A prominent author has compared the red “Make America Great Again” caps to Nazi swastikas, and told “normal people”—that is, people who don’t support Trump—to stop wearing any kind of red cap, lest they start “making people scared.” Rebecca Makkai, who has been a finalist for both a Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award (what, no Nobel Prize for physics?), made the controversial comments on Twitter, (where else?) according to Fox News. To be clear, Makkai really was talking about all red caps. In fact, she even specifically asked fans of sports teams that wear red caps—such as the Cincinnati Reds and Washington Nationals—to not wear those caps out in public to avoid making other people afraid. Is the dugout public?
“Not worth making disenfranchised people feel unsafe,” she wrote. For the record, I can’t figure out why someone who gets triggered by red is disenfranchised–is that a different word for bovine? Sorry, that’s red capes. What a difference a single letter makes. Makkai also had a problem with MAGA parody hats: “Also, for the love of God: The clever folks wearing “Make America Read Again” or whatever caps — NO,” she said. “You’re making everyone scared. Don’t do it.” Too late, I rock a red hat from the Babylon Bee that says “Make Satire Great Again.” At least there’s no “America” in the caption, maybe I can get away with it. And no, Makkai is NOT a satirist. The solution to this problem of “making everyone scared” is simple: I am working on creating a cap with two brims and two messages facing the opposite way. MAGA in red on one side, #Black Lives Matter on a black background (and NOT white lettering) on the other. If the red triggers someone, simply turn it around. I haven’t solved the problem of enemies in both directions.
Of course, if I had such a cap I, being white, might be attacked for cultural appropriation by the folks seeing the BLM side, while simultaneously being attacked by white libs for the MAGA side. The Economist discusses that arcane concept of cultural appropriation: “Cultural appropriation is less about cultural disrespect or intolerance—for which much clearer terminology already exists—than about reinforcing the oppressor-oppressed binary through which social-justice advocates see the world. Because Christians and whites are groups deemed to have power, all manner of borrowing or parody is intolerable. And the inverse gets a free pass: nobody is upset when Asians wear European clothes, for instance.”
That last sentence needs some modification. Have you ever seen Asian visitors to America wearing hilariously mismatched combinations of patterned shirts and patterned pants, both in completely different patterns. I nicknamed the look the “Japanese tourist uniform”, even though they could just as well be Chinese or Korean, mostly because I have spent time in Japan. There, the mode of dress tends to be very formal, so when they go abroad to Western countries they are more likely to adopt what they imagine Western style to be, or maybe they are mocking us with the “polyester leisure suit” look. Once I started to think about this–digression warning–I did some research. From the website TheyDiffer.com
“The Chinese–especially the women–tend to interpret style as a way to show off wealth. The importance is not placed on how bold the design is but on how expensive it must have been. Therefore, people wear sparkly things and top it off with some nice jewelry. Western influence is also prevalent in this country. Japanese style varies between traditional and modern. Some prefer a more neutral palette and go for a simple look while others tend to gravitate to anime-looking clothes. So don’t be surprised to see a girl wearing a sailor moon costume while walking down the road because it’s considered “kawaii” (cute) in that country. Lastly, we have the Korean style – which is fast becoming a trend as well. Koreans are easily one of the most stylish countries. They love bold designs and are lovers of fashion trends, as well as brand names. Even their Korean dramas showcase their love for unique combinations and bright colors. They also dye their hair with the most unusual colors so it’s not rare to see a Korean sporting grey or green hair.”
“What exactly was the purpose of this rambling post?” you ask. Go back to the first two paragraphs. Is that not worthy of mockery? If not, what is? What’s next, getting arrested for MAGA-cap rage?