What’s with all the hoopla about hoodies? It’s a piece of clothing. The hood is to provide warmth, or to protect a person’s head from inclement weather. Makes sense to me. But is it a negative image? In the late 20th century, Ted Kaczynski, the “UnaBomber”, raised the level of fear of seing a hooded person as if there was something demonic associated with the possibility of partially hiding one’s face with such a garment.
If it’s cold outside, given an opportunity to do so, I would always want to help my little grandchildren put on a hooded jacket or sweater so their ears wouldn’t get cold. Even in such garb, those babies are not likely to terrorize anybody. Neither would I, though I often pull up the hood of my coat when it’s raining.
Politics always gains its momentum from wanting folks to be afraid, thus wanting to follow leaders they hope will make them “safe”. The fears are consistently of imaginary things that are fueled by the prejudices of phobic people. Phobics (a huge percentage of the total population) generally can’t take care of business on their own. They cannot protect themselves, or effectively care for their own. They tend to follow dominators who “protect & nurture” them, and all the while keep them fearful.
If a person is harmed or abused because of some stigma attached to an article of clothing they are wearing, or presumed to be a threat for the same reason, what is the root cause? The clothes? How silly! Of course it isn’t! It is some kind of social or cultural prejudice adopted by phobic people, and the decisions they will make because of their phobias are always stupid decisions.
In the mid to late 1990’s, I watched a social fear transfer to a piece of cloth. Since certain street gangs identified themselves to each other by the display of “colors”, an irrational fear of kerchiefs and sweat bands swept over the entire nation, and several other countries. I also noticed at the time, that while many gang members wore pants, the rest of the people didn’t choose to go naked because of it.
Hoods on clothing, bandanas, or even whether or not a person turns their collar up, or rolls their socks down are all silly issues, but the dominator/exploiters find it so easy to use such nonsense to stir up stupid people. In the fifties, some boys were sent home from school for combing their hair in the back into a “ducktail”. By the mid-sixties, school administrators (some of whom combed their hair in duck tail fashion because their pastors were by then copying the style) sent boys home from school for combing their hair down on their foreheads mimicking the new “Beatle” look.
Fads and trendy fashions come and go. Folks tend to like or dislike them depending on whatever social fears of disenfranchisement, or conversely of fearing being associated by image is brought to their attention. Since it is based on what they have been taught to fear, or taught to believe, it seems important to them.
But just because they think it important, doesn’t increase the likelihood of making an intelligent decision because of it. In fact, people often are capable of making stupid decisions when they are afraid. Keeping folks fearful is usually profitable for politicians, for it is by that method that they gain their largest following.
“There are more things to alarm us than to harm us, and we suffer more from apprehension than reality.” – Seneca, Roman philosopher mid 1st century AD.
“The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.” -H. L. Mencken, early to mid 20th century journalist & essayist.
“Stress is real even if problems are imaginary. Deal with real.” -Van Brown, contemporary old man who owns a hooded jacket, but doesn’t go around hurting people.