In defense of the hoodie

Anyone who knows me well will verify that I care more about function than form or fashion.

There’s been a lot of conversation about “hoodie politics” in the wake of the shooting death of Trayvon Martin a couple of months back. e.g.
Trayvon Martin and Racist Violence in Post-Racial America
Did Occupy co-opt the Million Hoodie March?
Rep. Bobby Rush kicked out of the House for speaking on racial profiling wearing a hoodie, though it’s OK to wear in the New York State Assembly. Did you know Congress considers a hoodie a hat?

Comparative little has been said about the fact that hoodies are really quite functional.

I have a hoodie. It’s green (of course) with gold and white letters from UNC Charlotte, the 49ers. It was given to me by my late, sainted mother, who was no gangbanger, and probably didn’t know what the term meant. She thought it would keep her firstborn warm, and it does.

During that preternaturally mild March 2012, I managed to misplace my knit hats. And I need, NEED a hat to keep warm, with this hairline, which I had since I was in my 20s; that caricature duck was drawn when I was 28. The temperature dropped like a stone late in the month, from highs in the 70sF (low 20s C) to the 30sF (low single digits C), and all I could find were some caps, which would have been inadequate for the task, and my hoodie. So I wore the latter.

Unlike the knit hat, the hoodie also keeps my neck warm, without additional apparel, such as a scarf. Anyone who knows me well will verify that I care more about function than form or fashion. Wearing the hoodie keeps me from shivering. No political agenda; my hoodie is just sheltering from the cold and the wind.

Author: Roger

I'm a librarian. I hear music, even when it's not being played. I used to work at a comic book store, and it still informs my life. I won once on JEOPARDY! - ditto.

36 thoughts on “In defense of the hoodie”

  1. I actually own a hoodie with our corporate logo on it; it gets several wearings each winter. (Besides, I usually can’t find my beret.)

  2. Lots of talk re Obama running against SCOTUS if his health care bill goes down. I can see that: “This is the same SC that said that corporations are people, who think strip searches for traffic infractions are OK.”

  3. I have no idea.

    I think SCOTUS is increasingly deciding based on politics, not constitutional merit.

    But WHAT politics is the question. I don’t think it’s Red-Blue. I suspect (although I do not know) it’s class politics.

  4. But how can people follow these inconsistent dolts and say “Red! Blue!” like it matters?

    They say one thing to one group, and another thing to another, and another to yours, and none agree.

    Does everyone genuinely believe “Oh, no, he just said that to that guy for political reasons. He said THE TRUTH to me and my guys!!!”?

  5. Chris- Do you you REALLY think Obama doesn’t know about judicial review? I’ve heard more references to Marbury v Madison (1803) since I was a poli sci major nearly 4 decades ago. Sure, he KNOWS about it; he just doesn’t like it in this case.

  6. Huh? Yes, of course Obama knows about judicial review. I’m not quite sure how Marbury v Madison plays into this other than possibly the establishment of the supremacy of the Constitution in the courts, but I’m sure he’s aware of it.

    My point is not “Such-and-such will be the political maneuvering of the various players in this game.”

    My point is “How can people see this as anything other than a game? There appears to be no rule by principal or by law. Because we allow ourselves to be divided our universal constitutional rights (such as those against arbitrary search and seizure) are being threatened.”

  7. “I’m not quite sure how Marbury v Madison plays into this other than possibly the establishment of the supremacy of the Constitution in the courts…” – well, precisely. Obviously you don’t watch enough FOX News, because this “gaffe” is proof that Obama is either stupid or dishonest, thus ineligible to be re-elected.
    Somehow I missed this but Mitt Romney said: I Can Relate To Black People, My Ancestors Once Owned Slaves. Obviously reason for me to vote for Willard.

  8. Wow, Roger, a bit political free-for-all, and I didn’t instigate it! Hooray for you! Mitt Romney is just another ‘Junior’ like GWB and Andy Cuomo. Thinks he’s entitled to be president.

    If we aren’t mindful of what really matters, which is Citizens United (since when did Kodak have eyes and lips, let alone a SOUL?) and the fact that now, the Koch Brothers and their ilk can buy elections.

