I am constantly perplexed at many people's mindless devotion to pointless rituals. Some make themselves absolutely miserable while doggedly pursuing these meaningless holidays. It is of no use denouncing them as people will just stare blankly, oblivious to any logical alternative.
I am often perceived as a lunatic when bitterly complaining about hearing christmas "music" blaring from every speaker within earshot in September. These people must be lacking some critical enzyme in their DNA. That is the part of the genome that makes it intolerable to hear the same song for the 500th time. This must explain the popularity of classic rock stations.
I am considered anti-social because I couldn't give rat's ass about organized sports. The excessive drinking and ensuing mayhem after a semi finals hockey game is proof enough, but a lot of people can't make the correlation or see anything wrong with that. There they sit in some windowless dive bar, howling at a big screen and rooting for overpaid millionaires.
Having been a bouncer a few years ago. I have witnessed first hand what is considered by most bar staff to be the two most hellish nights of the year; St.Patrick's Day and Halloween. These once innocuous holidays have become nights of mayhem interspersed with excessive drinking, loutish behavior, fights and women dressed like prostitutes. They leave trails of trash, puddles of puke and tons of glitter in their wake. The drunk tanks are usually filled to capacity the following day.
While I am not writing simply to denounce these tribal-like rituals, (that would take a while), I am addressing one observation that I have made. The one thing that all these bacchanalian gatherings have in common, is that they all necessitate wearing some kind of ridiculous head hear. That's right, if you want to convince yourself that you're having fun, it is imperative that you should be wearing some kind of stupid shit on your head.
The pride and joy of most greasers is their pomp. These are high maintenance hair cuts, and the money spent on getting haircuts and hair products is considerable. It's not that we are vain, it's just that we dig our pomps. We also like to preserve whatever shred of dignity we may have left if we have been drinking too much. Even a drunk greaser knows what is cool and what is uncool and we'll be damned if we'll let anybody mess with the ducktails.
Here's a list of dumb shit that greaser's wouldn't be caught dead putting on their head ( with the exception of a few drunken parties where I developed the uncontrollable urge to wear a Fez and ride a kiddie trike).
1. The Early Days.
Maybe a lot of these hedonistic rituals had their origins in Ancient Rome from the Gladiators. The lust for violence, the desire to get super hammered and act like a fucking idiot, and possibly fight in the streets after the games were certainly part of these ancient events. The Gladiators all wore some ridiculous contraption on their heads, but in their defence, it was to keep from getting their heads beaten in.
2. Your Birthday.
One your earliest recollections might be a birthday party. There was a bunch of kids in attendance and your parents assured you that they were your friends. There was a bunch of shit to do and you had to do it. Then it was time to sit in an assigned seat and sing a stupid song. You didn't care because you just wanted all those damned presents. Before you were even allowed near the presents, you got it; some grown up told you had to put some stupid hat on your head.
You and your little friends sat there uncomfortably, knowing in your limited three year old logic that you all looked(and felt) ridiculous.
Now think about your last birthday.
Of all the human rituals, this one of the largest and also the most lucrative. The merchandising alone is worth billions. Fans will pay outrageous amounts for tickets and many show up wearing their favorite team jerseys. Most will sport ball caps with the team logo on it.
After having spent all their hard earned money, many fans are unable to afford the 9 dollar beer in a plastic cup offered at these pantheons of capitalism, hence the birth of the beer hat.
Being an advocate of beer, I am far from decrying being shit-house plastered in public. At any hot rod show across the land the beer flows freely and is readily available from the hot rods that have trunks. It is imbibed directly from the can or bottle or from a paper bag if there are cops around.
Having two cans strapped to one's head and sipping the beer from a plastic hose just doesn't hold the same allure to me . Also it makes the people doing it look slightly retarded.
4. Critical Mass and Other Protests.
I think that the main reason that people attend protests is to piss off people that aren't in them. My contempt for such events, particularly Critical Mass, is well known. If there is one in your town, observe carefully. Stoopid headgear everywhere. The more ridiculous the better, all the more to offend.
Check out any demonstration on the news. Yep, lotsa ratty clothing and dumb hats. Indignant hippies sporting misshapen rags on their heads angrily waving mis-spelled signs. The more outrageous the hat, the smugger the hippie feels. The hat is showing that he is really "sticking it to the man, man !"
