One amazing hat, courtesy of the Eurocap project

'A highly skilled team is fusing the best aspects of hats, caps and fezzes from all over Europe'

Share

The examination of popular culture by popular culture is a phenomenon of the past 20 years. Nowadays, TV endlessly examines its own video entrails, especially in respect to pop music: there seem to be an infinite number of programmes such as
Young Guns Go for It,
Routes of Rock and many others concerning the musical movements of recent decades.

The examination of popular culture by popular culture is a phenomenon of the past 20 years. Nowadays, TV endlessly examines its own video entrails, especially in respect to pop music: there seem to be an infinite number of programmes such as Young Guns Go for It, Routes of Rock and many others concerning the musical movements of recent decades.

In the interviews with members of bands from the previous decades, the main point of interest for me is to see which of them have gone bald. Madness, for example, have been victims of particular tonsorial depredation, with something like four out of the seven suffering substantial hair loss although they are all still relatively young men: while from an earlier generation - where you would expect baldness now - the Rolling Stones have 100 per cent hair retention, as do the remaining Beatles. Mind you, being an old timer is no guarantee of hairy happiness. The Bee Gees - admittedly, there are genetic links within the group - have a 66.6 per cent slaphead quota, perhaps the highest in pop music (I also have to say that, though we weren't a pop group, the five Young Ones have been hit quite badly; only Chris Ryan and Nigel Planer still retain a full crop of wheat in the top field, with myself being the most lunar in the head department).

The other aspect to this baldness problem is how the band member who has been affected copes with the problem when on public view. There are only three strategies available to challenge male baldness:

1. Permanent stupid hat.

2. Wig.

3. Shaven.

Another way to put that would be:

1. The Edge out of U2.

2. Elton John.

3. Michael Stipe.

Some move from one to the other, like the Gibb brother who was a stupid-hattist of long standing but has recently become a convert to wiggism (though there is no one who ever seems to renounce wiggism once they take it up).

The shaven-headed option is, of course, the most cool, though, as a bald person myself, I find it annoying when I see it adopted by those who aren't bald, such as David Beckham. As a shaven-headed bald friend of mine said of them: "That's our haircut. They can have any haircut they want, so why don't they leave ours alone?"

Being bald probably makes you more hat-conscious, and, after a long search, I have become aware that there is only one hat or cap that isn't stupid in the whole world, and that hat or cap is the baseball cap.

Wherever you go in the world these days, that is pretty much the only headgear you'll see. I was recently filming in Sardinia, and all the shepherds, on top of their traditional garb, wore baseball caps advertising places they couldn't possibly have been to, such as "Bubba's Barbecue Shack, Aspen, Colorado" (unless Sardinian shepherds earn a lot more than I suspect).

There is only one major problem, of course, with this cap, cool though it is, and that is that it is American. The baseball cap is another example of US cultural hegemony and, in the minds of many leaders in the European Union, an example too far. That is why Brussels - with full MEP and commission support - has launched the Eurocap Project. This is an undertaking that will devise an entirely European cap, which will be able to halt the spread of the baseball cap and will give all men in the community a truly European cap, with European nonsense written on it, to cover their baldness.

At a specially constructed research facility outside Toulon, a highly skilled team is attempting to fuse the best aspects of caps from all over Europe into a piece of headgear truly appropriate for the 21st century. As a gesture to French sensibilities, the Breton fisherman's cap will make a strong showing in the central hat area, and there will be a substantial British input with a touch of the Scottish deerstalker, with its innovative peak at both ends and its remarkable system of earflap stowage. According to advanced plans that I have seen, the peak of the Eurocap will be constructed in a brand-new facility of the British Hat Corporation being built near Harrogate. The peaks and earflaps will be flown to Stuttgart for final assembly of the headpiece.

Of course, as with all projects that have sprung from a political rather than economic imperative, huge problems have appeared. As a result of trying to incorporate all the competing caps, hats and fezzes of the EU into the Eurocap, the prototype hat weighs over two tonnes, and several test pilots have had their necks broken trying to wear it. So, to support the weight of the rim, large struts with wires attached have had to be built, rising from the white cupola, so the strange thing is that in its appearance, the Eurocap looks exactly like the Dome. But done as a hat.

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Key Account Manager

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A really exciting opportunity has arisen for a...

Recruitment Genius: Multi Trade Operative

£22000 - £24000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An established, family owned de...

Recruitment Genius: Customer Services Assistant

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: An exciting position has risen for a Customer ...

Recruitment Genius: Tour Drivers - UK & European

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity to join a is a...

Day In a Page

Read Next
Children who fled the violence in the Syrian city of Aleppo play at a refugee camp in Jabaa, in Lebanon’s Bekaa Valley  

A population bigger than London's has been displaced in Syria, so why has the Government only accepted 90 refugees?

David Hanson
Amjad Bashir said Ukip had become a 'party of ruthless self-interest'  

Ukip on the ropes? Voters don’t think so

Stefano Hatfield
Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

The enemy within

People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

Autumn/winter menswear 2015

The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore
'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

Army general planning to come out
Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea
America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

These days in the US things are pretty much stuck where they are, both in politics and society at large, says Rupert Cornwell
A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A veteran of the Fifties campaigns is inspiring a new generation of activists
Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

A C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
Growing mussels: Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project

Growing mussels

Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project