November 30, 2017

Arrested for wearing a top hat.

From "Brolliology: A History of the Umbrella in Life and Literature," by Marion Rankine:
People’s resistance to new ideas extended beyond umbrellas (and mackintoshes and, when the time came, windscreen wipers). As Lou Carver reports in Victoriana Magazine, when John Hetherington donned one of the nation’s first top hats in 1797, the reaction on the street was so extreme that the unfortunate gentleman was arrested and charged with wearing “a tall structure having a shining luster calculated to frighten timid people.” His hat had attracted such a crowd that women fainted, children screamed, dogs howled and an errand boy fell and broke his arm. Yet forty years later, no gentleman would be seen without one.

12 comments:

Darrell said...

So the same reaction to Trump's Tweets, then. . .

The Cracker Emcee Activist said...

"the reaction on the street was so extreme that the unfortunate gentleman was arrested and charged with wearing “a tall structure having a shining luster calculated to frighten timid people.”"

These days a NRA t-shirt does the trick.

Rob said...

He was charged with wearing a tall structure having a shining luster calculated to frighten timid people? That’s an awfully specific criminal offense, especially considering he was the first to wear one. One must say this about the statute: it can’t be faulted for vagueness.

Assrat said...

Honestly, I'm skeptical. I can imagine people laughing, but feeling threatened by a fashion forward hat?

On the other hand, I did see a guy with a top hat and tails get thrown out of Machu Picchu. Not a lot of tolerance for eccentricity there.

Darrell said...

These days a NRA t-shirt does the trick.

Or a MAGA hat.

Michael K said...

"So the same reaction to Trump's Tweets, then. . ."

The election did it and the left will probably not recover for 20 years. Hysteria is contagious among a certain segment of the population.

Teenaged girls kept the Salem Witch Trials going for years,

David Hampton said...

Whatever happened to women who were taught to say; "Unlock that door or I will start screaming?" Didn't the sisterhood hold job briefings in the women's rest room about who to watch out for? How about transgender men deciding they felt"pretty" that day deciding they would use restroom opposite their biologic birthright? Nobody thought to print a paper with the word "pervert inside" posted on the door of the perv's office? How about the males, such as they are, forming a posse and holding a closed door session discussing accountability possibilities? Sounds like more proof that we have a nation without strong men and women taking a stand. The abused female is some parent's daughter, some guy's girl friend/wife/sister etc.

People who stood by and did nothing should be ashamed of themselves and the culture that allows it to continue. This is unacceptable that nobody made the decision to label bad behavior as unacceptable and will be prosecuted.

tim in vermont said...

It's said that both beaver fur and the mercury used in making those hats can drive a man mad.

tim in vermont said...

Joke above is stolen.

Char Char Binks said...

Doors that lock people IN rooms, rather than just locking people OUT? I'd like to see some proof that these actually exist in modern corporate America.

FullMoon said...

tim in vermont said...

It's said that both beaver fur and the mercury used in making those hats can drive a man mad.

True. Thus the phrase "mad as a hatter"

SeanF said...

Char Char Binks: Doors that lock people IN rooms, rather than just locking people OUT? I'd like to see some proof that these actually exist in modern corporate America.

I don't think they do. Lauer's alleged lock, which he could control from his desk, was to lock people out - to keep him from being interrupted by someone else coming in. I think some people just heard that he had a lock and assumed he was using it to prevent the women from being able to leave.

PS Did you comment on the wrong post?