January 13, 2017

Enough of fake news, time for fake moods.

"So if you can’t yet muster the positive mind-set to take on the new year, fake it with your wardrobe," says the NYT, suggesting that readers adopt "the mood-altering benefits of dressing like a sunbeam." The specific ideas are to wear rainbows — "to get in touch with your inner child (or aging hippie)" — shirts emblazoned with the words like "good times" or "good life" — "feel-good affirmations" — big smiley-face patches — "smiles are contagious" — and hats with big pompoms on top — making it "hard to take yourself too seriously."

Are we back to denial or have we made it to resignation?

By the way, is it really hard to take yourself seriously when your wearing a hat with a pompom?



Pompoms on hats have a serious tradition:
Pom-poms form a conspicuous part of the uniform of French naval personnel, being sewn onto the crown of their round cap. Belgian sailors wear a light blue version....

Roman Catholic clergy wear the biretta. The colour of its pom-pom denotes the wearer's rank....

In reference to Scottish Highland dress and Scottish military uniforms, the small pom-pon on the crown of such hats as the Balmoral, the Glengarry, and the Tam o' Shanter is called a "toorie."
Here's a man in a Barlmoral hat. I am taking him totally seriously:



That man in a hat had me so seriously mesmerized that I said to myself: Does Trump ever wear a hat? I am not kidding. I had to Google it... and then say "OH!" out loud, to the point where Meade, in the next room, said "What?"



We've elected a man in a hat. A rich man with weird hair put a working-class hat on his head and now readers of the NYT are freaking out and looking to fake a better mood with rainbows and smileys and hats with pompoms.

A baseball cap doesn't have a pompom, of course. It has a squatchee... or is it a squatcho?
For any youth out there who want to follow my lead, if you open a door, any door, there’s a little slot there in the doorway, and if you just stick the squatchee in there — or squatcho — and then if you pull, the button will come off. And then you have to reach inside the hat and take out the little metal piece that held the button in place. Once you got that out of the way, foul tips off the squatcho were no longer a problem. I mean, they still hit you on the head, but they didn’t drive that button down into your skull.
So says Bob Brenly, the former baseball player, who seems to be the expert.

53 comments:

Curious George said...

Bob Brenly is not a former Cub. He was a Cub announcer for a while.

rhhardin said...

I wear a baseball hat under my bike helmet. It gives it a sun and cold-wind visor.

Curious George said...

As far as this by Brenly: "foul tips off the squatcho were no longer a problem. I mean, they still hit you on the head, but they didn’t drive that button down into your skull."

He's a catcher. Catchers don't wear hats, at least for the last couple decades in MLB. And no catcher at any level wears a hat anymore. The wear helmets and a mask. Because of foul balls. ESPN even made a funny commercial with this fact in mind:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dPjRk4NJCiw

buwaya puti said...

The body is a gateway to the mind.
That's why religions like ritual.
Act happy, do happy, and I think it's a path to being happy.
Our minds aren't as smart as they like to think.
As for odd hats, that business is totally culturally determined and entirely subject to irrational fashion. Declasse hats can become trendy. They can shift political alignment. The beret for instance, went from being purely countryside-peasant-weird Basque things to political symbols (of reactionary Carlism), to left-wing proletarianism, to the preferred hat of highly fashionable British regiments.

Gabriel said...

It is delightful that he got the word from "Sniglets".

Anyone remember Sniglets?

Gabriel said...

Uni Watch: Bob Brenly says he picked up the word “squatchee” from you, when the two of you were teammates with the Giants in the 1980s. Did you come up with the term?

Mike Krukow: No. I was standing in a line at a bookstore in Pittsburgh, probably around 1984. I was waitin’ to pay, and they had a book there on the counter, and it was called Sniglets. So I’m kinda goin’ through the book, and one thing that immediately caught my eye was “expresshole,” which is what you call someone who brings 15 items in the “10 Items or Less” express checkout line. I thought that was pretty funny, so I flipped through the book some more and then I saw the entry for “squatcho.” And that was it!

