Playpen

Welcome to the Playpen, our space for ferrety banter and whimsical snippets of things that aren't quite long enough for articles (although they might be) but that caught your eye anyway.

at 09:59 on 27-06-2014, Janne Kirjasniemi
Daniel F:

Seems to be a sort of social liberalism thing too, although you might've meant that, in the fashion of J. S. Mill or Isaiah Berlin?

Tamara:

Lots of those cool hats can be just casual sure, especially as you get them in more varied colours. But I guess the thing with these sorts seems to be a decidedly dark coloured and formal sort of dress hat. But who knows what they were aiming for really. Top hats are pretty cool too, right? Abe Lincoln and Slash can't be totally wrong...
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at 09:44 on 27-06-2014, Tamara
I could go with Hussar outfits on men...Reminds me of watching Remington Steele a while back, where Pierce Brosnan was a Neil-Caffery-like character and wore a lot of slim three piece suits and the like, and I kept thinking - damn, we need to bring this back. He didn't really wear much in the way of hats though.

Anyway, to overthink the hat thing further, I don't think sneakers, cargo shorts and a fedora is per se a failed attempt at "sharp, classy and old fashioned." The mismatch of styles/levels of formality is surely a deliberate attempt at...something. Punkiness? Uniqueness? Insouciance? Doesn't mean it actually works, of course, but that's what I'd assume to be the subconscious underlying mentality of the look, more so than gentlemanlyness.

Besides, the casual fedora could arguably be a thing in itself now, more or less divorced from its historical context - when you can get them in lime and turquoise plaid or orange polka dots, it's just a fun hat.

This might also be a sunny climate thing - I genuinely wear hats sometimes because I want to keep the sun off, and baseball caps and bucket hats get tiresome after a while. I had a sort of panama type hat (I think - fedora like but broader brim) for a while, and I wore it with anything with no aspiration to sharpness or formality.
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at 09:01 on 27-06-2014, Daniel F
Ah, Google rides to the rescue.

That's... an odd definition of conservatism. It reads to me like a mixture of social libertarianism and free market capitalism. And military interventionism, weirdly. I'm not sure what to make of it.
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at 05:54 on 27-06-2014, Daniel F
Fair enough. I remembered that he was a Christian, and I also remember him talking about 'might for right' in a very positive way on a forum (and we come full circle back to Arthur), but beyond that didn't have many more specifics. What I remember most are comments like the start of this review, where he does a good job of hammering in the problems with sexism in comics.

Regarding metaplots: I'm fine with them when it comes off as a bit of spontaneous goofing off. It's what TGWTG reviewers tend to do well: coming off as a silly, nerdy friend. So e.g. the end of the Neutro review is fine and even amusing. It's when they start taking themselves seriously that I tune out. Around the time I stopped regularly watching he'd been doing something about fighting a Terminator clone of himself, followed by a Power Rangers pastiche about a villain threatening to destroy the Earth with a spaceship.

Whereas I went there to laugh at bad comic books. Not to watch a poorly-acted wish-fulfilment story about a comics nerd with superpowers.
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at 18:30 on 26-06-2014, Robinson L
@Daniel F: Yes, he's a conservative. He's mentioned his support for Bush during the latter's presidency a couple times, and he's also discussed his support for capitalism and opposition to high taxation. (Granted, conservatives aren't the only ones who support capitalism, but the language he uses is a kind you don't often hear in the mouths of US liberals.)

I've noticed him usually going out of his way to draw attention to feminist issues in comics.

Which is what I was referring to when I said he seems to be basically good on social issues.

I'd criticise him for the terrible metaplots he used to shoehorn into his reviews.

I, uh, actually find storylines pretty entertaining, even if they do have precious little to do with movie/game/comics reviews.
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at 16:51 on 26-06-2014, Janne Kirjasniemi
Being betrayed by headgear is not necessarily the worst, but it must definitely be one of the most disappointing things to happen to a person.
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at 14:20 on 26-06-2014, Michal
I realize now that posting "general reasons why fedoras have negative associations on the internet these days" was a non-sequitur.

