Welcome to hat hell, somewhere between a Puffa jacket and a codpiece

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The Independent US

A case can be made for punishing the wearers of baseball caps with a prison sentence, just possibly commuted to remedial treatment or social work. The baseball cap is now so degraded a bit of personal badging, so crass a way of aligning oneself with America, fitness, youth and consumerism that prospective Tory prime ministers use it to "contemporise their personal brands". It's that bad, it's that sad.

A case can be made for punishing the wearers of baseball caps with a prison sentence, just possibly commuted to remedial treatment or social work. The baseball cap is now so degraded a bit of personal badging, so crass a way of aligning oneself with America, fitness, youth and consumerism that prospective Tory prime ministers use it to "contemporise their personal brands". It's that bad, it's that sad.

The cap is the easy gesture of choice for the middle-aged aping the young, the suburbs echoing "the street" - whatever that is - and the whole world licking America's arse.

I don't like baseball caps, either in their original bright-confident-morning Pop Art Americana guise or their back-to-front Kevin and Perry hip-hop one. If the first was a device for the middle-aged to identify down, the second was a way for lemming early teens to identify with an idea of cool that had been dead for years.

Baseball hats, so social psychologists say, are all about male bonding. That means they feature hugely in corporate management initiatives designed to make people who hate each other work together better with the help of back rubs and hand-me-down New Agery.

They also say that "the hat brim suggests masculine fierceness by visually enlarging a man's bony brow ridges; natural signs of strength in the male skull." Somewhere between a Puffa jacket and a codpiece then.

Michael Howard's in heavy PR rotation now. He and poor Sandra are doing practically everything that comes along. What's the betting that by election night he'll have followed little William Hague into baseball hell.

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