Thursday, December 29, 2005

Hats and Respect

I have been reading the Pulitzer Prize winning novel "The Magic Mountain" written by Thomas Mann. Early in the novel Mann raises a very interesting point about the wearing of hats and how they can be very useful for showing respect. This is a position that I would like to take up and promote.

The protagonist of the novel, Hans Castorp, admonishes his cousin for not always wearing a hat since the cousin found himself in a situation where he needed to show reverence/respect. The cousin felt that if he had a hat on he could have removed it, but since he wasn't wearing a hat he found himself in an awkward position. Hans states that the problem would be remedied if men always wore hats as is proper.

I must agree entirely with this. Hats in the last few decades have fallen out of fashion (I am not referring to caps which many of the uncivilized seem to wear at all times including in restaurants and churches). Haberdashers will point to Pres. Kennedy as destroying the hat industry. He was the first prominent public figure to not wear a hat. The country may have liked Ike, but the country imitated Kennedy. The shedding of headware has posed many social problems around showing respect. How can one tip his hat to a lady if one is not wearing a hat? How does one show that he is disposed to pray if he does not have a hat to remove? How does one show respect to the deceased while outdoors if again he has no hat to remove? Hats play an important role in a civilized society, and their falling out of use is just another example of the Barbarians being at the gates.

I encourage all men to look deep into their closets and see if you can't find a nice Stetson or fedora to wear the next time you step out. You may just help with a cultural revolution that is long overdue.

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Damn the Futurists

I don't blame the MTA or the TWU for the trouble the strike caused last week. I blame the Futurists. You know the Futurist, the guys who sat around at the beginning of the last century dreaming up what life would be like in this century. I remember seeing moving side walks in the City of The Future. At the Worlds Fair in 1930 and 1960, everywhere moving side walks. Would we even need a train and bus system if we could just hop on a side walk and eventually get there without walk too much?

I'm not looking to get a completely useless project like the Plattsburgh Pool Transport System going. That system was doomed to fail, what with the large amount of water raised high overhead in downtown Plattsburgh and the fact that summer barely last 3 months. Frankly, who would want to swim every where they went in the summer any way?

What I want is the promise that the Futurists gave us in the department of not walk places. The best they could do in the last 70 years was the escalator. I don't want to disparage escalators. I fear and respect them. If we want to get rid of the threat of transit strikes lets make city transit obselete by giving people a fast and easy way to get to work without the hassle of waiting for buses and trains. Give us our moving side walk.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Swords and Safety

Ross' recent post about time and the difficulty of having a duel or shoot out at high noon if the sun is not then at it's highest point got me thinking, and brought to mind a conversation I once had about how the carrying of swords may cut down on random acts of violence...

How often do we hear of people being mugged or other random acts of violence? Some states have passed what are called "Dirty Harry Laws" where all citizens may carry firearms at any time. The theory is that the would be felon may think twice if he has to risk that his target may be more heavily armed than he is. The problem with this thinking is that one is still playing the odds because the gun may be concealed or no gun may be present at all. My solution to this is that we bring back the use of swords.

The concealment of a sword to the best of my knowledge is impossible. If we were then to bring back the carrying of swords everyone would know exactly how armed all those around him or her are. For example would a street tough try to pick a fight with someone in a pub if he saw that the person was sporting a rapier? And even if the street tough also had a rapier, both parties are on an equal footing.

Some may think that there is no difference between the use of firearms and swords; both will promote an ever more violent society. I would disagree with this. It is much easier to pull the trigger of a gun than it is to run a person through with a sword. A gun is also much more deadly and involves less skill to use. When using a sword a person has to look his opponent in the eye and may even feel his breath on his face. A gun is impersonal whereas a sword is very personal.

A cursory look at the NY State penal code by an Absurd Men Speak researcher has found no prohibition on carrying swords in public as long as they are not concealed. Check with your local authorities before you start to carry your sword though.

As a post script the carrying of swords may also help to promote the come back of the cape. One must wear a cape if he is to carry a sword. To not wear a cape would be very gauche.

Monday, December 12, 2005

Christmas; if anything ever needed attacking...

By now many of you have seen news coverage (mostly on FOX News) about the attack on Christmas or the "War on Christmas", being waged every day by secular interests in the US. I've lost count of the number of commenators and religious leaders who have their panties in a twist over how communities and businesses have started down playing Christmas celebrations and the very phrase, "Merry Christmas."

Frankly, this is a really great smoke screen to divert your attention away from issues that really are news. For instance two Republican leaders and a very high level aide have come under investigation recently for doing some very nasty things.

We can't pay attention to those things however, because that would be promoting the "criminalization of politics." It's better, apparently, to tell every one that their sacred, time honored, tradition of buying their family love is at war.

Some organizations have gone as far as boycotting businesses that discourage their employees from saying "Merry Christmas." Fine, these employees have to say "Happy Holidays." Anybody notice the roots of the word "Holiday." Looks a lot like Holy Day to me. It couldn't have many come from the Old English words halig and deay, meaning holy and day, together denoting "religious festival" and "day of recreation"?

There are so many Holy days right around now that, perhaps businesses and individuals just want to make sure every one feels comfortable. I live in New York and I learned quick that, at least here, Happy Holidays makes real sense.

Are their real concerns that Druids celebrating the solstice have some how infiltrated Walmart and are slowly subverting Christmas? I doubt it. It's more likely that this droning about Christmas helps keep us asleep. Helps us to forget that their are people who have taken advantage of the US internally and externally. Helps keep our attention from securing safety, securing our future and securing our freedoms.

Requiring stores and your neighbors to wish you a Merry Christmas because it's your holiday sounds to me like the tantrums three year olds give in toy stores around this time of year. Noisy, prolonged and, in the end, completely pointless. If you want to find an oppressed community in this country don't look at the Christians. If there is one group that has money, organization and representation it's the Christians.

I think it would be better to look towards the Fecalists, the wonderful people have been persecuted since their inception. Let us at least pause and give thought to their beliefs for this holiday season, two of their holiest days; Ponderous and Riddance. On Ponderous Day they are called to think and discuss "If a Bear shits in the woods and no one is their to smell it, does it have an odor?" And of course the celebration of Riddance in which they are asked to "Shit or get off the pot." Both of these have absolutely nothing to do with the "War on Christmas", except that they too are full of crap.

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Christmas letters

Try this one for a laugh...

Christmas letters to Christopher Walken...