UW: So you adopted the term at that point?

MK: Yes. Nobody had ever heard it before. And the reason it was relevant to us was… [at this point Krukow basically repeats the story about how Brenly would remove the button from his cap because he was a catcher — PL]. So that was it. It was a squatcho. I don’t know if any other clubhouse, or any other person on the planet, used that term except for us.

UW: When you say, “us,” do you mean just you and Brenly? Or did your other teammates use it as well?

MK: All the Giants, pretty much. In our clubhouse, it was a squatcho.

UW: Brenly remembers you saying squatchee, not squatcho, but you’re saying he’s wrong about that..?

MK: I may have, I don’t know. But it was squatcho in the book, so I think that’s what I used.

UW: Has it remained in your lexicon? Do you use it on the air?

MK: Absolutely — that’s what it’s called. As far as I’m concerned, that’s Bible!

UW: And you always use squatcho, not squatchee?

MK: Yes, squatcho.

UW: And when you’ve brought it up, have your play-by-play partners asked you about it?

MK: Well, no, because Duane Kuiper’s been with me since we were sitting together on the bench as players. So we called it squatcho back then.

Gabriel said...

Manufacturers of ball caps, however, call it a "button".

Wilbur said...

It's been many years since I've seen a catcher wear a cloth cap while catching. Darrell Porter may have been the last. He would've been 65 years old next week, were he alive.

Wilbur primarily played catcher in his baseball-playing youth. It never occurred to me to pull the Squatchee off of my cap. But then I never got nailed with a foul tip on the top of my head, I'm grateful to say.

Bob Brenly was not a favorite of Cub Fan Wilbur. The fellow who replaced him in the WGN booth, Jim DeShaies, is infinitely better.

traditionalguy said...

On Irish Tweed caps they called that small feature at the top a Button being used to hold together triangles of woven material; or if done larger as a decorative touch, then it was called the Bobble.

Original Mike said...

Funny, I specifically noticed the big pompoms on the Packer's hats this weekend and wondered if they help keep your head warmer. I've always thought they looked dopey, but without much hair on the top of my head, I might need to get me some pompom action. If Aaron Rodgers wears them, maybe it's OK.

Ann Althouse said...

"Bob Brenly is not a former Cub. He was a Cub announcer for a while."

You're right. He played for...

San Francisco Giants (1981–1988)
Toronto Blue Jays (1989)
San Francisco Giants (1989)

I took a chance assuming that if he was the color announcer for the Cubs he must have been a Cub when he was a player. I was wrong.

Corrected in the post.

Original Mike said...

Trump wore that hat to keep his hair from blowing around, didn't he?

Brent Ayotte said...

In my religion, we say "Act as if you have faith, and faith will be given to you"

Paul Newman, The Verdict
Script by David Mamet

Ann Althouse said...

"Funny, I specifically noticed the big pompoms on the Packer's hats this weekend and wondered if they help keep your head warmer. I've always thought they looked dopey, but without much hair on the top of my head, I might need to get me some pompom action. If Aaron Rodgers wears them, maybe it's OK."

Pretty serious religion and military history for the pompom.

Do not disrespect the pompom.

Pompom is serious.

Kyzernick said...

On cheap winter caps the pom-pom will fall off eventually, and this can lead to the hat unraveling partially or fully. Stick with a pom-less watch cap. If you stuff some crumpled tissue paper in the hat before wearing it, it will stay warmer longer and in windy conditions.

robother said...

(Hat) tips like this come decades too late for my Little League career. "i got it, I got it, I..don't got it."

Original Mike said...

"Do not disrespect the pompom.
Pompom is serious."


If it wants to be serious, it needs a different name.

n.n said...

Pompoms, perhaps. It's the Age of Pajamas.

Original Mike said...

The squatchee is designed to maximize pain when you hit the top of your head on the ceiling of your car.

Gabriel said...

@Original Mike:wondered if they help keep your head warmer.

I suspect they are a holdover from more primitive methods of manufacture.