    As for Pres. Obama, I don’t agree with his stance on the Middle East AT ALL, but he’s a smarter person with better judgment than Romney, and far less in need of mental health treatment/ethics classes than Santorum or Gingrich.

    I can relate to black people; my ancestors once owned SLAVES? Are you kidding me? Actually it makes perfect sense, given that the guy is an adult named Mitt. Amy (and speaking of The Right Wingnut Fringe:)

  9. No, I don’t own a TV. I just ran a search “obama marbury madison,” and yes… stupid popped up. I actually went to the trouble of reading the decision (it was actually easier than the Wikipedia article on the same topic):

    Dude, I am not dim enough to mistake a joke article for a real one. (Or Gaddafi really is endorsing Republican candidates.) I doubt that Romney is in reality significantly more or less racist than any of the other candidates, Republican or Democrat.

    I genuinely do not understand your Wilard reference. If it’s a reference to Willard the movie I haven’t seen it.

  10. Thanks, Roger. Makes me feel dim that I didn’t know that, but at least I won’t make the same mistake again.

    For the record, I actually thought the Romney-said-those-horrible-horrible-things article was true at first glance but when I ran a search and found nothing I went back and realized Free Wood was a satire site like The Onion.

    Excellent Rorschach, though. Maybe I should post it on my Facebook page and see what reactions I get from my Republican and Democrat friends…

  11. My 15 year old, wear the zipped in front hoodie all the time. In my school, a primary school, hoods are not allowed up.

  12. Chris Honeycut:

    You wrote, “I think SCOTUS is increasingly deciding based on politics, not constitutional merit. But WHAT politics is the question. I don’t think it’s Red-Blue. I suspect (although I do not know) it’s class politics.”

    That’s a very good question. The five activist judges on SCOTUS are devoted to the idea of corporate rule, basically the handing of US political power to international corporations. You are absolutely right, they consistently rule against the US Constitution and care not one bit about Democrats and Re-pubs. They are working toward the establishment of a strict pyramidal class system in the US, like you find inside every corporation.

    Don’t believe that? Try using that to predict the next 5 – 4 SCOTUS decision. What decision best benefits international corporations at this time? That’s how they decide.

    So I guess you could call that class politics. Excellent insight on your part.

  13. I largely agree, Dan.

    A couple of things I learned in the past two days:

    – First, “activist judge” in the sense it’s used in the media is nonsense rhetoric. Activist judge is actually a borrowed term from law:

    Judicial activism, therefore, is not itself bad, but if it’s improperly applied it can be used by the media to advance rhetoric and further turn us against each other.

    – There’s a philosophy in law called “strict constructivism,” which, like “judicial activism,” is not itself bad but can be used to understand the extent of what’s going on.

    A strict constructivist only interprets what’s literally written in the law. That’s fine, if that’s the legal principal by which you reason.

    But if you look over the decisions, they use conservative (strict constructivist) reasoning on our rights, as they did in the Florence case, but liberal (not constructivist) reasoning on interpretations of things like the Commerce Clause.

    In other words, when it comes to personal rights and freedoms the Constitution better say specifically “On Tuesday mornings in June it’s okay to say Congress is comprised of homely men,” or you’re going to be barred from it.

    But when it comes to things like corporate influence and power the Constitution can say “Congress doesn’t have a right to make a law requiring us to hand Lockheed Martin 50% of our paycheck” and SCOTUS will say “Oh, but we can definitely require people to pay 51% of their paycheck to Lockheed.”

    Maybe you already know this, but it’s all very new to me.

  14. Chris – We can rename this site “Roger’s Forum.”

    You’ve made me think about the term “activist judge.” I have to admit that my use in the last post was merely a reaction to the politically correct meaning of “activist judge” as a judge that is pushing a “liberal” (i.e. politically incorrect) agenda. I like to take these terms popularized by The Oxycontin Kid and turn them against the Corporate Radicals.

    Strict constructivism, like most things, is relative. Whether or not a judge is stretching interpretation of a law to satisfy an agenda all depends on your point of view.

