Saturday, January 14, 2017

The History of Pom Poms

Ann Althouse discusses Pom Poms: no, not the ones you wave, but the fuzzy thingie on top of hats.

apparently the NYTimes is instructing their snowflakes to wear them to cheer themselves up in the face of Trumpie boy taking over.

leading to Althouse commenting:

By the way, is it really hard to take yourself seriously when your wearing a hat with a pompom?

I don't know. My grandson and now Naval officer Dane used to wear a knitted cap with a pom pom all the time. And he is the serious one of the a Napoleon Dynamite kind of way.

Althouse also links to Wikipedia that the pompom on hats has a long and serious tradition as a decoration on military and religious caps.

Pom-poms form a conspicuous part of the uniform of French naval personnel, being sewn onto the crown of their round cap.
Belgian sailors wear a light blue version....
Roman Catholic clergy[edit] Roman Catholic clergy wear the biretta.

wikipedia commons
Father Z was just asking people to donate to a fund so seminarians can get one to wear, and I blasted him, noting they cost almost 300 dollars, and the money would be better spent if sent to pay the school fees of Africans wanting to be priests (like my friend's nephew)

But that shows the diversity of Catholicism: He is pushing tradition in worship and dress, to remind people of their heritage. I sort of prefer our old bishop in Africa who dressed like a local (white) farmer when he made his rounds of the missions, and was almost thrown out of the hospital by one of our new (European) sisters who didn't recognize him. (However, the bishop who replaced him did wear the traditional black suit and collar so he would be recognized as clergy.)

I am closer to Francis (both the saint and the pope) who says: Why waste money on these things when you have the poor? Of course, Jesus pointed out that you need a balance in these things. And of course, too much "help the poor" results in a bland colourless and mechanized life, without the joy brought to you by beauty and art.

So I apologize: If the NYTimes can promote PomPoms to rich elites to make them feel more cheerful, I guess it's okay to help pious seminarians who are trying "step by step" (to use Father's phrase) to restore tradition and dignity to the happy-happy-we-are-all-wonderful modern church services held in churches that look like the inside of an airplane hanger.

we still see vestigial of medieval dress in the world, but do people still learn what they mean in today's PC world?

 Because medieval universities often were run by churches,the Wikipedia page also notes that some universities (mainly European ones) use the Biretta as part of their academic costume.

The robes are now worn by all and sundry, (even kindergarten graduations wear gowns DUH)...but originally they were uniforms, and the color and sashes and hats varied with your degree. If I remember correctly, our graduation robe was black, but our sash was Green for MD. 

and one of our professors, who was one of the German Jewish professors hired by our medical college after Hitler threw them out, had a biretta instead of a mortarboard...or maybe it was a professional Tam

Asian Journal article on Academic gown history.

Tam Tams are typically used for Doctoral degrees, though some Master’s programs do use them. Tams are made from velvet, and usually have a ribbon over the fabric, and in black.
Color variations do occur with some colleges. The number of sides vary, and can be four, six, or eight-sided, eight, six, or four sides. Four-sided is usually only used for Master’s degrees, while six and eight sided are used for Doctor’s degrees depending on which the University prefers.
Tams are “poofed” at the top instead of flat, and come with a tassel usually in gold, with one or two buttons and sometimes in a gold bullion color.
Mortarboard or cap Mortarboards are flat rather than “poufy” at the top, are not made from velvet, and are also usually black but come in a variety of colors and variations are more frequent than with tams.
Mortarboards have only four sides, and typically have a tassel with a single button at the top, usually in the color of the degree-granting institution. Tassel is worn on left after graduation (on right before the big moment). Usually black for undergraduates, but Masters have the option of wearing discipline color while Doctors usually wear gold.
(AJPress) Source: “The History of Academical Dress in Europe Until the End of the Eighteenth Century,” by Hargreaves-Mawdsley, WN, Oxford University Press 1963

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