Arguments I Cannot Win – Men's Hats Inside

December 17, 2012

Second installment of my Arguments I Cannot Win theme. Why is it rude TODAY for a man to wear a hat indoors?

There are a plethora of reasons why the sentiment originated, but all of the ones I can think of do not seem to apply today.

Things to consider:

  • Men do cover their heads in a Jewish synagogue to show respect.
  • Men remove their hats in a Christian church to show respect.
  • Everybody wears a hat on a construction site to avoid a concussion.
  • Men who have been wearing a cap have hat-head and their hair doesn't look its best.
  • People don't make a habit of throwing sewage out their window any more, nor do many men wear top-hats very often unless they're on Broadway.

So, why the rule? Honestly, It's rare that I hear anybody mention it any more, but periodically it will come up and nobody has been able to give me a good reason except to say that it's rude, and that in and of itself is the reason. It's rude to fart in public because it's offensive (olfactorily speaking), but a hat isn't hurting anybody.

My usual exhaustive research led me to threads in which people left their opinions – at about 50% for each side – and articles on etiquette, which don't bother with the why's, just being very specific about the rules. (In an elevator in an apartment building the hat comes off, in an elevator in a public building the hat stays on, unless a woman is present in which case it comes off until entering the hall because then you are 1) in a public space again and 2) walking.

I, for one, think it's silly and it needs to go away, and I don't even wear a hat that often. Of course, I have no hope or desire to enter any society that is above the ones just above those who sit on sofas on their front porch and wear house shoes to the grocery store.

Thank you and have a good day.


Arguments I Cannot Win – DST

September 29, 2012

There are some arguments that I will never win. That doesn't keep me from advancing them. I present them to my friends and coworkers, none of whom are in the position to change anything. But, I gotta say something!

Daylight Savings Time

Now, don't get me wrong, I appreciate getting home in the daylight. My only question is, why do we lie to ourselves? I think it's a good idea, so let's get Wall Street and banks to open and close an hour earlier every day. America will follow. I suggested this to one coworker and she immediately objected that she didn't want to get up earlier. I sat looking at her with a straight face until she realized that she was, indeed, getting up earlier. She was just lying to herself about it, so it's okay.

And, why just during the summer when there's already more daylight anyway? Let's do it year-round. We need it more in the winter time, anyway. It's actually a little traumatic to go OFF of DST and get home in the darkness. Reality doesn't have to be sad; we can just all adjust our schedules ONE TIME and leave it that way. Even as it gets darker earlier it will be gradual and not the shock we experience every autumn, which is depressing enough as it is.

My brother lived in Costa Rica and he told me that they would sporadically observe DST. He said he would see campaigns reminding everybody to change their clocks, and people would scoff at the absurdity of the idea... and then not do it. How do you convince a nation full of intelligent people to pretend it's an hour earlier than it is? He also told me that it gets dark at 6PM every day of the year. So what would be the point of bouncing back and forth anyway? I do not know the current DST situation in that country, but 6PM is a terribly early time to get dark. They should definitely do things early.

I cannot find a definitive answer about this, even though I looked online for at least 3 minutes. I saw the suggestion that an essay by Ben Franklin brought it up, and that it was originally used as an energy-saving device. After that, I think this is one of those things that continue simply because it placates the masses, and God knows that the masses must be kept happy and spendy.

So, I think it's a good idea to move everything an hour earlier. I think it's a good idea to get home after a day at work while it's still light out. I think it's an idea that we should embrace, accept and acknowledge, rather than lying to ourselves.

Respectfully submitted,