So trying to circle back to the original point, it is funny that when Linkara revealed in a video that he was a Christian it caused an uproar in a chunk of his fan base that was 100% sure he was an atheist. I would not be surprised if the no. 1 reason for that assumption was his choice of hat.
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at 08:03 on 26-06-2014, Arthur B
Really, if we're going to criticise Linkara for anything, I'd criticise him for the terrible metaplots he used to shoehorn into his reviews.

A sin endemic to That Guy With The Glasses contributors in general.
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at 05:34 on 26-06-2014, Daniel F
Is Linkara particularly conservative? I've noticed him usually going out of his way to draw attention to feminist issues in comics. It's usually very obvious stuff, but anything that might get the message across to comic geeks is worthwhile.

His hat seems fine, though. It goes well with his jacket, it fits his head, and perhaps most importantly, it differentiates him from all the other pale geeks reviewing stuff for TFWTG. The gimmick makes him stand out. Really, if we're going to criticise Linkara for anything, I'd criticise him for the terrible metaplots he used to shoehorn into his reviews. (I haven't watched for a while, but I think now he's toned them down, or moved them to the very end, so they can be easily avoided by the uninterested.)
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at 04:09 on 26-06-2014, Michal
RE: Linkara: Not his personal politics/behavior, more that a not inconsiderable number of folks find his videos irritating, is all.
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at 03:00 on 26-06-2014, Robinson L
Alasdair: Smash Mouth's "All Star" the song hated by many and feared by all.

Oh dear, I uh, I'm quite fond of "All Star," actually. It was in Shrek, and in the Digimon movie, and I find it ... pretty fun.

Arthur: Holy shit, a Nice Guy version of Oscar Wilde would be terrible.

Like, Dorian Gray is unceasingly friendzoned by women who end up preferring jerks like Lord Henry Wotton, and everyone comments on how he puts on a brave face and doesn't seem affected by this, but over time his portrait shows an increasingly pronounced neckbeard...

Ha-ha, I'm not sure "terrible" is the right word for that scenario, Arthur.

Michal: It probably doesn't help that Linkara wears a fedora.

Oh, really? I mean, I know he's a conservative, but his social politics seem basically good, and I've never gotten the sense that he's a huge asshole or anything. (/curious, not challenging)
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at 01:56 on 26-06-2014, Melanie
Yeah, it is a shame. The whole "Carmen Sandiego" look is pretty sharp. If totally inappropriate for any setting other than, I don't know, a con or Halloween or something.
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at 00:49 on 26-06-2014, Michal
It probably doesn't help that Linkara wears a fedora.

...Maybe that's where this all began.

(I was under the impression that distinguishing a trilby from a fedora was frowned upon on the internet for some reason?)
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at 00:03 on 26-06-2014, Arthur B
Like Typhoid Mary before me, I come bearing a gift for you all: Mouth Sounds, the latest creation from internet wunderkind Neil Cicierega.

This is the Metal Machine Music of our age.
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at 18:59 on 25-06-2014, Sonia Mitchell
Re: Oscar Wilde - I think The Happy Prince would be the poster boy for nice guy syndrome. He gave up all his gold and jewels and all he got was crummy posthumous recognition. The sparrow's love doesn't count because she doesn't reach his standards.
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at 18:31 on 25-06-2014, James D
re: fedoras, in addition to what Arthur outlined, think a big part of why they so rarely work on guys these days is simply because society's general dress code has gotten so much more casual. In the 20s, even lowly gangsters wore ties, but today pretty much nobody wears a suit unless their job requires it or they're going to a nice restaurant or something. Dressing inappropriately for the occasion makes you look silly and oblivious to social norms, whether you're wearing sweatpants to a job interview or a tuxedo to a dive bar. I think the whole 1940s fedora-and-overcoat look is cool, but I also think the Roman Legionnaire look is cool, and I'm not going to walk around town with a scutum and a gladius.
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at 14:19 on 25-06-2014, Arthur B
Holy shit, a Nice Guy version of Oscar Wilde would be terrible.

