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.


Blogger Dave said...

There is an easier way to show respect rather than wear a hat. Hats pose a problem of hair care as well as the possiblity of the wind carrying it away.

No, forego the hat and adopt my much easier sign of respect:

Don't punch that guy in the stomache.

If every man took up the stance that punching one another in the stomache is a sign of disrespect, by not punching them in the stomache they could show how much they care for the other's opinion or existance.

Of course this means also taking on a pro stomache-punching platform when greeting some one whom garners no respect, but then that person would truely know where they stand.

Abandon the hat, and raise the fist!

Thursday, December 29, 2005 12:27:00 PM  
Blogger AlieMalie said...

Thanks for the comment on my blog. :) You're right, Quebec City has even more old world charm than Montreal. Both are fantastic cities, Montreal just happens to hold a special place in my heart.

Anyhoo ... I like your idea about the hats. I think they can really add a level of mysteriousness to a personality; why'd you pick that one this morning and not another? A friend of mine showed up with a bright red felt bowl hat the other day and it just added a completely different dimension to her for the while she was wearing it.

Keep up your blog.


Monday, January 02, 2006 12:03:00 AM  

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