    I look at Antonin Scalia’s so-called “Originalism” and can only conclude that he is making a big nasty joke with that name. Supposedly “Originalism” is merely a new name for strict constructivism, getting back to the “original” meanings. Instead I see Scalia’s decisions as very original… but wrapped in venerable legal fundamentalism to make them look legitimate. That guy is a real comedian, he is.

    I refer you to the SCOTUS decision on the DC Gun Laws a few years back which Scalia wrote. It reads like any religious fundamentalist manifesto, cherry picking certain items from the holy books but pretending that others don’t exist or are irrelevant. Practical considerations are ignored. The result is an insane unjustified decision that makes a mockery of the rule of law and takes away local power to regulate guns. That decision is a clear example of judicial activism. (They really oughta call it the Scalia Court.)

    When the corporate media declares that “liberal interpretations” of the US Constitution are “activist” or more rarely “not constructivist” they are declaring that Liberalism Is Bad And Should Be Avoided.

    Except for one problem. The US Constitution is very much a Liberal document written by Liberals and serves as the basis for our Liberal institutions. By declaring that Liberalism Is Bad And Should Be Avoided they are consciously undermining the Constitution and therefore undermining the very basis for the United States itself.

    Personally, I feel very nervous living inside an empire that is being consciously undermined by it’s own officials.

    That’s why I say that corporatists like Scalia and his four activist comrades on SCOTUS are traitors to their own country, actively working for its downfall. They are Radical Anti-Constitutionalists. That’s why I think all corporatists should be treated the way we used to treat traitors, back in the day. But I’m not holding my breath.

    I consider myself a conservative. I want to preserve our Constitution and especially our Bill of Rights, and I wish to preserve our country by reinforcing the basis of our country’s legitimacy. How did my patriotic point of view become politically incorrect? What sort of people are responsible for that?

  15. @ Dan:

    Eh. I don’t know if Roger wants his blog turned into an ersatz Durov Circle. He’s explicitly mentioned to me he’s not terribly fond of conflict. But I suppose if it bothers him he’s an adult and will just tell us to move along to another blog.

    To answer your last question first: I believe we ourselves are to blame, in exactly the same way that a woman who is beaten by a drunk is to blame if she returns to the drunk and gets beaten again. “Der Teufel ist im Spiegel.”

    Not the sort of scapegoat that generally leads to mass political movements or social revolutions, but if you play the argument through your head a few times I think you’ll come to the same conclusion.

  16. @Chris – I said I PERSONALLY don’t like conflict. But I let you and A go on quite a while on my TU blog; you’ll note, though, that I mostly stayed out of it. So have at it, if you want…

  17. Extremely Curious Chris:

    Of course you and I are responsible. Rights Always Come With Responsibilities. Unfortunately there are so many self-styled ubermen running around acting like irresponsible spoiled brats this needs to be said over and over.

    Yesterday that butthead Ted Nugent at the NRA convention had this to say about President Obama:

    “It isn’t the enemy that ruined America. It’s good people who bent over and let the enemy in,” he said. “If the coyote’s in your living room pissing on your couch, it’s not the coyote’s fault. It’s your fault for not shooting him.”

    (My apologies for the language Roger, I heard this quote in full on the radio this morning.) Mitt Romney, who was present, reportedly almost had a seizure trying to distance himself from that remark without seeming to do so.

    What does Ted see in Barak that makes him say stupid things like that? Himself? I guess that’s what you’re talking about. Too bad he’s such a fabulous guitarist, or was.

    But it sounds to me that the other side of what you’re saying is that if one opposes something, and it looks all too familiar, then you had better not bother because you’ll be just another nasty idiot like Ted. Therefore keep your mouth shut and help the world go to hell.

    I’ve tried fear and silence. Been there and duh duh done that.

  18. I still think the analogy holds. What are the options for a beaten woman, at least in America?

    I do mean “ourselves,” not “each individually.” We each can make a difference by not participating with our time, our dollar, etc., but to actually attempt to fight – either by pacifist or non-pacifist means – requires an army. To even just walk away requires an army.

    If you choose to fight, what happens is that you can become nothing more than Don Quixote tilting at windmills.