Unknown said...

I love my MAGA hat. Nice...

Original Mike said...

@Gabriel - They still might keep your head warmer, especially if they're big (and, therefore, exceptionally dopey looking).

Gabriel said...

@OM: They still might keep your head warmer

If they do, it's probably incidental. If you're knitting caps on the Orkney Islands or whatever and you want some kind of decoration that's probably what you had to do.

Meade said...

"Trump wore that hat to keep his hair from blowing around, didn't he?"

Dual purpose. 1. anti-hair blow device and 2. maximize propaganda message exposure. (Yes, I know propaganda is derogatory. But it's apt because, for good or ill, he was seeking political power.)

Bad Lieutenant said...

We've elected a man in a hat.

Wow, rolling back to JFK! Hope Trump wears a hat to the inauguration.

Bob Boyd said...

"Do not disrespect the pompom.
Pompom is serious."

Damn right. IMO the hat distracts from the pompom. I skip the hat altogether and just wear the pompom...it has a chin strap of course...you need that or it won't stay on.

Gabriel said...

@Bad Lieutenant:Wow, rolling back to JFK!

I've always wondered where the legend that JFK didn;t wear a hat came from. You can see him in the photos wearing a hat.

Gabriel said...

@bob Boyd:you need that or it won't stay on.

I weave the threads of the pompom into my hair.

Original Mike said...

"Damn right. IMO the hat distracts from the pompom. I skip the hat altogether and just wear the pompom...it has a chin strap of course...you need that or it won't stay on."

Double-sided tape.

Curious George said...

"Meade said...
Dual purpose. 1. anti-hair blow device and 2. maximize propaganda message exposure. (Yes, I know propaganda is derogatory. But it's apt because, for good or ill, he was seeking political power.)"

The test for propaganda is not its purpose, but its method. It requires that the information be biased or misleading.

Original Mike said...

"I weave the threads of the pompom into my hair."

Check your privilege, dude.

WA-mom said...

I am counting down to your topical inauguration post about Kennedy changing men's hat wearing forever.

Curious George said...

"Gabriel said...
@Bad Lieutenant:Wow, rolling back to JFK!

I've always wondered where the legend that JFK didn;t wear a hat came from. You can see him in the photos wearing a hat." He wore an awesome top hat to his inauguration.

http://a.abcnews.com/images/GMA/abc_gma_jfk_110120_wg.jpg

But you really don't see many hat shots, and all seem to be before his presidnecy.

whswhs said...

Are we back to denial or have we made it to resignation?

Well, I don't know about progressive moods, but as a libertarian who came up to the election thinking both of the Big Two candidates were off the bottom end of the scale, I've gone through two stages so far and into a third: surprised visceral relief on election night at not having four years of Clinton ahead of us, followed rapidly by Schadenfreude, now pretty well along the road to "get over it!"

Bob Boyd said...

When I want to improve my mood, I set my pompom at a jaunty angle.

Meade said...

"The test for propaganda is not its purpose, but its method. It requires that the information be biased or misleading."

Even if so, "Make America Great Again" meets your test.

Still, I believe the essential test is purpose: to promote a political cause or point of view.

Michael K said...

I would not be surprised if he wears that hat to the inauguration. Kennedy created a revolution by not wearing a hat to his.

Just like Gable ruined BVD with his strip down scene in "It Happened One Night" when he was not wearing an undershirt.

Actually, the Kennedy no-hat story is a myth according to snopes.

whswhs said...

Meade: Historically, at least "to promote a political cause or point of view" is too narrow. The origin is religious: I believe the Vatican still has a "congregatio propaganda fide," an official body charged with sowing the seeds of faith. The meaning has widened in an age when many people's faith is political rather than religious, but the underlying emotional mechanism may not be all that different.

rehajm said...

It is delightful that he got the word from "Sniglets".

Anyone remember Sniglets?


Flen!!!!

oleh said...

Check out the pom poms on the Evzones.

traditionalguy said...

