Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Rant: Fedoras

I was on Tumblr in the wee hours of the morning and I ran across something that upset me quite a bit. It's something that seems to be making the rounds. It's not that it is something of universal importance or that it's going to save anyone's life or hurt them. No, it's just something that really bothered me on a deep level as a fan of many things that are often referred to as geeky. What did I see? I saw this.

You have to be fucking kidding me.

And I do get where this is coming from. It's coming from a place where people are sick of these guys in fedoras who whine about how nice they are but no girl wants them. The guys who act like huge dicks to girls when they're rejected. Those guys who are now being referred to as Fedoras because they fucking wear them all the time. I have prepared a visual reference of such people.

Yes, clearly women are making a huge mistake by avoiding these gentlemen.
My problem is the claim that Indiana Jones is the only cool heroic figure to wear a fedora. It really bothers me, because it's so wrong. Actually, it is so wrong and off the money it literally hurts my brain. The fedora was worn by many bad-ass heroes before Jones existed and even some after he came into existence. Sure, he’s cool, but he’s not the only cool hero to wear the hat. Indiana Jones is probably one of the least cool fedora wearing heroes, in my honest opinion. Any fan of the Justice League Unlimited series should be aware of The Question. There are numerous pulp era heroes, on which Jones was based, who are far more interesting. No, Dr. Jones is simply the most well-know pop culture icon who wears a fedora.

"Tell me again about how you stopped the Nazis from finding the Ark of the Covenant, Dr. Jones. Oh, you didn't? They opened it and died without you really affecting the outcome in any way? How about that."
 People dickride Jones because he's this well-known pop culture icon, even when most people talk about how terrible the last movie was. Me, I see him as he actually is. A guy who gets lucky a whole lot and is honestly kind of a dick. Seriously, he abandoned Marian and fucked a Nazi at one point. The entire first movie is essentially a catalogue of examples of him screwing up. He didn't even save the day, dumb luck did. He's not even the greatest pulp-type hero either, a title that will always belong to Doc Savage. And let me tell you, the Man of Bronze doesn't mess around. But the problem is that no one in the everyday pop culture knows or cares about Doc Savage, because he didn't have set of movies come out in the 1980s. And, as Seth MacFarlane can attest, no one seems to care about anything that wasn't made in the 1980s.

I refuse to believe this entire movie wasn't inspired by Teddy Ruxpin.
In comics we've had great characters like the Question, Rorschach, the Sandman, and the Spirit. These are all characters who wore fedoras and kicked all sorts of ass. They're not unknown either. Rorschach appeared in the Watchmen film, played by the talented Jackie Earl Haley, that a massive number of people have seen by now. The Question, as I pointed out earlier, appeared in the popular Justice League Unlimited series as a semi-regular cast member voiced by the excellent Jeffrey Combs. Combs is a cult icon having starred in the legendary Re-Animator film. Will Eisner, arguably one of the most well-know comic artists to ever live, gave us the Spirit, a character that has long outlived his creator. We won't talk about the film based on the character though. And that's just the characters who are from the comics. TV, radio, pulp books, and movies have given us other fedora sporting heroes who are also fairly well known. Sam Raimi's Darkman was one of my favourite movies as a child, showing a hero who was horribly scarred, wrapped in bandages, and running around in a fedora and a trenchcoat. It was my first introduction to Liam Neeson.

Taken 3: Where's My Face?
Then you have the Shadow, who also got a film starring Alec Baldwin, and the Green Hornet, a very popular old television hero whose sidekick Kato was played by Bruce Lee. Yes, there was even the movie made a few years ago starring Seth Rogen which, while not perfect by any means, should still make the character fresh enough in the public eye.
 
"Run, Kato! They want to make a sequel!"
 Sure, the fedora now has a stigma attached to it thanks to a bunch of dickbags who wear them while claiming to be nice guys, but don’t ever forget that before Indiana or said bag of human excrement came along, and even after, the fedora had a long history of being worn by bad-asses. Let’s not forget them. If you forget them then you let those fedora wearing losers running around win, and you don’t want that, yes? So, until next time, enjoy this sexy ass picture of the Spine (which can be bought as a print here).

And remember to always shine bright like a diamond, folks. Later!

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