    If that’s your cup of tea, fine. It isn’t mine. But as it says in Leonard Cohen’s Poem 111:

    Each man
    has a way to betray
    the revolution
    This is mine

  19. Forgot to attempt to answer your question:

    What does Nugent see? Look up the psychological phenomenon called “projection.” A thousand tiny cuts from phantoms makes you angry; culture tells you who the demon is.

  20. Chris:

    Um, what revolution are we talking about? I personally don’t want to live through a revolution or any other kind of war. I want to keep the good things I’ve (we’ve) got, including peace and security. A true conservative. But certain greedy people have been systematically taking these things away from us. And, as you pointed out, we’ve let them.

    As for armies, their purpose is to kill people and destroy property. Ask any military officer. Armies do not create or even maintain wealth, they use it up. Armies do not deal with social problems, they stomp on them. So why call in the army except as a last resort?

    BTW, you might be surprised to learn how much positive effect one person can have by telling the plain truth in a clear manner at the right time. But you have to practice to get it right! That’s why I’m discussing this with you.

  21. Since you mailed it to me, Dan, I feel compelled to post The Journey To The Center Of The Mind – Amboy Dukes (1968) , featuring Ted Nugent on guitar. As you noted, “That guy is (was) one of the best with that guitar. This song is some fine psychedelia.” Which, I suppose, is why anyone listens at all to what the schmuck is saying.

  22. Back up there, padre, re-read what I wrote.

    A pacifist army – you know, a host of supporters. Which, in order to accomplish anything complex, must be more zealous and organized than an army of war.

    Stop and think: there have been groups out there who have done that that have accomplish a whole heck of a lot.

  23. @ Roger:

    I have never heard that. Also, explains a lot about Ted Nugent. Apparently he did a lot of acid…

    Oh goodie. Kalle Lasn and Ted Nugent: a Chuckie Manson acid head for each political half of the country. That’s… awesome.

  24. Well Chris, it’s apparent that you and I are reduced to talking at each other, so perhaps we can try another discussion some other time. Happens all too often on comments after blog posts. Thanks Roger, it’s your blog again.

  25. @ Dan:

    I wrote a whole long blog post with you in mind:

    I don’t think this is immaterial. I feel that being critical of what’s going on with Occupy, understanding history, understanding how Occupy is actually not all that different from Nugent’s followers in a deep, psychological sense is important for understanding what needs to be done to effect positive change.

  26. Chris:

    How nice, I’m the ridiculous man. Unfortunately Blogger makes it very hard to post on any of their blogs, so I’ll just have to continue to be ridiculous without comment.


    Yeah, with these comments posts, what I see as an exchange of ideas and information all too often turns into nothing more than a dumb sparring match, which inevitably disintegrates into vitriol. Again, thanks for your indulgence.

    Last word, Chris?

  27. No, wait, what?

    No, I was hoping the highly empathetic story of The Ridiculous Man would provide a common media for us to communicate.

    I also feel like The Ridiculous Man. It’s what makes the story so brilliant: I think most people with a good heart feel at times like The Ridiculous Man.

    Also, I like to spar. But as I told Roger, I like to talk politely, too. But if we’re going to talk about political issues… Well, as I see it, the big problem is that so many people criticize “the other” but not their own political views.

    The best, most productive political systems have been born out of criticism not only of other ideas but criticism by supporters as well. If you have a political movement where people aren’t allowed to be critical of the movement, you’re either going to have theoretical jabberwocky nonsense or a cult. (imho.)

  28. @ Roger:

    Wow. Could mean literally anything.

    Could be really, really bad (e.g. the SS doesn’t care about the president’s life for whatever reason.)

    Could be that the SS was bamboozled by Nugent (unaware that a huge number of screwballs who are seriously dangerous are also police nuts. I could give a list.)

    Could be that Nugent was bamboozled by the SS (Preeeeetty normal tactic is “Naw, naw, we’re cool, that’s awesome… keep, you know… relaxed [’cause we don’t have something actionable / it’s not politically a good idea to take action at this time])

    Could be that… Nugent did/does a lot of acid and is crazy and talking out his butt.

    Weird stuff, though.

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