Like, Dorian Gray is unceasingly friendzoned by women who end up preferring jerks like Lord Henry Wotton, and everyone comments on how he puts on a brave face and doesn't seem affected by this, but over time his portrait shows an increasingly pronounced neckbeard...
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at 14:18 on 25-06-2014, Axiomatic
Are you sure that's Oscar Wilde? It looked like Neil Gaiman to me.
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at 14:00 on 25-06-2014, Janne Kirjasniemi
Yeah, but think how nice it would be, if people started to think that Oscar Wilde had the best idea(which he bloody well did)? With appropriate demand, the supply would rise up to meet it.
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at 13:59 on 25-06-2014, Alice
Oh, dudes in fedoras.... Or, more often, trilbys, I suppose: I rarely see guys in an actual fedora, and then mostly at the airport, because I live near Red Hat's corporate headquarters and apparently you get given one after you've worked for them for a while? So there are regularly guys in red fedoras at the airport bar during business travel hours.

The Red Hat guys bug me specifically because they don't take their hats off (you're indoors! Gentlemen remove their hats indoors!) though to be fair maybe they're required to wear them when they visit clients, and I can see that if you don't usually wear a hat you'd be worried about forgetting it if you took it off and put it down somewhere.

Arthur has already articulated my thoughts on why the average dude-in-a-fedora-or-trilby doesn't pull it off, and I think Janne's point that "to [wear a snappy suit] comfortably on a day to day basis actually demands a lot of money" may also be a contributing factor to the "hat as a magic charm" thing: guys may want to look like Neal Caffrey but not have the funds for the fancy suits. But they can afford a hat like Neal's (and Neal's hat is a bit of a thing on the show), so they go for that.

To be -- very slightly -- fair to terrifying MLP/guns/knives guy, he does look pretty comfortable in his getup (which also seems to fit him reasonably well, so he's escaped Arthur's Fedora Fallacy* #4), it's all the rest of his profile statements & photos that really make you go "argh, no".

Which just brings me back to the feeling I can't shake about 99% of fancy hat-wearers, which is that they're substituting a gimmick for actual charm or (attractive) personality.

*sorry, alliteration, I couldn't help myself...
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at 13:51 on 25-06-2014, Axiomatic
>It's also curious that the choice is so obviously to dress in the Mad Men era of style as if this sort of style is more timeless or classic than pre-WWI for example. Of course, before WWI the male fashion was much more in a state of flux as aristocracy was more in their strength and a much stronger trend-setter than nowadays. There seems to be this idea, that the sort of look they are copying is somehow essentially more stylish or sharp, when it as much a fashion thing as anything.

It's kind of easier to get your hands on a suit, a tie and a fedora than it is to acquire a full Hussar outfit.
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at 13:09 on 25-06-2014, Janne Kirjasniemi
Hopefully so, although the existence of such a person is both frightening and kind of enticing for the pure absurdity of it all. So now I'm confused, which makes the image art in a way that would take much effort and head-ache to describe.
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at 13:04 on 25-06-2014, Arthur B
It's entirely possible the picture is a parody, mind. Poe's Law and all that.
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at 12:49 on 25-06-2014, Janne Kirjasniemi
Oh dear, I don't want to pile on the toy store gun too much and sure, I'm from a different cultural background, but. If you're obsessions are My Little Pony, you're fedora collection, knife collection and gun collection and you're spouting stuff about "friend zones" then maybe the problem is actually not your niceness, but rather the judgments people might make in relation to your interests. Which might or might not be justified, but people will still react in certain way to talk about a knife collection and that is a fact that has to be accepted in the society we live in.

But then again, maybe he is very suave and charming in person...
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