Views on how often the rest of us who prefer to bathe.

                • Yes, I do have Views. I think most people should bathe once a week. If they do manual labor, they should probably bathe daily. But I do not bathe more than once a month. I do, however, take sponge baths a couple of times a week. I also do my hair about that much. That’s another thing: people bathe the wrong parts of the body. There are just a few that really need attention. Most disgusting part of the body people commonly ignore: the navel. God God, humans! It is so disgusting! Also: I clean my hands a great deal: pretty much any time I enter a bathroom.

                  So I don’t think it is that I’m filthy or smelly. It is, as you say, that I have Views. I don’t see bathing as a cultural signifier. I’ve thought a lot about it. I have a system that I think is better than that of people who bathe far more than I do. But it is also true that I’m kind of like a cat: I don’t like getting wet.

                  • I should have written this in the shower since for some reason that makes me laugh. I don’t have a good sense of smell so I have a horror of stinking which means I bathe frequently enough to avoid it being a problem. And yes, I also rinse out the navel.

                    When it comes to bathing I do think people could take much shorter showers. I was horrified to find out my step-niece takes forty minute showers. I would shut the water off after five minutes but that is me.

                    • I’m amazed by how long some people shower. It does seem to be particularly acute among young women. Not sure why that is.

                      I’m not surprised you laughed. I suspect if some video taped me taking a sponge bath, it would go viral. It’s got to be hilarious.

                    • I certainly don’t understand it. I prided myself on my ability to do a three minute shower since I didn’t know anything about hair maintenance then.

                      As for the viral video of your sponge bath…Um…right. I am sure someone around you will get right on it.

                    • More like the local police department. Just for entertainment purposes naturally.

    • You may be right. And you are definitely right that there is a notable crossover. If that’s the case, I’m really in trouble. I can deal with being thought libertarian, but never an MRA. Although it is probably the case that most people just see me as some odd Brand X, which is exactly what I am.

  1. A baseball cap is definitely a gutsy look — since baseball caps announce “I am white trash” to the universe. It’s rather a shame, since baseball caps look quite nice.

    Since you’re not going round-rimmed Walter White, is a “pork pie” Don Draper from “Mad Men”? Or something else? You should include a picture of the correct hat so the sartorially-challenged among us can learn.

    I tried uploading a photo to WordPress as my avatar a while back, and I couldn’t figure out how to do it. Maybe you have some tips. Besides, the first photo wasn’t truly Minnesotan. This one is, as it’s SUCK SHIT POPSICLES COLD and only gonna get colder. (Actually, for January, -5 isn’t that bad. -20 is more like it. We must be having an El Nino effect or something. Still, anything below zero, you’re allowed to whine.)

    I do like my face much more with a knit cap on! Something about the shape of my head always makes whatever haircut I’m sporting look wrong. No worries, I’m in my 40s, so I don’t much care. At 23 I would have taken out a loan for $100,000 to look like Tom Cruise. At 33, maybe I would have paid $10,000. Now, $1000 seems high.

      • Well, they make me look trashy. It’s all about the shape of your head/face. Obama or George Clooney would look great wearing diapers on their heads. In a baseball cap, I look like I’m about to stab random passers-by in the neck with a nail file, or start air-guitaring Jon Bon Jovi songs. Or both.

        I also have the worst hair in the world, with shit sticking out at all kinds of unflattering angles.

        But my head isn’t utterly wrong! I can go with a shaved-head haircut in the summer and look “newborn kitten” instead of “racist hooligan.” You really have to own the right skull shape for this. As it is, when I shave my head, people want to rub their hands over it. It’s not scary in the slightest. (Think latter-day Michael Stipe.) And that’s great! It’s saved me money on haircuts for 20+ years; I’ve bought exactly two $15 clippers, and that’s been the haircut budget.

        Haircuts are really sexist. I think I started shaving my head when I noticed a man’s haircut was $20 and a woman’s was $50.

        • I have been waiting a while before I get my hair done-it usually costs me around $130-180 depending on where and when I go since I get highlights along with their chopping off about four or five inches.

          The problem is that my hair grows extremely quickly-it has been less than a year and I already have five inches of growth.

    • All the pictures I’ve seen of Don Draper have him in a fedora. Truthfully, if I’m going to put on a suit, wear my black wool overcoat, and go to the opera, I want to wear a nice fedora.

      The problem with hats is that there are so many variations that it’s often hard to say exactly what a hat is. But it bugs me that people equate the bowler and the derby hat. But mostly, I understand.

      I don’t know about the images. I know you can have your picture show up here using gravatar. But I can also set up a picture for you on this site. Of course, you would have to post logged in.

      Ask Steve. And ask him when he is going to change that disturbing Justin Bieber with a fro image.

      • Yeah, I tried Gravatar, and I failed. Changed my password a few times to match it with the one here. Didn’t work. I’m bad at computer stuff. I think I virused up my Mac so bad watching illegal streams of NBA games it’s pretty much permanently broken.

        That’s cool, though. At one point someone will take a semi-normal picture of me, and I’ll use it to spread my wisdom throughout the digital world. Hasn’t happened yet, but any day now.

        • Okay. I hope to get to your newer pending post tomorrow. I was thinking of waiting on the other one for April Fools. That would rid me of having to come up with something.

          I’ll see about gravatar. That might make a nice post. I’m thinking of starting a specialized website for computer stuff. Maybe.

      • As for black wool longcoats — they are, simply, the best. I have a terrific one. I think I’ve worn it exactly once. I spent the entire time supposing I should wave a shotgun out of it, like Kevin Costner in “The Untouchables.”

    • I’m not sure what you mean — mostly because I’m not willing to go back and read 25 comments. But I do remember this post. I like hats.

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