PomPom and Circumstance. Don't you just love the ceremonial British Monarchs and their Church.

Fred Drinkwater said...

Kyzernick,
I used to wear my grandfather's Navy watch cap while sailing. Black wool, c. 1910.
But then I lost it offshore. I am still pissed off about that.
Anybody on the coast between Pt Arena & Pt Reyes: If you find it washed up, it's mine. I want it back.

Ron Winkleheimer said...

Trump is wearing a trucker hat, not a baseball cap. There's a difference.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trucker_hat

Ron Winkleheimer said...

Which you can get at Amazon

https://www.amazon.com/Campaign-Adjustable-Unisex-AMERICA-GREAT/dp/B01GGRL3CE/ref=sr_1_10?ie=UTF8&qid=1484340236&sr=8-10&keywords=trump+hats

Michael said...

I own and wear a Hoquy beret, a Trilby by Lock & Co., several flat caps from the same firm, baseball caps from various Major League teams and a few minor leagues, hats for running, hats for skiing, hats for quail hunting, a deerstalker, a grouse helmet.

I once owned and wore a Tam o;shanter which had a pompom.

Kyzernick said...

Good stuff Fred. My paternal grandfather double dipped - Army first, then a Navy exchange that convinced him he needed to see the world, so he switched branches. That was back in the Korea days and I don't know how it all worked, but he served on the USS Des Moines, one of our last true big-gun cruisers. My first watch cap came from him but he got it at a surplus store so it wasn't an heirloom or anything. It got filthy and torn up during a game of paintball and was tossed soon after. Anyone who finds it is welcome to it, I suppose, just don't wear it playing paintball because it seemed to have a mighty attractive power on those little spheres of ouch.

John Taylor said...

I disagree, that is not a baseball hat (although it can double as one...), it is a golf hat.

Robin Eatmon said...

Pompoms were very popular on knitted ski hats through the 70s. Pompoms were out of vogue in the late 80's and the popular style of knitted ski hat had pigtails with ear flaps. Now the "fashion" is just a pretty pattern but no flaps or poms. Of course most skiers and boarders now wear helmets. Poms & Pigtails are a throwback style...intentionally goofy looking...but fashionable. I must 50 or more knitted hats of every style mildewing in a basket in my mudroom.

Oso Negro said...

It's a "Balmoral" not a "Barlmoral".

Marc Puckett said...

Whswhs, The Congregation pro Propaganda Fide (the department at the Holy See with responsibility for the spreading of the Faith, which also has jurisdiction over mission territories) had its name changed in the late 60s to pro Gentium Evangelizatione, for the evangelisation of peoples. Propago (& the gerundive propaganda) means 'to spread, enlarge, expand' &c.

EsoxLucius said...

Aaron Rodgers is contractually required to wear NFL product at the game, and it was cold. I was there. I suppose he could snip the pompom like Bill Belichick, but then he would be an asshat.

whswhs said...

Marc Puckett, Thank you for the update. i wonder if the Vatican decided that "propaganda" was giving the wrong impression after being used for decades in a political context? Do you know anything of the background?

Marc Puckett said...

Whswhs, The change took place in the context of the reforms and putative reforms initiated after the Second Vatican Council (1962-1965). From the most irenic perspective, it was wanted to 'update' the inessential elements of Catholic life in the face of the rapid changes the world had undergone since the World Wars, and to emphasize that the Catholic Church wasn't 'defined' by the post-Reformation 'Tridentine' (from the Council of Trent, 1545-1563) culture. Blah, blah-- the short of it being, it was judged more comprehensible to modern ears to emphasize that the purpose of the missions &c was evangelising people rather than 'propagating the Faith', which sounds rather like an exercise in botany, at least if you don't have much Latin. I'm sure that folks in Rome were not unaware of the invidious meaning that had begun to adhere to the word 'propaganda'. There would have been a pontifical decree (in Latin) of some sort officially changing the name and re-setting out the office's responsibilities &c &c but I'm not going to look that up, since I don't doubt that I've more or less accurately represented what happened.