Any type of protest involving marijuana, more dumb hats will abound. These hippies are not so angry though, no doubt because their hazy lack of motivation. Many of them muster just enough brain power to get those big woolen hats that sport the colors of the Jamaican flag.
5. Hipsters and Douchebags.
If you wanna be in the club, you gotta put yer hat on. Even though hipsters never admit to being hipsters, their devotion to irony and almost uniform-like apparel are a dead give away. You can't be a hipster unless you have hipster headgear. Those stupid saggy wool caps were de rigeur for a while. A badge sporting "I'm a cluless hipster" would have the same effect.
The pork pie hats just perplex me. What type of fashion statement are they trying to make exactly? Are they a bluesman, 1960's card shark or a 75 year old man vacationing in Florida?
Some of the bike courier douchebag/hipsters have taken to wearing vintage cycling caps, Tour De France circa 1968. They turn up the brim because it's douchier.
Straight-up douchebags on the other hand wear those glittery Ed Hardy hats with the prerequisite side angle. The hats might be too tight because a lot of them look like they want to fight. Or maybe they're just inbred.
6. St. Patrick's Day
While I've got nothing against a good old fashioned piss-up with the boys or the occasional bar brawl, this day seems to a good excuse for some people to act extra stupid and get so hammered that it would be off the scale on the drunk-o-meter. That's when the uncontrollable urge to wear a plastic bowler hat with a shamrock on it kicks in. Instead of wearing one of those buttons that say " Kiss me I'm Irish", they should wear one that says " Punch me, I'm drunk."
I won't even begin to delve into the pure hell that this holiday is. The unabashed corporate greed, the guilt-driven orgy of spending, all the arguments that come to a head on this particular day are something that makes me want to avoid it entirely, and I do.
That is extremely difficult due to the preponderance of holiday accoutrements. Everybody from bus drivers to bums are sporting those ubiquitous red santa caps. How a hobo rooting around the trash downtown while sporting a santa hat evokes images of christmas is beyond me.
Worse yet are people who don those dumb reindeer antlers. Jesus rode a reindeer you say? Oh I get it now. They look at you sideways with a self satisfied smirk, reveling in their scintillating sense of humor.
The type of people who put those antlers on dogs are another matter entirely. They will proudly display pictures of this hapless animal. The poor critter looks miserable in every one of those photos. All his doggie buddies are laughing at him and, lacking opposable thumbs, he is unable to remove them.
These are the same people that put sombreros on chihuahuas and believe everything as the gospel truth in the Enquirer or The Globe.
When people ask me what I'll be dressed as on halloween I always answer that I'll be dressed as a drunk. This outrageous holiday has risen to a whole new level of depravity and a perfect excuse for being an extra large asshole. Easy to do if you are in disguise.
I won't even wear one of those super jumbo plastic Elvis pomps. On one halloween, some squares on their annual pilgrimage to downtown were actually convinced that me and my buddies were dressed as greasers and were never fully convinced when informed that we dress like this everyday.
This day takes stupid head gear to whole other level.
I like star trek as much as the next guy, these trek people that go to star trek conventions have passed nutso and are on their way to insane. It's more than headgear, these people walk around in star trek uniforms complete with fake phasers.
In the original series, I guess the budgets were low, so it was all about the ears. All the aliens had bizarre ears. They looked human enough, but it was all about the ears.
You will see many trekkies sporting all types of rubber pointy ears. There also many Mr. Spock haircuts and klingon butt foreheads. These are grown people with jobs. And they are stone cold sober.
10. Bands With Trucker Hats.
Almost as bad as heavy metal singers who wear shades on stage are this new breed of indie bands that sport trucker hats. They are worn high on the head and meant to the the ultimate in indie irony.
Theses hipsters with guitars usually suck, but they don't care.It's not about the music, it's about wearing those trucker hats because it's ironic. They have a statement to make, but they aren't quite sure what it is. They don't care, because they have lots of trucker hats with ironic logos like John Deere or Kenworth.
A lot of these bands don't last long. We agree that they suck, but many of them had to sell their guitars. It wasn't to pay a massive bar tab that, say, a rockabilly band would incur. They have to go out and buy more trucker hats at the ironic vintage shop. Probably stock up on some ironic 80's band t-shirts as well.
Those are the hats and remember the greaser code " Don't touch the hair."